If you’re in the mood for fall, these Pumpkin Cranberry Walnut Muffins are the perfect way to satisfy your fall yearnings. I could eat pumpkin everything all year long; it just feels festive and right as soon as Labor Day hits. The pumpkin just tastes sweeter and I don’t feel bad shoving my love of pumpkin on all my social media friends. Ha!
These Pumpkin Cranberry Walnut Muffins are the perfect mix of sweet cranberries, smooth pumpkin and earthy walnuts – in a word, they’re heavenly. And in another word, they’re autumn.
Pumpkin Cranberry Walnut Muffins – the Ingredients
The ingredients for these muffins are pretty basic.
For the dry ingredients, you’ll need: flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves.
The wet ingredients include: milk, an egg, canola or vegetable oil and pure pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix).
You’ll also need dried cranberries and chopped walnuts.
Making the Pumpkin Cranberry Walnut Muffins
To start with, preheat the oven to 425°F. It is essential to preheat your oven for these muffins.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the wet ingredients (3/4 c. milk – whole is best; 1/4 cup canola oil; 1 egg) with 3/4 cup of sugar. You can use a bit less sugar if you prefer less sweetness. Stir together until combined. Add in 3/4 cup of pure plain pumpkin and mix well.
Time for the dry ingredients! Sprinkle 1 tablespoon baking powder, 2 teaspoons cinnamon, a pinch of nutmeg and 1/4 teaspoon cloves over the wet ingredients. Stir briefly to combine. Whisk 2 cups of all purpose flour in, 1 cup at a time.
Last, add in 1 cup of dried cranberries and 3/4 cup of chopped walnuts. Mix well.
Baking the Pumpkin Cranberry Walnut Muffins
Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper cups. Spray lightly with cooking spray. Divide the batter evenly among the 12 cups.
Put the muffin tin in the preheated, 425 degree oven. Immediately turn the temperature down to 400. Starting the muffins in a 425 degree oven that is cooling to 400 gives the muffins an extra bit of rise; it helps their tops puff up better! The higher temperature encourages the outside to set and the inside to keep rising as it bakes. Bake the pumpkin cranberry walnut muffins at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.
Remove muffins from the oven and let cool briefly before serving.
Eating the Muffins
These are not overly sweet muffins, so you want to be very thoughtful about how you serve the muffins. They’re fabulous warm, and a little bit of butter goes a long way with these muffins. You could also spread them with a little peanut butter or almond butter, or drizzle honey over your butter-spread muffin.
They’re also great with coffee or tea, and they make a great breakfast or snack. However you eat these muffins, the mix of slightly-sweet cranberries, earthy walnuts and smooth pumpkin is the perfect, delicious fall combination!
Tips, Tricks and Substitutions for Pumpkin Cranberry Walnut Muffins
- Can I use fresh cranberries in place of dried? This recipe has not been tested with fresh cranberries, so I would stick to dried for this one! Plus, dried cranberries are easy to keep on hand, so you’ve always got them when you’re craving a new batch of muffins! And the dried cranberries absorb some of the moisture from the muffin batter, so they plump/juice up a bit while they’re baking! If you’ve got fresh cranberries, here’s my favorite recipe for them.
- Does it matter whether I use vegetable oil, canola oil, or olive oil? You can use either vegetable oil or canola oil but do not use olive oil. Your baked goods will have a very strange aftertaste that is not going to leave you wanting more. Not that I speak from experience…
- The ingredients say ‘milk.’ Does it matter if it’s whole vs. skim? Whole milk is going to be the best to use in your muffins, because it’s going to be the thickest and creamiest. But you can use any milk – whole, 2%, skim – and your muffins will turn out fine. Nonfat milk is a way to skim a little fat and a few calories from your muffins.
- Can I freeze these muffins? Muffins are a great freezable baked good! Seal them well by double bagging in freezer ziploc bags, and store in the freezer for up to 2 months. After a couple of months, they may develop a freezer-burned taste. Thaw to room temp before eating.
Pumpkin Cranberry Walnut Muffins
- 3/4 c. milk whole is best
- 1/4 c. canola or vegetable oil
- 1 egg
- 3/4 c. granulated sugar
- 3/4 c. pure pumpkin NOT pie mix
- 1 tbsp. aluminum-free baking powder
- 2 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp. cloves
- pinch nutmeg
- 2 c. all-purpose flour
- 1 c. dried cranberries
- 3/4 c. chopped walnuts
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners and spray with baking spray.
- In a large bowl, stir together milk, oil and egg with granulated sugar.
- Add in pure pumpkin and mix well.
- Sprinkle baking powder, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg over top of wet ingredients and mix briefly.
- Whisk flour in; 1 cup at a time.
- Stir in cranberries and walnuts.
- Divide batter among 12 muffin cups.
- Put the muffin tin in the preheated 425 degree oven. Immediately turn the temperature down to 400.
- Bake at 400 degrees for 17-20 minutes. To check for doneness, touch the muffin top lightly. If it springs back, it is done.
- Remove muffins from the oven. Let cool briefly before serving.
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