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Cranberry Muffins

3/4 cup dried cranberries -- coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons Cointreau (or other orange-flavored liqueur)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup sugar
1 lightly-beaten egg -- room temperature
1 cup milk -- room temperature
1/4 cup unsalted butter -- melted


Preheat an oven to 375 degrees. Butter 12 cups of a standard muffin tin(s). Place the cranberries in an oven-proof bowl and stir in the liqueur. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and place in the oven until the cranberries puff up and absorb the liquid, 5 to 10 minutes. In another bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar.


In yet another bowl, whisk together the egg, milk, and melted butter until well blended. Using a wooden spoon, quickly fold the flour mixture into the egg mixture, then stir in the cranberries; do not overmix. Spoon the batter into the prepared cups, filling them two-thirds full.


Bake until well risen and browned and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and let stand in the tin(s) for about 3 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool. Serve warm or at room temperature.


This recipe yields 12 muffins.



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