Delicious Cranberry-Apple Spice Muffin Recipe

Are you ready for a fall-inspired breakfast or snack that’s gluten-free, dairy-free, and bursting with flavor? Look no further than these Cranberry-Apple Spice Muffins. These muffins are perfect for anyone who’s looking for a delicious and healthy way to start their day.

If you’re like me, you love the flavors of fall – warm spices, crisp apples, and tart cranberries all come together in this delightful muffin recipe. And with the addition of almond flour and oatmeal, these muffins are also packed with protein and fiber to keep you feeling full throughout the morning.

One of the best things about these muffins is that they’re incredibly easy to make. With just a few simple ingredients and some basic baking tools, you can whip up a batch of these muffins in no time at all.

So why not give this recipe a try? With its combination of sweet and tart flavors and its gluten-free and dairy-free ingredients, it’s the perfect way to start your day on a healthy note without sacrificing any taste.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Cranberry-Apple Spice Muffins (Gluten Free)
Cranberry-Apple Spice Muffins (Gluten Free)

Are you a fan of warm, fragrant spices and the sweet tanginess of cranberries and apples? Do you love indulging in baked goods but can’t tolerate gluten or dairy products? If so, I have the perfect recipe for you- my gluten-free Cranberry-Apple Spice Muffins!

There’s nothing quite like biting into a freshly baked muffin, straight out of the oven. It’s comfort food at its finest, warming your soul from the inside out. My Cranberry-Apple Spice Muffins are no exception- they are packed with flavor and wholesome ingredients that will leave you feeling satisfied and nourished.

One of the things I love about this recipe is that it uses a combination of almond flour and oatmeal instead of traditional wheat flour. Not only does this make it gluten-free, but it also adds a lovely nuttiness and chewy texture to the muffins. The use of applesauce in place of oil or butter make these muffins low-fat, while retaining the moistness and softness that muffins should have.

The mix of warm spices, such as cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, clove, allspice, gives these muffins their distinct aroma and depth in flavor. The use of dried cranberries and chopped apples provides a lovely contrast between sweet and tart flavors.

But what really sets these muffins apart is their versatility. They can be enjoyed for breakfast, as a snack or even as dessert. They can also be made vegan by using flax seeds in place of eggs or egg replacer. Pumpkin puree is another great substitute for egg replacement that adds richness and moisture to the muffins.

Whether you’re an experienced baker or a beginner in the kitchen, my Cranberry-Apple Spice Muffins recipe is easy to follow and yields delicious results every time. So why not give it a try? Your taste buds (and stomach!) will thank you.

Ingredient List

 Bite into this warm and spicy muffin for a cozy fall breakfast.
Bite into this warm and spicy muffin for a cozy fall breakfast.

Let’s take a closer look at the ingredients needed to make these delicious cranberry-apple spice muffins. It’s important to have all the ingredients ready before you start the recipe, so you don’t have to pause midway and run to the store for missing ingredients. Here is the full list of ingredients you will need:

Ingredients 1:

  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/3 cup unsulfured molasses
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 3 cups grated apples
  • 1/2 cup grated zucchini
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 2-3 tbsp freshly grated orange zest
  • 2 cups gluten-free flour blend (or an equal amount of your preferred flour blend)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp xanthan gum or psyllium husk powder
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp allspice

Ingredients 2:

  • 1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans, toasted
  • 1 cup chopped dried cranberries

You may already have some of these items in your pantry, but it’s always good to double-check before starting a recipe. Make sure all your ingredients are fresh and not expired for better results. Now that we’ve got our ingredients in order, let’s move on to the recipe itself.

The Recipe How-To

 Gluten-free never tasted so good! These cranberry-apple muffins are a treat for your taste buds.
Gluten-free never tasted so good! These cranberry-apple muffins are a treat for your taste buds.

Now that you have all the necessary ingredients, let’s jump into the recipe!


Before starting, preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C) and line a muffin pan with paper liners.

Dry Ingredients

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together 2 cups (240g) of gluten-free all-purpose flour, 2 teaspoons of baking powder, 1 teaspoon of baking soda, 1 teaspoon of xanthan gum, 1/4 teaspoon of salt, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg, 1/2 teaspoon of allspices and 1/4 teaspoon of cloves.

Wet Ingredients

In another large mixing bowl, whisk together 2/3 cup (160ml) unsweetened applesauce, 1/2 cup (100g) brown sugar, 1/4 cup (60ml) molasses, and 1 & 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract until well combined. Then add in two large eggs one at a time into the mixture while continuing to whisk.

Combining Wet and Dry Ingredients

Next, add half of the dry ingredients to the wet ones mix and stir them together with a spatula until just combined. Add in the remaining dry ingredients midway through stirring. Stir gently until the batter is just combined. Do not over-mix as it can result in tough muffins.

Adding in Fruits and Nuts

By now, you can add to this mixture: 1 large peeled, diced apple (about 1 heaping cup), ¾ cup diced zucchini, ¾ cup dried cranberries, and ½ chopped up walnuts. Fold these ingredients into the batter slowly.


With a spoon or ice-cream scooper fill each muffin liner about 3/4 of the way full. Place the muffin pan in the preheated oven and bake for about 25-30 minutes, turning the pan once halfway, until the muffins are golden brown on top and a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean.

These Cranberry-Apple Spice Muffins are delicious and perfect for a quick breakfast or snack!

Substitutions and Variations

 With just the right balance of tart cranberries and sweet apples, these muffins will have you reaching for seconds.
With just the right balance of tart cranberries and sweet apples, these muffins will have you reaching for seconds.

Don’t worry if you don’t have all the ingredients on hand, this recipe is adaptable! Here are some tried and tested substitutions and variations that you can try:

– Flour: For a gluten-free version, use a gluten-free all-purpose flour blend or almond flour instead of the wheat flour. King Arthur Flour’s Gluten-Free Measure-for-Measure Flour is my go-to for baking. You may need to add an extra tablespoon of xanthan gum or flaxseed meal to help bind the batter together.

– Sweetener: Molasses and brown sugar add depth of flavor to the muffins, but you can use any sweetener you like such as honey, coconut sugar or maple syrup. If you want sugar-free muffins, use stevia instead.

– Applesauce: If you don’t have applesauce on hand, use mashed bananas or pumpkin puree instead for moisture in the batter.

– Eggs: For a vegan version, use flax eggs (1 tablespoon flax seed meal mixed with 2.5 tablespoons water) instead of eggs.

– Spices: Don’t have allspice, clove or nutmeg? No problem! Just use more cinnamon and ginger to flavor the muffins. You can also try different spice blends such as chai spice or pumpkin pie spice to change up the flavor profile.

– Dried fruit and nuts: Swap out the cranberries and walnuts for raisins, dried cherries or chopped pecans. You can also add shredded zucchini or grated apple to make the muffins even more moist and nutritious.

Remember, experimentation is key when it comes to customizing recipes to fit your taste preferences and dietary restrictions. Have fun in the kitchen and enjoy your delicious gluten-free Cranberry-Apple Spice Muffins!

Serving and Pairing

 This recipe will make your kitchen smell like a fall wonderland with the blend of cinnamon, allspice, and vanilla.
This recipe will make your kitchen smell like a fall wonderland with the blend of cinnamon, allspice, and vanilla.

When I make Cranberry-Apple Spice Muffins, I love to serve them warm right out of the oven. The heavenly aroma of cloves, nutmeg, and cinnamon fills the air, making it hard to resist digging in right away. The muffins are moist and tender with a burst of tart cranberries and sweet chunks of juicy apples in each bite.

These muffins are a versatile treat that can be enjoyed any time of day. They make a great breakfast option when paired with a cup of hot tea or coffee or a glass of almond milk. For lunch or dinner, they pair well with savory dishes like roasted turkey, chicken and beef. Or, if you’re feeling adventurous, you could try serving them as a dessert with homemade ice cream or whipped cream.

If you’re looking for healthier pairings, pair these delicious muffins with fresh fruit salad or steamed vegetables for a lighter meal. You could even crumble them over your favorite oatmeal for an extra boost of flavor and nutrition.

Whether you choose to serve them as a breakfast treat, afternoon snack or a dessert, one thing is for sure – Cranberry-Apple Spice Muffins are simply irresistible.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 These muffins are perfect for meal prep, a snack on the go, or a sweet treat for any occasion.
These muffins are perfect for meal prep, a snack on the go, or a sweet treat for any occasion.

Now that you’ve whipped up a batch of these delicious Cranberry-Apple Spice Muffins, you are probably wondering how best to store and reheat them. The good news is this recipe lends itself perfectly to make-ahead baking.

If you want to get ahead of the game, why not bake a large batch in advance and freeze them? To do so, simply allow the muffins to cool completely before wrapping them tightly in foil or freezer-safe bags. They will last for up to 3 months.

To thaw your muffins, remove them from the freezer and leave them at room temperature for 3-4 hours or overnight in the refrigerator. Once defrosted, all that’s left to do is reheat them so that they are warm and fresh once more.

But how do you reheat Cranberry-Apple Spice Muffins without causing them to become dry or sticky? Fear not! There are several different methods that I use when reheating muffins:

– The oven: Preheat your oven to 350°F (180°C) and bake your muffins for around 10 minutes until they are warmed through.

– The microwave: Place one or two muffins on a microwavable plate and heat on high for around 20 seconds. Check their temperature and continue heating in 5-second increments as necessary.

– Toaster oven: This quick option is ideal if you prefer crispier edges. Simply place your muffin into the toaster oven and heat for 2-3 minutes until they are nicely warmed through.

Lastly, these muffins can be stored at room temperature in an airtight container for up to five days. If you want to enjoy these muffins daily while maintaining their soft texture, it’s better to store them in a plastic bag and refrigerate for up to a week.

Enjoy these scrumptious treats any time of day by following my tips on storing and reheating!

Tips for Perfect Results

 Can you resist these freshly baked muffins? We certainly can't!
Can you resist these freshly baked muffins? We certainly can’t!

Now that you have all the ingredients and steps required to make these delicious cranberry-apple spice muffins, it’s time to talk about some tips that could help you achieve perfect results.

Firstly, if you want to substitute any ingredient in the recipe, be sure to measure the amount accurately. It’s important because even a small change can alter the texture or taste of the muffins.

Secondly, when measuring flour, try not to scoop it directly from the bag using the measuring cup. Instead, spoon it into the cup and level it off with a knife. This will ensure that you have just the right amount of flour required for the recipe.

Thirdly, always use fresh baking powder and baking soda. You can test their potency by adding a pinch of each separately in a small bowl of water. If they fizz right away, you’re good to go! But if there’s no reaction, then it’s time to replace them.

Fourthly, mix dry ingredients such as spices, baking powder, baking soda and xanthan gum in a separate bowl before incorporating them into the wet ingredients. This will not only distribute them evenly but also avoid overmixing and thus producing tough muffins.

Additionally, be sure not to overmix the batter once dry and wet ingredients are combined. This might result in rubbery or dense muffins. A few lumps here and there are perfectly fine!

Fifthly, for extra flavor and moisture, add orange zest or lemon juice to your muffin batter – this complements the flavors of apple and cranberry perfectly.

Lastly, consider using King Arthur Flour brand gluten-free flour – it’s one of my favorite flour blends for gluten-free recipes due to its consistency and reliability.

By following these tips, you can ensure that your cranberry-apple spice muffins turn out perfect every time!

Bottom Line

In conclusion, this Cranberry-Apple Spice Muffin Recipe is the perfect combination of sweet, tangy, and spiced notes. Whether you are looking for a gluten-free or dairy-free option, or you just want to enjoy a healthy and delicious muffin, this recipe is the one for you. The use of wholesome ingredients like almond flour, flaxseed, and applesauce make these muffins soft, moist, and packed with nutrients. Plus, the cranberries and apples provide a fruity twist that complements the chai spice blend to perfection.

This recipe is not only nutritious but also easy to make and customize. You can use different fruit combinations like zucchini and dried cranberries or add some walnuts for a crunchy texture. You could even swap the spices for a pumpkin pie mix or experiment with orange zest instead of lemon juice. There are so many possibilities!

Finally, I highly recommend using King Arthur Gluten-Free Flour as it provides excellent results every time. This flour has been tested in-house to ensure it holds up well in recipes that usually call for all-purpose or whole wheat flour. Plus, it has a delicious taste and texture that will surprise you.

Don’t miss out on this fantastic recipe! Give it a try today and let us know what you think. Happy baking!

Cranberry-Apple Spice Muffins (Gluten Free)

Cranberry-Apple Spice Muffins (Gluten Free) Recipe

These muffins have a distinct flavor due to the blend of spices and orange zest. I based the spices off of a recipe for spice cake, since that is what I was craving at the time. The wonderful thing about these muffins is though they do take some time to make, they are filled with nutrients from the veggies and fruits and they don’t have the high sugar or fat content of most muffins. Since the nutrition info doesn't include the flours, I did my own calculation - 119 cal, 2.5 fat, 21 carbs, 1.8 fiber, 5.4 sugar, 2.7 protein. (only 2 points with weight watchers!) These also work great in mini loaf pans. Simply increase the baking time to 45 minutes, or until a fork inserted in the center comes out clean.
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Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Course Breakfast/Snack
Cuisine Gluten-free
Calories 62.2 kcal


Filling Ingredients

  • 1 cup shredded zucchini (about 1 zucchini)
  • 1 1/2 cups finely chopped apples (about 1 large apple)
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice

Dry Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups gluten-free flour (Try 3/4 brown rice flour, 1/4 soy or almond flour and 1/2 cup each of garfava flour, tapioca flour &)
  • 1 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon clove

Wet Ingredients

  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups applesauce
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon molasses
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla


  • walnuts (I've also used biscotti crumbs for added crunch or sprinkled extra brown sugar on top )


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease or line two muffin pans (I like to do one regular 12 cup muffin pan and one large 6 cup muffin pan, this also works in a small loaf pan).
  • In a medium sized bowl stir together the filling ingredients.
  • In large bowl, mix together dry ingredients using a wire whisk. Stick your nose in and smell all the spices!
  • In a mixer, beat the eggs, then add the rest of the wet ingredients and mix well. (TIP: To keep the molasses from sticking to your tablespoon, rub a drop of oil in the inside and around the edges and it will slide right off!).
  • Turn mixer on low speed and add the dry mix a little bit at a time, mixing after each addition. Put mixer on medium-high speed and mix for about 15 seconds.
  • Add the filling ingredients and mix on low for about 15 seconds.
  • Spoon the batter into pans, filling halfway since muffins will double in height (I recommend using a rounded ice cream scoop).
  • Place a walnut in the center of each muffin (Sprinkle on brown sugar or crushed biscotti crumbs if you like).
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes. When done, leave in pans at least 5 minutes before eating.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 52gCalories: 62.2kcalCarbohydrates: 9gProtein: 1.6gFat: 2.5gSaturated Fat: 0.4gCholesterol: 35.2mgSodium: 93.6mgFiber: 0.8gSugar: 4.6g
Keyword < 60 Mins, Apple, Berries, Breakfast, Brunch, For Large Groups, Free Of..., Fruit, Lactose-free, Lunch
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