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Cinnamon Cranberry Apple Muffins and Happy Accidents

I was so frickin (yes, I said frickin!) mad at my husband yesterday.  My family would say, “So what else is new.”  But no really, yesterday I was totally justified.  You see, he has a very funky work schedule (he is a truck driver) and I always try my best to be very accommodating.  I mean, he has to sleep, there are peoples lives on the line!  I try to keep the kids as quiet as possible, even taking them out when I don’t need to go out, just to keep the house quiet for him.  Sometimes, though, he just doesn’t cooperate.  It is not that he has trouble sleeping necessarily, it is just that if he knows that he HAS to sleep it makes it harder for him to GET to sleep.  My problem is that on his days off he likes to stick to his work schedule.  While I understand that, it is much harder to stick with in everyday life.  You see, I was in the middle of making a batch of muffins that I had never made before.  They should have been done by the time I was supposed to leave to pick up my preschooler from school.  They weren’t.

To be fair, I never asked for his help but he was awake at this point (he even dressed my son to go with me) and he usually isn’t.  It was his day off.  I was making remarks about how he was ruining my muffins but he never said a word.  So out of the oven the muffins went, just minutes from being done.  And, as I feared, once I got back from picking up Sarah, my muffins were all sunken in, unsalvageable.  Luckily, it was a big batch, I had nine more to bake and I over baked them!  That is when I lost it.  He told me I should have told him when to take them out but I told him I didn’t know when that would have been as it was a new recipe.  He told me to make them over.  I told him I was out of cranberries.

Ready for the oven!

I was bummed.  After eating a bit of over baked muffin, it got me thinking.  I started to see the flaws in my muffin.  I was thinking what else I might change and how I could make it better.  The original recipe calls for a cup of oil.  The first time around I changed it to one cup of brown butter but I think that it was too much.  In the topping, I first used 2 teaspoons of cinnamon and although it made my house smell phenomenal, it was a bit much too.  The first time, I only used about 3/4 cup of cranberries and when I ate my over baked muffin I wanted more.  That meant a quick trip to the store because I was also out of brown sugar (how did that happen?).  I also decided to used my white whole wheat flour instead of all-purpose flour, just because.

Can you see his little muffin face saying, "Eat me"?

These muffins are awesome!  They would be a perfect addition to any Christmas breakfast.  They have less sugar and butter than before (yay, for applesauce).  They baked up so pretty with perfect little domes and everything.  The topping is so awesome, it adds a nice sweetness and crunch. Plus, with the brown butter and cinnamon, how much better could your house smell?  We ended up going out to dinner (yay, for gift cards) and once we sat down I had to thank my husband for helping me to make a better muffin.

My official GeekyLink for this post is about the Hunger Games.  If you haven’t read these books yet, please do so!  I am gearing up for the movie coming in the spring and so have this picture from Vanity Fair to share The Young Cast of The Hunger Games.  Scroll over their faces and you will see who is playing what and if you haven’t read these books, it will give you the gist and hopefully make you want to read them.  However, I do want to tell my Doctor Who fans about a contest You Might Be In BBC America’s Next Doctor Who Special. Yes, You.  So take a look if you are interested.

Cinnamon Cranberry Apple Muffins

adapted from The Girl Who Ate Everything


1 1/4 cups sugar

2 eggs

3/4 cup brown butter

1 tablespoon vanilla

1/2 cup apple sauce

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

3 cups flour (I used white whole wheat this time, just my preference yesterday)

1 1/2 cup peeled, cored, diced apples (about 1 1/2 apples, I used one BIG one)

1 1/2 cup cranberries


1/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup turbinado sugar

3/4 teaspoon cinnamon


Brown your butter and set aside to cool to room temperature.  Make your topping by mixing both sugars with the cinnamon until well combined and set aside.

Preheat oven to 350° and line your muffin pan with paper liners.

Cream together sugar, eggs, vanilla, applesauce, and cooled butter.  Add salt, baking soda, cinnamon, and nutmeg and mix well.  Add flour, one cup at a time, mixing after each addition.  The batter will be thick.  Add the diced apples and cranberries and stir to combine.

Fill paper liners about 2/3 of the way full.  I use my handy dandy ice cream scoop.  Sprinkle with the topping mixture.

Bake at 350° for 21-23 minutes.  Makes about 21 muffins.


About NerdyBaker

My name is Celina. I am a wife and mother of three. I love to bake, go to the movies, read when I can and I am kind of a great big nerd. Just don't tell my husband.

13 responses »

  1. Pingback: Chewy Blondies and Running Out of Time « * NerdyBaker *

  2. These look awesome!

    I saw “The Hunger Games” trailer earlier today and can’t wait to see the movie! The boold were so good!

  3. These look amazing, well worth the effort! Am bookmarking to try 🙂

  4. I love the combination of flavors!

  5. Great photos they draw me right in lovely composition!

  6. om nom, I made a loaf of bread like this once, with walnuts and black walnuts instead of cranberries. It was pretty much amazing.

  7. Great post! Love the story, and I’ve totally been there with there with the happy accidents. AND … I have read The Hunger Games. I liked it. A lot. Need to read the 2nd and 3rd, and looking forward to the movie!

  8. These look delicious! I’m going to have to go and buy some cranberries!


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