Maybe you’ve already got your entire Thanksgiving feast planned out. Down to the apple cider cocktails, adorable rosemary wreath napkin rings, and Pinterest inspired table decor. And if this is the case, I applaud you.
Also, can I come over? Because your feast sounds delightful.
But maybe there’s a Thanksgiving weekend breakfast or Thanksgiving weekend snack void you’ve still gotta fill. And if that’s the case, let me assist!
Today we have cranberry cardamom spice muffins on the agenda. We’re talking oodles of tart cranberries in a sweet orange scented batter with walnuts and plenty of delicious holiday cardamom spice flavor. It’s November in a cupcake wrapper.
It’s been a couple months since I baked a new muffin recipe. I’ve been so caught up in making pumpkin crumb cake muffins this fall– can you blame a girl– that I haven’t really been motivated to try something new. When there’s pumpkin spice and crumb cake topping, do you really need anything else?
I’m afraid to say that the answer is yes. Cranberry cardamom spice muffins for the win. Aka cranberry cardamuffins? I like that, let’s go with it.
These muffins are extremely buttery and moist, for which we can thank the butter and sour cream. Creaming butter and sugar together creates a fluffy base, so these definitely aren’t your typical super dense muffins. Rather, they’re impeccably soft like cupcakes. Lots of little ingredients paired together create big-time flavor. Vanilla and cinnamon, juicy cranberries, toasty walnuts, orange zest, spicy and aromatic ground cardamom– which pairs beautifully with citrus (and your morning coffee!). I adore cardamom for its versatility and often use it in chai spice inspired treats like these chai spice snickerdoodles.
It’s easy to go overboard with a strong spice such as cardamom, but I find that 1 teaspoon was the perfect amount distributed among a dozen muffins.
Remember to fill the muffin pan all the way to the top with batter. Don’t be nervous about overflowing because we’ll start the muffins in an extremely hot oven. A hot burst of air will lift the muffins right up— and not out. Reducing the oven temperature after 5 minutes ensures the centers cook through while preventing the tops from burning. It’s a little trick I’ve been using for years and the super tall muffin tops never cease to amaze me!
The icing is made from just 2 ingredients: confectioners’ sugar and orange juice. You’ll need the zest of an orange for the muffin batter, so cut that fruit open and juice it for the orange icing. The icing sets on top of the muffins after several minutes, creating an absolutely scrumptious icing “crust” on top. (!!!)
Um, and can we talk about how the berries burst on top while the muffins bake? Creating the most awesome hot pink juices running down the sides. ♥
And best of all: 35 minutes start to finish. That’s what I love most about muffins– they come together in a snap. Much needed when you have rosemary wreath napkin rings to make (I really want to make these!).
Cranberry Cardamom Spice Muffins
- 1 and 3/4 cups (220g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon cardamom
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup (115g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 3/4 cup (150g) granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup (120g) sour cream
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup (80ml) milk
- zest of 1 orange
- 1/2 cup (63g) chopped walnuts
- 1 and 1/2 cups (187g) fresh or frozen cranberries (do not thaw if using frozen)
- 1 cup (120g) confectioners' sugar
- juice of 1 orange (about 3 Tablespoons)
- Preheat oven to 425°F (218°C). Spray a 12-count muffin pan with nonstick spray or line with cupcake liners. Set aside.
- Make the muffins: In a large bowl, toss the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cardamom, cinnamon, and salt together. Set aside.
- In a large bowl using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on high speed until smooth and creamy, about 1 minute. Add the granulated sugar and beat on high until creamed, about 2 full minutes. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. Add the eggs, sour cream, and vanilla extract. Beat on medium speed for 1 minute, then turn up to high speed until the mixture is combined and creamy. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.
- Pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and beat on low speed until just about combined. Add the milk and orange zest and continue to beat on low until combined. Fold in the walnuts and cranberries.
- Spoon the batter evenly into each cup or liner, filling each all the way to the top. Bake the muffins for 5 minutes at 425 then, keeping the muffins in the oven, reduce the oven temperature to 350°F (177°C). Bake for an additional 15-18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. The total time these muffins take in the oven is about 22-23 minutes, give or take. Allow the muffins to cool for 5 minutes in the muffin pan, then transfer to a wire rack and drizzle with icing.
- For the icing: Whisk the confectioners' sugar and orange juice together. Drizzle over muffins.
- Muffins stay fresh stored in the refrigerator for 1 week.
Make ahead tip: For longer storage, freeze muffins (without glaze) for up to 3 months. Allow to thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then bring to room temperature or warm up in the microwave if desired. Glaze before serving.
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