Cranberry-Orange Pumpkin Spice Muffins
You will probably never find me with a pumpkin spiced latte as the sweetness level is a bit much for me, but other than that, I happily submit to all the pumpkin craziness that ensues from Labor Day to the end of the year. And beyond, as I make pumpkin muffins and quick breads year round. These Pumpkin Pie Muffins are my go-to, make ALL the time, never fail, can’t-get-enough-of-them-type of recipe. So much so that I only ever so briefly stray from my loyalty to them.
Until now. (Cue dramatic music)
I saw a version of the following recipe on the food network website. I did my usual changes and tweaked things to make it a bit more streamlined, shave off a few steps, and make it ever so more healthy. More healthy means I can eat more of them, yes? But the point here is that I made these up and thought I may have just found my new favorite pumpkin muffin. Then I made another batch and was sure I had found it. The tang and chewiness of the cranberries make these extra special and just so darn irresistible. They have been inducted into the Brittany’s Pantry hall of fame, which may sound prestigious, but actually just means they are a recipe that I make on a regular basis. High praise for my family. And since these adorable muffins are a kind of dressed-up, boss is coming to dinner, pumpkin muffin, they make a great quick bread to give as a gift this season.
Preheat oven to 350. In a large bowl, whisk together:
1/3 c canola or grape seed oil
zest of one orange
2/3 c sugar
1/2 c pumpkin puree
1/3 c unsweetened applesauce
1/2 c milk
Combine ingredients until smooth. Add:
1 c all-purpose flour
1 c white whole wheat flour
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp nutmeg
pinch of salt
2 tsp baking powder
Gently fold in the dry ingredients. When nearly combined, add:
2/3 c dried cranberries
Continue to gently fold batter together until JUST COMBINED! Do not over mix. Portion the batter evenly amongst 12 sprayed or paper lined muffin cups. Sprinkle each muffin cup with just a pinch of granulated sugar, raw sugar, or casters sugar, if desired. Bake for 18-22 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out with a moist crumb or two. Let set for a few minutes then remove to a cooling rack. Enjoy!