Brown Sugared Cranberry Oat Muffins

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These delicious muffins from Joanne Chang are a powerful little recipe. Perfect as a quick breakfast, an afternoon snack or even, packed up all pretty-like, a lovely holiday present. Note that the batter must be made a day ahead of time in order to rest in the fridge overnight, so plan your baking schedule accordingly. Chang notes that the muffins are best the day they are made, but you can store them in an airtight container for up to 2 days. If you keep them longer than a day, refresh them in a 300 degree oven for about 5 to 6 minutes. Or you can freeze them, well wrapped in plastic wrap, for up to a week. Reheat directly from the freezer in a 300-degree oven for about 10 minutes.


Servings: 12


For the muffins
  • 3 1/2 cups rolled (not instant) oats
  • 1 1/4 cup crème fraîche
  • 1 cup whole milk, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen or fresh cranberries, chopped
  • 1 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
For the sugared oat topping
  • 1/4 cup rolled oats
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • pinch of ground cinnamon


  1. In a medium bowl stir together the rolled oats, crème fraîche, milk and melted butter with a wooden spoon until combined. Whisk the eggs together in a small bowl and stir into the oat mixture. Add the sugar, brown sugar, and cranberries, and continue to stir until well combined.
  2. Combine the whole wheat flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a separate small bowl and stir to combine the dry ingredients. Gently fold the dry ingredients into the wet oat mixture. The batter will be gloppy. Let the batter sit for at least 8 hours or overnight in an airtight container in the refrigerator. When ready, the batter will be stiff and firm.
  3. When ready to bake the muffins, preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and place a rack in the center of the oven.
  4. Line a muffin pan with cupcake liners, or spray liberally with pan spray or butter and flour each muffin cup. Spoon about a cup of batter into each muffin cup, filling each cup all the way to the brim and way over. (It will seem like there’s too much batter for the tins but if you want the characteristic muffin top you need to overfill them. You can make smaller muffins if you prefer and reduce the baking time by about 10 minutes).
  5. In a small bowl combine the oats, brown sugar and cinnamon for the topping ingredients and sprinkle evenly over the muffins.
  6. Place the muffin tin on a baking sheet to catch any drips and place in the now preheated oven. Bake for 45 to 55 minutes or until the muffins are golden brown on top and spring back when pressed in the middle with a fingertip.
  7. Let them cool in the pan on a wire rack for 20 minutes and then remove muffins from the pan.

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