Cranberries really aren’t something I usually have hanging out in my fridge. And now I don’t know why not! They’re certainly more unique than apples or blueberries, so it’s kind of fun to bake with them. And delicious!
I’d originally bought a bag to make a persimmon cranberry crisp for my boyfriend and his fire station crew about a week ago. I had leftover persimmons that needed to be used. So I got a bag or cranberries, only used 1 cup of them, and then ended up with cranberries that would need to be used. I love the combination of cranberry and orange in baked goods, so it wasn’t difficult deciding that’s the direction I needed to go with my leftovers.
You know what’s great about Southern California in winter? Fresh oranges. They actually grow on trees in peoples’ yards here. In winter. WHAT! That doesn’t happen in Oregon. It’s still a weird phenomenon to me, but I’ve decided that I’m totally okay with having fresh citrus to bake with during the “winter” months. The orange I used for this recipe was from a tree in Berney’s yard, and I plan to borrow many more oranges from there this season! With permission, of course…
These muffins are indeed vegan, and use the magic of egg replacer in place of a real egg for some of the leavening action. Also helps reduce the calorie amount, if you’re into that sort of thing.
One element of this recipe that I really like (besides how yummy they are) is that canola oil is used instead of vegan butter. I do prefer the vegan butter sticks for certain recipes, but good gracious it’s a bit pricey. Canola oil is way less expensive and way less of a hassle to use. You’d have to melt the vegan butter, which means getting more dishes and utensils dirty, which means ugh. Since there’s no need to cream the fat in a muffin recipe, oil works great! It gives muffins lots of moisture and just the right crumb texture. Make sure you use a neutral-flavored oil, though. Olive oil is definitely a no-go for a recipe like this; it has much too strong of a taste by itself. Stick with canola oil or vegetable oil so the orange and cranberry can be the stars. Olive oil muffins? Um…maybe someday…but not today.
These muffins have a wonderful combination of sweet and tart. The cranberries have a natural tartness that pairs perfectly with the lightly sugared muffin batter. It makes me a little nervous to bake with something sour like cranberries, but this recipe incorporates them just right to avoid being overpowering.
Also, can we just take a minute to look the gorgeous little flecks of orange zest sprinkled throughout each muffin? I love that! Not to mention the orange + cranberry smells AMAZING when baking. And after baking. Mmm.
These muffins are made in less than an hour, so they’re great to make for a weekend breakfast, an afternoon snack, or basically whenever. And apparently they’re great to share at work…I left a batch in the employee break room and they were gone faster than any other edible creation I’ve brought (well, these cinnamon rolls went pretty fast too). Now go forth and bake!
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- zest of 1 medium orange
- 2/3 cup non-dairy milk (I used unsweetened almond milk)
- 1/3 cup fresh-squeezed orange juice, strained
- 1/4 cup canola oil
- 1 Ener-G Egg Replacer egg (1 1/2 teaspoons egg replacer + 2 Tablespoons warm water)
- 1 1/2 cups fresh cranberries
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Coat 11 standard muffin cups with non-stick cooking spray. Before baking, fill the unused cup about 1/3 full with water to prevent warping during baking.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, granulated sugar, brown sugar, baking powder, salt and orange zest. Set aside.
- In another bowl, whisk together the milk, orange juice, oil and egg replacer until well-combined. Add the milk mixture to the flour mixture and stir with a large wooden spoon only until evenly moistened. Do not over-mix. The batter will be slightly lumpy. Gently fold in the cranberries. Again, be careful not to over-mix. Spoon batter into the prepared muffin cups, filling to slightly below the level of the rim.
- Bake for 20-23 minutes until lightly golden and a toothpick inserted in the centers comes out clean. Transfer pan to a wire rack and let cool for 10 minutes. Remove muffins from pan to continue cooling slightly before serving, or to cool completely before storing.
- Muffins stay fresh stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to at least 4 days.
- Calories: 198
- Fat: 5g
- Carbohydrates: 37g
- Fiber: 1g
- Sugar: 19g
- Protein: 2g
- Sodium: 198mg