Well that title was a mouthful. Of yum! These cranberry orange poppy seed muffins are what dreams are made of. I was looking for an excuse to use this jar of poppy seeds I bought on a whim. I can't deny a good muffin. Especially ones that have big old muffin tops with a slightly firm top.
It all starts with a way too good mixture of orange zest and fresh cranberries. You don't have to pre-cook these you just cut them in half and throw them in. I left some of the cranberries whole.
Plus it has poppy seeds and poppy seeds plus vanilla extract is just like...mmmm, totally yummy.
Every time I think of poppy seeds I always think of The Wizard Of Oz during the sleepy poppy scene...
Anyone else? Poppies! Poppies! Yikes.
Not only are the muffins packed with fresh orange zest they also have fresh orange juice for an extra oomph of flavor. I brought some to a few of my neighbors for the ultimate taste test and I'm happy to say they passed with flying colors.
Do you ever bring goodies to your neighbors? I'm lucky enough to be best friends with a lot of mine.
You know who you are. I won't name names.
Or will I?
But anytime I bake anything I try to bring some to friends. Who doesn't love to get a little treat? If anyone wants to bring me treats I like everything.
Insightful, I know. Thank you in advance treat gifters.
I think my favorite thing about these muffins is the light and airy texture but also the big pops of cranberry. It's the perfect muffin to berry ratio, so each bite you get some cranberry, mixed with the orange zest and then the poppy seeds.
It's majestic. Muffin majestic-ness.
Want to know a muffin secret? If you start the baking time higher, cook them for a bit then lower the temperature you'll get big muffin tops!
The super hot heat makes them rise rapidly. Just don't forget to lower the temperature.
Another tip for big muffin tops is to fill your liner up so it's full, none of this 2/3 full business. ALL THE WAY full baby.
I also like to use a good amount of baking powder.
And if you want to have extra festive muffins you can sprinkle some sparkling sugar on top! A little fancy.
This is different than regular white sugar, Wilton makes this and you can find it at a local craft store or online, I got mine at Michaels Crafts. It was $5 for a container of it and it's lasted me way too many years than I'd like to admit. Technically it's in the sprinkles section.
These are by far my most favorite Christmas muffins to make. For a brunch or to snack on, you really can't go wrong.
I should add, now that were at the bottom of this post that if you are looking for a really good nonstick muffin liner I like to use paper chef (not sponsored I just like them) liners, because as you can tell in the photos they don't stick.
3/4 c buttermilk
1/2 c butter, melted
1/2 orange, juiced and zested (about 2 tbsp of juice)
1 tsp vanilla
2 c flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
3/4 c sugar
2 tsp poppy seeds
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 c fresh cranberries, rough chopped in half
sparkling sugar (optional)
Preheat oven to 425.
Grab two bowls. In one bowl stir together the melted butter, eggs, buttermilk, orange juice, orange zest and vanilla extract. In the other bowl stir together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, sugar, poppy seeds. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry, along with the chopped cranberries, fold the wet and dry ingredients just until combined, it's okay if it's a little lumpy! Let this sit for 5 minutes.
Line a muffin tin with liners. Use a cookie scoop to fill each muffin liner, so that you get an even amount of batter in each and the muffins cook evenly.
Place the muffins in the oven for 5 minutes at 425. Turn the heat down to 375 and cook an additional 15 minutes. The muffins will be golden on top. Pull them from the oven and almost immediately transfer to a wire rack so they don't continue to cook.
Turn the oven back up to 425. Continue the same process until all the muffins have cooked!
*Let the muffins cool COMPLETELY before peeling a wrapper off if you aren't using paper chef wrappers. This will help to ensure the muffins don't stick to the wrapper.
Products I used for this recipe:
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