Pumpkin Cranberry Muffins

What’s Halloween week without another pumpkin recipe?

Got extra pumpkin puree? Craving something a little sweeter than Pumpkin Scones? Want to pretend that your pumpkin cupcake sans frosting is actually a breakfast food? Enter the pumpkin muffin!

This is a stupid easy muffin recipe, as most muffin recipes tend to be, and makes reasonable-sized muffins (i.e., ones you can eat in a sitting and not feel like you’ve eaten a whole cake). It’s also a great way to use a good deal of pumpkin puree, rather than half a can (if you’re going the canned route – remember, you can make your own pumpkin puree!) or just a cup for moisture, and still not make an army’s worth of muffins.

I always like to give my muffins a little extra texture and fiber, be that in the form of nuts, dried fruit, or seeds. For this particular muffin, I include pumpkin seeds and dried cranberries (hence the name). The cranberries add a nice tangy contrast to the sweetness of the muffin and the earthy pumpkin flavor, and I just like the crunchy of pumpkin seeds or nuts. I top them with a sprinkling of raw or demerara sugar for extra crunch and sweetness.

If pumpkin seeds aren’t your thing, you can sub in walnuts, pecans, or whatever tickles your fancy. Heck, you can even just make plain ol’ pumpkin muffins without the cranberries. I won’t tell.

I also like to make a vegan version of this muffin, because it’s so easy to do and there are a lot of vegan (and non-vegan!) customers who appreciate a bit of sweetness in their lives. I find that I don’t miss the egg, other than its adding a bit more fluff to the final product, and the vegan version is a bit more moist, to boot!

When I want to sub out egg in a recipe, I go for a tablespoon of spent sourdough starter, or sourdough discard – it adds just a bit of leavener, plus a bit more tanginess, but not enough to overpower anything or taste like sourdough. (Pssst – you should totally start keeping your spent starter in your fridge if you aren’t already doing it.) I also add a bit more baking soda to make up for the lost leaven. The vegan variation is at the bottom of the recipe.

Enough talk. Let’s muffin!

pumpkin cranberry muffins

Pumpkin Cranberry Muffins

  • Servings: 12
  • Print

Moist and delightful pumpkin muffins! You can sub in chopped toasted nuts for the seeds and/or cranberries, or even leave them out. Vegan variation at the bottom of the recipe.

you will need:

  • 1 ¾ c unbleached all-purpose flour
  • ¾ c white sugar
  • ½ c dark brown sugar
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2-3 tsp cinnamon (I go big, but do whatever feels right)
  • ¼ tsp freshly grated nutmeg (optional)
  • pinch of ground cloves (optional)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 scant cups, or 1 15 oz can, of pumpkin puree
  • ½ c vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼-½ c dried cranberries
  • ¼ c pumpkin seeds, toasted or untoasted, or other toasted nuts
  • raw, sanding, or demerara sugar for sprinkling


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 12-cup muffin tin, or line with paper muffin liners.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugars, salt, baking soda, and spices. Stir in the cranberries and the pumpkin seeds, if using.
  3. In a medium bowl or large measuring cup, whisk together the egg, oil, pumpkin puree, and vanilla. Fold the oil mixture into the flour mixture, making sure not to overmix (there may be small pockets of flour – this is okay). Allow the mixture to rest for five minutes.
  4. Pour or scoop batter evenly into prepared muffin tin (a large muffin scoop is a godsend here). Sprinkle about ¼ tsp of raw sugar on top of each muffin. Bake at 350 degrees F for 20-25 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan for 5-10 minutes before removing the muffins to a cooling rack.
  5. Vegan Variation: Sub in 2 tbsp spent sourdough starter for the egg, and increase the amount of baking soda to 1 ½ tsp. Proceed with recipe.

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