Cranberry-Citrus Muffin Tops

These soft and fluffy muffin tops are tart and sweet — and require no special equipment. Chilling is a must to ensure the proper puffing of the dough.
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Cranberry Citrus Muffin Tops

Cranberry Citrus Muffin Tops

Everyone knows that the top is the best part of the muffin. Serve these soft and fluffy treats instead of cookies for a light, tart yet sweet end to the meal. Get the recipe:

Photo by: Courtesy Sarah Copeland ©2012

Courtesy Sarah Copeland, 2012


pan spray, for greasing
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/3 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon orange or lemon zest
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 large egg
1 cup roughly chopped fresh cranberries, or thawed frozen
1/2 cup sugar, plus 1 1/2 tablespoons
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
1 tablespoon orange or lemon juice


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and adjust two oven racks to the top and bottom halves of the oven. Line two baking sheets with greased parchment paper.

Sift the flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda together in a medium bowl.

Whisk the buttermilk, orange zest, vanilla and egg together in a separate bowl. Toss the cranberries with 1 1/2 tablespoons of the sugar.

Beat the butter and remaining 1/2 cup sugar together in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about four minutes (or in a large bowl if using a hand mixer), scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.

Adjust the speed to low and add the dry and wet mixtures in alternating batches until just combined. Add the cranberries and fold in using a spatula.

Spray a 1/4-cup measuring cup lightly with pan spray. Scoop a level 1/4 cup of batter and scrape out with a rubber spatula onto the baking sheets. Repeat with the remaining batter, spacing the muffin tops about two inches apart. Pat the dough into rounded mounds using wet or greased hands. Chill 30 minutes.

Bake until the muffin tops are slightly golden and can be easily lifted from the baking sheets with a spatula, 18 to 20 minutes. Be sure to keep an eye on these and rotate the baking sheets top to bottom about every five minutes or as needed to ensure even baking.

Let cool in the pan three minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack until cool to the touch. Stir together the confectioners' sugar and orange juice and drizzle over the muffin tops.

Total time:
1 hour 45 minutes

12 muffin tops


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