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Cranberry Pear Buttermilk Muffins



Buttermilk muffins studded with fresh cranberries, pears, toasted pecans, and a sweet streusel topping are a deliciously sweet breakfast or brunch treat! This easy muffin recipe makes the perfect treat on Christmas morning.

batch of homemade buttermilk muffins

Cranberry Pear Buttermilk Muffins

These buttermilk muffins are one of our favorite treats to serve for breakfast during the holidays. The sweet streusel and pears offset the tangy buttermilk and fresh cranberries, while the toasted pecans give the muffins a little crunch. Serve these for a Christmas brunch along with your favorite holiday coffee!

What does buttermilk do in baking?

Aside from its slightly tangy flavor, buttermilk is fantastic at producing moist muffins, and when paired with baking soda, it will increase the rise. Tall, fluffy, moist muffins are the best!

Note: Whenever you bake with buttermilk, be sure to add 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda to the recipe for each cup of buttermilk.

What is the best substitute for buttermilk?

No worries if you don’t have buttermilk on hand; here is an easy substitute for buttermilk.

For each cup of buttermilk that the recipe calls for, simply add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or white vinegar to 1 cup of milk. Stir to combine, then allow the mixture to sit for 10 minutes. This is called clabbering. (Thanks to Cooks Illustrated for the new vocabulary word.) After 10 minutes, clabbered milk should appear curdled. If not, allow it to sit for another 2 minutes.

Note: This substitute for buttermilk works best with a higher-fat content milk such as whole or 2%, but it will work with 1% milk. Also, clabbered milk will not be as thick as real buttermilk.

Is there a non-dairy substitute for buttermilk?

Coconut milk is the best non-dairy substitute for buttermilk. Follow the same technique as described above, adding 1 tablespoon of acid for each cup of milk.

prepping ingredients to make a buttermilk muffins recipe

How to Make Pear Cranberry Muffins

Here are some hints for making the best muffins:

  • Mix the dry ingredients and wet ingredients separately.
  • Add the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix just until combined. It’s important not to overmix muffin batter. Mixing too much overdevelops the gluten making baked goods chewier rather than soft. And no one wants a chewy muffin!
  • Gently fold in the fresh pears and cranberries. Again…don’t mix too much!
  • You can make regular size muffins or jumbo muffins. Scoop the batter into each muffin cup, filling the cup approximately 2/3 full.
  • Spoon the streusel over the top and bake.
  • Test the muffins with a toothpick to see if they are done. If you insert the toothpick in the center of the muffin it will come out clean.

Can I use frozen cranberries in muffins?

We recommend using fresh cranberries for this recipe, but you can use frozen if you’d like. If you use frozen cranberries, add them to the batter while they are still frozen. Don’t worry about defrosting them and chopping them.

How to Store Muffins

Muffins are best stored at room temperature in a sealed container. They will keep at room temperature for 2-3 days. You can also freeze muffins by wrapping them in foil and placing them in a zippered bag. Store for up to 3 months in the freezer.

buttermilk muffins with fresh cranberries, pears, pecans, and streusel

What can I make with buttermilk, besides buttermilk muffins?

Buttermilk is a tenderizer, so it is perfect to use as a meat marinade. For the best fried chicken on the planet, soak the chicken overnight in buttermilk. Buttermilk fried chicken is SO moist and juicy! We also use it to in our recipes for soft buttermilk sugar cookies and buttermilk country bread.

cranberry pear buttermilk muffins with streusel

Cranberry Pear Buttermilk Muffins

Buttermilk muffins studded with fresh cranberries, pears, toasted pecans, and a sweet streusel topping are a deliciously sweet breakfast or brunch treat! This easy muffin recipe is perfect for Christmas morning.

Print Pin Rate

Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Keyword: buttermilk muffins, christmas muffins, cranberry, pear, toasted pecans
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 18
Calories: 191kcal
Author: Julie Clark

Ingredients

Streusel Topping

  • 2/3 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 5 tablespoons melted butter

Muffins

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 5 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh pear (about ½ of a large pear-peeled, cored, and cut into small pieces)
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped fresh cranberries
  • 1/2 cup chopped toasted pecans

Instructions

  • Heat oven to 375 F. Line muffin pans with 18 paper liners (or 9 jumbo liners).
  • Combine all streusel ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, egg, and vanilla.
  • Add the buttermilk mixture and melted butter to the dry ingredients. Stir just until most of the flour has been incorporated.
  • Fold in the chopped pear, cranberries, and pecans. The batter will be thick.
  • Divide between 18 liners – approximately ⅔ full.
  • Evenly distribute the streusel topping on the batter in each cup, pressing down gently.
  • Bake 20-25 minutes, just until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the middle of a muffin. Cool in pans on cooling racks for 10 minutes, then remove muffins from pans and allow them to cool completely.

Notes

The calories shown are based on the recipe making 18 muffins, with 1 serving being 1 muffin. Since different brands of ingredients have different nutritional information, the calories shown are just an estimate. **We are not dietitians and recommend you seek a nutritionist for exact nutritional information.**

Nutrition

Serving: 1muffin | Calories: 191kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 28mg | Sodium: 133mg | Potassium: 86mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 14g | Vitamin A: 4.6% | Vitamin C: 1.1% | Calcium: 3.4% | Iron: 4.5%
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Categories:   Baking Bread

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