Jul 6, 2010

Cranberry Orange Muffins

Cranberry orange muffins!

Now that it’s summer and I have a bit more time on my hands, I’ve been trying to make different things for breakfast each week. Normally during the busy school year I just stick to english muffins, mini bagels, or of course cheerios. While all of those things are ok, it can’t compare to a homemade baked good in the morning! Breakfast is my jump start for the day and if I don’t have something good to eat it’s just not a good omen for how the rest of my day plays out. So a week or two ago, I made some cranberry orange muffins for breakfast and they were delicious. I wanted a real simple recipe that was on the general side so in the future I could make it quickly and just change the fruit or nuts that I included. I adapted a muffin recipe from cooking light and I think they turned out wonderfully with a good balance of orange flavor!

You won’t need anything too special in your cabinet for this recipe:


  • 2 cups all purpose unbleached flour
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup butter (chilled)
  • 1 1/4 cup skim milk (or buttermilk)
  • 1 egg
  • rind from one orange
  • 1 cup dried cranberries

The best thing about these muffins is how quickly you can throw them together. To start, combine the dry ingredients into one large mixing bowl: flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and nutmeg. The next step is as labor intensive as the recipe gets. Take the chilled butter and add it to the dry ingredients in little bits. I find it easiest to then use a fork and then mash the butter into the dry ingredients until you get a mixture that almost looks like a cornmeal.

Dry ingredients with the butter combined. Notice it is a little course but no large chunks of butter remain.

The wet ingredients are mixed in a separate, smaller bowl before I add them into the dry ingredients. Combine the milk, egg, and orange rind and make sure that you really break the egg apart and mix it thoroughly with the milk.

Wet ingredients: milk, egg and orange rind.

Make a small well in the dry ingredients and then pour in your wet ingredients and stir the ingredients together until all the dry ingredients are combined completely. I add the cranberries last after everything is combined so that I can just fold them into the batter.

Wet and dry ingredients combined and ready to be added to the muffin pan.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and grease a muffin pan. This recipe always gives me 12 good sized muffins so it’ll last a whole week for breakfast. I use a large spoon to scoop the batter into the muffin pan and I start by filling each cup about half way. I’ve had lots left over so then I just go back and continue filling the cups up evenly. When you’re ready, pop them in the oven and cook for about 20 minutes or until your toothpick comes out clean.

Pretty simple! Throw all the dry ingredients into a bowl, mix together the wet ingredients, combine the two bowls and you’re pretty much done! Within 30 minutes your kitchen will smell delicious and you’ll have fresh, warm muffins ready to eat! Now, I have to admit that I’ve never actually made the muffin mix where they provide all the ingredients and you just add water. I can imagine it’s pretty easy and pretty fast but when you can throw this batter together so fast and come out with something that is so delicious, I promise it’s worth the extra few minutes putting the ingredients together by hand! Like I said before, for a breakfast fan like myself, there is nothing that beats waking up to fresh, homemade baked goods! For now, that’s cranberry orange muffins…in the shell of a nut!

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