Deb’s Cranberry Oat Muffins

Picky eater though my child self was, I remain continually bewildered by friends who don’t enjoy the things I find delicious: Sujin, who took years to come around to coconut; Andree, who is suspicious of many kinds of cheese; and Kate, who doesn’t care for pie despite the fact that her mum, Deb, makes the best pie crust in the world.  Kate also doesn’t like muffins (?!), with the singular exception of this recipe of her mum’s.  Deb shared the recipe with me a few years ago and I’ve been making them ever since.

IMG_1229 These muffins are sweet-nutritious – sure, there’s sugar on top (and cinnamon, nbd), but they’re tart, too, and these babies have a base of oats and fruit (wholesome!).  They’re light and fluffy, they keep well, and their colours (red-yellow-beige-brown) are beautiful.  Your mornings probably need them.


Notes: Dried cranberries, frozen cranberries, fresh cranberries – I’ve used them all in this recipe, and I’ve gone half-and-half with one or the other when I’ve found myself caught short with one or another.  In this way, these muffins are awesome all year round.


Deb’s Cranberry Oat Muffins

1 cup oats
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
1 egg
1/4 cup melted butter
2 cup chopped cranberries (frozen, fresh or dried)
grated zest of 2 lemons (about 4 tsp)
4 tsp white sugar
1 tsp cinnamon


1.  In a large bowl, stir the buttermilk into the oats and set aside.

2.  In a small bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and sugar.  Set aside.

3.  Add egg and melted butter to the oat-buttermilk mixture, and stir well to combine.  Add dried ingredients, stirring until just moistened.   Fold in cranberries and lemon rind.  Pour batter into a muffin tray that’s been lined with muffin cups or lightly greased with butter.

5.  In a small bowl, stir the white sugar with the cinnamon, and sprinkle evenly over the muffins.  Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes, or until the tops are lightly browned.


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  1. Can one use soured millk instead of buttermilk? (Also, I would like you to publish a cookbook.)

    • While I’ve never subbed in sour milk for buttermilk, I’ve swapped in plain yogurt instead for other muffin recipes, and that works out fine – you come away with a slightly denser muffin. Alternatively, I’ve heard good things about adding 1 tbsp lemon juice to a cup of milk, and letting that stand for 5 minutes – it makes a buttermilk substitute. (Let’s co-write one, shall we? Maybe Sharday would do its illustrations/photography.)

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