Cranberry Muffins with Lemon-Ginger Glaze

When the sun shines to brighten a wintery weekend morning, the only possible improvement to such a sacred setting is a hot batch of fancy-pants muffins and a cup of hot French-pressed Flat Creek Roasters coffee. Ooh, me.  Happy Sunday


Cranberry Muffins with Lemon-Ginger Glaze

Baking Illustrated

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (10 ounces)
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1 large egg
1 cup granulated sugar (7 ounces)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
1 1/4 cups sour cream (10 ounces)
1 1/2 cups cranberries
1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray standard muffin tin with nonstick vegetable cooking spray.
2. Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt in medium bowl until combined. Whisk egg in second medium bowl until well-combined and light-colored, about 20 seconds. Add sugar and whisk vigorously until thick and homogenous, about 30 seconds; add melted butter in 2 or 3 steps, whisking to combine after each addition. Add sour cream in 2 steps, whisking just to combine.
3. Add cranberries to dry ingredients and gently toss to combine. Add sour cream mixture and fold with rubber spatula until batter comes together and berries are evenly distributed, 25 to 30 seconds (small spots of flour may remain and batter will be thick). Do not overmix.
4. Drop batter into greased muffin tin. Bake until light golden brown and toothpick or skewer inserted into center of muffin comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes, rotating pan from front to back halfway through baking time. Invert muffins onto wire rack, stand muffins upright, and cool 5 minutes

To make the Fancy-Pants Lemon-Ginger Glaze—

  1. Mix ½ cup sugar with 1 tbsp ground ginger.
  2. Boil down ¼ cup lemon juice with ¼ cup sugar until it is about 4 tablespoons volume and syrupy.
  3. When the muffins have cooled for five minutes, paint the tops with the lemon syrup and then dip upside down in the ginger sugar. Note: I am using the Swedish wooden brush my mother-in-law Marilyn gave me for Christmas! Thank you!


One lesson learned: I have a whole new appreciation for the invention of cupcake foils. What a pain to spray the cupcake sheet from thirty different angles and to dig the muffins carefully out of each of twelve divots.

The original recipe asks for blueberries, but I only had cranberries in the pantry. Also, I only had one cup of sour cream and so I used plain yogurt for the quarter cup remainder. Don’t think those tweaks messed up the taste or made the muffins weird. 4 stars (a little sweet for my taste). I operated my own sort of clandestine mission and snuck the muffins into a matinee of Zero Dark Thirty. n=5 gave 100% approval ratings, and one recipient specifically thanks you, Dad, for gifting me Baking Illustrated and catalyzing my baking mania.

Today’s mission? Scour Savers 50% sale for baking implements, a leopard-print jacket, and of course, new shoes.


9 thoughts on “Cranberry Muffins with Lemon-Ginger Glaze

    1. Oh Grammie, I know–Izzy is the best. She has much more than a slight underbite, and it is askew so that only bottom tooth juts from the left!

  1. rachel,

    i’m very impressed with your blog! peter and i are enjoying the carraway soda bread. thanks so much for sharing it with us. 🙂

    1. Thanks, Kristin! Let me know if you see anything you’d like to try–we can drop a sampler off at your house, no problem.

  2. “No matter how much creativity goes into it, cooking is an art. Or perhaps I should say a craft. It abides by absolute rules, physics, chemistry, etc. and that means that unless you understand the science you cannot reach the art. We’re not talking about painting here. Cooking’s more like engineering. I happen to think that there is great beauty in great engineering”……From Alton Brown (having just read about meat and the ‘Malliard Reaction”…’s just a big experiment.

    1. It just so happens the Maillard reaction creates nearly ALL of my favorite foods:

      The Maillard reaction is responsible for many colors and flavors in foods:

      – The browning of various meats like steak – Toasted bread – Biscuits – French fries – Malted barley as in malt whiskey or beer – Fried onions – Dried or condensed milk – Roasted coffee – *Dulce de leche* – Roasted meat – The burnished surface (crust) of brioche, cakes, yeast, and quick breads – Maple syrup

  3. Rachel, this is Dad replying – I have enjoyed your daily blog even though I haven’t been able to figure out how to leave a reply. I’m using Mom’s account tonight. I’m so glad you are enjoying your baking experience and sharing it with the rest of us. Today’s muffins look so delicious! I wish we could be some of your guinea pigs for tasting. Keep baking and sharing your adventures with us. I love you.


    1. Love you too Dad! Thanks for reading–and I’ll try to mail something tasty (maybe when I get to the cookie section of the book….or maybe scones?)

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