Sunday, 27 January 2013

Cranberry and cinnamon muffins on the cheap

Cranberry and cinnamon muffins

I'm not the world's greatest cake-baker - home-cooked family meals are more my thing - however the snowy weather last weekend got me in a cake-baking kind of mood. Is there anything better than a long walk in the snow followed by some cake-baking to warm up?!

However, I hadn't pre-planned what I was going to bake and had no intention of going out into the cold again - it was time to rummage through the cupboards and see what I could find... A bag of dried cranberries later and cranberry muffins were the order of the day.

I found this Nigella recipe at:

Alas I didn't have all of the ingredients so tailored it make it work with my cupboard stocks! Nigella's recipe called for the zest and juice of clementines or satsumas but I replaced this with some Jif lemon juice instead! Here's my version of the recipe:


250g plain flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
100g golden caster sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2-3 tablespoons of bottled lemon juice
125ml semi-skimmed milk
75ml sunflower oil
1 egg
170g dried cranberries
3 teaspoons cinnamon sugar for the topping

1) Preheat oven to 200C/gas mark six.
2) Line a muffin tin with cake cases.
3) Measure the flour, baking powder, bicarb of soda, caster sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg into a large bowl and combine.
4) Add 2-3 tablespoons of the bottled lemon juice to a measuring jug and pour in the milk until it comes up to the 200ml mark.
5) Add the oil and egg and lightly beat until just combined.
6) Pour the liquid into the bowl of dried ingredients and stir until everything is more or less combined. Nigella says a lumpy batter makes for a better muffin!
7) Fold in the cranberries and spoon the mixture into the cake cases.
8) Sprinkle the sugar over the top (Nigella used demerara but I didn't have any in so used some cinnamon sugar instead).
9) Bake in the oven for 20 minutes until golden brown.
10) Try desperately to wait for them to cool down before devouring. I failed at this step...!

Buns in the oven!

The cakes were delicious and for a novice cake-baker I was quite pleased with myself! I did over-cook them by a minute or two, so they were a little too brown on top, but they were delicious all the same and nice and moist inside.

I'd certainly make these again and might even plan ahead next time and get the proper ingredients in! On this occasion though it was a good cheap way of baking cakes and using up ingredients languishing in the back of the cupboards!

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