Fresh Cranberry Muffins are loaded with tangy pops of cranberry ~ they’re a delicious way to celebrate the unique color and flavor of my favorite winter fruit. This easy one bowl recipe proves that comfort food can definitely be bright and fresh!
Fresh cranberry muffins are a winter holiday tradition
Baking with fresh cranberries is one of the great joys of the fall and winter season for me. I adore them for their super tart, bright flavor, and that color! I use them in everything from smoothies to pork roast.
If you’re a lemon lover, I think you’re bound to be a cranberry lover too, the two fruits share a tart tang like no other. (My mouth waters just looking at that bright pink juice dribbling out of the muffins!)
My basic muffin recipe is no fail and so adaptable
I’ve used this same basic batter for many of my recent muffin recipes on the blog because when something works, I go with it. It’s got a super fluffy texture, rises well, and is very easy to adapt to different flavors and add-ins.
- Pear Muffins with Hazelnut Streusel
- Orange and Cardamom Muffins
- Easy Oat Muffins with Cinnamon Sugar
- Perfect Black Raspberry Muffins
A dusting of sparkling sugar makes these cranberry muffins Christmas morning material
I love my sparkling sugar when I want a little bit of a finishing touch for cakes, muffins, or pies, but I don’t want to fuss with making a separate crumb topping or glaze. It gives a sparkle and crunch to the top of these muffins, and the little extra sweet with the tart berries is perfect.
Sparkling sugar is a decorative sugar that has a large crystal structure. You can add it before baking, or sprinkle it on just as your baked goods come out of the oven. Often I’ll do both 😉
You can use fresh or frozen cranberries for these muffins
Be sure to save some cranberries for these muffins, and when you finally run out of fresh, dig into your frozen stash. When baking with frozen berries it’s best not to thaw them, because they can become watery: I like to use them straight from the freezer instead.
- add the zest of an orange to the batter – orange and cranberry is an incredible combination!
- add sliced almonds or chopped walnuts for extra flavor and crunch
- use any other kind of berries – fresh or frozen – that you like in place of the cranberries
- add some winter spices like cinnamon and clove
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Fresh Cranberry Muffins
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 3/4 cup milk, or half and half
- 2 large eggs
- 1 1/2 tsp almond extract (or substitute vanilla extract)
- 2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
- 3 Tbsp sparkling sugar, for topping (optional) Find sparkling sugar online here
- Preheat oven to 350 and butter a 12-cup muffin tin, or line with muffin tin liners.
- Whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large mixing bowl.
- Add the vegetable oil, milk, and eggs, and almond extract, and whisk everything together until well blended.
- Add the cranberries and fold to combine.
- Divide the batter into the muffin tins, and top with the sparkling sugar. Bake for about 25 minutes until risen and just starting to turn golden on top.
- Allow to cool in the muffin tins before removing.