You Need To Cook With This Berry NOW! (Healthy Muffin Recipe)

November 17, 2011   22 Comments

Have you noticed the lovely bags of red berries greeting you in the produce aisle? Fresh cranberries are here!

Cranberry Corn Muffin Recipe

For those of you who like your cranberries in the shape of a can, it is time to GROW UP and try them fresh. I'm not sayin' you should give up on your can, I'm just suggesting that you try the fresh version because they rock.

I live in Massachusetts, which is famous for its cranberry bogs. Each year, I drive to Cape Cod and harvest my own wild cranberries with my hip waders on. Then I woke up :)

What to do with them? On the side of the cranberry package you will find some suggestions for great cranberry sauces that are simple to make or you can check this one out on the Food Network.

I also like to use them in muffins and since cranberries are sour - a good combination is cranberries and cornmeal. The cornmeal has a sweeter flavor than regular flour and helps out with the sourness of the cranberry.

In this muffin recipe, I substituted buttermilk for BUTTER which is a great trick for lowering calories without compromising flavor.

They are so much healthier for you than the 540 calorie, 26 grams of fat MUFFIN MONSTER that I featured here: This Blueberry Muffin Has a Dark Secret.

My son inhaled these and liked them for breakfast. They are great with coffee or espresso and I have one for an afternoon snack.

What do you make with fresh cranberries?


Cranberry Corn Muffin Recipe

1.8 from 25 reviews

(makes 14 muffins)
1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
1 cup all purpose flour (or white whole wheat flour)
1 cup yellow cornmeal
2/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup milk
1 large egg (beaten)

Preheat oven to 400F. Line muffin cups with paper liners. Coarsely chop cranberries in food processor or with a chef's knife.

Mix dry ingredients in large bowl and then add wet ingredients and cranberries. Mix until just combined. Fill muffin cups close to the top and bake until golden (about 20 minutes). Enjoy! Freeze some for the future.

For one muffin using lowfat milk: 123 calories, 1.1 g fat, 25.9 g carbohydrates, 3.1 g protein, 1.2 g fiber, 80 mg sodium, 3 Points+

Points values are calculated by Snack Girl and are provided for information only. See all Snack Girl Recipes

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I love how your recipes are often easy, with easy ingredients and nutritious!! We often get stuck in a rut with the same ol' muffins all the time (banana chocolate chip in my house), but these sound great! Thanks for the muffin inspiration!

Thanks, Heidi. The easy part is because I am lazy :)

Yum - add a little orange zest, I love the cranberry + orange flavor combo!

These would be a yummy breakfast when I'm home for thanksgiving! Is there any difference between white and yellow cornmeal? b/c white is what I have, and it seems silly to have two kinds of cornmeal around (like I only keep light or dark brown sugar).

My favorite holiday recipe with cranberries is challa bread. I make the dough in my bread machine and add grated orange peel. Then when the dough is done, I kneed in the fresh cranberries, braid the dough, let it rise and bake. It tases awesome and is always very impressive to look at!

I also love the orange cranberry relish from the recipe on the cranberry bag though. :)

These sound really great! I was going to pass up cranberries at the store this year, because my boys won't taste them, & I hate to waste them on a little sauce for me, but now they're back on my list! Thanks for the tip about the orange zest, Angela!

@Michelle - white will work just as well as yellow cornmeal - they are just different types of corn. Thanks for the question!

Would it be possible to substitute soy milk since I'm allergic to dairy?

@Raquel - if I used soymilk - I would probably add some coconut oil or vegetable oil (2 tablespoons) to give it a richer flavor - I think it might fall flat with just soymilk.

Great question!

Yes, cranberries on the market shelves signal autumn in New England. I sometimes make a special trip to Cape Cod for the beautiful gems. They freeze well. For a VERY easy whole-cranberry sauce: 1 pound berries, fresh or frozen; 1 cup sugar, 1 cup water. Bring to a boil; boil for 10 minutes. Pour into clean glass jar when cool; keeps in fridge for months!

Also, re: the corn muffins, look for coarse-ground corn meal at the market, and substitue half of the fine-ground for it. Makes for great texture!

This looks great. I heart cranberries! As a WW follower, is the buttermilk you are calculating full fat, LF or FF? I often just make my own with whatever milk I have using the vinegar trick (1 Tbls vinegar + enough milk to make 1 cup) but wanted to check! Thx!

@Marne - it is lowfat buttermilk - which is the only kind my store carries so I didn't put that in the recipe. Love that vinegar trick!

This recipe looks great! Did you use full fat milk?

We don't give our son dairy but can give him clarified butter. Instead of buttermilk, how much butter was in the original recipe? I have crans in the freezer waiting to know. ; )

@Christy - the original recipe calls for 3/4 cup yogurt, 1/2 cup milk, 1/2 cup (one stick) butter. I was trying to make it simpler with buttermilk substitution for yogurt and butter.

I hope this helps!

Can I just use regular wheat flour? i have just regular white four and wheat flour. Not white whole wheat

Hi Snack Girl!

I love your site and I was so excited to see your cranberry muffin recipe! I was looking for a healthy, less processed alternative to Thomas's Cranberry Swirl bread and I think I found it!

When I was at the store I picked up the carton of lowfat buttermilk and out of habit read the ingredients - it had all kinds of stuff in it - Guar Gum, Carrageenan and other stuff that I didn't recognize. These things are not in butter or yogurt or regular milk. Or even whole milk buttermilk (which my store had but only in a 1/2 gallon). Maybe this was just my stores brand of buttermilk that adds stuff. I'm definitely all for lowering the calorie count, however, I don't think we should be adding extra junk to our food to do so! I've noticed this with many other "low calorie" foods - when they take fat or calories out they have to add in more chemicals! Personally I'd rather use real ingredients and eat less of a food!

Thank you for posting the original recipe's butter, milk, yogurt combo! I'm looking forward to making these! :-)

Thanks for all you do! :-)

@Kelly - I think whole wheat flour would make these too dense. Why don't you try mixing white with whole wheat? or just use white.

Hey, Snack Girl! In one of your replies you said that the easy part in your recipes is because you're lazy. Well, thank God for that! :D

Great stuff! From now on, I'm holding you responsible for my size ;)

Btw, great blog, glad I've stumbled upon it.

I'm munching on one of these now - YUMMMM!!!!! I used butter & yogurt (Fage 2%) and the are a bit time I'd cut the amount of butter back. I LOVE the cranberry flavor! Just enough sugar to cut the tart, but not so much it kills the flavor! I hope my family likes them tomorrow!

These were so good! I didn't have any fresh oranges on hand, and liked the idea of adding that flavor, so I made this and added 1 tsp of orange extract. It was good, but I think 3/4 tsp would have worked better. They were even better with some butter and honey on them since they aren't very sweet. My 2nd try I added 3/4 tsp almond extract instead and that was better, I think, than the orange extract. I ended up doubling sugar the 2nd time, as well, (i know, terrible) to please my DH so he would eat them, but then again, we ate them straight without the honey or butter, so it was a tradeoff, i guess. ;) Thanks for the great idea for a great holiday muffin, SG! We gave these as teacher gifts and they were a hit!


Is the one tablespoon baking powder a mistake? The muffins have an off taste from too much baking powder. Also 400 degree oven is too high a temp. I o Lu had them in for 15 minutes and they were done.

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