Cranberry gingerbread muffins

Gingerbread cranberry muffins

These cranberry gingerbread muffins are flavoured with fancy molasses, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg for a festive breakfast treat in the winter.

Gingerbread muffins with poached cranberries

It doesn’t feel like winter if there’s no gingerbread. The gingerbread could come in the form of gingerbread granola, gingerbread cookie cut-outs, and even muffins like these. I associate gingerbread with fall–winter more than Christmas. I think it’s always best to just answer a craving, rather than try and ignore it until it’s proper gingerbread season. Why the sudden urge to listen to my cravings? Let me explain.

Cranberry gingerbread muffins

The key to tasty gingerbread is the mix of spices (heavy on the ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg) and the fancy molasses (not to be confused with blackstrap molasses, which would be overpowering). If you have a muffin recipe you like, an easy baking substitution would be to replace half the sugar with fancy molasses, by the way.

Gingerbread cranberry muffins flavoured with gingerbread spices, molasses, and tart cranberries

Sweet gingerbread flavours go hand in hand with tart cranberry, and there are two ways of incorporating cranberries in muffins: dried cranberries or fresh/frozen cranberries:

  • fresh or frozen cranberries will inevitably release some fruit juice into the muffins as they bake and the fruit begins to heat up, which can lead to a certain gummy layer of batter around the fruit if the recipe already has a high level of moisture
  • dried cranberries don’t add more moisture to recipes, which is a good thing in most cases, but because they absorb moisture, they can lead to a dryer crumb

Gingerbread muffins with cranberries

For this recipe, I pre-cooked the cranberries by poaching them in a simple syrup, which is actually the first step in making the sugared cranberries you see on this frosted chestnut cake.

Gingerbread cranberry muffins flavoured with gingerbread spices, molasses, and tart cranberries
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5 from 1 vote

Cranberry gingerbread muffins

These gingerbread muffins are flavoured with molasses, gingerbread spices, and poached cranberries for a lovely snack or breakfast treat.
Course Snack
Cuisine American
Keyword cranberry gingerbread muffins, Gingerbread cranberry muffins, gingerbread muffins
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 10 muffins
Calories 311kcal
Author Janice


Muffin pan
OXO whisk
Artisan mixer
Muffin scoop
Cake tester


For the poached cranberries

  • 180 grams ( lb) frozen cranberries 1.5 cups
  • 250 mL (1 cup) water
  • 100 grams (½ cup) granulated sugar
  • 8 grams (1 tbsp) all purpose flour

For the muffins

  • 200 grams (1⅔ cups) all-purpose flour
  • 3.75 mL (¾ tsp) baking powder
  • 2.5 mL (½ tsp) baking soda
  • 2.5 mL (½ tsp) Diamond Crystal fine kosher salt
  • 5 mL (1 tsp) ground cinnamon
  • 2.5 mL (½ tsp) ground cloves
  • 1.25 mL (¼ tsp) ground ginger
  • 1.25 mL (¼ tsp) ground nutmeg
  • 100 grams (½ cup) unsalted butter
  • 100 grams (½ cup) granulated sugar
  • 100 grams ( cup) molasses
  • 2 large eggs
  • 5 mL (1 tsp) pure vanilla extract
  • 57 grams (¼ cup) buttermilk


To make the poached cranberries

  • In a large saucepan, combine the cranberries, water, and sugar. Bring to a simmer, stirring to dissolve the sugar, and when the sugar is completely dissolved and the cranberries are soft (but haven't burst), take the pan off the heat and let cool to room temperature.
  • Strain the poached cranberries (you can save the liquid for cocktails or for another batch of poached fruit) and blot them on a paper towel to dry them before tossing them with 10 grams of flour to coat them. Freeze them for 10 minutes to firm them up while you make the gingerbread muffin batter.

To make the muffins

  • Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line 10 slots of a muffin pan with paper liners. Set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the 200 grams flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and the spices. Set aside.
  • In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the molasses, then the eggs one at a time, beating and scraping down the mixer bowl as needed. Add the vanilla.
  • Dump in a half of the dry ingredients, then the buttermilk, and the rest of the dry ingredients.
  • Fold the flour-coated frozen poached cranberries into the batter, divide among the paper-lined muffin pans and bake for about 23–25 minutes. Let cool.


I baked these muffins with gingerbread Stirling Creamery butter.
Tried this recipe?Mention @kitchenhealssoul or tag #kitchenhealssoul!


Calories: 311kcal | Carbohydrates: 54g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 55mg | Sodium: 192mg | Potassium: 234mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 36g | Vitamin A: 313IU | Vitamin C: 8mg | Calcium: 62mg | Iron: 2mg


Cranberry gingerbread muffins stashed in a vintage red and gold tin, served with butter



I do my best to bake with the finest ingredients. Stirling Creamery, a Canadian company, has provided the butter for this post.


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9 Responses to Cranberry gingerbread muffins

  1. Sondi November 14, 2014 at 6:24 PM #

    I must admit, I had a chuckle over your cravings incident because I’ve totally been there, sista. Sorry to hear you’ve been having a crappy week! Sending a big hug your way.

  2. Mardi (eat. live. travel. write.) November 16, 2014 at 6:41 AM #

    Life is too busy most of the time but I think time spent in the kitchen (especially making these) can be definitely stress-relieving. I also eat bowls of rice for dinner fairly often (with a splash of sesame oil and some sesame seeds!)

  3. Joanne B November 18, 2014 at 3:42 PM #

    I made these a couple of days ago. They were surprisingly delicious. I have to admit I did not bother to poach the cranberries first, but the muffins were still moist and delicious! Thanks.

  4. Anna (Hidden Ponies) December 6, 2014 at 12:49 AM #

    Heeey, gingerbread muffins! They are a wonderful thing. I need to try some with cranberries now.

  5. Smith Bites January 6, 2015 at 9:09 PM #

    even though the holidays are behind us, i really, really like the sound of these! i’d convert them to gluten-free as me and gluten don’t get along but just a lovely muffin!


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