Each year, fresh cranberries start to pop up in grocery stores around Thanksgiving, but they can be used for more than just cranberry sauce. In fact, cranberries are the perfect fruit for these muffins because they offer bursts of bright tartness against the tender, citrus-scented cake and the sweet, crunchy crumb topping.
These muffins also contain brown butter, which is butter that has been heated enough that the milk solids become brown and toasty. When these muffins bake, they spread a toasty, buttery aroma through the house, and the cranberries add some winter cheer. These muffins are a fun and festive choice for a small baking project on Christmas morning.
For the muffins
1 ½ cups fresh cranberries
1 teaspoon lemon juice
7 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
¾ cup sugar, plus 1 tablespoon
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
⅓ cup whole milk
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Zest of ½ lemon
For the crumb topping
3 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
½ cup all-purpose flour
3 ½ tablespoons sugar
- Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Gently toss cranberries with lemon juice and 1 tablespoon sugar. Set aside.
- Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until butter foams and dark golden bits appear in the pan. Carefully scrape the sides of the pan and transfer butter to a bowl to cool.
- Whisk together flour, ¾ cup sugar, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together milk, egg, egg yolk, vanilla extract, and lemon zest. Whisk in brown butter.
- Add milk and butter mixture to flour mixture, stirring gently to combine. Gently fold in cranberries.
- Divide muffin batter evenly among prepared cups.
- Make the crumb topping. Combine all the ingredients in a small bowl and rub together with your fingertips until crumbly. Sprinkle over batter in muffin cups.
- Bake for approximately 18-20 minutes until muffins are golden brown and toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Let muffins cool for 10 minutes in pan, and serve warm or at room temperature.