Cranberry Apple Harvest Muffins

I made these muffins for a few reasons.  One, none of the breakfast cereals that I usually like sounded good to me.  Two, we had a lot of apples to use up from the orchard.  And three, I hoarded cranberries last fall/winter and decided it was time to use some – you know, so I can hoard some more this year 🙂  I made several substitutions based on what I had around the house and the kind of flavor I was going for.  The store was out of fresh figs so I just used some dried figs and rehydrated them, and they actually turned out to be delicious.  I also think raisins would be a lovely substitution here.

The mixing method is slightly unique or at least one I haven’t tried before.  Basically you combine the dry ingredients as usual, make a well and mix in the liquids, and then mix in the fruits and sugars all at once.  I was concerned this might lead to overmixing and therefor a tough muffin, but it didn’t cause any problems at all.  The cake part of the muffin was tender and wonderfully spiced, bringing all the mix-ins together nicely.  Though I’ve never been much of one for mixing nuts into my baked goods, I think some pecans or walnuts would be great here as well.  These made for some nice breakfasts, and definitely a nice change from the usual.

Cranberry Apple Harvest Muffins
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Yield: 12 muffins
1½ cups all-purpose flour
1½ tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. salt
1½ tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground ginger
½ cup plus 2 tablespoons milk
1 large egg
8 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted and cooled
¾ cup coarsely chopped fresh cranberries
¾ cup peeled and chopped apple
½ cup diced Calimyrna figs (or dried figs, or raisins)
6 tbsp. packed brown sugar
6 tbsp. granulated sugar

Preheat the oven to 375° F.  Line a muffin tin with paper liners.  In a large mixing bowl combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and giner; whisk together.  Create a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add in the milk, egg and melted butter.  Stir quickly just to combine.  Add the cranberries, apples, figs and both sugars to the bowl.  Stir just enough to distribute the fruits and sugars evenly throughout the batter.

Divide the batter evenly between the paper liners.  Bake for 18-22 minutes, until browned on the top and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Let cool in the pan about 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Source: adapted from The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook

23 Responses

  1. Those look perfect for this time of year!

  2. MANY great reasons to bake those stellar muffins 🙂

  3. These sound wonderful on a 40 degree morning like this. I love cranberries dried and in sauces, but have never successfully incorporated them into a muffin. They always end up overly-sour pockets instead of the tasty gems they’re supposed to be. I think mixing them in simultaneously with the sugar is a great idea; the sugars will coat them and tone the bite down.

    • Tamara,
      I agree, I have had a similar problem with cranberry muffins in the past but for whatever reason that was not an issue here. I actually used to have a cranberry apple muffin recipe on the blog but I deleted it because I decided they were too bitter. Enjoy!
      🙂 Annie

  4. These look delicious! Perfect for crisp fall mornings. 🙂

  5. Lovely muffins. I will put them on my todo list for my next sweets session.

  6. hermoso!

  7. Do you have any nutritional info for this recipe?

    • Hi Holli,
      No, I don’t. You could pretty easily calculate it yourself though. Add up calories of the ingredients (easy to find on Google) and divide by 12.
      🙂 Annie

  8. What would you think about substituting unsweetened applesauce for some of the butter?

    • Hi Jen,
      Supposedly this is a common substitution and should work fine. I have never tried it though, I like butter 🙂 You could certainly try it if you want to.

  9. These look great! I need to try these with some of the apples I have sitting around in my kitchen.

  10. I just made a batch of these and they turned out WONDERFUL! Very moist and full of flavour with all the fruit chunks! 🙂 The only changes I made were that I used nutmeg instead of ginger (because we didn’t have any ginger in the house – I’d like to try them with it next time!) and chopped dried apricots instead of figs or raisins. I wasn’t sure how that would turn out, but I think the apricots were actually PERFECT for this recipe! (But then again, I’m not a big fig/raisin fan.)

    Oh, I also used frozen cranberries instead of fresh, because again, that’s all we had. I just chopped them up while frozen (it’s easier that way!) and then microwaved them a bit afterwards to defrost them.

    Anyway, I am SO glad I stumbled upon this recipe! Thanks a lot, Annie! 🙂

  11. I’ve been reading your blog for awhile and LOVE the ideas but hadn’t tried any of the recipes until today…I made these this morning and they were delicious! I didn’t have fresh cranberries on hand so I doubled the amount of apples and then added dried cranberries instead of the raisins/figs it called for. It worked out fine and they were a huge hit with our family! Perfect for fall!

  12. I usually buy traders joes can wait to bake from scratch using your recipe… since all the praise for them is great.

  13. Are fresh cranberries the same as the ones you buy in the package to make cranberry sauce with on Thanksigiving, or are they the canned kind? I am sorry to sound clueless. Just don’t know what kind of cranberry is which. : ) Thanks much.

  14. Just made these last night after apple picking and WOW! LOVED these! I used whole wheat flour and my bf couldn’t even tell with all the other great flavors. I had to hide them from him so I had some for my breakfast this morning! GREAT recipe!!

  15. Annie, I love these muffins. And better yet, my 16-month old daughter who refuses many foods, loved these as well. Delicious!

  16. I made these last night and they are wonderful!!!! Thanks! 🙂

  17. Hey Annie!

    Do you think instead of the muffins I could make this recipe into bread? Do you think I would have to make any changes to the ingredients in order to bake it into a loaf of bread?

    • If you mean just baking it in a loaf pan instead of a muffin pan, that would work fine. Just the baking time will be different.

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