Cranberry and White Chocolate Muffins are our favorite homemade festive baking recipe to serve during the holidays at Christmas.
You can prepare quick and easy Cranberry and White Chocolate Muffins recipe at home in less than an hour.
These sweet muffins can be enjoyed at Christmas brunch slathered in ricotta cheese or mascarpone. They also make for a yummy snack to serve during the holidays at a coffee break or tea time. If you’re hosting a Christmas or New Years party serve these white and red festive muffins as part of your dessert table spread.
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What Is White Chocolate?
White chocolate is a chocolate confection, pale ivory in color, made from cocoa butter, sugar, milk solids and sometimes vanilla.
White chocolate does not contain cocoa solids, which are found in other types of chocolate, such as milk chocolate and dark chocolate.
OurCranberry and White Chocolate Muffins recipe feature white chocolate chips but you could also use white chocolate chunks or purchase a white chocolate bar, chop it up and mix it into the batter.
What Are Cranberries?
Cranberries are a group of evergreen dwarf shrubs or trailing vines. They are typically cultivated in central and northern Europe as well as the northern United States, Canada and Chile.
In 2017, the United States, Canada, and Chile accounted for 98% of the world production of cranberries. Most cranberries are processed into products such as juice, sauce, jam, and sweetened dried cranberries, with the remainder sold fresh to consumers.
Cranberry sauce is a traditional accompaniment to turkey at Christmas and Thanksgiving dinners in the United States and Canada, and at Christmas dinner in the United Kingdom.
Since bright red cranberries are associated with holiday recipes they pair perfectly with white chocolate in the ultimate Christmas muffin!
History of Muffins
A muffin is an individual-sized, baked product most commonly associated with morning mealtime. It’s one of the most popular on-the-go breakfasts that can easily be made ahead and stored in the freezer to enjoy later.
Muffins can refer to two distinct baked goods, a part-raised unsweetened flatbread that is baked and then cooked on a griddle, and a cupcake-like sweet or savoury quickbread that is leavened with baking powder and baked in a mold.
While the most common quickbread muffins are sweetened (such as lemon blueberry muffins, mincemeat muffins and morning glory muffins), there are also savoury varieties such as jalapeno cheddar cornbread muffins and cheddar apple muffins.
One 19th century source suggests that muffins may be related to the Greek bread maphula, a cake baked on a hearth or griddle. Culinary historians also look to the Old French mou-pain, meaning soft bread, which may have been corrupted into “mouffin.”
The word is first found in print in 1703, spelled moofin; it is of uncertain origin but possibly derived from the Low German Muffen, the plural of Muffe meaning a small cake. The expression muffin-man, meaning a street seller of muffins, is attested in a 1754 poem, which includes the line: “Hark! the shrill Muffin-Man his Carol plies…”
One of Canada’s top selling cookbooks of the 1980s was Muffin Mania, which helped popularize muffin making from Newfoundland to British Columbia. Homemade muffins were originally prepared as a healthy breakfast option, high-fibre mid-afternoon snack or low calorie dessert.
In 1997, muffins were popularized once again in Seinfeld’s now famous “The Muffin Tops,” episode. Like many muffin lovers, Elaine shared her love for only eating muffin tops. She hilariously talks about the fact that muffin stumps are not worthy of consumption as they don’t have the desirable crunchy texture. She shares the idea of opening a store that sells just muffin tops with her ex-boss and is outraged when he steals her idea.
When he offers her 30% of the profits to help his struggling business, they initially give the unused stumps to a homeless shelter. But after they get complaints about the missing muffin tops by a charity worker, they have to get rid of them elsewhere. Newman eventually takes the muffin stumps off their hands, smiling with glee!
Best Muffin Tools & Equipment
Before making a batch of Cranberry and White Chocolate Muffins make sure your kitchen is outfitted with essential bakers tools.
- Mixing Bowl Set: It’s important to have a set of durable mixing bowls. We love stainless steel mixing bowls with a good grip. When making muffins you’ll typically need a large mixing bowl to sift your dry ingredients into, and a medium or small mixing bowl to beat your wet ingredients.
- Measuring Cups: Ensure you have a set of measuring cups with a flat top rather than a spout, so you can easily use a knife to level off your dry ingredients like flour and sugar.
- Measuring Spoons: We love these durable stainless steel measuring spoons that will help you accurately measure spices, baking soda and baking powder.
- Whisk: This stainless steel whisk has a great grip and is helpful when beating eggs into other wet ingredients.
- Sieve: It’s essential to have this tool in your kitchen so you can ensure all your dry ingredients are separated and don’t clump in the wet batter.
- Bakers Scale: Use this digital scale to weigh flour and other ingredients that require a weight measurement.
- Spatula: We love this rubber spatula as it also acts as a spoon so you can easily drop batter into each greased muffin cup.
- Muffin Tins: We only use silicone muffin tins as they allow you to easily remove baked muffins from the tin with minimal baking spray required.
- Baking Spray: Ensure your cupboards are stocked with baking spray so your muffins don’t get stubborn and refuse to slide out of the pan.
- Cooling Rack: A sturdy cooling rack is a must to ensure your muffins cool without falling apart or getting soggy. They need breathing space to let out the steam before storing.
- Storage Containers: We love doubling our muffin recipes so we have leftovers to store in the fridge or freezer to enjoy later.
My Family Loves Cranberry and White Chocolate Muffins
One of my fondest memories growing up as a kid was waking up in the morning at our family cottage in Muskoka and smelling freshly baked muffins.
We bake muffins year round and particularly enjoy baking during the holiday season in December.Cranberry White Chocolate Muffins are the perfect recipe for a Christmas dessert table as they feature festive white and red colours.
The sweetness of white chocolate pairs nicely with tart cranberries. We use a mixture of chewy dried cranberries in the muffin batter and fresh or frozen cranberries on the top of each muffin for decoration.
We suggest serving the recipe at a Christmas brunch or breakfast slathered in ricotta cheese or mascarpone. They also make for a yummy snack to serve during the holidays at a coffee break or high tea. If you’re hosting a Christmas or New Years party serve these white and red festive muffins as part of your dessert table spread.
Cranberry and White Chocolate Muffins Health Benefits
Our homemade Cranberry and White Chocolate Muffins are packed full of healthy ingredients!
Containing starch and fibre, bananas are an excellent superfood for digestive health. They are a good source of heart-healthy potassium, as well as amino acids and vitamin B6, which help keep your brain healthy.
Consuming dairy products (such as milk and cheese) provides health benefits — especially improved bone health. Dairy foods provide nutrients that are vital for health and maintenance of your body. These nutrients include calcium, potassium, vitamin D, and protein.
Eggs contain two vital nutrients that are not present in many foods: iodine and vitamin D. Eggs are also rich in tissue-building protein and vitamin B12, which helps your body manufacture blood cells.
Rich in energy-boosting manganese, cinnamon is also antibacterial and may protect your brain against Alzheimer’s disease.
Whole wheat flour is rich in vitamins B-1, B-3, and B-5, along with riboflavin and folate. It also has more iron, calcium, protein, and other nutrients than white flour.
Many people consider cranberries to be a superfood due to their high nutrient and antioxidant content. In fact, research has linked the nutrients in cranberries to a lower risk of urinary tract infection, the prevention of certain types of cancer, improved immune function, and decreased blood pressure.
Buying VS Making Homemade Muffins
Today, muffins are often sold at grocery stores, McDonald’s cafes and coffee shops like Starbucks and Tim Horton’s. Unfortunately most commercially prepared muffins are simply cupcakes without the icing.
Read the ingredients list and you’ll find store bought muffins are full of sugar, fat and “flavourings” rather than real fresh fruit, vegetables and herbs. The excessive sugar, salt, fat and additives in commercial muffin recipes allow the grocery stores and coffee shops to extend the shelf life so they don’t go stale as quickly as a homemade muffin would.
The best way to enjoy healthy muffins is by preparing them at home, allowing you to control the proportion of ingredients. We suggest eating muffins fresh the day they are prepared. If you have any leftovers muffins pack 3-4 in a ziplock bag in your fridge and simply warm them up the next day in the oven. You can use a microwave to reheat muffins but they won’t produce the desired crunchy texture.
Any remaining Cranberry and White Chocolate Muffins should be stored in the freezer and can keep for 2-3 months. We like to double our muffin recipes when we prepare them so we have a storage of yummy muffins in the freezer that we can easily enjoy several weeks later.
Best Cranberry and White Chocolate Muffins Recipe
There’s no better Christmas dessert than a moist Cranberry White Chocolate Chip Muffin enjoyed straight out of the oven. Homemade muffins can be easily stored in the freezer to extend their shelf life and are a great on-the-go breakfast snack.
So what qualities make the best muffins? The perfect muffin must be crunchy on the outside, well leavened so the muffin cap holds its shape and doesn’t shrink when cooled and feature a moist and light interior.
Looking to prepare an easy Cranberry and White Chocolate Muffins recipe? Baking is a science so you can’t just lower a muffin recipes fat and sugar content or you will bite into a chewy, hard and unappetizing product.
You May Also Enjoy These Festive Holiday Baking Recipes…
- Festive Fresh Fig Frangipane Pistachio Tartlets
- Caribbean Coconut Rum Banana Bread Bundt Cake
- Oatmeal Cranberry Cookies
- Gevulde Speculaas Dutch Cherry Almond Spice Cookies
- Ginger Spiced Banana Pear Muffins
- Kardemummabullar Swedish Cardamom Buns
- Banana Pumpkin Muffins Recipe
- Sweet Potato Muffin Recipe
- Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Muffins
- Old Fashioned Jam Donut Muffins
- Fresh Fig Muffins Recipe
- Apple Fritter Muffins Recipe
- Sticky Toffee Banana and Date Muffins
- Dark Chocolate Lindt Lindor Cookies
- Maraschino Cherry Cupcakes
- Cinnamon Babka For Chocolate Lovers
- Festive Christmas Mincemeat Muffins with Hazelnuts
- Tuscan Black Forest Brownie Zuccotto Cake
- Cranberry Rhubarb Meringue Pie
Cranberry and White Chocolate Muffins Recipe Tips
If you’re looking to prepare muffins on a whim and are missing a few ingredients at home don’t worry!
We alway have bananas in our kitchen as we love to use them in baking and smoothie making. You should only use ripe bananas in this recipe as the starch breaks down into sugars, producing a sweet and soft fruit.
If you have unripe green bananas put them in a paper bag to help speed up the ripening time. We store a bag of brown spotted ripe bananas in the freezer so you can easily thaw and incorporate into this recipe from frozen.
We’ve used store bought buttermilk but if you like to have fun with DIY kitchen projects you can make your own homemade buttermilk.
The one tip I give all muffin making beginners is to avoid over-mixing the batter. Light and fluffy muffins are made by reducing the amount of gluten in the batter. If you whip muffin batter with a beater the final product will be as hard as a hockey puck.
For best results, form a well in the dry ingredients and pour your wet ingredients inside. Using a spatula or wooden spoon, gently fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. The finished batter should be fully incorporated, so be sure to scrape the bottom of the bowl so you don’t find unmixed flour.
The most important rule to muffin making: when mixing, less is more!
Cranberry and White Chocolate Muffins Video
How To Make Festive Cranberry and White Chocolate Muffins
Cranberry and White Chocolate Muffins
- measuring cups
- measuring spoons
- mixing bowl
- Spatula or Wooden Spoon
- muffin tin
- 2 cups Ripe Mashed Banana
- 3/4 cup Buttermilk
- 1/3 cup Canola Oil
- 1 Egg
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 1 3/4 cup All Purpose Flour
- 3/4 cup White Sugar
- 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
- 1 tsp Baking Soda
- 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
- 1/4 tsp Kosher Salt
- 3/4 cup Dried Cranberries
- 3/4 cup White Chocolate Chips
- 1/4 cup Fresh or Frozen Cranberries
- Preheat oven to 350 F and prepare muffin cups by greasing with cooking spray.
- In a blender blitz the bananas, buttermilk, canola oil, egg and vanilla until smooth. Set aside.
- In a large bowl sift together the flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Whisk until combined.
- Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and pour in the wet ingredients. With a wooden spoon gently fold the mixture until just combined. Do not overmix. Add the cranberries and 1/2 cup white chocolate and fold to mix.
- Divide the batter into the prepared muffin cups. Top each muffin with fresh or frozen cranberries and remaining white chocolate chips.
- Bake for 18-20 minutes. Cool in pan for 5 minutes then rest on cooling racks.
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