Caridad’s Cranberry Maple Muffins

Thanksgiving is almost here and I’m going to share a family favorite.  No, not plantains or roast pork.  The Pineiro family follows American traditions to the max for American holidays.  Roast turkey, stuffing, cranberry molds, you name it!  I can’t take total credit for the following muffin recipe.  It came from a magazine some time ago, but as anyone who loves to cook knows, you can’t just leave anything alone.  Or at least I can’t, so I’ve amended it over the years, including doubling the recipe because a dozen muffins won’t cut it at my family’s Thanksgiving table.

My sister, Carmen, does the bulk of the Thanksgiving meal since Christmas Eve is my meal to make.  Anyway, these cranberry maple muffins are a favorite and I hope you will try them and love them as well.

This recipe makes about 24 large muffins.

To start, grease and flour the muffin pans or use cupcake cups.  Preheat the oven to 375.


  • 3 cups unbleached all purpose flour
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 pound cranberries
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 stick butter, soft at room temperature
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 4 teaspoons maple syrup

Steps to do in the food processor:

1.  Mix flour, walnuts, salt and baking powder.  With the steel knife, pulse a few times until you have a coarse meal.

2.  Using a medium slicer, slice the cranberries.  If you want to use the steel knife, just pulse small portions at one time until you have a coarse chop.  You want to have big enough pieces to see in the batter.

Steps to finish are done with a mixer (I have a big Kitchen Aid mixer which is large enough to hold all the ingredients).

  • Blend eggs and sugar until you have a smooth mix.  Scrape down sides of bowl.
  • Add soft butter and blend until smooth, about one minute.
  • Keep the mixer going and add the buttermilk and maple syrup.
  • Add flour/nut mixture and blend until smooth, but do not overwork the mixture.
  • Remove bowl from mixer and hand fold in the cranberries.

Fill muffin cups about 2/3 full.  Cook until light brown and toothpick inserted in the middle of cupcake comes out clean.  Cooking time should be about 30 minutes.

These are great warm, whether right out of the oven or reheated.  They keep for quite a few days without getting stale.

Share them with family and friends and may you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving!


P.S. — for those of you who are carb conscious, you can:

  • Substitute Splenda brown sugar according to their substitution instructions
  • Substitute 1/2 of the wheat flour with oat bran flour
  • Substitute 1/2 stick of the butter with Smart Balance (a great butter replacement.  Look for the one with Flax oil for additional anti-oxidant benefits)

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