Overhead shot of three fresh cranberry muffins on a round cooling rack
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5 from 4 votes

Cranberry Pecan Muffins

These cranberry pecan muffins with streusel topping are bursting with fresh cranberries in every bite. They're incredibly tender and will make your kitchen smell amazing.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Breakfast, Brunch
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Cranberry Muffins, Cranberry Pecan Muffins, Fresh Cranberry Muffins
Servings: 12 muffins
Calories: 262.04kcal
Author: Jennifer Farley

Ingredients

For The Streusel Topping

  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon packed light brown sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup raw pecans, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed and at room temperature

For the Cranberry Pecan Muffins

  • 1 cup fresh cranberries
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar, divided
  • 7 3/4 ounces all-purpose flour (1 3/4 cups using Spoon & Level Method)
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange zest
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup toasted or raw pecans, chopped (see notes)
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons half-and-half (or 50% heavy cream + 50% whole milk)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh-squeezed orange juice
  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted

Instructions

  • Place an oven on the center shelf and preheat oven to 375 degrees F; lightly grease a 12-cup standard muffin tin (I used baking spray with flour).
  • Prepare the streusel: in a small bowl, stir together the flour, sugars, salt, and pecans until evenly combined. Use a fork to press in the butter until the mixture is crumbly without any flour patches.
  • Place the cranberries and 2 tablespoons of sugar in a food processor. Pulse a few until very coarsely chopped; think mostly halves or quarters. Some large, barely chopped cranberries are good because they’ll add a nice texture and tartness. If you prefer a more subtle flavor, it won’t hurt the muffins if you chop them more finely. However, you won’t be able to taste as much cranberry flavor.
  • Place the flour and orange zest in a large bowl, pressing the zest into the flour to break up any clumps. Add the remaining sugar, baking powder and salt, whisking to combine. In a separate, medium-sized bowl, whisk together the egg, half-and-half, and orange juice. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry, followed by the melted butter, cranberries and pecans.
  • Divide the batter evenly into the prepared muffin pan, then top evenly with streusel. Bake for 16-20 minutes, until the tops are golden and a toothpick comes out clean from the center. Cool for 5 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack.
  • Muffins will keep in an airtight container or resealable plastic bag at room temperature for up to 3 days, in the refrigerator for 1 week, or in the freezer for up to 3 months (wrap individually before freezing so they don’t stick together).

Notes

I like adding toasted pecans to the filling, because they have a crunchier texture and nuttier flavor. Raw pecans will work fine if you don’t want to take the extra step to toast them. I don’t recommend using toasted pecans in the streusel topping since the nuts might darken too much before the muffins finish baking.
To toast the pecans, you can either:
  1. Place on a baking sheet and roast at 350 degrees F for 5-7 minutes, stirring a couple times, until fragrant and slightly darker.
  2. Heat in a small skillet over medium heat, swirling occasionally and then more frequently near the end, until dark and fragrant, 4-7 minutes. This is faster since there’s no oven to preheat, but you have to watch them carefully and stir frequently once they begin darkening since the heat is more direct.

Nutrition

Calories: 262.04kcal | Carbohydrates: 29.07g | Protein: 3.81g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 6.05g | Cholesterol: 40.51mg | Sodium: 85.39mg | Potassium: 169.96mg | Fiber: 1.72g | Sugar: 11.28g | Vitamin A: 71.88IU | Vitamin C: 2.84mg | Calcium: 57.85mg | Iron: 1.32mg