Tart cranberries and sweet apple compliment each other beautifully in this delicious and easy to make and healthy Cranberry Oatmeal Muffin Recipe.
What Makes This Oatmeal Muffin Recipe So Good
- These tasty muffins are healthy as well as delicious, because oats are super nutritious. They're very high in fibre, vitamins and minerals, and higher in protein than most other grains.
- This muffin recipe has no added sugar. Instead, it's sweetened naturally with dates and maple syrup.
- You can have these delicious muffins ready to bake in just ten minutes, and they take only 20 minutes to bake, so they are a quick and easy way to have a delicious, healthy breakfast or snack.
- Your house will smell amazing while these are baking.
- These apple cranberry oatmeal muffins are gluten free and dairy free, so everyone can enjoy them.
- Healthy cranberry oatmeal muffins freeze beautifully, so they work great for breakfast meal prep.
Here's What You Need To Make The Recipe
- Cranberries: I'm using fresh cranberries here, but you can substitute dried cranberries. Tip: during cranberry season, buy whole cranberries and freeze them. They're usually available in grocery stores over the holiday season.
- Dates: I made this recipe with medjool dates, but any variety of dates will work. You can buy dates already pitted, or you can pit them yourself
- Apple: Any variety of apple can be used. The outcome will be different depending on the tartness or sweetness of the apple variety. I used an ambrosia apple which, which adds sweetness to this sugar-free recipe.
- Walnuts: I like to toast the walnuts (read further for how to toast). You can skip this step, however, toasting the walnuts really enhances their flavour and texture. Which, in turn, enhances the flavour and texture of your baking.
- Oats: Use quick oats or rolled oats. Neither instant oats or steel cut oats will work with this recipe. Oats are naturally gluten free, however they are often processed in facilities that also process wheat. For this reason, if gluten is a concern, be sure to buy oats that are labelled as certified gluten free.
- Flour: I am using a one to one ratio gluten free flour blend with xanthan gum. If gluten is not an issue for you, you can use all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, or a combo in the same measure.
- Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Baking Powder, Salt
- Milk: I used almond milk, but any milk, either dairy or non-dairy will work equally well.
- Oil: This recipe uses olive oil, which adds a fruitiness to the already fruit-filled muffins. You can also use vegetable oil.
- Egg: Use a large egg. The egg, and all the other ingredients, should ideally be a room temperature for the best possible results. If you want to bring ingredients to room temperature quickly, here's how: How to Bring Butter, Eggs & Dairy to Room Temperature Quickly
- Maple Syrup: If you can, use the real thing. "Pancake" syrup is simply corn syrup with artificial flavour and colour added and is not a substitute for pure maple syrup.
How To Toast Walnuts
For the best flavour and crunch, toast the walnuts. It's very easy and doesn't take long at all. You can toast the nuts in a skillet on the stovetop or you can use the oven. For a small amount of nuts, like the ½ cup in this recipe I use the stovetop.
To toast nuts on the stove, heat a skillet over medium heat. Add the nuts to the pan in a single layer. Nuts are naturally high in fat, so there is no need to use any oil. Stir or shake the pan to keep them from burning, and heat until the nuts become fragrant and toasted, about 5 minutes.
To toast nuts in the oven, preheat the oven to 350°. Place the walnuts in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake for 6-7 minutes, stirring every couple of minutes.
For both toasting methods, keep a close eye on them. Nuts can burn very easily. Transfer the toasted nuts immediately to a plate so that they don't continue to cook.
How To Make These Tasty Muffins (Step By Step)
Muffins are almost always made by the same method, called appropriately, The Muffin Method. These cranberry oatmeal muffins are no exception.
- Whisk together the oats, flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt in a large bowl.
- Whisk the milk, maple syrup, egg, olive oil and vanilla in a separate bowl.
- Add the wet ingredients, along with any add-ins, to the dry ingredients.
- Combine all ingredients with a few quick strokes.
- The batter should be stirred just enough to moisten. Don't overmix.
- Fill muffin tin.
Tips For Perfect Muffins
- If gluten is not a problem for you, use a 1:1 ratio all purpose flour.
- Your gluten-free flour blend should contain xanthan gum. If it doesn't you can add ¼ teaspoon xanthan gum per cup of flour.
- If you are baking at a high altitude, stir a tablespoon of lemon juice or apple cider vinegar into the milk and let it stand for 2-5 minutes.
- Always use the Muffin Method outlined above, mixing the wet ingredients separately from the dry ingredients.
- Don't over mix. (This can't be overemphasized)
- Combine the wet and dry ingredients right before baking. (Don't make the muffin batter ahead of time).
- Line the muffin pan with paper liners. Lining the pan eliminates the need for greasing, ensures that the baked muffins will not stick, makes cleanup easier, and extends the life of your pans.
- For evenly sized muffins, use an ice cream scoop to fill the muffin pans.
- Allow the muffins to cool in the pan for 5 minutes before transferring them to a rack to cool completely.
- Store muffins, once cooled in an air tight container in a single layer (or use paper towel to separate the layers. Your delicious muffins will keep for 2-3 days at room temperature, or 5-7 days in the fridge.
- Use leftover cranberries to make my Grand Marnier Cranberry Sauce!
Ingredient Variations For Oatmeal Muffins
As long as you have your basic oatmeal muffin base, you can change the add ins to whatever you like. Instead of:
- Dates: Raisins or Diced Prunes
- Cranberries: Dried cherries, strawberries, or apricots
- Walnuts: Pecans, cashews, or slivered almonds
- Apple: Pear or a grated carrot
Oats are naturally gluten free. However, many oat products, including oatmeal, are processed in facilities where wheat products are also processed. Those products pose a risk of cross contamination. If gluten is an issue, be sure to look for oats that are labelled as gluten free.
Yes, in fact these healthy cranberry muffins freeze really well! Having frozen muffins are a great way to have a convenient healthy breakfast on hand. To freeze, store muffins in a freezer safe container or freezer bags for up to three months. Thaw them at room temperature.
You can easily make these a vegan recipe! Just replace the egg with a flax egg, or egg replacement.
More Fall Baking Ideas
Fall Baking is perfect for using seasonal ingredients. If you love it, too, here are more delicious fall baking recipes for you to try!
Did you make this recipe? Please leave a rating in the comments below and let us know how it turned out. Did you make any changes? We would love for you to share and your feedback is important! Thank you for visiting The Food Blog!
Cranberry Oatmeal Muffins
- 1 ½ cups gluten free all-purpose flour with xanthan gum
- 1 cup quick-cooking oats gluten free
- 1 tablespoon baking powder gluten free
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup almond milk
- 1 egg large
- ¼ cup olive oil
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 large apple peeled and diced
- 6 dates pitted and chopped
- ½ cup cranberries
- ½ cup toasted walnuts chopped
- Preheat oven to 375°
- Line a twelve cup muffin pan with paper liners, or use cooking spray.
- In a large bowl combine the flour, oats, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.
- In a smaller bowl, whisk together the milk, egg, olive oil, maple syrup and vanilla.
- Add the milk mixture to the flour mixture
- Add the apple, dates, cranberries and walnuts
- Stir just until dry ingredients are moistened
- Spoon into prepared muffin pan cups
- Bake in the centre of the oven for 20 minutes
- Cool in the pan for five minutes before transferring the muffins to a rack to cool completely
- Store at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 2 days
Excellent! The dates were such a perfect idea for that extra sweetness! Such a good blend of sweet and tart. Thanks for the recipe!
You're welcome, Jessica! I'm so happy that you loved the muffins!
These muffins are perfect for fall! The apple and cranberry are so good together, and the spices gave it a nice depth of flavor. Loved them.
I'm so glad to hear that you loved the muffins, Amanda! Your comment is appreciated.
I really loved this Cranberry Oatmeal Muffin Recipe. I also loved the fact it was gluten-free, and my best friend could enjoy them as well. I am looking forward to trying more of your recipes.
Hi Heidy. I'm so happy that you loved these healthy muffins. Thanks so much for your feedback!
My dad brought so many apples over the weekend, was thinking about muffins and I found yours with cranberries. So excited to bake a batch of these so soon.
Hi Hayley, these muffins are a perfect way to use up some of those apples! Enjoy!
Oh I love apple muffins during this time of the year! I am so trying your recipe out very soon!
Hi Geri! I'm so sorry that this recipe wasn't to your taste. It happens! Two tablespoons of lemon juice aren't really excessive and most people have loved the recipe. Also, adding extra olive oil is not recommended. But it's all fine it it didn't work for you! Thanks for commenting.
These muffins are awesome. They make for a great afternoon pick-me-up, and my kiddo loves them for brekky!
These are my favorite grab-and-go breakfast muffins! So good and easy to make, too!
Hi Jennifer. I'm super happy that these muffins are a favorite. Thanks so much for commenting!
Whipped up a batch of these this afternoon and they do not disappoint! Turned out perfectly light, delicious and perfect for fall!
Hi Sara, it's so great to hear how these healthy muffins turned out for you. I appreciate your feedback!
These muffins are healthy filling and delicious! They are perfect for my toddlers who are incredibly picky. They begged me for more after eating one and they are packed full of superfoods! It's a win win!
Hi Liz. Isn't it wonderful when kids actually like something even though it's healthy? I'm thrilled to hear that your toddlers loved these muffins. Thanks for commenting.
These muffins are so tasty, and I love they are not too sweet. Perfect addition to my breakfast and school snacks!
Hi Enri! It's great that you enjoy these healthy muffins! Thanks for letting me know!
Can i use dried cranberries
Hi Vivian, yes, absolutely you can use dried cranberries. Enjoy these yummy muffins!
These are the perfect combination of fall flavours and I just happen to have all of them. Love the use of dates as opposed to sugar. Can’t wait to eat these.
Hi Kristen, I hope you'll let me know how these muffins turned out for you. Happy baking!
Jagruti's Cooking Odyssey
Who doesn't like freshly baked muffins? Such a delicious recipe with all the seasonal ingredients. Loving all the step by step images 🙂
Thanks, Jagruti. I'm so happy that you found the step by step helpful!
Great recipe - the dates are a particularly clever touch! Wonderful for bringing a rich sweetness to recipe that you otherwise wouldn't get from cranberries alone. Thanks for sharing!
You're very welcome, Sean. Enjoy!
Marisa F. Stewart
These muffins celebrate the flavors of the season. The apples, cranberries are ideal and what a lovely addition to a nice breakfast or brunch. I'm making these for our Sunday brunch next week and I know they'll be a hit. I like that you used olive oil instead of butter. A much healthier choice.
Hi Marisa, I know you will love these muffins. Olive oil is a key ingredient. Enjoy!