Moist Pumpkin Raisin Bran Muffins – AKA Better Than Sex Muffins

Adapted from a King Arthur Flour Test Kitchen recipe
Makes 12 muffins

I have a lot of friends that just love pumpkin. Pumpkin in anything is a good thing. I like pumpkin, too; just not as much as these folks.
I have been baking many different kinds of muffins lately and I thought why not try a pumpkin muffin.
And the search was on.
I did not find many pumpkin muffin recipes. Some of them sounded awful. I tried one from Dorie Greenspan’s book Baking that was just okay. Then I ran across a recipe on the Internet from King Arthur Flour. One thing I liked about it was that it used a whole 15-ounce can of pumpkin puree. What do you do with a quarter can of pumpkin anyway?
In looking at the recipe it look familiar. It seemed close to the moist and tasty bran muffins I posted earlier (here). So I made some changed to the recipe using some tricks from that recipe.
It worked.
These are outstanding muffins. The pumpkin flavor comes through (a problem in many pumpkin recipes) and they are moist and tender – just a great combination. And as an added bonus, they are low calorie, low fat and high in fiber.
And they taste so good that a friend of mine renamed them “Better Than Sex Muffins!”
It fits.

Recipe follows.

Pumpkin Bran Muffins


1 cup (6 oz.) raisins
2 teaspoons water
1-1/4 cups (5 3/8 oz.) unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup (2.75 oz.) whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon. ginger
1/4 teaspoon. cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon. allspice
2 teaspoon. baking soda
1 teaspoon. baking powder
1 15 oz. can pureed pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
2-3/4 cups (6 oz.) bran cereal (like Kellogg’s All Bran Original), divided
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
3/8 cup (6 tablespoons;3/4 of a stick) butter, melted
2/3 cup (4-1/2 oz.) packed light brown sugar
3 tablespoons molasses, mild
2 teaspoons vanilla
3/4 cup buttermilk
Coarse sugar for sprinkling


  1. Place the oven rack in the middle and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Spray standard muffin tins with nonstick spray and set aside.
  3. Place raisins in a microwave-proof bowl, add the water, cover with plastic wrap, poke a couple of holes in the plastic, and microwave for 30 seconds. Set aside to cool as you prepare the rest of the recipe.
  4. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, spices, baking soda and baking powder. Set aside.
  5. Place half of the bran cereal in a food processor and process until finely ground, about one minute.
  6. In a second large bowl, whisk together egg and egg yolk until thick, about 30 seconds.
  7. Add melted butter and mix to combine.
  8. Add sugar, molasses and vanilla and stir to combine will.
  9. Add in the pumpkin and mix well.
  10. Add buttermilk and mix well.
  11. Stir in the both the ground and unground bran cereal and let stand for at least five minutes.
  12. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and use a spatula to gently mix until just combined and evenly moistened. Do not over mix.
  13. Fold in the raisins.
  14. Use a large ice cream scoop or 1/3 cup to scoop batter into the muffin pans.
  15. Sprinkle the tops with sugar, if desire.
  16. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean.
  17. Remove the muffins from the oven and allow them to cool in the pan for five minutes before taking them out of the pan to finish cooling on a rack.
  18. Cool for at least 10 minutes.

These muffins are best eaten the same day they are bakes. However, you can store them in an air tight container or plastic bag for up to three days.


8 Responses to “Moist Pumpkin Raisin Bran Muffins – AKA Better Than Sex Muffins”

  1. 1 mary April 23, 2009 at 4:06 pm

    Check out the King Arthur Flour website for over a thousand tried and true recipes. Mary @ KAF

  2. 2 penandra September 11, 2009 at 9:24 am

    Did you realize that you have TWO 15 oz. cans of pumpkin in this recipe? Re-read the ingredients list.

    I make a recipe similar to this (also one that I’ve developed) that uses 1/2 cup of all bran, 1/2 cup of bran buds, 1/2 cup of oat bran, 1/2 cup of oatmeal, 1/4 cup ground flax, 1/4 cup wheat germ. Also, I scoop these into silicone muffin cups and freeze them and only bake what I need as I need them . . . great way to have a variety of fresh baked muffins available (as I also have blueberry muffins, and cranberry muffins in the freezer.)

    • 3 muirfood September 12, 2009 at 9:39 pm

      Penandra: You are so right. I am sorry. I have updated the recipe to remove the second can. Good catch. Thanks, Bill

  3. 4 Fluomiaquilia October 11, 2009 at 9:51 pm

    Hello, it really interesting, thanks

  4. 5 Julie Tornquist March 4, 2013 at 4:54 pm

    These muffins freeze very nicely. I always make 3 dozen at a time and freeze most of them.

  5. 6 willmania October 20, 2013 at 1:52 pm

    I’ve made your recipe about 20x by now & it is absolutely the moistest, best tasting pumpkin muffins I’ve ever come across (I’ve been baking for 30+ yrs.). Absolutely love the amount of fiber content, too. Thank you, thank you!!!!!!!

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