american/ Christmas/ Dessert/ muffins/ Party/ Thanksgiving

Pumpkin Cranberry Muffins

20 October 2021 By Aleksandra

These delicious pumpkin cranberry muffins are made with pumpkin puree and fresh cranberries. Pumpkin puree makes them super moist and adds amazing flavor. Fresh and tart cranberries are balancing the sweetness. These muffins are really amazing, light, fluffy, and so beautifully colored!

Pumpkin cranberry muffins on a white plate. Two muffins are cut in half.

Below you will find information about the ingredients and how to make the recipe. Scroll down for a printable recipe card with measurements and detailed instructions.

Ingredients

Here’s what you need to make these delicious pumpkin cranberry muffins:

  • Pumpkin puree – you can make this recipe with homemade pumpkin puree or canned puree. I would really recommend making your own pumpkin puree – it’s so easy to make and the difference in flavor is HUGE (quick instructions are below). Store-bought pumpkin puree is thicker so if you’re using that, add an additional tablespoon of milk to the recipe.
  • Standard muffin recipe ingredients such as egg, milk, flour, vanilla extract, baking powder, sugar, salt.
  • Oil – I’m using oil instead of butter in this recipe. Oil makes muffins super moist and there’s just enough flavor here so the butter is not needed in my opinion, but if you’d like, you could substitute oil with melted butter.
  • Orange zest – orange flavor goes so well with pumpkin.
  • A touch of cinnamon – to complement the pumpkin flavor, but it’s not overwhelming here.
  • Fresh cranberries – they add a touch of sweetness, tartness, and moisture. They also look so pretty in these muffins! You could also use dried but it would just not be the same. You would also need to soak dried muffins in orange juice before adding them to the batter, otherwise, dry cranberries would soak up moisture from the muffin batter. Don’t try to add more fresh cranberries to the batter – the muffins would be too tart.
Labeled ingredients for pumpkin cranberry muffins.

How to make homemade pumpkin puree

Wash the pumpkin, cut it into large chunks. Place pumpkin pieces on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for about 20 minutes at 400°F (200°C / Gas Mark 6), or until tender. Scoop out the seeds using a spoon (you can discard the skin and seeds) and puree until smooth. A have a separate detailed post with photos about that: how to make pumpkin puree.

If you have a food processor and roasted pumpkin chunks, the preparation is even simpler!

Throw the roasted pumpkin chunks into the food processor along with the other wet ingredients (an immersion/hand blender can also be used), pulse until smooth, then add the dry ingredients, pulse very briefly until just combined.

Toppings for pumpkin muffins

  • you can make them without any topping – they’re delicious
  • crunchy sugar tops – just sprinkle the tops with light brown or turbinado (raw) sugar
  • sprinkle them with cinnamon sugar: 3 tablespoons light brown sugar + 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • sugary cinnamon nut topping: 2 tablespoons brown sugar, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/3 cup chopped walnuts (40g)
  • make cinnamon crumble: simply combine 5 tablespoons flour (45g), 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 cup light brown sugar (50g), and 2 tablespoons soft butter (30g).

Before you start

This recipe is very forgiving and easy to measure with measuring cups but I would like to just bring to your attention how I measure flour. 1 cup of flour can weigh 120-150g, depending on how you’re filling your cup. I’m using the “spoon and level method” so 1 cup of flour in my recipes weighs 125g.

If you are measuring your flour by dipping the measuring cup in the flour container it is very possible that your cup of flour will weigh 140-150g (scooping the flour directly into the measuring cup compacts it so you have more flour in your cup).

Adding too much flour will result in dry muffins so please use my method of measuring flour or use a kitchen scale for a perfect result every time (you don’t have to weigh all the ingredients, just the flour, all the other ingredients are fine to measure with cups!).

To correctly measure the flour, you need to:

  1. Fluff the flour by stirring it in the bag/flour container with a spoon.
  2. Spoon the flour and sprinkle it into your measuring cup.
  3. Sweep off the excess flour with the back of a knife.

Step by step instructions

Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C / Gas Mark 4), no fan.

Dry ingredients for muffins in a white bowl. Wet ingredients for muffins in a blue bowl.

STEP 1: In a medium bowl, whisk all the dry ingredients.

STEP 2: In a large bowl, whisk all the wet ingredients together until smooth.

Batter for pumpkin muffins is being whisked in a white bowl. Pumpkin muffin batter is being scooped into muffin liners.

STEP 3: Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, whisk until just combined, don‘t overmix the batter, small lumps are ok.

STEP 4: Divide the batter evenly between 10 muffin liners.

Cranberries are being submerged into pumpkin muffin batter.

STEP 5: Add 5 cranberries to each muffin, press the cranberries into the batter using a teaspoon (they don’t have to be completely covered with batter.

STEP 6: Bake for about 20 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. The baking time may slightly vary, depending on the oven.

Cool on a rack for 10 minutes.

Enjoy!

Decorate these muffins for Halloween

If you want to decorate these muffins for Halloween, you can make a spiders’ web design with cocoa icing. It’s of course optional, the muffins will also taste amazing without it.

To make the cocoa icing, whisk together: 5 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (sifted), 5 tablespoons powdered sugar (sifted), and 3 1/2 tablespoons water.

This icing tastes like dark chocolate. If you want it to be sweeter, you can replace a part of the cocoa powder with powdered sugar. You will need a very small round cake decorating tip and a thick plastic zip lock bag (or a special cake decorating kit). Cut a small hole in the corner of the plastic bag, push the tip through. Fill the bag with icing and decorate. If the icing doesn‘t come out easily through the tip, you need to thin out the icing by adding additional water to it (but very little!).

To make spider’s web on top of the muffins: draw a few circles on top with the cocoa icing, use a toothpick to draw the lines from the center to the edge to create a spider’s web design.

A collage of 4 photos showing how to decorate pumpkin muffins with cocoa icing for Halloween.

Storage

These muffins will keep for up to 3 days. You can store them at room temperature in a tightly closed container.

More muffin recipes

Overhead picture of pumpkin cranberry muffins on a white plate.

Did you make this recipe? Let me know how you liked it and give it a star rating in the comments below! You can also add a photo of your creation!

Pumpkin Cranberry Muffins

Perfectly moist muffins with pumpkin puree and fresh cranberries.
Pin This Recipe! SAVE THIS RECIPE
Pumpkin cranberry muffins on a white plate. Two muffins cut in half.
Print Recipe
No ratings yet
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 10 muffins
Calories 247kcal
Author Aleksandra

Ingredients

dry ingredients:

  • 1 ½ cups flour (190g) spooned and leveled
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • pinch of salt

wet ingredients:

  • 1 cup pumpkin puree (250g) preferably homemade*
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ cup vegetable oil (110g)
  • ¼ cup milk (60g)
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar (150g)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange zest

additionally:

  • 3/4 cup fresh cranberries (80g) 5 pieces per muffin

Instructions

muffins:

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C / Gas Mark 4), no fan.
  • In a large bowl, whisk all the wet ingredients together until smooth.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk all the dry ingredients.
  • Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, whisk until just combined, don‘t overmix the batter, small lumps are ok.
  • Divide the batter evenly between 10 muffin liners.
  • Add 5 cranberries to each muffin, press the cranberries into the batter using a teaspoon (they don't have to be completely covered with batter.
  • Bake for about 20 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. The baking time may slightly vary, depending on the oven.
  • Cool on a rack for 10 minutes.
  • Enjoy!

Notes

  • For the best result, all the ingredients should be at room temperature but these muffins will also turn up fine if the ingredients are cold.
  • You can also use roasted pumpkin chunks instead of pumpkin puree if you have them on hand. You just need to mix all the wet ingredients in a food processor (or use an immersion blender) until smooth, then add dry ingredients and pulse briefly until just combined.
  • You can make this recipe with homemade pumpkin puree or canned puree. I would really recommend making your own pumpkin puree – it’s so easy to make and the difference in flavor is HUGE. Store-bought pumpkin puree is thicker so if you’re using that, add an additional tablespoon of milk to the recipe.
  • How to make pumpkin puree: Wash the pumpkin, cut into large chunks. Place pumpkin pieces on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for about 20 minutes at 400°F (200°C) or until soft. Scoop out the seeds (you can discard seeds and skin) and puree the flesh until smooth. A have a separate detailed post with photos about that: how to make pumpkin puree.
  • Measuring the flour: 1 cup of flour can weigh 120-150g, depending on how you’re filling your cup. I’m using the “spoon and level method” so 1 cup of flour in my recipes weighs 125g. If you are measuring your flour by dipping the measuring cup in the flour container it is very possible that your cup of flour will weigh 140-150g. Adding too much flour will result in dry muffins so please use my method of measuring flour or use a kitchen scale for a perfect result every time.
  • To correctly measure the flour, you need to:
    • Fluff the flour by stirring it in the bag/flour container with a spoon.
    • Spoon the flour and sprinkle it into your measuring cup.
    • Sweep off the excess flour with the back of a knife.
  • If you want to decorate these muffins for Halloween, you can make a spiders’ web design with cocoa icing. The instructions can be found in the body of the post.
  • You can omit the cranberries and make just plain pumpkin muffins.
  • Don’t try to add more fresh cranberries to the batter – the muffins would be too tart.
  • Calories count = 1 muffin (1/10 of the recipe). This is only an estimate!
 
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword cranberry muffins, pumpkin cranberry muffins, pumpkin muffins with cranberries

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2 Comments

  • Reply
    tesssa
    1 November 2018 at 07:41

    Just made these, they turned out great! I’m looking forward to try your other recipes 🙂 Greetings from Amsterdam!

    • Reply
      Aleksandra
      1 November 2018 at 09:11

      I’m glad! Thank you for commenting 🙂

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