With all the rainy cold weather, muffins sound really good with a big cup of coffee, and these Cranberry Muffins fit the bill. I used frozen cranberries left over from the Cranberry Upside-Down Cake and added a little orange extract for more flavor.
The texture of these muffins is so light and fluffy and delicious! The addition of tart cranberries and the subtle addition of orange make a wonderful combination-sweet, yet tart and refreshing.
I used a pop-over pan instead of a regular muffin pan and used squares of parchment instead of muffin papers. The pop-over pan creates taller, less squat muffins, basically just a different looking muffin. The bake time was the same and the resulting muffins are great for breakfast or any time you are looking for a nice treat.
You can dress these up by adding a little streusel on top like I did, but these are terrific without streusel topping too. The muffins freeze up great, just wrap and store in a ziplock baggie.
Let wrapped frozen muffins come to room temperature before unwrapping to keep them from getting soggy while defrosting. Here is how you can make your own:
You can find the basic recipe here. Use whatever berries you have on hand (fresh or frozen), I used 2 cups of frozen cranberries. If using frozen berries, keep frozen until ready to incorporate into the batter.
Start by lining a muffin pan with papers, or you can just butter and flour. I like to use papers because the clean up is easier! I used a popover pan and lined the cups with squares of parchment pushed into the cups. Set prepared pan aside and preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Make streusel topping if using or mix together 1/4 cup sugar with nutmeg for a sugar/spice topping. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time until completely incorporated. Beat in the vanilla extract and orange extract if using.
Toss the frozen cranberries with 1 Tablespoon of the flour mixture to evenly coat. Set aside.
Add the flour to the butter mixture and beat to combine. Add the milk and beat to combine. Remove bowl from mixer and fold in the berries. Pour batter into prepared pan (around 3/4 full) and add the streusel to tops of batter if using, or use the sugar and nutmeg mixed together for a topping.
Bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Remove muffins from pan and let cool on a wire rack. Muffins can be stored at room temperature or easily frozen in a ziplock baggie.