Gluten Free Baked Goods: Cranberry Muffin Recipe and Cranberry Pecan Coffee Cake Recipe

I love the fall and winter season, and one of the first signs that it has arrived is when fresh cranberries appear in the supermarket. For the longest time, I could never figure out what to do with them. Then I stumbled on some recipes for homemade cranberry sauce, and realized that I could do way better than the Ocean Spray jelled cranberry sauce sold in the store. I started making homemade cranberry sauce for our Thanksgiving dinners, and loved cranberries simmered into a sweet, jammy sauce. It was fun to add different flavor elements and see what happened to the sauce. But it wasn’t until I attended a gluten-free potluck and had a gluten-free cranberry pie/crumble that I realized how delicious cranberries could be in baked goods. That’s why this season when I found that special first bag of cranberries at Trader Joe’s, I immediately decided to try to come up with a killer cranberry muffin using fresh, rather than dried, cranberries. My first effort was way too healthy- I tried converting a recipe to be both gluten-free and vegan recipe with severely reduced oil and sugar- and I didn’t like them at all. The next time, I decided to go for flavor and texture, taking inspiration from a southern-style recipe for cranberry muffins. The recipe I converted was quite big, and I only had one muffin tin, so I decided to bake half of it as muffins and half as a cranberry coffee cake, sprinkling it with brown sugar and chopped pecans just for fun. It occurs to me you could do this to the muffins as well, to make them even more decadent, but I like having the option of a healthier muffin as well as the option of yummy, sweet cranberry coffee cake. I loved the texture of the muffin crust- it was almost like cornbread, sans corn. The cake had the same lovely texture with the added bonus of caramelized pecans. Mmmm, I think I’m really on to something with this whole cranberry baked good thing… So the next time you can’t decide between making muffins or cake- and have a lovely bag of fresh cranberries in your fridge, just make both! Enjoy!

Gluten Free Cranberry Muffin Recipe with Cranberry Pecan Coffee Cake Recipe
1 1/2 cups fresh cranberries
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 cup white rice flour blend (such as Bette Hagman’s gourmet mix containing tapioca starch)
1 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup sweet rice flour
1/2 cup garfava bean flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter or margarine
1/2 cup yogurt
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup milk

For cake variation:
1/8 cup brown sugar or more to taste
1 cup chopped pecans

Combine cranberries and 1/4 cup brown sugar in a small bowl and reserve. Combine dry ingredients including sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Cut in butter or margarine into the dry ingredients until the texture becomes slightly crumbly. Then combine your eggs, milk, and yogurt in a bowl and whisk together. Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry crumble and gently stir together. Fold in your cranberry-sugar mixture.

For muffins, pour into 2 muffin tins sprayed with nonstick cooking spray and bake for 20-25 minutes.

For cranberry cake variation, combine your brown sugar and pecans in a small bowl. Spray up to two square 8 in. cake pans with nonstick cooking spray. If you like, you can like the cake pan with wax paper Pour your batter into the cake pan. Sprinkle the top with your brown sugar and pecans and bake for 25-30 minutes.

You can use half the batter for a batch of muffins and half the batter for a cranberry coffee cake!

Additional Pictures

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12 Responses to “Gluten Free Baked Goods: Cranberry Muffin Recipe and Cranberry Pecan Coffee Cake Recipe”

  1. Oh my, these look SO darn good!

  2. How funny, I just made, and wrote about, cranberry muffins myself! I guess somethings in the air…

    Yours look absolutely beautiful and I love the idea of the coffee cake.

  3. Wow. I wish BOY had smell-o-vision. These look awesome.

  4. The pecan one looks like a perfect cake for Thanksgiving Day. Thanks!

  5. Mmm… what can I sub for the yogurt we are soy and dairy free??

  6. Hi Lara,
    Have you seen rice yogurt? This is one option. I would probably try using rice yogurt, applesauce, or leave it out and possibly increase the “milk.” I like to add yogurt to my baked goods because it makes it more moist- but you can definitely try it without. :)

    Hope this helps!

  7. lara- try plain old canned pumpkin. i use it in all my baked goods that ask for yogurt and sour cream. Rice yogurt might work fine, its just really runny and pumpkin puree gives a thick texture. great recipe, wish i could have sugar :(

  8. Maybe I missed it — what temperature do you bake these at?

  9. Sorry, you can bake them at 375F.

  10. diane giesing Says:

    Thanks so much for all your info. I have joined a health club and they have a very natural cafe there where I could have bought cranberry muffins made with Quinoa and I liked the one I had. It was heavy and moist and the cranberries appeared to be either fresh or possibly hydrated from the bag of cranberries you just eat out of the bag. I found they had regular flour in them, so I did not buy any more. I want to add Quinoa to them because they were extremely moist and I like the tastes. Guess I could add blueberries too. I am knew at this. My new daughter in law has to have gluten free and it seems so do I. I have a problem with Candida. Any flour like rice flour and quinoa would work, wouldnt it? thanks, rosebud12009 p.s. does the pumpkin cakelin, make it taste like pumpkin?

  11. Elizabeth, WV-Nutrionist &Lifestyle Educator Says:

    Buttermilk is used in many baked products because it has wonderful moisture. Using yogurt is the same concept. If you are like and do not use dairy products, you can add 1tsp-2tsp of lemon juice to your soymilk or water in a recipe and it will do the same thing. Personally I think that we as a society consume to much animal products and we can do with out them in baked products and still get the same results. In gluten free products, using eggs can help the product. I always like to try to use just baking powder and the “soy”-butter milk or preferable just plain water or coconut milk with lemon juice. Add 1tsp of Rumford Baking powder per cup of flour. Energy Foods sells a baking poweder that does not have sodium bicarbonate, and works great in pastries that you want to eat straight from the oven. When using regular baking powder you should not eat the product right away. It will harm the gentle lining in our stomach,and Soda causes inflammation of the stomach and often poisons the entire system. Adding applesauce to the product is also good and adding ground flaxseeds helps with moisture and necessary fiber. The Cranberry muffin recipe above seems wonderful by just reading the ingrediants and how it is made. I plan on using orange juice and water in substitute for the milk and raw Turbinado sugar versus brown sugar. Thanks for the recipe.

  12. Wow, the cranberry muffins look amazing!

    Did you think about some honey frosting to go with these? I think it would complement the muffins nicely and make a great little gf snack!

    Anyway, my girlfriend and I followed a similar recipe:

    which turned out nicely. Just thought I would add it to the conversation here.

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