Sweet, moist and packed full of fruit and nuts, these Apple Cranberry Walnut Muffins are sure to satisfy. They’re happy to be eaten by themselves or alongside a savory soup and salad for dinner.
These muffins are also terrific for breakfast or as a snack. You know what else they’re good for? Sharing. Because sharing is caring, ya know. So you just might want to get busy caring (wink, wink.)
Aside from being delicious as this recipe is written, you can substitute add-ins to your Apple Cranberry Walnut Muffins to suit your likes. This recipe is also delicious when made gluten-free with a flour such as King Arthur Measure For Measure. And you could easily substitute coconut milk for the milk.
Other Muffin Flavor Combos:
- Chocolate Chip and Pecan
- Dried Cherries and Almonds
- Chocolate Chips and Dried Cherries
- Orange zest, Blueberries and Walnuts
- All nuts, no nuts, or just plain muffins with no add-ins at all
Making Apple Cranberry Walnut Muffins
You just might have everything you need to make these muffins in your pantry. Having the ingredients on hand is always a good thing for me because I often decide to make muffins at the last minute, especially if I have a pot of soup on for dinner.
When I make a streusel-topped muffin, I prefer to prepare the streusel first for two reasons. Most importantly, baking powder reacts with the moisture in your batter, so once mixed, the batter will begin to rise. You want to save all that rising power for your baking muffins, not allowing the batter to languish while you’re combining streusel ingredients and therefore losing some oomph.
Secondly, I tend to forget about that darn streusel if I don’t put it together first. So, I try to be a friend to both my feeble brain and my muffins by preparing it at the beginning.
It’s very simple to make, just stir together the dry streusel ingredients in a small bowl then rub in softened butter. Set it aside to sprinkle onto your muffins before baking.
Do you need a mixer? For these, yes.
Mixing these muffins is best done with a mixer, either stand or hand-held, because of the creaming of the butter and sugar. Creaming is the term used for beating fat and sugar together until it’s light and fluffy. It yields a lighter texture in your baked goods.
You can read more about creaming in this post about my Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies.
As in most all baking recipes, first combine your fat and sugar then add eggs and flavoring extract. Stir together your dry ingredients and add in stages. Here we have milk also, so that alternates with the flour when mixing. Lastly, stir in your add-ins.
Depending on the size of your muffin tin, this recipe will yield 12-18 muffins. I prefer to bake mine using paper liners. Not only do the liners make the tin easier to clean, but they allow the muffins to release from it hassle-free. The paper liners also help the muffins to store more easily without breaking apart.
Test your nearly baked muffins with a toothpick to see if it pulls out clean. When testing anything that has a crust, wiggle that toothpick around the hole you’ve inserted it into so you can remove it without the crusty bits cleaning off the pick. You want no gooey batter clinging to the pick.
Life is short; make somebody happy, especially yourself, and bake some muffins.
Apple Walnut Cranberry Muffins
- ¼ cup light brown sugar
- 3 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
- ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- 2 Tablespoons butter, cubed and soft
- ½ cup butter (1 stick), room temperature
- 1¼ cups granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 large eggs
- 1¾ cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- ½ cup milk
- 1½ cups peeled, chopped ¼" apples
- ⅔ cup dried cranberries
- ⅔ cup chopped walnuts
- Preheat oven to 350°. Line a 12 count muffin tin (or more) with paper liners. Alternatively, you can grease the tin well.
- In a small bowl, stir together the dry ingredients for the streusel. Rub in the streusel's butter with a fork or your fingers until it's evenly distributed. Set aside while you mix the muffins.
- Using a mixer, cream the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, approximately 3-4 minutes. Add in the vanilla extract, salt and eggs and mix until well combined.
- In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and cloves. Add to the mixer alternately with the milk until they're just incorporated. Do not overmix or your muffins will be tough.
- All at once, toss in the apples, walnuts and cranberries and fold them in by hand.
- Portion out the batter into the prepared tin, filling the cups 2/3 full. Sprinkle each with streusel topping. Depending on the size of your tin, there may be more than 12.
- Bake 15-20 minutes until a toothpick tests clean. Cool in the tin for 5 minutes, then gently turn the muffins out of the tin.
- Enjoy them warm or at room temperature. Store in an airtight container for several days.
- These muffins can readily be made gluten-free by substituting a gluten-free flour blend such as King Arthur Measure For Measure in equal parts for the all-purpose flour.
- Need dairy free? Coconut milk and Country Crock’s Plant Butter in stick form would work great.