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Apple Cranberry Oatmeal Muffins and 5 Tips for Successful Muffins

Apple Cranberry Oatmeal Muffins are the perfect hearty, fall muffin to enjoy on a cold morning.

On a cold Saturday morning, I had these Apple Cranberry Oatmeal Muffins baking so I could send my husband off to the airport with something tasty and warm to eat.

The delightful smell of apple and cinnamon permeated the entire house.

The true test would be if the muffins tasted as good as they smelled.

Lucky for all of us the Apple Cranberry Oatmeal Muffins were a success.

They were a welcome treat reheated the next morning as we awoke to snow.

I think they would be fantastic served with a cup of steaming Spiced Pomegranate Apple Cider.

rustic cranberry apple oatmeal muffin

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I haven’t always had success with baking muffins.

I’ve had some real busts and some real wins.

One time, about 2 years ago, I even left out the butter because I got so distracted.

That batch went straight to the trash.

So, through my trials, errors, and successes over the years, I bring you 5 Tips for Baking Great Homemade Muffins.

These are tips that apply to this recipe for Apple Cranberry Oatmeal Muffins as well as any muffin recipe you would bake at home.

5 Tips for Baking Great Homemade Muffins

1. Unless specified in the recipe, don’t use an electric mixture.

Muffin batters are best mixed by hand with a wooden spoon and should be slightly lumpy.

Batter mixed until smooth, like cake batter, will result in tough muffins.

2. Not all muffin pans have the exact same fill capacity.

Your results may produce more or less muffins than listed in the recipe.

If you have empty cups, fill them halfway with water to help the keep the heat evenly distributed.

Rustic Apple Cranberry Oatmeal Muffins

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3. If you are baking more than 1 dozen muffins at a time, space between the muffin pans will allow the heat to circulate in the oven and produce more evenly browned muffins.

Additionally, it is helpful to rotate the pans halfway through baking.

4. For muffins that are easily removed from pans, grease the pans – even if they are nonstick – prior to baking.

Then allow muffins to rest for 5 minutes in their pans after baking before removing.

Alternatively, you can use muffin tin liners.

5. Bake extra and freeze them to enjoy muffins all week (or month) long.

The instructions for freezing muffins are essentially the same as my instructions for freezing pancakes and waffles.

Rustic Apple Cranberry and Oatmeal Muffin

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Bonus Tip for Baking Great Muffins at High Altitude:

High altitude baking is more successful when acidic liquids are included in the batter.

This gives a better rise and enables the cupcakes set more quickly in the oven rather than rising too high and then collapsing.

Buttermilk, Greek yogurt, sour cream, or added lemon juice are good sources to make the batter more acidic.

Don’t have buttermilk?

Try making your own with these Homemade Buttermilk Substitutes.

More Muffin Recipes:

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Apple Cranberry Oatmeal Muffins

Apple Cranberry Oatmeal Muffins

Yield: approx 3 dozen
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

Apple Cranberry Oatmeal Muffins are the perfect hearty, fall muffin to enjoy on a cold morning.


  • 4 cups flour
  • 1 cup quick oats
  • 1 1/4 cup organic cane sugar
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon cardamom
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) butter, melted and cooled
  • 4 large green apples, grated
  • 8 ounces chopped fresh cranberries


  1. Grease three standard 12 cup muffin tins. Set aside. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Place oven rack in the center position.
  2. In a large bowl, combine flour, quick oats, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, allspice, and cardamom. Whisk until well sifted. Set aside.
  3. In another bowl, whisk the 4 eggs. Add the buttermilk, melted butter, and grated apples. Stir until combined.
  4. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients. Add the buttermilk mixture to the well and stir until moistened. Do not beat. Batter will be very thick. Once moistened, gently fold in the chopped cranberries.
  5. Divide the batter between the 36 prepared muffin cups. Cups should be 2/3 to 3/4 of the way full. If you aren't able to get a full 3 dozen out of the batter, don't worry. Just fill the empty cups halfway with water.
  6. Bake at 400 degrees F for 15 - 25 minutes (rotating half way through), or until done and golden on top.
  7. Let muffins cool for 5 minutes in their tins before removing to cook on a wire rack.


Don't have buttermilk? Try making your own with these Homemade Buttermilk Substitutes.

This recipe also makes 2 dozen standard muffins plus 2 miniature bread loaves. Baking time will need to be adjusted for the bread loaves, approximately 20-35 minutes, or until done and golden on top.

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Nutrition Information
Yield 36 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 115Total Fat 1gSaturated Fat 0gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 1gCholesterol 21mgSodium 209mgCarbohydrates 24gFiber 2gSugar 11gProtein 3g offers recipe nutritional information as a courtesy and is an estimate only. This information comes from online calculators. Although makes every effort to provide accurate information, these figures are only estimates.

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Let me know if you try this recipe and what you think of it by leaving a comment below.

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julie e

Friday 20th of November 2020

I forgot about grating the apples. i had already chopped them up before I remembered. I left the cranberries whole to compensate. Getting a tart bite of Granny Smith along with the whole cranberries was awesome! Best muffins ever!


Friday 20th of November 2020

so glad you liked them!

Jesse V

Sunday 7th of October 2018

What a fantastic recipe- maybe my favourite muffin recipe to date.  I made these yesterday (followed the recipe as posted). Thanks for sharing.


Monday 8th of October 2018

So glad you liked them! Thanks for stopping by!

Stephanie Payton-Rigsby

Tuesday 1st of March 2016

I just made them today and they are fantastic!  I did cut back on the sugar to 1 cup because the cranberries (used dried ones because fresh ones are out of season)  made them sweet. I also added chopped pecans and almonds. I made the recipe according to the directions and didn't realize that it was for 36 muffins. So I split the batter and made 12 huge muffins instead. They turned out so beautiful. They were yummy!!! My husband and kids loved them. And like you, my kids are picking eaters too. From one mom to another, Thank you so much for your wonderful and delicious recipe. 

Katie Goodman

Wednesday 2nd of March 2016

So glad you liked them! Your addition of nuts sounds great. :) Thanks for stopping by!

Angie Kritenbrink

Saturday 19th of December 2015

I mixed these up and baked In a cast iron skillet. So yummy. 

Katie Goodman

Monday 21st of December 2015

Yummy! Glad you liked them!


Sunday 14th of December 2014

Hi, my child is also allergic to eggs. You can replace the eggs in baking with these. T = tablespoon, t = teaspoon 1. for each egg, replace with: 1 1/2 T water + 1 1/2 T oil + 1 t baking powder, stirred together OR 2. Ener-G Egg Replacer - for each egg replace with: 2 T hot water + 2 t Ener-G egg replacer, stirred together (the box says 1 1/2 t but I've found 2 t to be more reliable) - it's in most supermarkets these days and lasts for a long time