Fresh cranberry-orange muffins, made with chickpea flour and sweetened with maple syrup! They are naturally grain-free, vegan, and perfect for fall and winter mornings.
Following banana bread, cranberry-orange bread is the quick bread I have made most often over the years. The combination of tart, ruby berries and fresh orange is one of my favorites in the fall and winter months.
The recipe I relied on for years is irresistible, but it’s also more cake than bread. It has almost equal amounts of all-purpose flour and sugar and 1/2 cup of melted butter, and that’s before adding the powdered sugar-butter-orange zest glaze.
I’m the last person to knock cake for breakfast, but I decided it was time to create a version that better reflects the way I eat these days. These muffins are all that, and more!
Made with chickpea flour, the muffins are:
*Fast & Easy to Prepare
Stock up on fresh cranberries while you can (and while they are sale) so that you can make this recipe all winter long. If you freeze the berries, be sure to let them thaw before adding to the batter. I chop the cranberries, but very roughly (they are mostly in halves and quarters). I do this to prevent too much color-bleeding into the batter, but you can certainly chop them finer if you prefer.
The last thing that anyone needs, especially during the holidays, is a fussy recipe; this is anything but that. In one bowl, whisk the dry ingredients, then the wet, and last, stir in the cranberries. Then it’s into paper-lined muffin cups for a quick bake. Easy!
Be sure to divide the batter between all 12 muffin cups. Without the benefit of eggs, the chickpea flour batter needs the structure that the muffin cup walls provide. If overfilled, the muffins will rise while they bake, then fall as they cool, resulting in concave centers. For the same reason, this batter will only work in muffin tins (mini muffin tins work perfectly), or in mini loaf pans that are ony filled about 1/3 to 1-/2 way full.
The muffins will peak just above the cups.
Maple syrup, in a joint effort with unsweetened applesauce and a bit of fresh orange juice, is all the sweetness these humble muffins need. Eating one will render you energized and satisfied instead of sugar-buzzed.
One final tip: cool the muffins completely before trying to remove the paper liners. If an earlier attempt is made, the muffins will stick in a most tenacious way!
Happy holiday baking, everyone!
- 1 and ½ cups chickpea flour (sifted if lumpy)
- 2 and ¼ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
- ½ cup unsweetened applesauce
- ⅓ cup pure maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil of choice (I used avocado oil)
- 1 and ½ teaspoons finely grated orange zest
- 1 and ½ tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1-1/4 cups fresh or frozen (thawed) cranberies, coarsely chopped
- Preheat oven to 350F. Line all 12 cups of a standard size muffin tin with paper or foil liners.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the chickpea flour, baking powder and salt. Add theapplesauce, syrup, oil, zest, juice, and vanilla, stirring until blended and smooth. Gently stir in the cranberries.
- Divide batter evenly between prepared muffin cups.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 20-24 minutes until golden brown at edges and centers feel firm to the touch. Cool in pan on a cooling rack for 5 minutes, then remove muffins to rack to cool completely.