Lightened Up Cranberry Pecan Muffins

A lightened up version of a beloved brunch favorite–Cranberry Pecan Muffins. Filled with tart cranberries, crunchy pecan bits and topped with cinnamon sugar. This tasty baked good pairs perfectly with an omelette, slice of egg bake or all on its own. Oh, and it’s dairy free!

My mom makes the best cranberry pecan muffins. I always voted for brunch when it came to menu options for family gatherings because:

  1. I could eat breakfast food for every meal.
  2. There’s a good chance my mom would make her cranberry pecan muffins.

This recipe stems from mom’s Library Square days as a waitress—the same place Spring Gardens evolved. They taste best when made in a six-cup jumbo muffin tin instead of the standard 12. If that size is too big, feel free to make them in a 12-cup muffin tin or slice them into halves.

There’s no denying mom’s cranberry pecan muffins are the best, but I finessed the recipe a bit to make them healthier without compromising too much of the incredible taste. I cut the sugar in half, substituted coconut oil for butter, replaced one cup of flour for oat flour, and replaced sour cream with apple sauce. And you know what? They still got it!

LET’S GET STARTED

Preheat the oven to 400℉ and line a large six-cup or regular 12-cup muffin tin with muffin liners or coat the pan with cooking spray. I like to use a large six-cup muffin tin because there’s something about a big bakery-style muffin that makes these cranberry pecan muffins taste even better.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the coconut oil and sugar using a spoon or hand mixer. Next add the applesauce, vanilla, eggs, and stir.

In another bowl, combine the flour, oat flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. To make oat flour, just blend regular rolled or quick oats into a fine powder. Add all the dry ingredients into the wet mixture and mix well.

Stir in the chopped pecans and cranberries.

Evenly distribute the mixture into the muffin tins and sprinkle cinnamon sugar on top. This step is key!

Bake for 25 minutes. Let the muffins cool before digging in—otherwise the muffins will stick to the liners or sides of the tin.

LIGHTENED UP CRANBERRY PECAN MUFFIN RECIPE

Ingredients

  • ½ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup melted coconut oil
  • 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup oat flour (blended rolled or quick oats into a fine powder)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 2 cups cranberries (halved or chopped)
  • ½ cup chopped pecans
  • 2 tbsp cinnamon sugar

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400℉ and line a large six-cup or regular 12-cup muffin tin with muffin liners or coat the pan with cooking spray.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the coconut oil and sugar using a spoon or hand mixer.
  3. Next add the applesauce, vanilla, and eggs. Mix together.
  4. In another bowl, combine the flour, oat flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Then add it to the wet mixture.
  5. Stir in the chopped cranberries and pecans.
  6. Evenly distribute the mixture into the muffin tin. Sprinkle cinnamon sugar on top.
  7. Bake for 25 minutes. Let cool before digging in. Store in an airtight container.