Zucchini Bran Muffin Recipe

For some reason I think that muffins have been classified as a health food.  If you eat a muffin for breakfast, then you are making a healthy choice.  I always think this is kind of a funny thing, because most muffins are not healthy.  For example, the muffins you can purchase from the Costco bakery have about 690 calories, 38 grams of fat, 79 carbs and 48 grams of sugar!  What???  I can think of a lot of things I would rather eat than a muffin if I am going to consume that amount of calories, fat and sugar.

I do have to say that I love the muffins from Mimi’s Cafe.  But even those muffins aren’t the greatest nutritionally. Their honey oat bran muffin is definitely a better choice than the Costco variety, but still tips the scale at 463 calories, 12 grams of fat, 89 carbs, and 51 grams of sugar.   Wow.

The thing is, I really like muffins.  I rarely eat a muffin that isn’t homemade because first of all, I just can’t justify the calories,  plus they usually aren’t as good as when you make them at home.  But these delectable muffins combine the best of a few worlds.  They have a fruit, a vegetable and bran in them, they are WAY lower calorie than most other bran muffins, and you get to pack them full of zucchini to use up the overflowing supply you may have.  Plus, they are delicious. Really, really delicious.  These muffins have 119 calories, 3 grams of fat, 22 carbs, and 10 grams of sugar.  I have eaten a lot of them………..and I don’t even feel one bit guilty.

Zucchini Bran Muffins. Here it is! The biggest lie about muffins.



There is nothing tricky to this recipe.  It is your basic muffin recipe with added zucchini, less fat and add applesauce. Of course these are delicious fresh, but they also freeze amazingly well.  And I don’t know about you, but I would rather have a big batch of frozen delicious muffins than a big batch of frozen shredded zucchini in my freezer.

I like to use a muffin scoop to fill my muffin papers.  I use about 1 1/2 scoops per tin.  And yes those are gloves……that is actually my mom doing the scooping.   She always wears gloves in the kitchen.  You should try it sometime – it is actually kind of nice.

Zucchini Bran Muffins. Here it is! The biggest lie about muffins.

These muffins are great for a quick breakfast, but also to pack in a school lunch, after school snack, or before bedtime snack.  Love them.  My picky 4 year old told me they were the best muffins ever.  Warmed my heart a little.

Zucchini Bran Muffins. Here it is! The biggest lie about muffins.

And for real enjoyment, pour a glass of ice cold milk along side your warm, melt in your mouth muffin.  You’re welcome.

Zucchini Bran Muffins. Here it is! The biggest lie about muffins. Zucchini Bran Muffin Recipe

Zucchini Bran Muffin

Zucchini Bran Muffin Recipe
Serves: 18 muffins
Serving Size = 1 muffin
Prep Time: 10 m
Cook Time: 15 m


  • 18 standard – cupcake liners
  • 1 cup – water
  • 3 cup – All-Bran cereal
  • 1/4 cup – butter, unsalted
  • 1/4 cup – applesauce, unsweetened
  • 1/2 cup – sugar
  • 2 large – egg
  • 2 cup – zucchini
  • 2 cup – buttermilk
  • 2 1/2 teaspoon – baking soda
  • 1 1/4 cup – flour, all-purpose
  • 1 1/4 cup – flour, whole wheat
  • 1/2 teaspoon – salt


  1. Line a muffin tin with cupcake liners or spray with cooking spray.
  2. Peel and grate a medium zucchini. You will need 2 cups.
  3. Bring 1 cup of water to a boil.
  4. Mix boiling water and 2 cups of "All Bran" together then set aside.
  5. Mix the rest of ingredients together then add the "All Bran" and water mixture. Lastly, add the remaining 1 Cup "All Bran" at the end.
  6. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes.

Nutrition Facts

  • Nutrition per serving % daily value
  • Calories: 139 7%
  • Fat: 3 g 5%
  • Carb: 24 g 8%
  • Fiber: 2 g 8%
  • Protein: 4 g 8%
  • Sugar: 8 g
written by
Natalie Monson

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Stephanie Copeland says:

I used all gluten free flour they turned out well but we’re a bit Bland. Made 24 standard size muffins.

Marnae says:

I used Fiber One cereal which has 0 grams of sugar and it worked great. This may be a lower sugar option for those that were concerned about the sugar in all-bran. I also subbed bananas for the applesauce because that’s what I had on hand and did not grate the zucchini. I soaked all the bran before adding it because I don’t like huge strands of bran in my muffins. Thanks for the great recipe!

Rosa S says:

Hi – just wondering if you could substitute other items for the zucchini – namely shredded apple or shredded carrots? I am not a fan of zucchini.

RT says:

There is a TON of sugar in this recipe, nearly the maximum amount of sugar kids are supposed to have in a whole day – if they happen to have two muffins, they’ll be over the max. I would really not consider this to be a healthy recipe until the added sugar is cut way, way down. Substituting a banana, upping the applesauce, etc.

Natalie Monson says:

The serving size was off on this recipe making it look like much more sugar in each serving. Sorry about that! It is fixed now.

Kim says:

We just finished mixing up this recipe and are excited to try them! Since the recipe said it made 12 standard size muffins, I doubled the recipe only to discover that it made 36 dz muffins PLUS 5 small loaf pans! We will have some to share!

Also, since we are a chocolate-loving family, I added chocolate chips 😉

Thank you for a wonderful recipe!!!

Jennifer says:

This is exactly what I was looking for – why didn’t I come here first?? Just found out that I need to pack a snack for my daughter every day in addition to lunch and I didn’t want to use pre-packaged stuff if I don’t have to. This should fit the bill perfectly!! Hoping to bake these tomorrow night 😀

Windyfoxx says:

P.S. I used a generic Bran Flake instead of All Bran.

Even adding the final cup at the very end, by the time I scooped the 2nd tray of muffins there was no sign of individual flakes.

Next time I’ll use something crunchier.

Windyfoxx says:

I just made this recipe and it made:
12 normal 2.5″ muffins
12 mini donut-shapes (1.5″)
47 mini muffins (1.5″)

I did add 1/2 cup raisins, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp ginger, 1/4 tsp ginger.

Probably not enough to significantly increase batter amount.

It’s very good, but I think I’ll reduce the sugar when I make the next batch.

Thanks for this recipe–very yummy!

Alma Price says:

Just baked them, they are so delicious, thanks for the recipe.

Hi Alma! Thanks for your great feedback! I’m curious how many muffins you got out of your batter?

Christine says:

Oh my goodness – I expected this to yield 12 standard size muffins (since it says to use 12 muffin liners), but the batter just kept going and going! I got 21 regular and 24 mini muffins?! Thank goodness I didn’t double the recipe (I was tempted since I bought the cereal only for this recipe). The batter looked really soupy, I baked an extra 1-2 minutes (about 9 minutes for the mini)… hope they taste good!

Wow! That is a lot of muffins! We’ll have to test it out again! Hope they turned out okay for you!

Christine says:

It is a lot of muffins! But, they turned out really well – my kids even declared they are their favorite muffins yet! So, thank goodness for an abundant supply of muffins now in the freezer ready for school lunches. And thanks for updating the nutritional info, too!

Christine says:

What’s going in with the nutritional value info?! 726 kcal, yet he blog post says 119??

Hi Christine! Thanks for bringing that to our attention! We’ve changed our default settings and the calorie count should look much better! 🙂

susan says:

Your recipe is confusing. Under Directions it says to bring 2 cups of water to a boil and add 2 cups Bran cereal.I did this and it is like soup! Under ingredients it says 1 cup of water. Sounds like you have an error in your recipe directions.It also would have been helpful to have step by step instructions specifying cream butter and sugar, alternate dry ingredients with buttermilk etc.

Georgia says:

Thank you for these recipes from the mother of a very picky non veggie eating dd! We (my dd and I ) make your muffins regularly because my dd does not eat anything green. She watched me shred the zucchini and put it into the batter and yet still she could not wait to eat them when they came out of the oven! Thank you again!

Rina says:

Is there an organic All Bran shreds available?

Michelle says:

Is it one cup of water or two?

Hi Michelle! I’m looking at the recipe from our end, and it says one cup of boiling water.

Stephanie says:

Are you able to edit the recipe so that it states exactly which kind of bran cereal to use? I also used the All Bran flakes as it was either that or Buds in my grocery store and ended up with soggy insides that, even after 25 minutes baking, would not cook through. All had to go in the garbage. Bummer!

susan says:

The problem is her recipe.It says to boil 2 cups water not one.Mine did the same.I regret making these.What a waste of time.I was suspicious but kept going thinking they would turn out but they did not.

Sara says:

made these this past weekend with the kids– made 24 minis and 9 regular. They are SO good. I used 1/2 the sugar and still sweet enough for us. Great for breakfast and snacking! (just had one for bedtime snack! better than caving to sweet tooth!)

Jennifer says:

I just made these and encountered some problems with the recipe. First there are three All-Bran cereals, flakes, shreds, or buds. Which one? A weight measurement would be helpful here, as then it wouldn’t matter so much which cereal I had on hand to make these. I just ended up with a tasty but sodden mess after baking my first batch and figure I used the wrong All-Bran (flakes.) This was not quite a dummy-proof recipe. We’ll see how my doctored second batch turns out…

Natalie Monson says:

Sorry for any confusion! The recipe calls for All-Bran shreds. I haven’t ever seen the other types in my store and so I didn’t think about clarifying. Thanks for the comment 🙂

Sharon says:

At the risk of sounding like a dolt, when you make muffins, do you put the batter directly into the muffin tin or do you have to add those cupcake wrappers?

Natalie Monson says:

You can do either – if you put the batter directly in the tin, just make sure you either spray with cooking spray, or grease it with oil because otherwise they will stick!

Natalie says:

No – all-purpose flour is different from self-rising. All-purpose is just a basic flour. It should be labeled as such in the store 🙂

Natalie says:

Yes – that should work just fine 🙂

Natalie says:

I either use a food processor or just my grater depending on how much time I have and how much zucchini I am shredding at a time 🙂

Natalie says:

I haven’t tried it, but let us know how it turns out!

Meghan says:

I would reduce the amount of sugar by 1/3 or 1/2 and use whole wheat flour throughout rather than 2 different sugars. I also like to sub in flaxseed meal for 1/4 cup of the total flour and coconut oil in place of butter.

Rhonda says:

Can you tell me what you mean by ‘all purpose flour’ please? Do you mean SR.Flour>

Carolyn says:

Can you substitute the white sugar for brown sugar or coconut sugar which is a little better for you than white sugar?

Erika Leon says:

A great substitution is plain nonfat Greek yoghurt mixed with milk until it resembles the texture of buttermilk. That is what I use in all my recipes that call for buttermilk.

noor says:

Is there any susitute for apple sauce.

Natalie Monson says:

The can leave it out and just add more butter.

Paula says:

I am definitely going to make these. I do think it would be helpful to compare apples to apples, so to speak–Froot Loops have 12g sugar for 3/4 cup, and All Bran has 9g per 3/4 cup. Phrasing it with the 6g per 1/2 cup is accurate, but I think misleading. I’m looking forward to trying them, and hoping my son will eat them too.

Dara says:

Hi! Was wondering how you shred your zucchini?

Natalie Monson says:

I use a food processor 🙂

Paula says:

I am definitely going to make these. I do think it would be helpful to compare apples to apples, so to speak–Froot Loops have 12g sugar for 3/4 cup, and All Bran has 9g per 3/4 cup. Phrasing it with the 6g per 1/2 cup is accurate, but I think misleading. I’m looking forward to trying them, and hoping my son will eat them too.

Lisa says:

Can you substitute the sugar for stevia?

Natalie says:

You can use 1 cup of milk with 1 tsp of lemon juice to substitute 1 cup of buttermilk 🙂

Fatima says:

I don’t have buttermilk.. Any substitutions? Thanks 🙂

Natalie says:

Original all-bran cereal has 6g of sugar for 1/2 cup, compared to fruit loops and captain crunch with 12g of sugar for 3/4 cup. All bran also has 10g of fiber per half cup which is incredible. If you notice in the first couple of paragraphs, I have calculated the nutrition of the muffins, and also compare it to other muffins. Our approach is to help our kids eat nutrient dense foods, not to eliminate food groups from their diet. We feel like these muffins are very nutrient dense and also taste delicious and so kids want to eat them!

Lori says:

All bran cereal has a ton of sugar, so your recipe has a lot more sugar then it appears.

Natalie says:

No problem! All of our recipes are in Fahrenheit.

Weronika says:

Hello! I love all your recipes! I’m from Poland, so forgive me the question, but is it 400’C or 400’F ? 🙂

Lisa says:

OK. thanks.

Natalie says:

You can just use all whole wheat flour 🙂

Natalie says:

It will give a different texture and flavor. I would not recommend substituting.

Lisa says:

Can I replace the All Bran Cereal with just regular wheat or oat bran?

Shawna says:

Did you use All Bran flakes or buds? Thanks!

Puneet says:

Can i replace all purpose flour with something healthy?

Natalie says:

I’m not sure because I have never done that, but good luck!

Lea says:

Looks delicious Natalie 🙂 Thanks for sharing, I’ll be sure to try these and give them to the kids 😉

Dary says:

I love eating muffins, especially in the morning next to a cup of milk or coffee.

Anna says:

This is great, it’s much better than a chocolate chip muffins. I will definitely try this out with my kids. I know they love muffins.

Bella says:

What are the proportion if I replace 1 cup sugar w ripe banana and or mejola dates?

Elle says:

I personally would not classify Costco muffins as real muffins. They are really more like cakes with all the sugar that are in them!

However, I do have to admit that I like to enjoy them once in a while (and only half a muffin because they are so large).

Zucchini in muffins are great for the summer. They’re in season and they also have minimal zucchini taste which is great to feed to children.

Who would have thought that a 4 year old would say that zucchini muffins are the best muffins ever! I definitely need to try these recipes.

PS. I wear gloves in the kitchen too sometimes. It’s so helpful when dealing with descaling fish or things that are messy and hard to clean and wash off.

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