Cranberry Pecan Banana Bread Muffins

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The holidays are the perfect time to get cozy in the kitchen and bake something delicious. The best part about these Cranberry Pecan Banana Bread Muffins is that they can be made with pantry staples you likely already have on hand, so no need to go out and buy a bunch of expensive ingredients. These muffins will make your home smell like Christmas morning!

Before we get into the recipe, let’s get some questions answered.

What is a muffin?

A muffin is an individual-sized quick bread that can be served for breakfast or as an accompaniment to coffee or tea. Muffins are usually baked in round foil tins with paper liners but you can also bake them in cupcake pans and use liners.

How to make banana bread? For these muffins, we swap out the traditional white sugar for brown and add some of our favorite holiday flavors- cranberries (fresh or dried) and pecans. This recipe calls for mini chocolate chips because they’re just so darn cute! You can leave them out if you’re looking for a more traditional banana bread flavor.

What are the ingredients in Cranberry Pecan Banana Bread Muffins?

-All purpose flour (you’ll need one and a half cups)

-Baking powder (one teaspoon)

-Eggs (we use two eggs but some recipes call for three)

-Bananas (one and a half cups mashed)

-Brown sugar (half cup)

-Cranberries, fresh or dried if you don’t have any on hand. You’ll need some chopped fruit so we used about one quarter of a cup)

-Pecans, chopped finely to make it easier to distribute them throughout the muffins

-Mini chocolate chips (optional)

How do you make Cranberries Pecan Banana Bread Muffins?

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 12 cup muffin pan and set aside. We use nonstick cooking spray but butter or vegetable oil would work as well.

In a large bowl, mix together the flour and baking powder. In another bowl beat your eggs until they are light yellow or slightly foamy. Add in the mashed bananas to the egg mixture and continue beating for about one minute more. Then stir into dry ingredients with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon until just combined – don’t overmix!

In a small bowl, mix together the milk, sugar and vanilla extract. Add this to your egg mixture and stir until combined. As mentioned before you want to make sure not to overmix!

Pour about ¼ cup of muffin batter onto each greased muffin pan cavity. Top with chopped pecans or mini chocolate chips.

Bake for 20-22 minutes at 350F or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean and muffins are lightly browned on top. Remove from oven, transfer to wire rack let cool completely before serving!

The cranberries work well because they add tartness while also adding some sweetness which balances it out.

The pecans add a lot of texture and flavor to the muffin, so I would recommend adding them.

I also added some mini chocolate chips on top because I love anything with Chocolate!

A toothpick will come out clean if you insert it in the center- there should not be any batter sticking around. **You can also insert the toothpick in a muffin without chocolate chips to make sure that it comes out clean.

Before serving, allow them to cool completely so they don’t crumble when you eat them!

If you’re looking for an alternative taste- try adding some raisins or dried cranberries instead of the mini chocolate chips!

How to make them more delicious?

-Add chopped walnuts or pecans to the batter.

-Make a streusel topping with brown sugar, flour and butter (or margarine) and sprinkle on top of the muffins before they are baked.

-Add mini chocolate chips to some of the muffin dough for some extra sweetness!

-Add spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice if you want an additional flavor profile.”

-Add a pinch of salt to the batter.

-Adding more cranberries can be an additional way to make them different, but remember that this will also change the flavor profile.

What to serve with these muffins?

* Strawberry jam or your favorite butter

* Chocolate syrup, hot fudge sauce and whipped cream for a decadent dessert muffin.

* Fresh berries in season make a great topping too!

* Add a dusting of confectioner’s sugar for the perfect finishing touch.

* These muffins are also delicious with peanut butter, almond butter or cashew cream and jelly!