Feb 032017
Cranberry Struesel Muffins

We still have cranberries hanging around in the freezer from when I made a cranberry-glazed ham, so I thought I’d use some of them up. I made a half-batch of cranberry muffins, which were both a disaster and a success.

After a required baking time of 22 minutes, I pulled the muffins out of the oven and they looked done since the struesel on top was golden brown and they were firm. I went and did a workout out and when I returned, my muffins had collapsed and, upon a sacrificial cutting of one muffin, I found it was raw in the middle. 🙁

They looked fully baked…

Possible explanations for why the recipe failed:

  • The recipe for these muffins comes from Dessert for Two, and I encountered similar difficulties using their pumpkin cupcake recipe at Halloween, potentially because it is a half yield and the ingredient proportions are off.
  • The other issue with this recipe is that you put the struesel in the middle of the muffin, which means that you are adding extra butter to your batter (again, I ran into a similar problem during the cranberry pound cake crisis). The struesel on the top is delicious, but it makes it hard to gauge when the muffins are baked.
  • I think the main reason this recipe didn’t go to plan is that I was also testing out silicone muffin cups that were a Christmas gift. Now, I should have realized that the muffins would take longer in those cups since the silicone walls are thicker than paper. But, the tops and bottoms of the muffins were done,with only a soggy middle: maybe from the struesel, maybe from the cups, maybe both.

Solution to my muffin problem:

Rather than throwing the remaining 5 muffins out, I opted for the controversial approach of re-heating the oven and throwing them back in. After checking on them in 5 minute intervals I finally took them out after 25 minutes. They tasted great and were fully cooked without being over-baked on the top! 🙂

Thoughts on silicone bakeware:

With the silicone cups, these muffins took double the baking time! They are tricky to eat from because you don’t get that satisfying peel away of the paper, and are left using your finger to shovel muffin into your mouth. Also, I CANNOT get them clean. I didn’t use a spray oil to coat them because I don’t think it’s good for you, and it ruins the taste. Has any one else had problems with silicone bakeware? I would love to hear about your experiences because I’m now put off using them.

Without further ado, the recipe:

Makes 6 muffins


Struesel Topping:

1/3 cup light brown sugar
1 tbsp. granulated sugar
pinch of salt
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
2 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup flour


1/4 cup neutral oil
1/3 cup granulated sugar
pinch of salt
1 large egg, beaten
1/4 cup sour cream (or full-fat yogurt) [I only had creamy vanilla, so maybe this affected the muffin outcome as well.]
1/2 tsp. vanilla (I used vanilla pod seeds)
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 cup flour
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/8 tsp. baking soda
1/2 cup frozen cranberries


Preheat the oven to 375F and line a muffin pan with 6 liners (I would opt for paper next time!)

Make the struesel: In a small bowl, stir together the ingredients with a fork until it forms large clumps.


Make the muffins: In a medium bowl, add the oil, sugar, and salt. Stir together well, and then add the egg, yogurt, and vanilla. Stir to combine.

In a separate small bowl, whisk together the cinnamon, flour, baking powder, and baking soda. Add this to the wet ingredients and stir to combine.

Fold in the cranberries.

Scoop out enough batter to fill each muffin cup halfway. Add a tablespoon of struesel topping. Then, top with the remaining batter. Sprinkle remaining struesel mixture on top of muffins. [Note: I’m not sure the struesel in the middle adds anything so you could always halve the struesel recipe and just sprinkle it on top!]


Bake 19-22 minutes (potentially a lot longer). Let cool in the pan.


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