Last updated on May 11th, 2018.
Switch up your breakfast with these Cranberry Date Walnut Muffins. These healthier muffins made from 100% whole wheat are a great way to start your day.
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For Thanksgiving this year my mom made an awesome upside down cranberry-date-pecan coffee cake. Ever since then I’ve been craving that cranberry + dried dates combination. I figured it’s not a good idea for me to bake a cake this time of year – I have been eating SO much dessert lately, I think I’m going to turn into a cupcake soon.
So instead of a cake (which we would devour without paying any attention to portion control), I made some Cranberry Date Walnut Muffins.
I just love the Cranberry & Date flavor combination – tart fresh (or frozen) cranberries go so well with ultra-sweet dried dates. It’s a burst of fresh flavor with every bite. And the walnuts add a little crunchy texture to these muffins. I know not everyone loves nuts in their baked goods, but I just can’t get enough of them. I love how nutty and toasted walnuts get when you bake them into a muffin or a quick bread.
And believe it or not – these muffins are made out of whole wheat flour! My secret is using white whole wheat flour in my baking. It doesn’t make baked goods as heavy or dense as regular whole wheat flour. That’s the reason I love using it, and I can feel good about eating whole grains as my dessert. 🙂
I made these Cranberry Date Walnut muffins a little on the small side on purpose, so that we don’t stuff ourselves with a large muffin if we want a snack in the evening. These muffins were perfect for me because they were not too sweet. They had almost a bread-like texture, and they were perfect with coffee – each bite deliciously melting in your mouth.
The batter for these muffins would also work as a quick bread: just pour it into a bread loaf pan and bake at 350 for at least 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Slice the bread, slather with salted butter, and serve for breakfast or as a snack.
Cranberry Date Walnut Muffins
- 1 cup cranberries fresh or frozen
- 1 cup dates pits removed and toughly chopped
- 1 cup low fat milk (whole milk is OK too)
- 1 tablespoon vinegar
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup brown sugar (or turbinado sugar)
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened apple sauce (or substitute with vegetable oil if you don't have apple sauce)
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1.5 cups white whole wheat flour (or regular whole wheat flour)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 tablespoons chopped walnuts
- Preheat oven to 350F. Line a muffin pan with paper inserts, or spray it with non-stick spray.
- In a large bowl, combine the milk and the vinegar (it will curdle a bit - this is fine!). Add the egg, sugar, apple sauce and vegetable oil and whisk together until everything is well mixed.
- Add the fresh (or frozen - no need to thaw) cranberries and chopped dates.
- In another large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and baking soda.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, and mix until almost combined. Add the walnuts and mix until combined. Do not overmix, or the muffins will be too dense.
- Add a scant 1/4 cup of batter to each muffin cup. The easiest way to do this is to use a squeeze-release ice cream scoop. If you don't have one, spray a 1/4 cup measurer with non-stick spray so that the batter doesn't stick to the cup. Make sure you distribute the cranberries evenly - my last muffin ended up without a cranberry. 🙁
- Bake at 350F for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
[Recipe adapted from menshealth.com]