Applesauce Bran Muffins - gluten-free & vegan options

applesauce bran muffins on a cooling rack.

These applesauce bran muffins are a favorite in our family for a number of reasons. One of them is they are delicious. Another is that the recipe comes from a dear friend.

It's always fun when a recipe isn't just delicious, but it carries some memories or special meaning with it.

It could be a family heirloom recipe or your favorite recipe from when you were a child (I still need to see if I can get my favorite childhood Irish Stew and Pasta Sauce and Meatball recipes somehow.....), or it could be something you had at a friend's house.

For example, this recipe for Chocolate Avocado Pudding has its roots in a lovely visit with one of my college housemates.

Margaret's Muffins

Margaret is a wonderful hostess who likes to cook simply and have people over often.

She will have you into her house even though it isn't perfect --and she doesn't expect yours to be either :).

sliced applesauce bran muffins on a plate

In fact, Margaret and her husband, David, have been known to phone us while driving through our neck of the woods just to tell us that they are in town in the hopes that they can drop by.  Sometimes they have even called us from our driveway!

Now that's my kind of friend!  Well, unless I have plans. Then I really want advanced notice.....only because we love them so much and can't turn them down and then things get a little too chaotic for us.

Anyhow, Margaret is, like a lot of us, very busy--she has five children and she is very active in ministry. She doesn't like to cook much and so her recipes tend to be simple. And she doesn't make a fuss like cleaning her place like crazy when friends come I kind of friend!

She likes one pan meals like this Pakistani Kima (my recipe is based on hers). These applesauce bran muffins are no exception to her simple cooking rules.

You will probably have much of what you need in your pantry to make these so you can whip up a batch at a moment's notice anytime. And enjoy these gluten-free bran muffins with the company, which is one of Margaret's favorite things to do.

I remember having these with Margaret in her family's apartment when my husband and I were newly married. I still remember staying up too late, walking a lot (Margaret loves to walk and swim), and just enjoying simple whole food--and company.

Besides whipping up a batch on the fly, you could also choose to bake multiple batches because they freeze well, though muffin baking experts say that mixing more than 1-2 batches at a time will result in an inferior product because their texture depends upon not too much stirring of the batter.

I don't think I care. I care more about saving time than having the perfect muffin :).

They work great as regular or mini muffins, or you can try my favorite time-saving method by baking them on a baking stone as muffin tops! That saves the time-intensive cleaning of muffin tins.

applesauce bran muffins in a rack

Side benefit - these muffins are loaded with healthy bran.

Regardless of what kind of bran you use, each has a benefit. For example, here are the benefits of eating oat bran.

Recipe Notes

applesauce bran muffins with pinterest text overlay saying Healthy Applesauce Bran Muffins


applesauce bran muffins resting in a cooling rack

Applesauce Bran Muffins

These easy applesauce bran muffins are moist and delicious and not too sweet. It's an easy recipe with gluten-free and vegan options.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Vegan
Keyword: applesauce bran muffins recipe, healthy applesauce bran muffins, vegan applesauce bran muffins
Servings: 1 dozen muffins
Calories: 302kcal



  • 1 1/2 cups whole grain flour (See Recipe Notes for gluten-free or grain-free options)
  • 1 cup wheat bran (Rice bran or Oat Bran for gluten-free option.)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1 egg (large--See Recipe Notes for alternatives)
  • 1/2 cup low-carb sweetener
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil (melted)
  • 1 cup applesauce (unsweetened; use coconut oil or butter for a lower-carb version)
  • 1/2 cup milk (or milk substitute)



  • If the bran isn't toasted, toast in a pan over medium heat or 200 degree oven until lightly browned.
  • Mix first set of ingredients (flour through raisins) together.
  • Mix second set of ingredients (egg through milk).
  • Add dry ingredients to wet.
  • Drop into 12 greased muffin cups. Sprinkle topping evenly over all.
  • Bake in 350-degree preheated oven for 20 minutes or until centers test dry with a knife or cake tester.


If using gluten-free flour, increase baking powder and baking soda by 25%. Let batter set for 10 minutes before baking. See gluten-free baking tips for other helps.


Calories: 302kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 15mg | Sodium: 81mg | Potassium: 152mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 43IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 57mg | Iron: 1mg | Net Carbs: 17g

Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and is merely an approximation. Optional ingredients are not included and when there is an alternative, the primary ingredient is typically used. We cannot guarantee the accuracy of the nutritional information given for any recipe on this site. Erythritol carbs are not included in carb counts since they have been shown not to impact blood sugar. Net carbs are the total carbs minus fiber.

Enjoy these gluten-free bran muffins with a cup of tea, your family members or a friend or two, and make sure that you don't clean up too much before you invite a friend over to enjoy them!

What is your favorite kind of muffin?
What is a recipe you have that carries special memories with it?

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Recipe Rating



  1. 5 stars
    Very tasty! I used GF flour & rice bran, also used coconut sugar, and nuts instead of raisins. The muffins are a little dense as others commented, but were delicious warm with Earth Balance spread. Thank you for a healthy, tasty and adaptable recipe!

  2. I made these exactly. They looked great. But the taste was quite bitter. I checked my rice bran and it was not bitter, neither was the flour. Not sure what happened, but I had to toss them.

  3. The directions are a bit unclear. The recipe when printed says 1 1/2 cups GLUTEN-FREE flour to 2 teaspoons baking powder. The notes on the recipe however say that "If using gluten-free flour, increase baking powder and baking soda by 25%". Does that mean then that the baker uses TWO test. baking powder or TWO AND ONE-QUARTER tsp?

    1. Hi there. My apologies for not getting this reply out to you sooner. Totally inundated here. I just fixed the post - thanks for the heads up. I do hope you like them! I will be updating w/ new images soon!

  4. Okay, I made these today. I used 2 1/2 cups gluten free flours, and no rice bran. They are really good, but even after doubling the cinnamon I can barely taste it. That's an easy fix for next time. I also needed to cook them several minutes longer.

    They were also a little dense/thick. That means I need more liquid, right? I think my dairy free milk is thicker than most; that could have affected it. I'm new to this gluten free baking thing, but I'm getting better!

    1. I haven't made these is soooo loong. I love cinnamon so maybe I need to try them again and double it. If they're too thick, that's hard to say. I am not the greatest w/ these things, but maybe more leavening? Did you see my post on Gluten free baking?

  5. How important is the rice bran? Could a gluten free flour be substituted for it? I'm trying to stay away from rice products. Thanks!