Fresh Cranberry & Orange Muffins

When it comes to desserts, most of you know that I’m not exactly overwhelmed with a childlike glee. However, when the occasion does strike for a dessert around these parts, it’s typically accompanied by adjectives such as “not-too-sweet” or “just sweet enough.” But it’s my opinion that whether or not you clamor for desserts most of the year, when the Christmas tree is lit and it’s cold enough that you do that awkward thing where you pull your shirt up to cover the tip of your nose, it’s almost a requirement to bake something a little sweet.

These muffins satisfy the not-too-sweet requirement by bringing fresh cranberries into the mix. As we all know, fresh cranberries are quite tart. However, when they are surrounded by the coconut sugar in this recipe as they bake, they sweeten up just a touch while still maintaining that tart bite cranberries are known for and that gives the muffin the perfect balance. I will tell you the truth (and at Christmas you tell the truth)–sorry, I just watched Love Actually–if you are a fan of the sticky, sugary, frosting-covered, sweetness–these may not be the muffins for you. But if you love balanced tart and sweet flavors together, you’ll beyond adore these.

Fresh Cranberry & Orange Muffins
Yields 12
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
30 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
30 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 1/2 cups flour
  2. 1 cup coconut sugar (can substitute white sugar)
  3. 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  4. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  5. 1 egg
  6. 3/4 cup whole milk
  7. 1/2 cup (1 stick) melted unsalted butter
  8. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  9. 1 cup fresh whole cranberries
  10. Zest of one small orange
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  2. Combine the flour, salt, baking soda, and coconut sugar in a large bowl
  3. Add the egg, melted butter, milk, and vanilla and stir gently until combined
  4. Add the cranberries and orange zest and mix again, until just combined
  5. Divide batter evenly into a greased 12 muffin tin (I used coconut oil spray--you can use any non-stick cooking spray)
  6. Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean
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Vegan Raspberry Cheesecake

I’ve been making this cheesecake since a dinner party a few years back required that I bring a vegan dessert. It’s visited about 5 gatherings since and is always met with much praise–it’s a foolproof recipe that is bound to please everyone, no matter what their dietary restrictions are. And to those folks with no specific dietary restrictions, it’s simply an amazing cheesecake that isn’t a bajillion calories. 

I can’t say enough about how close in flavor it is to the real thing without using anything but fruits, nuts, and a little agave. This is also a raw dessert, set to serve by freezing (rather than baking) which means it lasts weeks frozen, making it so easy to pop out for a quick dessert. Now I’m a relatively (joke) honest gal so I will say that the prep does require you wait a good couple hours for the almonds and cashews to soak so the underlying ingredient in all of this is a little patience. This doesn’t however, mean the recipe is difficult, so don’t walk away so fast. 

I have always made this recipe as one large cheesecake, served in slices but today, I decided to twist it up a bit and make mini little guys–you can choose your own destiny, both are just as wondrous. Add this recipe to your arsenal, it’s such a good one. Also, note that I don’t really have an issue, fundamentally, with you taking credit for it.

Recipe after the jump!

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Spice Cake and Toasted Walnut Cream Cheese Frosting

This cake is christmas. Never has a cake been so christmassy (that’s a real word, I looked it up) or delicious. I’ve mentioned it a thousand times and I’ll mention it again–I don’t like sweet foods. But as I mentioned in my last post, one of my Christmas traditions is pretending that I do, in order to fit in and feel the feelings that everyone else does. Also, this spice cake is the perfect amount of sweetness where it is more in the category with the banana and zucchini breads of the world–just sweet enough and therefore, doesn’t offend me. Also, note that the toasted walnuts in the frosting completely make this cake what it is. Don’t bother making this recipe without them, please.

Before I get into the recipe, I just want to note that my serving suggestion for how and when to eat this cake is with coffee, early in the morning. I had my first piece when the sun was still coming up and my Christmas lights were the only thing lighting up my apartment. If you throw some Bing Crosby holiday radio in there, it takes the delight up a few cranks.

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