spiced cranberry-apple muffins

Happy (Almost) Thanksgiving!


Even though the holiday is less than a week away, I’m actually feeling pretty calm about the whole day.  This year we’re staying local and having some family friends over, so I’m grateful we won’t be alone and relieved that this will be a much needed, low-key event.  I keep telling myself that I don’t really have to cook a ton of food, that nobody will care how many appetizers and sides there are or that everything is homemade.  However, knowing myself, I’ll throw all this out the window and start making lists upon lists of dishes I want to serve and groceries I need to buy.  Hmm..we’ll see how all this goes.
In the meantime, I’ve been spending our rainy afternoons baking things I want to eat now…like these muffins!

With a lingering bag of cranberries hanging out in the freezer, I opted to kick off the holiday baking season with these spiced cranberry-apple muffins. They’re more on the dense side because I subbed some whole-wheat flour but there’s a subtle sweetness from the grated apple which is contrasted by the tart pop of cranberries.  Top them with a little coarse sugar (like turbinado or demerara) for a bit of added sweetness and extra crunch. Love.


I halved the recipe, which was perfect for our family and is the one you see below.  However, if you’re serving a crowd or want to save some for later, feel free to double it and freeze the remaining muffins and they’ll keep for up to three months.

Perfect for slow mornings while sipping coffee, they’re tastiest warmed with with a little salted butter slathered on top. Yum!


spiced cranberry-apple muffins

Makes 12 regular-sized muffins

These tart, yet sweet, spiced muffins are a perfect addition to your fall baking! Hearty and dense, they’re a great way to use up those cranberries lingering in your refrigerator.

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup whole wheat flour
  • ½ cup natural cane sugar
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp fine-grain sea salt
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • ¾ cup whole yogurt
  • 4 tbs (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • ½-¾ medium apple, grated
  • ½ cup (heaping) fresh or frozen cranberries, chopped or quartered
  • 2-3 tbs turbinado or Demerara sugar for topping

Preheat oven to 350°. Grease or insert liners into muffin cups.

Into a medium mixing bowl, sift flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk the egg to break up the yolk. Then whisk in the yogurt, melted butter, and vanilla.

Slowly add the dry ingredients into the wet, stirring gently with a wooden spoon until the batter is barely combined. Add the apple and cranberries and stir gently until there’s no trace of flour left. Dough may be a little stiff but that’s ok.

Scoop batter into the muffin tin cups, filling them almost all the way to the top. Divide batter evenly among the muffin cups. Top the muffins with the turbinado or Demerara sugar. Bake the muffins for 30-35 minutes, rotating the pan about halfway through the baking time. Muffins are done when the tops are golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Remove muffins from the oven and placed n a wire rack, allowing them to rest for a few minutes in the tin until they’re cool to the touch. They will last about 3 days refrigerated in a plastic bag, otherwise you can individually wrap and freeze them in a ziplock freezer bag for up to 3 months.

**To reheat- wrap in foil and place in a 350 degree oven for 5 minutes; if frozen, reheat for 15 minutes.

(Adapted from The Kitchn cookbook)

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