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MUFFINS – FEBRUARY 11, 2024
Gluten-Free Pumpkin Cranberry Muffins
These little pumpkin cranberry muffins bring together the cozy essence of pumpkin, the tangy burst of cranberries, and the warmth of seasonal spices, all while being kind to your dairy and gluten-free preferences. This small batch can easily be doubled for more muffins.Jump to Recipe
Let’s start by admitting this: I am heavily delayed with the posting of this recipe. This recipe was meant to be for December! However, here I am, posting near Valentine’s Day. Hopefully, if you are reading this recipe, you are here looking for a delicious way to use up any leftover pumpkin puree, or frozen cranberries, or it is fall again!
Why you will love them?
For starters, these are some of my first gluten-free muffins, and I genuinely enjoyed them! These muffins feel like a cozy hug in the middle of autumn (or winter!). Especially since they are soft, bouncy, and refreshing with that hint of cranberries in between bites.
Even though this recipe does have egg, it doesn’t have dairy and it is gluten-free, which checks the box for some allergy-friendly recipes. So let me tell you, the lack of these ingredients does not compromise on flavor at all. You will easily find yourself having more than one at a time.
The third reason you’ll love this is that they are very easy to make. Because they come together in a heartbeat, with no need for mixers or special tools. Besides, you can use a muffin pan, a mini bundt cake pan, or like in my case, a mini tea cake pan.
Ingredients to make Gluten Free Pumpkin Cranberry Muffins:
Here’s what you’ll need to create these cute little pumpkin cranberry muffins.
For the mini cake/ muffins:
- Gluten-free flour: A blend of gluten-free flour, such as rice flour, almond flour, and tapioca flour, mimics the texture and structure of traditional wheat flour. It ensures a moist, tender crumb and a cake that holds together beautifully. This is the one I use. Alternatively, you sub for regular flour for a gluten-filled version.
- Baking soda: your leavening agent is responsible for the rise and bounciness of the muffin.
- Pumpkin pie spice: Add all the warm spices to highlight the pumpkin flavor.
- Salt: balances and highlights flavors.
- Egg: ensures the ingredients bind together. Otherwise, it will be too crumbly without any binding agent.
- Sugar: sweetens the batter without adding too much moisture.
- Canned pumpkin: provides flavor, and moisture and binds the ingredients together.
- Vegetable or canola oil: keeps the muffins moist.
- Fresh or frozen cranberries: add a delicious sharp, sour, and refreshing taste.
For the maple icing:
- Maple syrup: adds taste and makes the icing liquidy. You can substitute it with milk or plant-based milk.
- Powdered sugar: the main ingredient for the glaze. Along with the maple syrup, it sets into a beautiful matte glaze.
Tips for making the best Gluten Free Pumpkin Cranberry Muffins:
- Flour selection matters: When choosing gluten-free flours, opt for a high-quality blend specifically formulated for baking. Generally, these blends usually contain a mix of various flours and starches, ensuring a better texture and flavor in your final product. Some of them include xantham gum which is even better at helping the ingredients bind together. My favorite is this one.
- Mix lightly: Don’t stir too much, since we want those muffins light and fluffy.
- Check the consistency of the glaze before pouring: You want the glaze to be a drip-able consistency. For example, if it is too runny, it will become almost see-through and completely run off your loaf. On the contrary, if it is too thick, it won’t drip naturally. Adjust accordingly adding more or less powdered sugar or lemon juice.
- Let your glaze set after pouring it: once the muffins have cooled, pour the glaze over and wait until it sets before indulging so that it stays in place. Also, you can dig in before– who’s stopping you from getting sticky fingers?
- Be mindful of the pan type you use: If using a mini tea cake pan like this one, you may need to fill them less than you would a regular muffin pan or a mini bundt cake pan. As a rule of thumb, cake batters should occupy 2/3 to 3/4 of the volume of your cake mold or cavity.
If you like this recipe, check out my other Gluten-free recipes here.
Gluten-Free Pumpkin Cranberry Muffins
For the mini cake/ muffins:
- 1 1/8 cups gluten-free all-purpose flour 130 grams – can use regular flour for a gluten-filled version.
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 egg
- 3/4 cups sugar 150 grams
- 1/2 cup canned pumpkin 113 grams
- 1/4 cup vegetable or canola oil 60 ml or 2 oz
- 1/2 cup fresh or frozen cranberries about 60 grams
For the maple icing (optional):
- 3 tablespoons maple syrup – can sub with milk or plant-based milk – 45 ml
- ¾ cup powdered sugar more or less 98 grams
- Preheat oven to 350F. Line a muffin pan with cupcake liners, or grease a mini bundt cake pan and set aside.
- In a bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice and salt.
- In a separate bowl, mix the eggs and the sugar. Add the pumpkin puree and oil and mix until well combined.
- Stir wet ingredients into dry ingredients just until combined. Do not overmix. Fold in the cranberries until distributed.
- Use a large cookie scoop or a 1/4 cup measuring cup to split the batter evenly into the prepared cupcake tins or tea cake pan. See notes about using different pans. They should be about ⅔ to ¾ full. Bake for 18-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean and the cakes spring back slightly when pressed.
- Remove the oven and transfer to a cooling rack. Let the muffins/ bundt cakes cool completely and serve.
- While the muffins cool, prepare the maple icing. Combine all ingredients for the maple icing in a medium bowl and whisk together. Adjust the consistency by adding more maple for a runnier glaze, or more powdered sugar for a thicker consistency. The ideal consistency should be thick but it still flows out of the spoon. Pour glaze over the top of the loaf after it has cooled.
- Store in an airtight container for up to 2 days or in the fridge for up to 5 days.