Before the bird goes into the oven, the veggies are peeled and pumpkin pie is baked, stave off the family's and guests' hunger with a breakfast sure to tempt their palates for the showpiece Thanksgiving dinner. There is nothing like fresh cranberry muffins slathered warm out of the oven and dipped in honey butter.

When you want to make cranberry muffins easy and ready to serve for a full Thanksgiving Day breakfast, choose a cranberry muffins recipe with spectacular ingredients that add to everyone's breakfast enjoyment. And while muffins are a great “on the go” snack if you're traveling to another family member, you'll love our pumpkin cranberry bars that are even easier to eat in the car.

Cranberry muffins pictured with a bowl of fresh cranberries
Every try fresh cranberries in your cranberry muffins? You can use dried or fresh.

©natashamam/Shutterstock.com

Cranberry muffins can be made from fresh or dried cranberries.

Add sugar to cranberries and allow sugar to be absorbed before adding to batter. Dried cranberries can be sweetened with cinnamon sugar, honey and and brandied.

However, it is important to note there is a slight flavor difference in cranberry muffins using fresh cranberries versus cranberry muffins using dried cranberries. This is where using subtle spices and ingredients enhances the final flavor result.

Basic cranberry muffin ingredients are similar to most muffin recipes, though I'll say our pumpkin molasses muffins are in a league of their own. This includes flour, egg, vegetable oil, salt, baking powder, sugar and orange or lemon zest.

If you plan to vary your recipe, use brown sugar well packed instead of granulated and to create a smoother muffin batter add a quarter teaspoon of cornstarch. Chopped walnuts, pecans and white raisins added to cranberry muffins is another way to vary your recipe.

In terms of spices, cinnamon and nutmeg are favorites. For a slight difference, substitute mace for nutmeg and substitute a dash of cardamom, ginger or cloves for cinnamon.

With cranberry muffins, baking technique makes the flavor difference. For example, sift flour with other dry ingredients or use a whisk to whisk dry ingredients together.

Cranberry muffins and coffee
Cranberry muffins and coffee … mmmmm!

©karelnoppe/Shutterstock.com

Wet ingredients, like milk and egg should be beaten together until there is a light frothy texture before adding slowly to dry ingredients. This makes for a smoother muffin texture.

If a denser muffin texture is preferred, hand mix all ingredients in proper order. For a cakelike texture, use an electric mixer. And of course, if you want to just make a cranberry cake for Thanksgiving or any other day, we have that too.

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Cranberry Muffins

Cranberry Muffins


  • Author: MomsWhoThink
  • Total Time: 35
  • Yield: 12 muffins 1x

Description

Muffins are always a great way to start the day to tide your guests over until the big meal is served. This cranberry muffin recipe includes a brown sugar cranberry spread to add the perfect homemade jam touch to every bite.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons orange zest
  • 1½ teaspoons ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ cup shortening
  • ¾ cup orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1½ cups chopped cranberries
  • 1½ cups chopped walnuts

Cranberry Spread Ingredients:

  • 1 (8 ounce) can whole cranberry sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons brown sugar, packed
  • ¼ cup butter

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. Spray or grease a 12 cup and 6 cup muffin tin.
  3. Mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, orange zest, nutmeg, cinnamon and ginger.
  4. Cut in shortening; stir in juice, vanilla, eggs, cranberries and nuts.
  5. Pour into muffin cups and bake for 25 minutes or until brown.
  6. Prepare the topping in a saucepan over low heat by whisking together the cranberry sauce, brown sugar and margarine.
  7. Cook until heated and smooth. Remove from heat and serve as a spread for the muffins.
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 25