cranberry walnut muffins

February 17, 2010 |  Category:   recipes


Another holiday has come and gone. This year’s Valentine’s day really sneaked up on me. I had a busy week before our shipping day, Mia’s birthday, and all of a sudden I was over my head in cookies and cardboard boxes again. But everything made it out just fine – it always does, somehow. Through it all I actually had one or two days that I did not see the kids at all. To make it up to them I promised them a special Valentine’s breakfast, which ended up being these fresh baked muffins with lots of bacon. The sprinkling of coarse sugar on the top gives them a nice crunch.

Cranberry Walnut Muffins (makes 10 muffins)

1-1/3 cups sugar
6 Tablespoons butter, softened
1 egg, plus 1 egg white
1/2 cup plus 1 Tablespoon buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon orange extract
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2-1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
1-1/3 cups fresh cranberries
1 cup roughly chopped walnuts
2 Tablespoons coarse turbinado sugar (optional)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Beat the butter and sugar in an electric mixer until fluffy and well-mixed. Gradually add the eggs, oil, buttermilk and orange extract (they should all be mixed together first). Slowly mix in the flour, baking powder and salt, mix until thoroughly combined. Fold in the cranberries and walnuts by hand. Divide the batter evenly between 10 muffin cups, either lined with muffin papers or sprayed with a nonstick spray. Sprinkle each muffin with a little coarse sugar, then bake on the top oven rack for about 25 minutes, or until completely cooked in the center. Cool for a few minutes before removing from the pan.


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  • Tina February 17, 2010 at 10:19 am

    These look uber yummy! Can you use dried cranberries or are they best using fresh?

  • montague February 17, 2010 at 10:46 am

    oh my, these look delicious! love the sugar crystals all over the top!

  • shoshana February 17, 2010 at 1:39 pm

    These look delicious! I love tart contrast of fresh cranberries in baked goods.

  • sooshi February 17, 2010 at 2:01 pm

    Where’s the bacon?! 🙂

    These look great yum yum.

  • Lonnie Kasow February 17, 2010 at 2:18 pm

    These look delicious, and your photography is beautiful! I’m a newer reader of your blog, and it’s already one of my favorites.. thank you!

  • Lonnie Kasow February 17, 2010 at 2:20 pm

    These look delicious, and your photography is beautiful! I’m a newer reader of your blog, and it’s already one of my favorites! Thank you~

  • kribss February 17, 2010 at 3:29 pm

    i have to say these look delicious! question for you- do you know all these recipes by heart or do you have them written down somewhere? just wondering.

  • Iyang February 17, 2010 at 8:29 pm

    Where can I find fresh cranberries? I’ve been everywhere the last few weeks and have had no luck.

  • Mark February 17, 2010 at 9:28 pm

    Tina, I would only make these muffins with fresh cranberries. They soften and melt into the batter as they bake in a way that dried cranberries do not.

    Kribss, I do have many of my recipes memorized, but not this one. This is an adaptation of one I used to use in restaurants, which is handwritten in my completely-falling-apart recipe notebook from 1997.

    Lyang, fresh cranberries may be out of season, but frozen ones will work just as well.

  • Elisabet February 18, 2010 at 9:51 am

    Just want to thank you for your wonderfully inspirational blog, I found you through some other blog right before christmas, and I have been hooked since. You even inspire me to bake cookies, that has always been something I just don’t do, it seemed to be something just old people did, and ate. I bake bread and sometimes cakes. But now I can’t wait to get a chance of trying some recipes from my “Sju sorters kakor” (seven types of cookies, there are more than seven recipes in that book of course, but I think in the old days in Sweden you had seven different types of cookies if you were hosting a “kafferep”, or at least that was sort of the golden standard for those parties.) Thank you!

  • Iyang February 18, 2010 at 12:26 pm

    Mark, I can’t find the frozen ones either!

  • karalee February 19, 2010 at 8:54 pm

    I tried this recipe today and wanted to say thank you! Needed to modify a couple ingredients (no orange extract at home, so used almond and grated orange zest; then added fresh raspberries instead of cranberries) and it was still fantastic. Initially thought the quantity of salt was a little high, but it really works. Yum!

  • Manya February 23, 2010 at 6:51 am

    Jenna, I tried the recipe and it was very good. Instead of orange extract I grated an orange, I only put 1/2 tsp salt, and the cranberries were dried. It still worked!

  • DLGR March 12, 2010 at 1:47 pm

    Hey Mark! Random, do I have to use so much oil in the muffins? Is there an alternative? I mean, I’m sure w/ both butter and oil these will taste dfhaskfhaskhfa-AMAZING, but my heart/blood pressure wouldn’t appreciate it. lol!!

    Thanks~! :3!