Cooking for Children: Refrigerator Microwave Muffins



When the weather turns cold, it’s great to have a hot meal for breakfast.  Getting a special needs child up and ready for school, however, generally leaves you with little time for cooking in the morning.  Refrigerator bran muffins work like a charm in this situation, since they only take about a minute to make in the microwave.  Even better, your child can probably learn to make them independently.  In Special Needs Children Cook:  Refrigerator Microwave Muffins, you’ll find the recipe and detailed visual instructions for this healthy and hearty breakfast.


Ingredients and Supplies:

  • 2 cups All-bran cereal
  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 cups vanilla yogurt
  • 1 & 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 2 t. baking soda
  • Large mixing bowl
  • Wooden spoon
  • Air-tight container for storage
  • Floured cooking spray, like Baker’s Joy
  • Coffee cup
  • Optional add-ins for the muffins in quantities of about 2 T per muffin at most:  blueberries, sliced strawberries, raisins, chocolate chips, matchstick carrots, chopped nuts, coconut, or even chopped candied fruits for the winter holidays.

Making these muffins involves first making the batter and then cooking individual muffins in the microwave as needed.  The muffins taste and look better if you make the batter ahead of time and keep it in the refrigerator, at least overnight.  I keep mine in a pitcher with a tight lid.  Needing to make the batter ahead of time is actually a good thing since you can work with your child after school or after dinner when you have time.  The batter will keep in your refrigerator for about 2 weeks, if it isn’t eaten first.

Adult:  Making the batter involves two easy steps and you’ll find two slideshows below for your child to follow.  Set up the supplies for the first part as shown in the picture.

Image shows a green tray with measured All-bran cereal, yogurt, oil and a wooden spoon on it next to a large blue bowl.
Organize the supplies to start making muffins like this.

After the first slideshow, the batter needs to rest for 5 minutes to let the cereal soften.  You’ll have time to get the rest of the ingredients ready and set up then.

Child:  Follow the pictures to start making the batter.  After you do these steps, the batter has to sit for 5 minutes.  Then there will be more to do.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Adult:  Now set out the ingredients to finish making the batter and let your child do the second slideshow.  When they are done, you’ll need to transfer the batter to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator overnight.

Image shows a green tray with measured brown sugar, flour, 2 eggs, baking soda, and salt next to a large bowl with some batter mix and a spoon in it.
Set up the supplies for finishing the batter this way.

Child:  Follow the pictures to finish making the muffin batter.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

After the muffin batter has stayed overnight in the refrigerator, you can make individual muffins as needed according to the picture instructions that follow.  ONLY FILL THE CUP WITH BATTER ABOUT HALFWAY OR IT WILL OVERFLOW.  If you want to add any of the optional ingredients, you just stir them in the cup with the batter at this time.  Ask your child what they want to put in and then give them only about 2T of the raisins, berries, or whatever they chose.  I show adding raisins in the slideshow.  Once the batter is in the cup, you microwave it on high for about 1 minute, depending on your microwave’s power.  The muffin should look dry on top when it is done.  When they are cooked, you can either serve them directly in the coffee cup or put them on a plate.  If you leave them in the coffee cup, they will stay warm much longer and you don’t need to dirty another dish.

Image shows a green tray with a coffee mug, a can of floured cooking spray and some raisins on it next to a large bowl with batter and a spoon in it.
Here is how to set up to make a muffin with the batter.  Remember to fill the cup only halfway.  You decide what fillers to add, if any.

Child:  Follow the pictures to make your own yummy muffin.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


I hope you love the muffins you make with Special Needs Children Cook:  Refrigerator Microwave Muffins.  I remember making these as a child so the recipe has been around for a long time.  All-bran probably came up with it originally, although I don’t remember.   I looked at for the basic recipe and added the optional ingredients myself along with the directions for cooking with a  special needs child.

© 2013 – 2014, Margaret. All rights reserved.