Thursday, October 25, 2007

Cranberry Apple Muffins

Along with pumpkins, winter squash (which, I’ve never cooked, but I’ll get to that soon thanks to Mary Frances), and fresh apples… one of my favorite things about fall is cranberries. Those beautiful, bright red, little round glistening berries with a spunky tartness! I love the boldness of cranberries. I’ll be sharing several more dishes with cranberries this holiday season, but I wanted to give you a sneak peak of the beautiful berry in an elegant little muffin.

I like to make muffins because they are portable, baked in single servings, and are great for quick “on-the-run” breakfasts. I usually make at least one batch of muffins a week. Our muffins vary from week to week: Some weeks we’ll use bananas that are hitting the expiration date, other weeks we’ll use leftover corn from dinner the night before. Muffins can be sweet or savory, fluffy or crumbly, with a glaze or without… muffins give you a choice. I like that.

For the muffins I made this week, I decided to first make a batch of whole-berry cranberry sauce. Talk about a sweet smelling kitchen! If you’ve never made your own cranberry sauce, you should try it. It’s incredibly easy. It’s basically a very simple jam recipe. I love making my own cranberry sauce, because you can always change the flavor. For the liquid you can use plain water, orange juice, grape juice, basically whatever suits your taste buds… my favorite is made with apple juice. I also added one peeled and diced apple to this cranberry sauce, to incorporate apples (Natalie's ingredient of the week) into this week’s menu. Here is the basic cranberry sauce recipe:

Quick Homemade Cranberry Sauce

  • 2 cups whole cranberries
  • 1 cup liquid (water, juice, etc.. I used apple juice)
  • 1 cup sugar


Add all ingredients to a small sauce pan. Cook on medium high heat for 15-20 minutes, stirring continuously, until cranberries begin to “pop” and the sauce gets a medium-think “jam” like texture. The cranberry sauce will become more firm as it cools. Serve immediately, or refrigerate once cool. Will keep up to 10 days. It doesn’t get much easier than that folks!


These muffins came about last year because I had an abundance of cranberry sauce. I needed to use it for something, and it was time for muffins, so I just added about a cup of sauce to the batch! They were delicious! To make a less sweet muffin, you can simply use plain uncooked cranberries instead of sauce. If you’re not gluten-free and want to make a wheat version of the muffins, use two cups of plain flour (instead of the gluten-free flours) and leave out the xanthan gum.

Cranberry Apple Muffins

  • 2/3 cup tapioca flour
  • 2/3 cup brown rice flour
  • 2/3 cup sorghum flour
  • 1 tsp. xanthan gum
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 2 eggs, separated
  • ½ cup – ¾ cup plain yogurt
  • 1 cup whole-berry cranberry sauce made with apples (or add ½ cup, peeled diced apples to muffin batter)
  • ¼ cup oil
  • ½ cup sugar (optional – you really don’t need this sugar if you’re using cranberry sauce, it’s sweet enough)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix flours, xanthan gum, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium-sized bowl. In a large bowl mix egg yolks, yogurt, cranberry sauce, oil, and sugar until combined. Add flour mixture in small batches to egg mixture, stirring just until combined. In a small bowl, whip egg whites until stiff. Slowly, fold into batter. (Batter will be thick – you can add more yogurt if needed). Spoon batter into a muffin tin and bake for 15-17 minutes. This recipe yields 10 large muffins.

NOTE: I made a simple cream cheese whipped topping for these muffins by mixing equal amounts of low-fat cream cheese, whipped topping, and powdered sugar. Yum!


This is also my entry for the Garden-Cook-Event at Paulchen’s Food Blog. A different ingredient is chosen every month for the theme of the blogging event. This month is (of course): the cranberry!

Garten-Koch-Event: Cranberries
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  1. ooooh! yummy! I love cranberries, and those muffins look so good! When can I come over for one? lol! I guess I'll have to get back to baking more often since I've been getting so many good ideas from everyone.

  2. Hi Karen!! I saw your boys won again last night!! Congratulations!! you can get to cooking once the series is over! You're fully excused!! :-) You can come over anytime!!

  3. Carrie, I am a total muffin nut and these look delish! I'll have to try them. I've got to get on the ball with Natalie's menu swap too, with Halloween madness at my house I haven't been blogging as much.


  4. Thanks Katherine!! I'm kinda nutty about muffins too! If I can turn something into a muffin, I will! haha! I don't know how you mom's stick to anything let alone a menu! I totally admire you moms! I don't know how you do it! I hope you have fun at Halloween!

  5. Look at you and all your blog-event posts!

    I love muffins because they're so easy. Co-workers are fans of them, too, I've found!

    I've never baked or cooked with cranberries. I'll have to try them this year!

  6. I made muffins today as well! There's something in the air... Cranberries aren't in the shops here yet but they will be soon and I'm looking forward to stashing a batch in the freezer. Your muffins look like the perfect treat to make with them. Cranberry and orange is also a lovely combo. Oooh - the possibilities...

  7. Thanks for the link love and the cranberry love. I have some cranberry saude in the fridge that I hadn't figured out how to use before we leave town tomorrow. I think we'll be having cranberry muffins for breakfast =)

  8. This is a great combination! I love it.

    Muffins must be in the air, I made pumpkin pecan muffins this rainy morning...


  9. I could have sworn I wrote a comment...either I am crazy, or I got COMPLETELY sidetracked!!

    I am hoping the sidetracked thing and I just didn't do the moderation word right. It's happened before. ;P

    Anyway, muffins yum!! This is a great combo. I think it's muffin season. I just made some yesterday too, pumpkin pecan. I might have to make some more muffins, they are just tasting so good.

  10. Thanks for joining the Garden Cook Event!
    The round up ( is online now and please don't forget to vote ( for your favourite entry!


  11. I am so thrilled to find this gf receipe! I was just put on a gf diet by an allergist & so far it has been a bit depressing. But after finding this site, I'm excited. THANK YOU SO MUCH! :0)

  12. LOL SM -- it wasn't you... I was slack in approving posts that weekend! I appreciate your comments though!! Oh man, your pumpkin pecan muffins sound delicious though!! YUM!

    JEN -- Cranberries and oranges DO sound like a lovely combination... I'll actually be posting a recipe with that very combination SOON!!

    ABBY -- GIRL, you must start cooking with cranberries!! YUM! They rock and they are SO healthy for you!! It can be tough because they are so tart, you definitely have to pair them with sweet, but it's so worth it!!

    Mary Frances -- Aren't muffins wonderful? I actually wonder at times if I should have named this site: Ginger Lemon Muffin Girl! LOLOL I could make muffins every day!!

    SAGEBRUSHSISTER -- THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR COMMENTING! I'm so glad that you like my site! If you need help finding gluten-free products or just need help in general adjusting to the new lifestyle, PLEASE let me know!!! I would love to talk to you more! (You can email me directly at: I'm so glad you commented! Thanks so much for visiting! Come back soon!

  13. These look so good, perfect for the up and coming cooler fall and winter weather :).

  14. I have a gluten free all purpose flour blend and I was wondering how much of it I would use in place of the flours and the xantham gum?
    Great recipe, thanks!

    1. Hi! I would simply use 2 cups of your gluten-free all purpose blend and leave out the xanthan gum called for here! Enjoy!!