Pumpkin Cranberry Muffins with White Chocolate Chunks

Hands down, Dorie Greenspan’s pumpkin muffins are the best I have ever made. Full of flavor but not overly spiced, they are a perfect breakfast treat. I have a ton of frozen pumpkin that I pureed from last fall and several bags of frozen cranberries that need to be used up. I knew the combination of pumpkin and cranberries would be incredible, but I also knew that I needed something sweet to balance the tartness of the berries. White chocolate is ideal with cranberry, and so this recipe was born.

In all fairness to the wonderful Dorie Greenspan, this is her recipe. The only thing that I changed were the add-ins. Dorie uses golden raisins and pecans or walnuts, then tops hers with sunflower seeds. We made these muffins 2 years ago in the Tuesdays with Dorie baking group. I made mine into pumpkin chocolate chip muffins, and those were amazing as well!

Notes: Powdered milk came to my rescue. I had thawed my frozen pumpkin and measured everything out, I even cut the frozen cranberries in half. However, I had no buttermilk, and no MILK! What the?? So, I pulled out the powdered milk box, mixed up a cup and added some vinegar to get my buttermilk. Worked perfectly and the muffins were incredible!

This is probably one of the best muffin flavors I have ever had. The white chocolate is phenomenal. I used Ghiradelli Vanilla Dream, white chocolate with vanilla beans. Yum! So without further delay, you MUST make these muffins. They are THAT good. :)

ANOTHER DELICIOUS IDEA >>  Master Mix (Homemade Bisquick)

P.S. If you don’t have Baking from My Home to Yours yet, you are really missing out on some amazing recipes. Check it out from the library, buy it from Amazon, head to the bookstore, ask for it for Christmas. GET IT. You won’t regret it.

Pumpkin Cranberry Muffins with White Chocolate Chunks
adapted from Baking from My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan

printable version

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
pinch of nutmeg
pinch of ground allspice
1 stick (8 Tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature)
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup (packed) light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup canned unsweetened pumpkin puree (I used pumpkin I froze)
1/4 cup buttermilk
1 cup fresh or frozen (don’t thaw) cranberries, halved
1 4-oz bar of good quality white chocolate, cut into chunks

Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Butter or spray the 12 molds on a regular-size muffin pan or fit the molds with paper muffin cups. (I used baker’s spray)

Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices. Place the halved cranberries in a bowl and toss with a tablespoon of the flour mixture. Place chocolate chunks in another bowl and toss with a tablespoon of the flour mixture. Set aside.

Working with a stand mixer, preferably with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter at medium speed until soft. Add both the sugars and continue to beat until light and smooth. One by one, add the eggs, beating for a minute after the eggs are incorporated, then beat in the vanilla. Lower the mixer speed and mix in the pumpkin and buttermilk. With the mixer at low speed, add the dry ingredients in a steady stream, mixing only until they disappear. To avoid overmixing, you can stop the machine early and stir any remaining dry ingredients into the batter using a rubber spatula.

ANOTHER DELICIOUS IDEA >>  TWD: Creamiest Lime Cream Meringue Pie

Fold in the cranberries, then fold in the chocolate. Spoon batter into prepared muffin pan. Place muffin pan on cookie sheet.

Bake for about 25 minutes, or until a thin knife inserted into the center of the muffins comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a rack and cool the muffins for 5 minutes in the pan, then carefully remove each one from its mold and finish cooling on the rack.

Like all muffins, these are best eaten the day they are made, but they can be wrapped airtight and frozen for up to 2 months.  Rewarm in a 350 degree F oven, or split and toast the muffins, before serving.

If you want more pumpkin recipes, here are some of my favorites:

Cranberry Pumpkin Coffee Cake
4 Layer Chocolate Dappled Pumpkin Cake
White Chocolate Pumpkin Blondies
Perfect Pumpkin Pie
Pumpkin Cheesecake with Rum Whipped Topping

My friend Suzanne put together an awesome collection of pumpkin recipes on her blog too!

(If you enjoyed this post, I’d truly appreciate a stumble, Digg, facebook share, whatever you like! :) )

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  1. Lana @ Never Enough Thyme says

    Love your combination of white chocolate and cranberries with pumpkin. I would bet that these are an absolute flavor treat! Great job, Amanda.

  2. Megan says

    Ohhh, yum! I'm not a big fan of chocolate and pumpkin together but white chocolate is a different story. :D They look awesome!

  3. Fallon says

    Those look delicious. I like a muffin with a cracked top! I still want to make your cranberry white chocolate coffee cake!

  4. Cookin' Canuck says

    Chocolate, pumpkin & cranberries – I can't think of a better combination. These would be a wonderful weekend treat.

  5. Ingrid says

    I've never had pumpkin and cranberry together. I've just never been sure about the two flavors together. Your muffins are doing a lot to convince me.

  6. Anonymous says

    I made these and though they did taste delicious the white choc chunks disappeared into the muffin when baked. Couldn't tell they had been added. And I had used the expensive kind listed in the recipe too!

  7. MaryBeth says

    What a fantastic way to use those candy bars…I tried it for the first time in Sep on our trip to San Fran. They are amazing all on there own so mixed with pumpkin and cranberries it must be wonderful.

  8. Amanda says

    Anonymous – I'm glad they were delish! For the white chocolate chunks, did you maybe cut them too small? There's a picture above showing how large my chunks were cut.

  9. Anonymous says

    I do not have frozen or fresh cranberries on hand, could I substitute using craisins? They look oh so yummy. I am so excited that I came across your site.

  10. Amanda says

    Thanks Chef!

    Anon – I'm sure you could use craisins, though I would probably soak them in something first to puff them up a bit :) Hope you like them!

  11. Katrina says

    I just left you a comment on the banana/cranberry bread and came to get this recipe. Now I don't LOVE white chocolate, but I do like it, and after seeing this and hearing you rant, I think I'll make these, because I do have some white chocolate right now.
    Yes, I NEED to bake more today. ;)

  12. Amanda says

    Hi Anonymous :) I can see how you might have missed it because many recipes begin with "preheat oven to…", however this one starts a little differently. The temp is in the first sentence though, 400 F is what you want to bake them at.

    "Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F."



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