Home ยป Best Ever Pumpkin Cranberry Muffins

Best Ever Pumpkin Cranberry Muffins

This week is finals week. My students and I are both this off-shade…this shade of stress. And sleep deprivation. After I kicked my own butt with a 5K Monday morning before work and a 60-minute spin class after work, I spent all of yesterday teaching and creating a final exam. No workout. No fun.

Over the weekend, I spent Sunday morning baking these muffins…for my students. Because I love them — their instructor evaluations were completed weeks ago. 😉 I had a hunch that by this week, they would be wound up with stress and test anxiety. Correct.

I know these were good because many of my students went back for seconds (I’m glad I doubled the recipe!). I was fueling their minds with fiber, antioxidant-packed cranberries, and potassium-rich pumpkin. It must have helped because their presentations were really, really good.

These were moist and rich…because of the oil, I think. While these aren’t vegan, they have that same texture that I love most about vegan baked goods.

So grab those still in-season (and cheaper post-Thanksgiving) cranberries, freeze a bag or two (just ’cause), and then make these muffins. With all the sweets this time of year, it’s nice to offer up a baked good with at least some nutritional value.

If your friends and loved ones are anything like my students, they’ll be super curious about those peptias on top. They add a fun pop of color, some additional heart-healthy fat, and a unique crunch. Of course nuts would also do the trick.

And not only were they gobbled up, but the recipe was requested. I emailed it out and one student shot over an email last night saying how much her kids enjoyed the recipe, too. She wasted no time in spoiled her family with these! Obviously, it’s a keeper.


Best Ever Pumpkin Cranberry Muffins adapted from American Club, in Kohler, Wisconsin via Gourmet Magazine via Smitten Kitchen, as seen on Yummy Mummy

1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 cup canned solid-pack pumpkin
1/3 cup canola
2 large eggs
1 tsp pumpkin-pie spice
1 cup + 1 Tbsp raw turbinado sugar
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup fresh cranberries
2 Tbsp unsalted pepitas (pumpkin seeds)


Preheat oven to 350 F. Put liners in muffin cups.

Whisk together flour and baking powder. Set aside.

Whisk together pumpkin, oil, eggs, pumpkin pie spice, 1 cup sugar, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl until smooth, then whisk in flour mixture until just combined. Fold in cranberries.

Divide batter among muffin cups (each should be about three-fourths full), then sprinkle tops with remaining tablespoon of sugar and pepitas. Bake until puffed and golden brown and wooden pick or skewer inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes.

Cool in pan on a rack five minutes, then transfer muffins from pan to rack and cool to warm or room temperature. Yield: 12 muffins.

Nutrition Information (per muffin): 200 calories; 7.9 g. fat; 36 mg. cholesterol; 206 mg. sodium; 30.7 g. carbohydrate; 2.7 g. fiber; 1.7 g. protein

Result: Sweet, tart, and moist. These are truly *perfect* muffins. Enjoy!



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  1. Amy B @ Second City Randomness
    December 7, 2011 / 7:03 am

    Sorry about the stressful week! But hey- finals week means you’re THAT much closer to enjoying a little holiday break. ๐Ÿ™‚ Good luck to you and your students!

  2. Gina (The Candid RD)
    December 7, 2011 / 7:11 am

    You just reminded me tha tI have some pumpkin seeds left over in the cabinet…and I made pumpkin cookies last night and should have added them in! Darn it.
    These muffins sound wonderful, and I bet your students were thrilled. I would LOVE to take one day of your class, seriously, sometimes I miss being in school (I know, I’m such a nerd).

  3. Anna @ On Anna's Plate
    December 7, 2011 / 9:11 am

    Good luck finishing up finals week!!! I turned my grades in yesterday– what a relief!! You’re almost there too!!

  4. Anne Marie@New Weigh of Life
    December 7, 2011 / 10:04 am

    Good luck with finals!!

  5. Faith
    December 7, 2011 / 10:58 am

    You are pretty much the sweetest instructor ever…lucky, lucky students! Your name for these muffins is very appropriate — they do look like the best ever!

  6. Kristen @ swanky dietitian
    December 7, 2011 / 11:18 am

    You are too cute! I would have loved to have you as an instructor when I was in school
    these muffins look seriously delicious!!!

  7. Leah @ Why Deprive?
    December 7, 2011 / 6:22 pm

    Ummm . . . I would LOVE to have a teacher feed me these. They look amazing!

  8. Roz@weightingfor50
    December 7, 2011 / 8:49 pm

    Hang in there Nicole!!! This week will be behind you in no time! Thanks sooooo much for this recipe, it looks amazing and has been bookmarked into my “cranberry” folder! BTW…I have just enrolled in your class….can I have a muffin???? Take care!!!

  9. Melinda
    December 8, 2011 / 5:02 am

    That is awesome that you made these for your students, and even better that they responded so well. I used to bring food in for finals, but I was bad and never made it myself. I’ll have to make sure to do that in the future, assuming I teach face to face again one day.

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  12. Julie wolski
    October 21, 2018 / 8:20 pm

    These were the bomb! They tasted just like collectivo coffee shops bakery made by troubadour

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