These cranberry-orange muffins are one of my seasonal favorites. In fact, I am so eager to have one – I made a batch this morning (okay, so sometimes I’m a little impatient…) I told myself it was a “practice run” for when the weather actually does cool down in a few weeks. After having one for breakfast, I know that I will be making these quite often again this fall – after all, nothing goes better with a good cup of coffee on a chilly fall morning than a delicious satisfying muffin!
Low Fat Cranberry-Orange Muffins
- muffin tins
- 1 large bowl
- 1 separate bowl
- 1 cup skim milk
- ¼ cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1½ cups whole wheat pastry flour
- ½ cup all purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon grated orange peel
- 2 egg whites
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup fresh (or frozen) cranberries, coarsely chopped
- Additional sugar (raw/coarse grain) for sprinkling on top (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and generously spray a 6 cup jumbo (or 12 cup standard) muffin tin with cooking spray.
- Beat the milk, applesauce, orange peel and egg whites in a large bowl with a rubber spatula or spoon.
- In a separate bowl, stir together flours, sugar, baking powder and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the wet, mixing until just moistened (batter will be slightly lumpy); fold in the cranberries.
- Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups, and if desired sprinkle the top of each muffin with a small amount of additional sugar (raw works best for this).
- Bake for 20 to 25 minutes (or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean. Allow to cool for at least 5 – 10 minutes before removing from the pan.
Baking the perfect batch of Low Fat Cranberry-Orange Muffins requires a little know-how and some helpful tricks. By following these cooking tips, you’ll ensure that your muffins turn out moist, flavorful, and absolutely delicious. Additionally, we’ll explore common mistakes to avoid, so you can achieve bakery-worthy results every time.
- The Power of Zest: To infuse the muffins with a burst of citrusy flavor, don’t skimp on the orange zest. Use a microplane grater or a fine grater to zest the oranges, making sure to only grate the outer colored part of the peel. Avoid grating the white pith beneath, as it can add bitterness to the muffins.
- Gentle Folding: When incorporating the dry ingredients into the wet mixture, be gentle and avoid overmixing. Overmixing can lead to dense and tough muffins. Use a spatula to gently fold the dry ingredients into the wet until just combined. A few lumps in the batter are perfectly fine and will result in a tender crumb.
- Perfectly Moist Muffins: To ensure moist muffins, use low-fat yogurt or applesauce in the batter. These ingredients add moisture while reducing the need for excess oil or butter. The yogurt also adds a subtle tanginess that complements the cranberries and orange beautifully.
- Proper Cranberry Distribution: To ensure an even distribution of cranberries throughout the muffins, toss them in a little flour before adding them to the batter. This will prevent the cranberries from sinking to the bottom during baking, ensuring that each bite is filled with tart cranberry goodness.
- Cool Before Removing: Allow the muffins to cool in the pan for about 5-10 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack. This allows them to set and prevents them from sticking to the pan. Once cooled completely, enjoy them fresh or store them in an airtight container.
These Low Fat Cranberry-Orange Muffins are not only delicious on their own, but they also lend themselves beautifully to various serving options. Whether you’re hosting a brunch, enjoying a leisurely breakfast, or looking for a delightful treat to accompany your afternoon tea, these muffins are versatile and sure to impress. Here are some suggestions to make your serving experience even more delightful.
- Brunch Delight: These muffins are a perfect addition to a brunch spread. Serve them alongside a colorful fruit salad bursting with seasonal fruits like berries, grapes, and sliced melons. For a touch of indulgence, offer flavored butters such as honey butter or cinnamon butter. Pair them with freshly brewed coffee, herbal teas, or a glass of sparkling apple cider for a delightful morning affair.
- Afternoon Tea Treat: Invite your friends over for a cozy afternoon tea, and present Low Fat Cranberry-Orange Muffins on a tiered serving stand. Accompany them with clotted cream, lemon curd, or a dollop of Greek yogurt for a touch of creaminess. Enhance the experience with a selection of fine teas such as Earl Grey, chamomile, or a fruity herbal blend. The combination of the tangy muffins and aromatic tea will create a memorable tea time experience.
- Family Breakfast: Start your day off right by serving these muffins for a family breakfast. Warm them up in the oven and arrange them on a platter. Offer a range of toppings such as almond butter, peanut butter, or a drizzle of pure maple syrup. Serve with a side of scrambled eggs, crispy bacon, or fresh avocado slices. The balanced flavors will keep everyone satisfied and energized for the day ahead.
- Picnic Treat: Pack a basket with Low Fat Cranberry-Orange Muffins for a delightful outdoor picnic. They are portable and easy to enjoy on the go. Pair them with a selection of sliced cheeses, cured meats, and a variety of fresh berries. Don’t forget to bring along a chilled bottle of sparkling water or lemonade to quench your thirst. The combination of flavors and the beautiful outdoor setting will make for a memorable picnic experience.
- Dessert Delicacy: Transform these muffins into a delightful dessert by serving them with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream. Drizzle them with a homemade cranberry-orange sauce for an extra burst of flavor. Add a sprinkle of chopped pistachios or grated dark chocolate for added texture and visual appeal. This dessert variation is perfect for a special occasion or a sweet ending to any meal.
FAQs about Low Fat Cranberry-Orange Muffins
As a food blogger and experienced chef, I often receive questions about the preparation, storage, and variations of Low Fat Cranberry-Orange Muffins. Here are the answers to somefrequently asked questions to help you navigate the world of these delightful muffins.
Can I use frozen cranberries instead of fresh ones?
Absolutely! Frozen cranberries work just as well in this recipe. However, it’s important to not thaw them before using. Simply toss the frozen cranberries in a little flour to prevent them from clumping together and fold them into the batter as directed.
How should I store any leftover Low Fat Cranberry-Orange Muffins?
If you have any leftover muffins, store them in an airtight container at room temperature for up to five days. For longer storage, place them in the refrigerator, where they will stay fresh for up to one week. To enjoy them at their best, reheat them in the oven or microwave before serving.
Can I freeze the muffins for later use?
Absolutely! These muffins freeze exceptionally well. Once completely cooled, place them in a zip-top bag or an airtight container and freeze for up to three months. Thaw them overnight in the refrigerator or at room temperature, and warm them in the oven before serving.
Can I add other mix-ins to the muffins?
Certainly! While this recipe focuses on the delightful combination of cranberries and orange, feel free to get creative with additional mix-ins. Chopped nuts such as walnuts or pecans can add a delightful crunch, while a handful of white chocolate chips can offer a touch of sweetness. Just be mindful not to overload the batter, as it may affect the texture and rise of the muffins.
Looking for a versatile and healthy treat? Our Low Fat Cranberry-Orange Muffins are just what you need. Dive into our cooking tips to master the art of baking these delightful muffins, and explore serving suggestions that cater to different occasions and audiences. Plus, get answers to frequently asked questions, including storage tips. Share the recipe with your friends and don’t forget to subscribe for more mouthwatering recipes.