Orange-Cranberry Muffins or Mini-Loaves

Cranberry orange muffins

The pairing of orange and cranberry makes for a lively flavor combination in baked goods. If I’m in the mood to make muffins for a weekend brunch, this is one of my top choices! And for holiday baking or giving, this batter is nice made into mini-loaves. Adapted from The Vegetarian Family Cookbook.

Makes: 1 dozen muffins or 3 to 4 mini-loaves

  • 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/3 cup natural granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup lemon or vanilla nondairy yogurt, or applesauce
  • 1/2 cup fresh orange juice, or as needed
  • 2 teaspoons grated zest (orange peel — if orange is organic; see note)
  • 2 tablespoon safflower oil
  • 8 ounces fresh cranberries (see note)
  • 2 tablespoons natural granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped walnuts, or sliced almonds, optional

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Combine the first 5 (dry) ingredients in a mixing bowl and stir together. Make a well in the center and pour in the yogurt or applesauce, orange juice, optional zest, and oil. Add a small amount of orange juice if need be to loosen the batter a bit, but let it remain stiff. Stir just until well combined.

Place the cranberries in a food processor and pulse on and off until coarsely chopped. Stir in the sugar and let the mixture stand for a couple of minutes.

Stir the cranberries into the batter.

Cranberry orange muffins

Divide the batter evenly among 12 foil paper-lined muffin tins or 3 to 4 mini loaf pans (depending on their size). If using nuts, scatter over the tops of the muffins evenly.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the tops are golden and a knife inserted into the center of one tests clean. When the muffins are cool enough to handle, transfer them to a plate or rack to cool.

Notes:

When fresh cranberries are out of season, use about 1 cup dried cranberries and eliminate the extra sugar.

Finely grated orange peel (zest) really heightens the orange flavor of these muffins.

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5 comments on “Orange-Cranberry Muffins or Mini-Loaves

  1. Jenniffer

    This recipe looks lovely, and I would live to use my fresh organic cranberries! Do you think that it would be possible to use maple syrup or honey ilo the granulated sugar? Thank you:)

  2. Nava Post author

    Jennifer, sorry for the delayed response — this went under my radar. If you use a liquid sweetener, you’d have to reduce one of the other wet ingredients by that amount. I can’t guarantee how it would work, but it’s worth trying!

  3. Nava Post author

    Jenni, absolutely. Just add an equivalent of a gluten-free flour mix like Bob’s Red Mill. They recommend adding a bit of anthem gum in addition, and the amount is listed on the bag, depending on what you’re making.

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