Cranberry muffins are adapted from my mom’s recipe and are a delicious, easy bread to have at any festive, holiday table. These muffins take only 20 minutes to prep and bake!
I really love cranberries. I don’t care whether it’s the cranberry bliss bars from Starbucks (which are a wee bit too sweet for me), cranberry sauce, cranberry pie, cranberry bread…I love cranberries and think they’re so festive for the holidays. Think about how many times during the year you eat cranberries? Probably not too many times outside of Thanksgiving and Christmas, right? Let’s make the most of cranberry season and use them up in some delicious ways.
This easy cranberry muffin recipe is adapted from my mom’s recipe, which she makes every Thanksgiving and Christmas. These cranberry muffins were always one of my favorite parts about Thanksgiving aside from the stuffing and mashed potatoes (duh!). When these bad boys come out of the oven so hot and with a pad of butter melted on top…perfection!
If you’re looking for a quick bread to have on your dinner table, look no further. These cranberry muffins are your hero.
The health benefits of cranberries
I’m by no means a health expert, but I really enjoy learning the exact reasons why something is healthy to weed out the fads from what’s actually good for you.
Cranberries are one of those things that are crazy healthy — and a superfood because they’re packed full of nutrients and anti-oxidants. According to WebMD (also my “go to” for any mysterious illness…lol), one cup of raw fruits has 25% of your daily Vitamin C, 9% of your daily Vitamin A , 6% Vitamin K, and then some potassium, iron, and calcium. Cranberries can help prevent liver disease, urinary tract infections, can lower blood pressure…it’s pretty incredible. It’s important to note that when cranberries are dried, they lose most of their vitamins but keep most of the minerals — like potassium and calcium. Doesn’t mean they’re not good…you’re just losing some of the goodness.
The only downside is that fresh cranberries are pretty bitter, and aren’t something I can eat raw (but I know some people aren’t bothered by them in the least…so this is definitely a personal preference). The small amount of sugar in these muffins help counteract the bitterness of the fresh cranberries. You could also use frozen cranberries if that’s all you have on hand. Just don’t use dried cranberries.
Ingredients for cranberry muffins
The ingredients list is incredibly simple, and you likely have most of these ingredients already in your pantry or refrigerator:
- baking powder
- vegetable oil
- fresh cranberries
So simple, right?
How to make cranberry muffins
To make these cranberry muffins, you’ll first add 2 Tablespoons of sugar from your 1/2 cup of sugar and let the cranberries absorb the sugar. It’ll soften up the cranberries and make them a little bit less bitter. Then you’ll combine all of your dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt and make a well in the center for your wet ingredients. Stir to combine. Finally, fold in your sugar-coated cranberries.
Stick the batter in your muffin tins about 2/3 full and voila. They’ll bake in the oven for about 15 minutes. You’re done and that took you approximately 5 minutes of work and 15 minutes of wait time.
Storing cranberry muffins
These muffins can be stored at room temperature in an airtight container. They’ll stay fresh for 2-3 days, but they’re definitely best to eat on the first day.
More ways to use cranberries:
Looking for other fun holiday recipes? Check these out:
- Stuffed Acorn Squash with Sausage and Cranberry Stuffing are totally delicious with dried cranberries. I’ve never tried them with fresh cranberries, but I bet you could do this without problem.
- Cranberry sauce (coming soon!)
- Cranberry mimosas (coming soon!)
- Mama’s Cranberry Salad looks amazing from Food52
- Cranberry scones (just add cranberries instead of chocolate chips)
Hope everyone has a very wonderful holiday season!
20 min Cranberry Muffins
- 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup sugar, divided
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 beaten egg
- 3/4 cup milk
- 1 cup fresh cranberries, coarsely chopped plus handful more for the tops of muffins
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Grease muffin cups or line muffin cups with liners. In a small bowl, combine 2 Tbsp sugar with coarsely chopped cranberries.
- In a medium bowl, combine flour, remaining sugar, baking powder, and salt. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients.
- Add egg, milk, and oil to the center of the well. Stir until just combined (be careful to not over mix). Fold cranberries into batter.
- Pour into muffin tin (about 2/3 of the way full) and top with a few extra chopped cranberries. Bake for 15 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.