These hearty Harvest Cranberry Muffins are perfect for a holiday brunch or coffee break. This muffin is bursting with fresh, tart cranberries and a punch of warm spices. Cranberries can be found in the store during the fall months of October through December. If you have any left over from Thanksgiving you can use them up in this delicious muffin.
Bakers tips for Harvest Cranberry Muffins:
fat: Use melted butter in this muffin for the flavor. I’ve also added a bit of oil to make for a tender, moist crumb. Remember when baking, to always use a mild oil such as canola or ‘extra light’ extra virgin olive oil so that it doesn’t overpower your baked good.
cranberries: Use fresh cranberries if you have them on hand, however, frozen cranberries will work as well but do not let them defrost or they will become mushy. To chop the fresh berries, I use a pampered chef hand food chopper. For frozen berries I use a mini food processor as they tend to be harder to chop.
buttermilk: For a light tender crumb, dissolve the baking soda into the buttermilk. If you don’t have buttermilk, simply make it by placing 1 1/2 tsp. of white vinegar into a liquid measuring cup and fill it to the 1/2 c. line. Dry buttermilk is also really nice to have stocked in your pantry to mix up as needed.
pumpkin pie spice: You can purchase pumpkin spice pre-made however, I make my own blend. It’s so simple to make and has a variety of warm, bold spices. I start with a cinnamon as the base, and add a higher ratio of nutmeg, cardamom and allspice than typical recipes or conventional brands make.
muffin pan: Aluminum muffin pans are best since they conduct even heat. I prefer to use vintage muffin pans or modern Nordic Ware. You can choose to spray the pan or use natural muffin liners. I always lightly spray the muffin pan before I put the muffin liners in, to prevent the muffins from sticking in case they spill over the liners.
Harvest Cranberry Muffin
- 1 1/2 c. unbleached flour
- 1/3 c. brown sugar
- 1/3 c. sugar
- 1 T. Pumpkin Spice Blend
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 c. buttermilk, cream or milk
- 1/2 tsp. baking soda dissolve in buttermilk
- 1/2 c. unsalted butter melted
- 1 T. oil
- 1 egg
- 2 T. orange juice
- 1 T. orange zest
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 1 c. cranberries chopped
- 1/2 c. nuts (pecans or walnuts) chopped
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Prepare 12 muffin liners.
- Melt butter and set aside. Place buttermilk in liquid measuring cup and add baking soda and let sit. Use food chopper and chop cranberries and set aside. Zest orange before cutting it to squeeze juice.
- Place melted butter, oil, egg, orange juice, zest and vanilla into mixer.
- Whisk together dry ingredients in bowl and add to the mixer. Add in the buttermilk/baking soda mixture.
- Add in the chopped cranberries and nuts and mix until just combined.
- Pour batter 3/4 full into liners and sprinkle with course sanding sugar.
- Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes, then turn down oven to 375 degrees and bake for additional 13 minutes until toothpick in center comes out clean.