Healthy oat bran muffins made with Amish friendship bread starter

Amish friendship bread starter can overwhelm a household, especially when your friends and family start hiding when they know you’ve got some more to give away. And if you’re like me, you’re trying to lose weight and don’t want to have those calorie-dense quickbreads around to temp you (let alone be making more every ten days).

Well, there’s good news! You don’t have to make that sickly sweet friendship bread out of it. There are other recipes out there. I’ve adapted one I found at for muffins. It’s included below.

Additionally, you can freeze the starter. Yes, you heard that right. Despite what the flyer people pass along with their starter claims, you can freeze it. You can also use metal bowls and utensils with it. I won’t re-invent the wheel here, so if you want to read more on that, see the excellent write-ups at My Sister’s Kitchen (be sure to read the comments!):

Amish Friendship Bread (Sharing a Delicious Recipe and Debunking a Few Myths

and Amish Friendship Bread part 2

Okay, now on to the recipe!

Healthy Oat Bran Muffins made with Amish Friendship Bread Starter

Adapted from JanuaryBride’s recipe at Recipezaar.

Oven Temp: 375 degrees
Bake Time: Approximately 30 minutes
Yield: 36 muffins, maybe a few more (standard 2 1/2″ diameter muffins)


1 1/2 cups Amish friendship bread starter
2 eggs
1 cup buttermilk*
1 cup unsweetened applesauce**
1 cup grated carrots, packed
1/2 cup natural oat bran
1/2 cup natural wheat bran
1 cup quick oats (not instant oats)
2 teaspoons salt
3 Tablespoons brown sugar***
3 cups King Arthur Flour white whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda


1 cup nuts, dried cranberries, raisins, etc.


Beat together wet ingredients til just mixed.

Add remaining ingredients and stir until just mixed (batter should be a little lumpy).

Fill greased muffin tins 2/3 full and bake about 30 minutes at 375 degrees, rotating muffin pan 180 degrees in oven about half way through. Cool in muffin tin on a rack for 5 minutes, then turn out onto a cooling rack.


* Powdered buttermilk can be used. Just mix 4 Tablespoons powdered buttermilk into 1 cup water.

** You can substitue pureed carrots or bananas for the applesauce.

*** Since Amish friendship bread starter already has sugar in it and both the carrots and the applesauce are naturally sweet, you may find you don’t need as much (or any) brown sugar. Before you add it, taste the raw batter and see what you think, then decide.

You can always use a little less flour and substitute more oats. I did this one time when I accidentally didn’t put in enough flour and they still turned out very nicely. Muffins are pretty forgiving!

As for greasing the muffin tin, I love Baker’s Joy spray. It is a non-stick cooking spray that contains flour. The muffins pop right out of the tins when I use this.

8 thoughts on “Healthy oat bran muffins made with Amish friendship bread starter

  1. Yum, I’d love to post this recipe in our Friendship Bread Kitchen on Facebook! I’d be happy to credit the recipe to you with a link back (I’ll include the copy about it being an adaptation — all friendship bread recipes are!). Enjoying your tweets!


  2. Yeah, their instructions about no metal aren’t very clear. It’s safe to use decent-quality stainless steel with the Amish friendship starters as well as sourdough (wild yeast) starters. Aluminum should not be used, nor should poor quality stainless steel that flakes, chips, stains, and rusts like the stuff I get here in Sri Lanka. The acid from the starter can leach metals into the starter, and that changes which bacteria and yeast can grow along with making it taste awful.

    I speak from personal experience on the cheap quality stainless steel front. 🙂

  3. Using a plastic bag is so much easier, anyway. Just squish it and forget it. I found it interesting that the starter bags I popped into the freezer haven’t frozen completely. Then I realized, there’s probably enough alcohol in them, it’s preventing a hard freeze.

  4. These are now a staple in my house – my mom loves them as they are healthy, low fat – low sugar! I love them for the fiber and taste! My 18 month old niece – who is a PICKY eater – just LOVES them. The last batch I subbed in an extra cup of oats for 1 cup of whole wheat and added raspberries 🙂 Thank you for this perfect recipe!

  5. Glad you liked them, Annie! I’ll have to try making them with some raspberries like that. Yum!

  6. I found you on accident through a google search and I am SO EXCITED to try this recipe!! I love Amish Friendship Bread but I only make it once a year so we don’t die from glycemic overload. I stoked to find a healthy recipe to try with it. I’m getting my starter out of the freezer today!

    And my stance on the metal thing has always been that I don’t use metal during the 10-day “resting” phase, but on baking day I use what I want because I didn’t think it could really make that much difference.

  7. Kira, let me know what you think of the bread. I didn’t see your comment in the queue until today – sorry for the delay in answering you!

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