One of my favorite things about fall is cranberries. The slightly bitter flavor works nicely in both sweet and savory dishes so I tend to use them a lot this time of year. But, my favorite way to use them is in baked goods, like these Cranberry Orange Muffins. I think they are just perfect on a cool, crisp fall morning!
I remember my Mom making a cranberry orange nut bread that we would have Thanksgiving morning. She could make it ahead and then have an easy but delicious breakfast that was perfect for Thanksgiving.
I still make that bread, but since there are just 2 of us, muffins work better. We can have one or two and then I wrap the rest individually and freeze them. Just take them out and warm them up when you’re in the mood. I tend to have 1 or 2 varieties in my freezer at any given time and they are a nice treat for rushed mornings.
For these, I used dried (Craisins) and soaked them overnight in orange juice to soften them up. They are a little sweeter than fresh and soaking them added a delicious orange flavor.
Not wanting to waste the orange juice, that was now cranberry flavored and had a beautiful ruby color, I decided to make a syrup out of it and drizzle it over top of the muffins.
That syrup added so much flavor! It’s one more step but I would recommend not skipping it. You can store the syrup in the refrigerator for a week or two if you don’t use it right away.
I think these are the perfect treat when you don’t want a heavy breakfast but want something a little extra special.
Do you have a breakfast tradition on Thanksgiving morning? Tell me about it below and if you make these, let me know what you think!
Cranberry Orange Muffins
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries
- 1 cup orange juice
- 1-1/4 cup flour
- 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 3 Tbsp sugar
- 1 Tbsp orange zest
- 2 large eggs
- 3/4 cup 2% milk
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter melted and cooled
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
- 1/4 tsp salt
- The night before making the muffins, place the cranberries in a small glass bowl and cover with the orange juice. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator.
- Preheat the oven to 400F. Butter a 12 cup muffin tin, or line with paper liners.
- In a large bowl, combine flours, baking powder, sugar and orange zest.
- In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs until well blended. Stir in milk and melted butter.
- Mix liquids into the dry ingredients until just combined. Don't over mix – there will still be lumps in the mixture and that is okay!
- Drain cranberries, reserving the juice in a small saucepan.
- Gently stir cranberries into the muffin mixture.
- Using a 2 oz. scoop or large spoon, spoon batter into each muffin cup. Top with chopped walnuts.
- Bake for 20 minutes in the preheated oven. Remove and cool on a wire rack.
- While the muffins are baking, heat the reserved orange juice to a boil and boil gently until reduced by half to make a syrup. Brush the orange syrup over the muffins as soon as you remove them from the oven.