Cranberry muffins are a classic seasonal recipe that delight every time cranberries appear in grocery stores.  A good cranberry muffin recipe comes together with ingredients you probably already have on hand, and quickly produces a family-favorite breakfast.  This cranberry muffin recipe is made all in one bowl to save dishes.

It is important to follow the directions as written so you get a delicious hearty muffin that is tender and delicious. Over mixing gluten-containing flours, or not mixing the butter and sugar together well enough results in less than optimal results.

Simple Classic Cranberry Muffins

Cranberry muffins are a staple that every beginning baker wants to know how to cook once cranberries hit the stores. I’m currently teaching my young bakers how to make classic recipes. We’re using wheat flour (folic acid free) and reducing the sugar, but still making ‘not weird’ versions of classic recipes.

As my children get older*, I realize that they will be eventually leaving my house. And I’d like them to develop a love for a lower-sugar, real-butter versions of ‘regular’ recipes rather than have their first taste of banana bread be soaked in corn syrup and Crisco, or develop a taste for brownies that are made with rancid oils and waxy chocolate.

This recipe is this mom’s way of saying, “I know you’re not going to always eat how I eat, but here, let me show you how GOOD cranberry muffins made with real cinnamon and butter and loads of tart cranberry flavor tastes.

*My daughter is on keto for medical reasons and she remains on the keto diet. She is happy to help make and share these recipes, even though she cannot eat them right now.

Other recipes in this series:

Classic Cranberry Oat Muffins

Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: comfort food
Keyword: muffins
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 12 muffins
Calories: 197 kcal
Author: Cara

These cranberry muffins are perfect- not too sweet, hearty because they are made with oats, a fantastic way to use the bright cranberries available seasonally, and easy to whip up on a weekend morning.   While I usually post recipes for the GAPS and Keto diets, I do still enjoy baking for friends and family with wheat flour. This is part of a baking series as I show my children how to bake classic recipes from scratch - most of these recipes are adapted from Joy of Cooking.  When adapting recipes, typically  I reduce the sugar and change the directions so that both the wet and dry ingredients are done in the same bowl to save dishes. 

We always use folic-acid-free flour



  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 1/3 cup sugar white or brown; firmly packed if brown
  • 2 tablespoons molasses
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1⅓ cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup oats rolled oats or quick oats
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon optional
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 cup whole milk use half cream for more rich muffins. Alternative milks can be used (almond, coconut, etc)
  • 1 cup fresh cranberries
  • Cooking spray I use MCT oil in a self-spray pump or avocado oil cooking spray
  • 1/4 cup cinnamon-sugar Optional: Add 1 teaspoon cinnamon to 1/4 cup sugar to make crispy topping.


  1. Preheat oven to 425° F. Line 12 muffin cups with parchment paper liners and spray with cooking spray or grease well with butter.

  2. In a stand mixer with a paddle (triangle) attachment, or a mixing bowl with a fork, beat butter until light and fluffy. Scrape sides if needed. Add in sugar, molasses, vanilla, and salt and beat again until light and fluffy.

  3. Add in the egg to the butter mixture and again beat until light and fluffy, using a spatula to scrape the sides and bottom as needed.

  4. Stop the mixer and add flour, oats, cinnamon, and baking powder. Mix slowly until almost combined. Do not over mix or your muffins will be tough.

  5. Add in milk and gently mix. Once the milk is almost all mixed add in cranberries and mix by hand to prevent crushing the cranberries with the mixer attachment.

  6. Evenly distribute batter among muffin cups, filling 3/4 full.

  7. Optional cinnamon-sugar topping: After filling muffin cups, sprinkle the top with 1 pinch (or about 1/8 teaspoon) cinnamon-sugar mixture. As this bakes it will form a crispy flakey topping.

  8. Bake for 18-22 minutes or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.

    Allow muffins to cool slightly before transferring to a cooling rack to cool the rest of the way.

Recipe Notes

Muffins are best enjoyed within hours of baking, but nobody at my house complains about eating leftovers!

Nutrition Facts
Classic Cranberry Oat Muffins
Amount Per Serving (1 muffin)
Calories 197 Calories from Fat 63
% Daily Value*
Fat 7g11%
Saturated Fat 4g20%
Cholesterol 31mg10%
Sodium 164mg7%
Potassium 228mg7%
Carbohydrates 30g10%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 14g16%
Protein 4g8%
Vitamin A 233IU5%
Vitamin C 1mg1%
Calcium 84mg8%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Can’t have wheat?

You’ll love these other recipes using cranberries!

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