Spiced Cranberry Muffins are the best thing coming out of my oven these days. Topped with sweet Cinnamon Honey Butter, these are practically perfect in every way.
I was going to say that January is muffin month. But then I realized that every month is muffin month around here. If I’m remembered for anything, it will be how often I make muffins.
That being said, January in the northern hemisphere really is a particularly nice time to make muffins. Cold gray January days lend themselves well to warm baked goods. Even better if they’re chock full of bright, tangy fresh cranberries too!
I also have a huge kitchen crush on fresh cranberries right now. I filled my freezer with bags of fresh cranberries because I don’t see this obsession ending any time soon!
And if I’m remembering things right, I think this obsession hits about this time every single year.
There’s been not one, but two cranberry smoothies in Januaries past (Cranberry Orange Smoothie and Cranberry Oatmeal Smoothie ). Not to mention the Cranberry Apple Farro Salad that’s regularly on the menu this time of year, and this quick Cranberry Orange Trifle.
Cranberries in the winter is an established thing around here.
Muffins as Comfort Food
From time to time, I get a little sentimental about how fast my kids are growing. I worry about how well I’m doing as a single parent. What are they going to remember from these formative years at home?
Recently, I asked around the breakfast table what I could do to make our home feel like a more comforting place. And do you know what they all said? Bake more bread and muffins! They unanimously agreed that there is nothing cozier and happier than walking in the door after school to be greeted by the smell of something delicious baking.
Well, okay then. That’s something I can definitely do! And, since all my girls enjoy baking nearly as much as I do, they all agreed to help.
Making Spiced Cranberry Muffins
These muffins are super simple. My eight year old made them all by herself twice last week! Two bowls and 15 minutes, that’s it.
Here are a couple of tips specifically for these Spiced Cranberry Muffins:
- You can use all purpose flour or whole wheat, but I like to use 1 cup of each. Then the muffins aren’t too dry, still rise up nicely, but feel a bit healthier.
- I like to use coconut oil in these (feel free to sub butter or canola oil). Because the coconut oil hardens up if all the ingredients aren’t room temperature, I put the coconut oil and milk in a glass bowl together and microwave them on high for 1 or 2 minutes. You want the oil to melt and the milk to be warm, but not hot. Then I add in the egg and vanilla and whisk it all together.
- You can use fresh or frozen cranberries. When I use frozen (as I did in the pictures here), I chop them up first and let them sit while I mix up everything else. By the time I put all the ingredients together, they’re warmed up enough to keep the batter from seizing up.
- Altitude makes a big difference when you’re baking. If you follow my instructions here and find that your batter seems too dry, add a little extra milk, just one tablespoon at a time. The batter shouldn’t be runny. It will be thick, but shouldn’t seem dry.
- These are flexible. Feel free to sub almond or rice milk in, or switch out the sugar for maple syrup or honey. Make them how you like them.
- The Cinnamon Honey Butter really is delicious with these!
And now, let’s cozy up to a batch of these Spiced Cranberry Muffins with Cinnamon Honey Butter. Here’s the recipe, enjoy!
- 1 to 2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries (I used 2)
- 2 cups flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon each allspice, nutmeg
- pinch of ground cloves
- 1 cup milk (warmed if using coconut oil)
- 3 tablespoons coconut oil, room temperature (or canola oil, or butter)
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 tablespoons coarse sugar (like demerara) for sprinkling (optional)
- 4 tablespoons softened salted butter
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 tablespoons honey
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a standard 12 cup muffin tin, or line with muffin liners.
- Place the fresh or frozen cranberries in a food processor and pulse a few times until the berries are coarsely chopped. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, and spices.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together all the wet ingredients.
- Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour in the milk mixture. Stir a few times until batter begins to come together, then add the chopped cranberries. Stir just until combined, being careful not to over mix. Batter will be thick and lumpy, but should not be dry. Add an extra tablespoon (or two) of milk if batter seems too dry.
- Put about ⅓ cup muffin mix into each cup of prepared muffin tin. Sprinkle with coarse sugar (optional).
- Bake for approximately 15 minutes. When done, muffins will be lightly golden and spring back when touched.
- Remove immediately from pan and cool on wire rack.
- Stir all the ingredients together until smooth. Serve at room temperature.