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Dark Days Challenge Week 3: Cranberry-Carrot Muffins

Happy Sunday to you all! My parents are visiting for the weekend, so we had a lazy morning. After a huge feast last night of braised chicken and parsnips, a riff on this macaroni and cheese, and a kale salad with toasted almonds and dried cherries, we only needed a nibble for breakfast. Muffins!

About two weeks ago, we ordered a five-pound box of fresh cranberries from Cape Cod Select. Take a look at that great box!

Box of Cranberries

We used most of them for canning – whole berry sauce, relish with oranges and walnuts (no mint), and pickled cranberries


… but had about 2 cups sitting in the refrigerator. We also had a TON of carrots. Why? I don’t know. I probably planned to use them in some grand scheme, so bought some at the farmers’ market, and then got some more from the CSA, and it just got out of control.

For a random muffin based loosely on a Mark Bittman recipe, these turned out really really well. Just sweet enough, but with a tart bite every now and then. The texture is great, too. I don’t usually like coffee shop muffins, because they’re too dense, but these are moist without being heavy. If I do say so myself…

Cranberry-carrot muffins

Cranberry-Carrot Muffins

Makes 12 muffins

Amount Ingredient Preparation Where we bought it
2 cups All-purpose flour Cayuga Pure Organics
1 1/2 tsp Baking powder
1/2 tsp Baking soda
1 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
4 TBsp Butter Cut into 1/2-inch cubes or smaller Kate’s Homemade
1 cup Maple syrup Cooks Farm and Bakery
1 Egg Red Fire Farm
1 cup Fresh cranberries Cape Cod Select
1 cup Carrot Grated and lightly packed Red Fire Farm


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and spray a 12-cup muffin tin with nonstick spray.
  2. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.
  3. Add the butter pieces to the dry ingredients and use your fingers to rub the butter through the flour mixture. Keep smooshing until the butter is pretty evenly dispersed and all the chunks are pea-sized or smaller.
  4. Whisk together the maple syrup and egg.
  5. Add the wet ingredients to the flour/butter mixture and whisk until just barely combined.
  6. Gently fold in the cranberries and grated carrot. You’ll probably have to switch from the whisk to a spoon or spatula, but use as few strokes as possible to avoid developing gluten, the protein that makes bread nice and chewy, but muffins tough.
  7. Fill each muffin cup with a scant (i.e. not quite full) 1/4 cup of batter. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until a thin knife or skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.

2 comments to Dark Days Challenge Week 3: Cranberry-Carrot Muffins

  • Thank you for a great post and beautiful picture of the Cape Cod Select gift box! Just came across this sight and was pleasantly surprised to find a post about my cranberries!
    We also offer premium frozen cranberries so I would be happy to provide you with some if you are interested in trying new recipes with frozen cranberries
    Cindy Rhodes

  • [...] definitely have a chocolate flavor, but it’s much subtler than chocolate chips. We remade these cranberry muffins substituting 3/4 cup of nibs for the carrots. Wicked! (I’m really becoming a Bay Stater, now, [...]