Pumpkin Cranberry Muffins (Two Ways)

These very clever muffins can go two ways–fancy or simple.  And although my pictures in this post all show frosting, let me make this perfectly clear–these muffins are great plain.

Frosted Pumpkin Muffin

Frosted Pumpkin Muffin

The muffin part of this recipe (which I have since altered slightly) was developed by a former coworker when she was doing weight watchers (she even calculated the points!). They were tasty and healthy and all her friends were delighted!

But today I needed to make them for teenagers.  Including my youngest daughter who (loudly and vocally) doesn’t like pumpkin.  But isn’t it every natural foodie’s mission to sneak healthy ingredients into their kids’ food?

Pumpkin muffins in mixer

Pumpkin muffins ingredients in mixer

To add to the challenge, I didn’t even know that I needed to bake until that morning.   My daughter was getting ready for school and I just happened to ask “when do I need to bake for music theory again?”

Her eyes grew wide, her mouth dropped open and she moaned, “Oh I’m so so-o-o-r-ry.  It’s today.”

We resolved that I would drop something off before her 10:30 class and I booted up the PC to check my list-of-treats-to-test to see what I might have the ingredients for.   I had seen some cute cupcakes made in a pumpkin shaped mini bundt pan.  It was a bit more pumpkin shaped than my standard mini bundt pan, but now was not the time to be choosy. And so the “fancy” version of this muffin was born.

Fancy pumpkin muffins

Fancy pumpkin muffins

I was kind of nervous about the whole last minute effort, even though I really enjoyed my “test” mini-cupcakes and the glaze had hardened up nicely (which meant they wouldn’t be too messy for school).  I texted my daughter to see how it went and got the following reply back, “Everyone loved them! They were awesome! There was a round of applause!  Thank you so much you’re the best!”

So the frosted muffins are now confirmed to convert non-believers… But, really, they are also lovely straight.

Pumpkin Muffins


  • ¼ c oil
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ can pumpkin (half of a 1 lb can)
  • ¼ c water
  • 3/4 c all purpose flour
  • ½c whole wheat flour
  • ½ c oat bran
  • ¼ t baking powder
  • 1 t baking soda
  • ¼ t cloves
  • ¼ t allspice
  • ½ t ground ginger
  • 1 t cinnamon
  • 1 cup chopped fresh cranberries


  1. Mix wet and dry ingredients separately, then combine.
  2. Bake in greased cupcake tins at 350 for 20-25 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean
  3. Cool completely.

*     *     *

Twix bar pumpkin "stems"

Twix bar pumpkin “stems”

If you decide to go “fancy,” here is the glaze I used.  It is a standard glaze with the addition of candy melts, so that it would dry harder and be neater to serve.

Glaze coloring

Glaze coloring

pumpkin muffin glaze drying

Glaze drying

Pumpkin Muffin Glaze


  • 2 c powdered sugar
  • 5 T water or cream (adjust to desired consistency)
  • 5 T butter
  • 1/2 t vanilla
  • 1 c vanilla candy melts (Wilton)
  • Red and yellow food coloring (I used gel)
  • Twix bars, or tootsie rolls or other chocolates to make stems (optional)


  1. Combine ingredients in double boiler and heat until melted.
  2. Whisk until glaze is smooth, then add color and mix, adjusting amounts until desired shade is reached.
  3. Dip the cooled cupcakes in the glaze.  Let harden on wire rack.
Pumpkin Muffins

Pumpkin Muffins or Cupcakes if you prefer

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13 thoughts on “Pumpkin Cranberry Muffins (Two Ways)

  1. Louise

    Oh the days of last minute baked goods, lol…You sure rose to the occasion Inger. Those little bundt muffins are darling. I like that the recipe has so many tastes of healthiness too:)

    Friday is National Bundt Cake/Pan Day. Perhaps you should send some more to school to celebrate!

    Thanks for sharing, Inger…

    1. Inger Post author

      I am glad to be finally using the mini bundt pan–and I just came across a website loaded with recipes so there is more on the way!!

  2. Corinne

    I’m so excited to find new blogs, especially in the Fall. My cousin told me about yours and also one called “Cooking With Mr. C.” which is on Facebook and is also a blog. I just “Liked” his page and came directly to your site. I’m so excited. My kids love when I find new blogs. Thank you. Corinne

    1. Inger Post author

      Thanks Corrine–I love finding new blogs too! I have the biggest “wish list” of new things to cook from different blogs and I never need to worry about inspiration!

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