Cranberry Almond Muffins - these tender muffins are filled with pops of tart cranberries and crunchy almonds. A hint of almond extract enhances the almond flavor and a sweet glaze is a beautiful finishing touch. With festive color and flavors, these muffins are perfect to enjoy during the holidays.
Why you will love these muffins
Cranberry almond muffins will brighten up your day with seasonal flavor and color. The vibrant red cranberries are so pretty, and their tart flavor will wake up your taste buds.
Muffins are ideal for breakfast because you can make them on the weekends and enjoy them throughout the week. A simple powdered sugar glaze adds a touch of sweetness, and the festive flavors of cranberry and almond are perfect during this time of year.
- cake flour – cake flour is much finer than all-purpose flour. It has less protein so it develops less gluten which means the muffins will have a softer, more tender crumb. TIP: If you don't have cake flour, you can substitute with all-purpose flour using this method: measure one cup of all-purpose flour. Remove 2 tablespoons of the flour and replace it with 2 tablespoons of cornstarch. Whisk together and use this as a substitute for one cup of cake flour.
- combination of oil and butter – the butter provides flavor and the oil helps to keep the muffins moist
- sour cream – sour cream adds moisture which helps to keep the muffins tender.
- whole milk – if you don’t have whole milk, you can substitute 1/2 low fat or fat-free milk with 1/2 cream or half-and-half.
- cranberries – either fresh or frozen can be used. If using frozen, don't thaw before adding to the batter.
- almonds - sliced almonds add texture and flavor to the muffins. A hint of almond extract enhances the almond flavor. I love almond extract so much that I added a touch to the glaze as well! TIP: To prolong the life of almonds and other nuts, store in an airtight container in the refrigerator or freezer. Nuts have a high amount of unsaturated fat which can cause them to turn rancid (spoil) when stored at room temperature.
These cranberry almond muffins come together easily with just a few steps.
- Add the dry ingredients to a fine-mesh strainer (or sifter) and sift into a bowl. This keeps the flour light by removing any lumps and makes sure the dry ingredients are evenly combined.
- In a separate bowl, mix together the wet ingredients starting with the oil, butter, and sugars. When well combined, add the eggs and almond extract and stir to incorporate. Then add the sour cream and milk and mix well.
- Gently fold the dry ingredients into the wet. Stir until the flour mixture is just combined. Over-mixing will result in a tough muffin.
- Gently fold in the cranberries and almonds. The batter will be thick. Using a cookie scoop, portion the batter into a muffin pan lined with paper liners. Top with turbinado or coarse sugar, if desired. This gives the muffins a crunchy top.
- Bake until the muffins are slightly golden and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
- Let the muffins cool. Mix together the glaze and drizzle over the muffins, if desired.
Cranberry almond muffins keep well and will stay moist in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
The flavor of almond extract has a nostalgic vibe for me and I especially love it during the holidays. It's the perfect addition to these muffins for an extra festive flair. Cranberry almond muffins can be enjoyed as breakfast or brunch or with an afternoon coffee. Or share with neighbors and friends in lieu of a holiday cookie plate.
More breakfast sweets to try
- Cinnamon Muffins with Cinnamon Chips
- Maple Walnut Scones
- Raspberry White Chocolate Scone Loaf
- Lemon Blueberry Scones with Lemon Glaze
- Brioche French Toast with Blueberry Syrup
Cranberry Almond Muffins
- 2 cups cake flour (Note 1)
- 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup butter melted and cooled slightly
- 1/4 cup canola oil or vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 3/4 teaspoon almond extract
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 1 cup cranberries fresh or frozen (don't thaw) plus extra for topping
- 1/3 cup sliced almonds
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 2 1/2 tablespoons cream plus extra as needed to achieve the desired consistency
- 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a muffin pan with liners. Set aside.
- In a mixing bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
- In another mixing bowl, stir together the melted butter, oil, and sugars. Stir in the eggs and almond extract. Add the sour cream and milk and stir until the mixture is well-combined.
- Fold in the dry ingredients until just combined. Do not overmix or the muffins will be tough.
- Gently fold in the cranberries and almonds. The batter will be thick.
- Using a 1/4 cup (4 TBSP) cookie scoop, fill the muffin pan with the batter. Top with turbinado or coarse sugar, if desired.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean. Cool.
- For the glaze, in a small combine, stir together the powdered sugar, cream, and extract until smooth. Add more cream, if necessary, to achieve the desired drizzling consistency.
- Drizzle the glaze over the muffins. Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
- If you don't have cake flour, you can substitute with all-purpose flour using this method: measure one cup of all-purpose flour. Remove 2 tablespoons of the flour and replace it with 2 tablespoons of cornstarch. Whisk together and use this as a substitute for one cup of cake flour.