Fall is one of the best seasons for cooking because cozy comfort foods are so fun to make, and super satisfying to eat, and you’ve been waiting for them all summer! Pumpkins and cranberries are right there at the top of the baking order and they are a perfect food combination, especially at this time of year. The colors are so festive, and the flavors are so good together. We use fresh cranberries for this recipe, and even though they are fresh, ours are most often frozen. Why? We buy them up in the fall when they are readily available in produce sections and then freeze them for use the rest of the year. We like to barbecue turkeys in the summer, and cranberry sauce is a must in our house for turkey dinner!
The little burst of tartness you get from the fresh cranberries complements the sweetness of these muffins. We love that pop of flavor, and plus they keep the muffins nice and moist. I generally toss the frozen cranberries into the batter, but if you have fresh ones, toss them in as they are. The streusel topping for this recipe is made with oil instead of butter, and the liquids in the batter are apple juice, oil, and egg, so this entire recipe is nondairy. By the way, you can certainly add chopped nuts to the streusel for a bit more crunch! We’d recommend pecans if you do!
This recipe makes 12 regular muffins but is easily doubled and that might be really helpful during the busy holidays. They freeze very well, and you won’t regret having an extra dozen on hand to feed your family and holiday guests!
A quick note – if you don’t have pumpkin pie spice, you can blend cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and allspice together for a similar flavor. Some people add a dash of cloves to this mixture too. Use more cinnamon than the other ingredients, but you can play with the quantities you like best.
One more quick note – try to find parchment muffin tin liners. They are amazing, because you don’t really need to spray them and the paper peels so easily off the muffin.
Cranberry Pumpkin Muffins
- 1 regular muffin tin
- 12 Paper muffin tin liners If you haven’t used parchment liners, they are awesome. You can buy them on Amazon.
- 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1 1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 cup pumpkin puree (we use canned pumpkin)
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil (like canola)
- 1/4 cup apple juice
- 1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
- 2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp. cardamom or pumpkin pie spice
- 1/8 tsp. salt
- 2 tbsp. canola oil
- Line a muffin tin with paper or parchment liners. Preheat oven to 350 F. (If you are using parchment liners, you won’t need to spray inside the paper liner, but if you use paper liners, give the inside a quick once over with cooking spray.)
- Place all dries (flour, brown sugar, baking soda, salt and pumpkin pie spice) in a large mixing bowl.
- In a medium bowl, blend pumpkin puree, oil, egg, apple juice and cranberries. Stir the liquid ingredients into the dries and blend with a large spoon until integrated.
- In a small bowl, add the streusel ingredients and blend with a fork.
- Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin tins. Sprinkle a spoonful of the streusel topping over each.
- Bake for about 25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean and the centers of the muffins spring back when touched with your finger.
- Remove from oven and either eat immediately or cool and refrigerate. These muffins also freeze well, in case you are doing some early holiday baking!