Cranberry Molasses Bran Muffins

By Sally Cameron on March 14, 2011

Bakery and Baking, Breakfast & Brunch

Molasses bran muffins are the perfect vehicle for lovely rare Hawaiian honey (or any good quality raw honey) and a terrific breakfast or snack. On a recent trip to the big island of Hawaii we learned all about this amazing honey so I had to write a post for you. If you love honey, you’ve got to try some. This recipe is before I went gluten-free so it contains wheat. 

molasses bran muffins |

Cranberry Molasses Bran Muffins

Driving down a lush tropical road on the Big Island of Hawaii, we reached the unassuming driveway of the Rare Hawaiian Honey Company. The queens were being installed, so it was a big day. Not a parade, country fair or beauty pageant. Queen bees being installed in beehives to produce some of the most exquisite honey in the world. We heard the sound of busy, humming bees as soon as we opened the car doors.

The smiling owner and beekeeper extraordinaire, Richard Spiegel, kindly agreed to give us an education and tour about the production of his amazing white honey. I was soon in a bee suit learning close up how hard the bees work for the sweet elixir we take for granted.

A honeybee lives only 3-4 weeks. In its short life it will produce about one tablespoon of honey. Queens live about  three years. It’s truly a gift of nature to be appreciated.

Artisan Honey & The Kiawe Forest

This is not mass-produced, commercial, liquid honey; it is handcrafted, solid, artisanal honey that must be spread. The taste is like no other honey. As Richard says, it is truly a taste of the magic of Hawaii. The bees harvest their nectar in a single 1000 acre forest where the Kiawe trees (a type of mesquite) grow. Those long, feathery, yellow floral blooms are the key.

Finishing Honey

As high quality olive oil is used as finishing oil, this is “finishing” honey. You don’t want to heat it. Heating it would destroy the natural enzymes. This is live, healthy, healing food. It’s a treat to be appreciated and savored. The color is pearlescent white with a delicate, creamy, tropical, floral taste. It melts on your tongue.

After a fascinating few hours with Richard and his wife Candace, the day was done and the light fading. We left with a few jars of their precious honey tucked into our luggage. Thank you Richard!

molasses muffins and honey |
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Cranberry Molasses Bran Muffins

This muffin recipe is off of the bag of Bob’s Red Mill Wheat Bran. Made from healthier ingredients, there is no white flour or white sugar. Instead, it uses bran (good fiber source), whole wheat flour, molasses and unsweetened applesauce.  My notes are included. This is before I went gluten-fee!
Course Breakfast, Snack
Cuisine American
Keyword bran, molasses, Muffins
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 12
Calories 186kcal


  • muffin pan


  • 1 cup  Bob's Red Mill wheat bran  2 ounces
  • 1 1/2 cups  Bob Red Mill whole wheat flour 6 1/2 ounces
  • 1 teaspoon  aluminium-free baking powder 4 grams
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda 6 grams
  • 1 cup low fat milk
  • 1/2 cup molasses 6 ounces
  • 3/4 cup applesauce 7 ounces
  • 2 tablespoons melted coconut oil
  • 2 large eggs beaten
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries original recipe specifies raisins
  • 1/3 cup chopped nuts walnuts or pecans


  • Preheat oven to 400F. In a large bowl, combine wheat bran, flour, baking powder and baking soda. In a separate smaller bowl blend milk, molasses, applesauce, oil and egg. Add to dry ingredients and stir just until moistened. Stir in the dried cranberries and nuts.
  • Spoon into a sprayed muffin tin or line with paper muffin cups and bake for 15-20 minutes. My muffins take just 15 minutes at 385 degrees in a convection oven. Cool in the tins for five minutes, then turn out onto a wire cooling rack.


Calories: 186kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 32mg | Sodium: 144mg | Potassium: 386mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 16g | Vitamin A: 90IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 96mg | Iron: 2mg
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  1. Diana - March 14th, 2011

    I’ve tried that honey before and it is TRULY exquisite. Beautiful photos, in that last one I found myself thinking, “I hope someone is lying under that dripping spoon with their mouth open to not let any honey go to waste!” It’s that good! Did you get to visit any other producers while in Hawaii? I’m also wondering if you got stung. I love honey but have yet to check out any honey producers because I’m allergic to bees 🙁

  2. Chef Sally - March 15th, 2011

    Believe me Diana, I was licking my fingers (then washing my hands) between each shot. You are right, it is too precious to waste. We did also visit Hawaii Island Goat Dairy for the amazing fresh goat cheese and had a fantastic time. That blog to come!

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