Cranberry Pumpkin Muffins

October 27 043 Edited Cranberry Pumpkin Muffins

It is possible I love this recipe because cranberry pumpkin muffins are the first thing I have baked with pumpkin this season. I’m alerting you to my bias from the get go because the next thing I want to tell you is these are the best pumpkin muffins I have ever tasted.

I do not understand why I love the pumpkin flavor of these muffins so much – the batter calls for the standard cinnamon, ginger, cloves and nutmeg – but they are delicious. The crumb is soft and tender; a trait that lends itself well for adding something like juicy cranberries to sink your teeth in to. They are perfect for breakfast or the occasional afternoon snack.

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If you are not so sure about the cranberry-pumpkin combination, chocolate chips or toasted walnuts seem like fine substitutions to me. I topped these muffins with just a bit of coarse sugar, but you could always add a crumble topping or pumpkin seeds.

The recipe requires just one cup of pumpkin puree, so take advantage of the leftovers to try one of the bazillion pumpkin recipes floating around the blogosphere this time of year. If one of those bazillion happens to be another recipe for pumpkin muffins, pumpkin cheddar or pumpkin cream cheese have made me happy in the past. Enjoy!

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Cranberry Pumpkin Muffins
Serves: 12
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1¼ cups granulated sugar
  • ½ cup (1 stick) butter, softened
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • ¼ cup applesauce
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and nutmeg. Set aside.
  2. In a separate bowl, cream together the sugar and butter.
  3. Mix in the eggs, pumpkin puree and applesauce.
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry flour and spice mixture, stirring until just mixed (make sure all of the flour is incorporated, but do not overmix).
  5. Fold in the cranberries.
  6. Line the wells of a muffin tin with paper liners and fill with batter at least ¾ full.
  7. Bake at 375 degrees F for 20-25 minutes, rotating the muffin tin halfway through baking. The muffins are done when the tops spring back when touched and a wooden toothpick or skewer inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean.
The original recipe called for sprinkling the tops of the muffins with pumpkin seeds (pepitas) before baking. It also noted that if using frozen cranberries, they can go straight in the batter; there is no need to thaw them.


Toasted Coconut Muffins

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With 15 ingredients required for 12 muffins, this recipe may not be the best use of time. It is, however, a good way to use up ripe bananas in something other than banana bread.

My word block from last week seems to have carried over to this week, so I have little more to say other than the muffins have an interesting flavor where the warmth of the rum and sweetness of the honey shine through. In fact, I was hard pressed to tell the muffins had bananas in them at all.

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To change up the topping a bit, follow the original recipe and use 1/4 cup chopped pecans and 1/4 cup coconut in place of the 1/2 cup coconut I wrote below.

If coconut is really not your thing but baking with overly ripe bananas is, there are always banana crumble muffins or peanut butter banana muffins to get you going. Enjoy!

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5.0 from 1 reviews

Toasted Coconut Muffins
Serves: 12
  • For the Muffins
  • ⅔ cup coconut flakes or shredded coconut
  • ¾ cup whole wheat flour
  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking power
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup brown sugar, packed
  • ⅓ cup honey
  • ⅓ cup coconut milk
  • ⅓ cup sour cream or plain yogurt
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 ripe bananas, mashed (about 1 cup of mashed banana)
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
  • 2 tablespoons rum
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • For the Topping
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar, packed
  • ½ cup shredded coconut
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  1. Place the coconut in a skillet over medium heat and toast until light golden brown, about 10 minutes.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flours, baking power and salt.
  3. In a large bowl, stir together the sugars, honey, coconut milk, sour cream or yogurt, egg, mashed bananas, coconut oil, rum and vanilla.
  4. Fold the dry flour mixture into the wet mixture along with the toasted coconut.
  5. Pour the batter into each well of a paper-lined or greased muffin tin.
  6. To form the topping, mix the brown sugar, coconut, and salt together.
  7. Rub a tablespoon of butter into the mixture so that resembles a sandy texture.
  8. Sprinkle the topping over the tops of the muffins and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until a knife inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean.


Monday Muffins, Secret Recipe-Style: Peanut Butter Banana

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Today is not a typical Monday, but a Secret Recipe Club Monday. Which means today’s Monday Muffins recipe comes from Isabelle’s lovely Crumb blog. I have been visiting Isabelle’s blog off and on since I joined the SRC; I like the interesting and delicious recipes she chooses and her writing about why she chose each recipe when she did.

I also like her use of the word “pop”. After a decade of living in the South, “soda” has finally made its way into my standard vocabulary, and I miss “pop” a little bit.

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I am also looking forward to following Isabelle’s participation in the Canadian Food Experience Project. In her words, “this project will bring together Canadian food bloggers in a search for our collective culinary identity while celebrating the unique regional differences that make Canada the unique and diverse place we’re so proud to call home.” Curiosity about the identities and traditions tied to food is what triggered my interest in recipes to begin with, so this sort of project is right up my alley.

As an American, my only Canadian food memory is the experience of watching a waiter brush bread crumbs off the tablecloth of a fancy Montreal restaurant where my family dined when I was quite young. I’ve heard my Mom say that my eyes about popped out of my head when the waiter did that. She did not provide that type of service at home, and I have not experienced anything quite so fancy since.

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I suppose after all this talk of Canada I should have chosen a traditional Canadian dish like her Mini Tourtieres or French-Canadian Split Pea Soup, but instead I chose a recipe that would make Elvis proud – peanut butter and banana muffins. I messed around with the original recipe a bit when I realized I did not have plain yogurt but I did have sour cream. I also added some sunflower seeds for a bit of something to sink my teeth into.

All in all, this is one of the best muffin recipes I have tried. The cinnamon added a surprising layer of flavor that complemented the banana and peanut butter, and I loved the fact that the muffins were sweetened with honey rather than white sugar. I was also impressed with the minimal amount of vegetable oil and liked the use of whole wheat flour. I imagine I will enjoy these again soon. Right after I make those Saffron Snickerdoodles Isabelle writes about… Enjoy!

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Peanut Butter Banana Muffins
Serves: 12
  • 1 cup mashed ripe bananas (2-3 medium bananas)
  • ½ cup peanut butter
  • ½ cup honey
  • ½ cup plain yogurt or sour cream
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup all purpose flour
  • ¾ cup whole wheat flour
  • ½ cup sunflower seeds
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  1. In a large mixing bowl, beat together the mashed bananas, peanut butter, honey, yogurt or sour cream, egg, oil and vanilla until smooth.
  2. In a small mixing bowl, stir together the flours, seeds, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.
  3. Add the dry ingredients to the large bowl of wet ingredients, and stir until just combined.
  4. Lightly grease a muffin tin (or spray paper liners with non-stick cooking spray) and divide the batter among the wells.
  5. Bake at 375 degrees F for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out with a moist crumb.


 Monday Muffins, Secret Recipe Style: Peanut Butter Banana