Soft and sweet with nutty knobs of bran, these gluten free oat bran muffins will become a weekly breakfast staple!

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A last minute idea, a new recipe, and some love for every teacher

I’m not very much of a last minute person. Oh, sure, I don’t use an elaborate meal plan, but I have an idea or a framework for most weeks. But when it comes to planning something like an event, I’m a details person. Earlier this year I was assigned to “Teacher Appreciation Day” at our school, typically a luncheon at some point during Teacher Appreciation Week. Having all 3 kids in full time school this year has given me some extra hours to help out at school, and last week I had this revelation…1 day of celebrating our teachers simply wasn’t enough. I am in awe every time I help at that school. My village. I wanted to do something each day of the Teacher Appreciation Week. With a tight budget, a couple mom friends, and determined personality, my mind was made up, and we made it happen! We already had the pot luck style luncheon set up, I had a super talented thrift store super shopper friend that found some great gifts for one day, a beautiful gardening friend that brought flowers one day, and…probably the most anticipated day of the week – this Friday, myself and 7 other parents are doing a “recess take-over” giving the staff an extra long lunch while we man the playground duty! Gold!

Muffins and coffee

A simple muffin. A cup of dark coffee. It is so simple, but you guys the day during that Teacher Appreciation Week that we brought in boxes of coffee from a local coffee shop and 4 dozen simple oat bran muffins, you would have thought we brought them the world. These sweet teachers’ faces were priceless. I wish you all could have seen the picture. In fact, I’m challenging you to make your *own* picture. These teachers are capital D.O.N.E for this year, and to surprise them with a simple coffee and muffin on a Tuesday morning would absolutely fuel their hearts to get through one more week.

So let’s talk about these muffins!

Super cost effective (I had a budget to stick to, remember?!), healthy, filling, and the most important thing when you are baking for someone else…they are delicious! Bran muffins should have a warm, molasses-y sweetness to perk them up, and I was so happy with how the coconut sugar brought that warmth and fun flavor without adding a ton of sugar. Those knobby bits of oat bran throughout add a lovely nuttiness as well.

The softness secret, and that beautiful rise though!

Buttermilk. A simple soured milk gives these muffins a soft texture despite the coarse bran, and you can make it yourself if you don’t have access to quality buttermilk. In fact, you can even make it with dairy free milk if you need to be dairy free. I love the fatty richness that coconut milk has, and soaking the grains in that coconut buttermilk made for such a rich, satisfying muffin. A quick whisk of some apple cider vinegar and milk, and that’s it! The acid in the buttermilk also acts as a soaking medium for the grains. If you choose to soak the grains in the buttermilk over night, you’ll be rewarded with an easier food for your digestive system to manage as the phytic acid is broken down.


Sure thing! Since I was making these muffins for a crowd, I left them as is, because some people aren’t fans of dried fruit. But I made a batch of the oat bran muffins for my girls with chopped dried apricots and the girls thought they hit the jackpot! We made a batch with chopped dried figs as well – my youngest’s favorite by far. You could use raisins, dried blueberries, or chopped dates as well.

Freezer friendly

I made 2 double batches of this muffin recipe for that Teacher Appreciation morning, and they really held up for the 2 days that they sat in a bag on the counter. If you are going to make more than you need, I would recommend putting extras in the freezer right away, however because it will lock in all of the moisture. These muffins will make great grab and go lunchbox add-ins and breakfast on the go with hard boiled eggs!

Gluten Free Oat Bran Muffins :: Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Nut Free

Renee Kohley – Raising Generation Nourished
4.95 from 19 votes



  • The night before you want to make the muffins, put the oat bran and GF Flour in a medium mixing bowl. Make “buttermilk” for soaking the oat bran and flour by putting 1 ½ tbsp of ACV in a 2 cup liquid measuring cup and pouring coconut milk in until you reach the 1 ½ cup mark on the measuring cup. Whisk this together – this is “buttermilk.” Pour the buttermilk over the oat bran and GF flour, and mix together. It is thick – do not add more liquid. Cover your bowl and set on the counter overnight, 8-12 hours. This soaking process breaks down the phytic acid in the grain making it easier on digestion over time.
  • The next morning pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees and line a dozen cup muffin tin with silicone muffin liners or unbleached paper liners.
  • In a small mixing bowl beat the eggs, coconut sugar, and vanilla with electric beaters. Add those wet ingredients to the soaking oat bran/flour mixture, add the baking powder, baking soda, and salt, and blend slowly to combine. The oat bran/flour mixture will feel dry and thick at first, but the liquid will loosen it up. I start with the beaters and finish with my spatula.
  • If you are adding dried fruit to your muffins, you can add them at this time.
  • Scoop the muffin batter into your muffin pan and bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. The tops will be golden brown and spring back to touch. Cool the muffins in the pan for 5-10 minutes before turning them out onto a cooling rack to cool completely. You can freeze leftover muffins in freezer bags.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    Love this recipe — and this wonderful story! So thoughtful of you. Looking forward to trying out another of your amazing muffin recipes!

  2. 5 stars
    These muffins are picture perfect, Renee — so beautiful and appealing, and they remind me of a bakery … and the muffins we’d get when I was little. LOVELY. and LOVELY that they’re soaked for better digestion! 🙂 <3

  3. 5 stars
    Your instructions make this entire process so do-able. I love all the choices possible to change these up too!
    Need to go get me some oat bran– and get busy! Thanks Renee! I can only imagine how thrilled the teachers were.. So kind.

  4. 5 stars
    Love this recipe. Thank you so much for sharing! It’s so great to find great gluten free options.

  5. 5 stars
    I love you for this recipe. It is so hard to find cheap, easy, tasty gf breakfast foods and snacks that my whole family will enjoy, but this hit the nail on the head.

  6. 5 stars
    My husband loves these muffins! I have been thinking he has a little gluten allergy so when I found this recipe I thought I would test my theory. It seemed to have worked! He says that every other muffin he eats, even though they say they are “healthy”, always makes him feel bloated. These did not!The only thing I will say is that your recipe does not say when you add the baking soda, baking powder and salt. I assumed it was with the flour and oat bran mixture that sets overnight. Also, is there anyway to get the tops of the muffins a little flatter and more spread out like a big muffin top? Thanks for sharing.

    1. Hi Lori! So glad these muffins worked out well! I would fill the muffin cups up a bit more if you would like the tops bigger. Thank you for catching the baking soda/powder, and salt – they go in the next day with the rest of the ingredients but in the soaking mixture won’t hurt either.

  7. I just made these – swapped maple syrup for the coconut sugar and added raisins. We are devouring them! Keep these delicious, simple, healthy recipes coming! I can’t wait for the next book! 🙂

  8. This looks amazing – but I’m confused about how this recipe can be labeled dairy free and nut free – you use coconut milk and coconut sugar (coconuts are tree nuts). The alternative suggested for coconut milk is raw milk or buttermilk (dairy). Still looking for bran muffin recipe with no wheat, dairy, or nuts – perhaps you’ve tested other options that work well with this recipe?

  9. Both of you are correct!!! The FDA classifies coconuts as tree nuts, and botanists classify them as fruit. Nut allergies are much more common than a coconut allergy, which still tends to be very rar.

  10. Love these muffins! They are a staple in my freezer and so easy to make any flavor variation! I want to make them into banana muffins. What adaptations would I need to make to the recipe when adding fresh mashed bananas? Thank you!

    1. Hi Katie! So glad you enjoyed these muffins! I’m not sure how I would do that! Possibly take some of the coconut milk out for mashed banana, but they might be more dense.

  11. Hi! I haven’t made these yet but am planning to. I’m wondering how this recipe works without using a small amount of oil, like organic coconut oil for instance? Thanks! Hope to receive a reply!

  12. I am excited to try this recipe but I do not have the Namaste Gluten Free Flour Blend. I am wondering if the muffins would work if I swapped it out with a different gluten free flour? I was thinking of using the Bobs 1-to-1 flour blend.

  13. 5 stars
    Just made these. Soaked for 12 hrs. Instead of coconut milk, I used a blend of oat milk and almond milk. Instead of the Namaste flour blend, I used 2/3 c brown rice flour, 1/2 c potato starch and 1/2 tsp of Pamela’s not xanthum, not guar. I filled each muffin cup pretty full. Batter made 12 muffins plus a mini loaf. Was amazed at how hearty they taste and is not dry despite no oil or butter! Will definitely make again! Thank you!

  14. This is perhaps a silly question, but if I opt for buttermilk or DIY buttermilk with cow milk, how is it okay to let the dairy sit out for 8-12 hours? I’m familiar with fermented grains with sourdough, but the idea of leaving dairy out that long at room temperature is new to me. Thanks!

  15. These are wonderful muffins! They are a staple in our house. Can you tell me the nutritional breakdown please? Calories, fat, carb, protein, etc. Thanks!

    1. Hi Jennifer! I’m so glad you enjoyed them! I don’t have a nutritional breakdown here, but you can Google those kind of calculators and plug in the recipe! There are lots of free ones!

  16. 4 stars
    I made these today and the reviews were right…these were almost perfect! I say “almost” because the sweet factor was missing. I have used coconut sugar before and know that it has less sugar, but I was very surprised. BUT I followed the recipe-added cinnamon, chia seeds, and raisins-and baked in a 400 degree oven for 20 minutes. The muffins made a beautiful cap (filled the liners* up to the top), were golden brown, and smelled wonderful. (*Parchment paper cupcake liners are THE best invention! Not one crumb of muffin was left on the paper. Seriously, if you have never used them, GET SOME!) I will be making these again. In the meantime, I will make a cinnamon honey butter to spread on my leftover muffins. YUM!

    My one question: how can I make these glorious muffins just a tad bit sweeter without using white sugar?

    1. Hi Melissa! I think more coconut sugar would work, or some maple syrup. My kiddos tell me these taste like a cupcake so I have never tried to sweeten them more! Keep us posted if something works for you!

  17. 5 stars
    I was looking for a gluten free and dairy free recipe to take the place of the bran muffins I was raised on that my daughter loves but can no longer eat. Made this exactly as written, and added dates. Used my mixer to blend it up well. They were amazing. No missing sweet factor as others have said, because the dates added that extra bit of yum!! Even my picky kid loved them! Thanks for sharing!!