Thanksgiving is just two days away.  Are you looking forward to it?  I am. 🙂 Our Thanksgiving meal on Thursday will be as follows: Ham, Dipping Bread, Mashed Potatoes & Gravy, Spicy Peaches, Banana Pineapple Salad, Mandarin Salad, Apple Crisp and Hot Mulled Cider.

Like our local store’s Thanksgiving party section that is already on clearance, I haven’t even passed cooking and baking for Thanksgiving and I’m already thinking about Christmas and New Years meals.  How sad is that?!  🙂 What about being “in the moment?!” 🙂  For me, having three holidays in a month and a half is really just one big party, so I plan the holiday menus all at the same time.   In preparation for the Christmas holiday, I’m posting our favorite Christmas muffin – Cranberry-Orange Muffins.

For at least the last five years, Cranberry-Orange muffins have been on our Christmas breakfast table.  The cranberries in the muffin are tart, but the sugar on top sweetens the muffin.  The scent of the orange and cranberry hit your nose before you even take a bite.  Having these sweet and fragrant muffins on the breakfast table is just a festive delight.

This next month and a half requires a concentrated effort to keep myself organized.  In order to keep Christmas day cooking fun and enjoyable, I make regular and allergen free muffin dry mixes early in December.  Since I’m going to the effort of prepping anyway, I’ll make a couple additional mixes just to have them on hand during January and February.

The following are some tidbits to know about this Cranberry-Orange muffin recipe.  This recipe is gluten free and egg free.  Like all of my bread recipes, you can choose if the type of milk you use.  For our son, I use either rice milk or soy milk depending on what is in the refrigerator. 🙂  For the oil, it is best to use a vegetable or canola oil; avoid using an olive oil.  (Olive oil goes well with savory dishes, but with breads and pastries, it can lend an off flavor.)  For baking I only use Montana Gluten Free Baking Mix, which consists only of oat flour, tapioca starch, salt and xanthan gum.

Shopping tip of the day: Now is the time to buy cranberries.  This time of the year is the best prices that you’ll get all year long.  I buy 1-3 bags of cranberries, bring them home and promptly throw them into the freezer.  I keep the cranberries in the freezer all year.  For a breakfast treat later in the year, I will pull the cranberries out of the freezer and make these muffins with a happy crowd ready and willing to eat them. 🙂

Cranberry-Orange Muffins

Cranberry-Orange Muffins

Ingredients

  • *Dry ingredients:
  • 2 c. Gluten Free Baking Mix
  • ½ c. sugar
  • 4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 ½ tsp. egg replacer
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • *Wet ingredients:
  • 1/4 c. vegetable or canola oil
  • 1/2 tsp. orange flavoring
  • 1 c. + 2 Tbsp. milk of choice
  • 3/4 c. of chopped up cranberries
  • *Topping:
  • approx 1/4 c. sugar

Instructions

In a medium sized bowl or quart sized zip top bag, measure the gluten free flour, sugar, baking powder, egg replacer and salt. Whisk until well combined.

(If you are making a dry mix, read past the following instructions to make up a dry mix for Cranberry Orange muffins.)

Mix the dry ingredients together in one bowl. In a separate bowl, combine wet ingredients.

When both sets are mixed, combine with a few strokes. You want the mixture to be mixed, but not smooth textured.

Chop or blend up the cranberries. Mix gently to incorporate

Fill muffin cups with batter up to ¾ full.

Sprinkle with 1 tsp. sugar

Bake 12-15 minutes for regular size muffins, 18-22 minutes for Texas size muffins. Poke a toothpick in a couple muffins to make sure that it comes out clean. If not, continue to bake for 2-3 mins and test again.

Remove from baking tins and let cool for 5 minutes before serving.

If you are prepping a muffin mix for FUTURE USE for 12 regular muffins or 6 Texas size muffins, write the following on the bag:

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Wet ingredients:

1/4 c. vegetable or canola oil

1 c. + 2 Tbsp. milk of choice

1/2 tsp. orange flavoring

3/4 c. of chopped up cranberries

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease 12 regular size muffin pan or 6 Texas size muffin pan.

Pour dry ingredients into a medium sized mixing bowl. Add oil, milk and orange flavoring.

Mix until wet ingredients are well incorporated with as few strokes as possible. Chop up cranberries. Mix gently.

Fill muffin cups 3/4 full. Sprinkle approx 1 tsp sugar on top of batter.

Bake 12-15 minutes for regular size muffins, 18-22 for TX size. To check, poke a toothpick into the baked muffin. The toothpick should come out clean. If not, continue to bake for 2-3 mins and test again.

Remove from baking tins and let cool for 5 minutes before serving.

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If you are baking for ONE PERSON, this recipe is quartered and will make 3 regular sized muffins:

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Dry ingredients:

1/2 c. + 2 Tbsp. muffin mix

Wet ingredients:

1 Tbsp. vegetable or canola oil

1/4 milk of choice

1/8 tsp. orange flavoring

3 Tbsp. of chopped up cranberries

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease 3 of the 12 regular size muffin slots in a muffin pan.

Pour dry ingredients into a medium sized mixing bowl. Add oil, milk and orange flavoring.

Mix until wet ingredients are well incorporated with as few strokes as possible. Chop up cranberries. Mix gently.

Fill muffin cups 3/4 full. Sprinkle approx 1 tsp sugar on top of batter.

Bake 12-15 minutes for regular size muffins, 18-22 for TX size. To check, poke a toothpick into the baked muffin. The toothpick should come out clean. If not, continue to bake for 2-3 mins and test again.

Remove from baking tins and let cool for 5 minutes before serving.

Notes

Baked muffins, wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and placed in a sealed container in the freezer, can be a quick on the go breakfast or snack.

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