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Apple Cranberry & Cheddar Muffins

This hearty little breakfast muffin recipe makes delicious muffins that are lactose-free and quick to bake if you are short on time.

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This recipe courtesy of our Friends at Cabot Cheese, King Arthur Flour, and Ocean Spray Cranberry!

Baking this recipe yields one dozen muffins when baked in regular sized muffin cups.

With a slight density and a wonderfully tender crumb, these muffins are not only filling as a morning boost, but work well in tandem with my

Spinach Bacon and Bleu Cheese Quiche

Boursin Omelet

Creamy Polenta with Eggs & Mediterranean Greens

I am rather fond of Apple Cranberry and Cheddar Muffins. They’re not quite savory, not quite sweet, yet altogether delicious and with little gooey flecks of cheese dotted throughout the crumb.

The first time I baked these I knew this would become a standard rotational recipe in my house. Just out of the oven, warm with butter and a cup of hot coffee or served alongside my Spinach Bacon and Bleu Cheese Quiche in lieu of rolls or cornbread, there is no wrong way to enjoy these.

If I bake a dozen, usually eight or so are eaten at breakfast. What remains are easily wrapped well in plastic wrap, then placed in a freezer bag to be frozen and enjoyed another day. I have even griddled them – split down the middle and toasted over high-ish heat in a pan with brown butter until nicely toasted. HELLO!

Mixing bowl sets in soft colors. Kitchen necessaries, click images for availability and pricing.

apple cranberry & cheddar muffins with a quiche

During the last five minutes of the bake, I added a few strands of shredded sharp cheddar to the tops of these muffins and popped them back into the oven. They came out looking and tasting amazing. There’s just something about cheese!

These muffins really are a fresh shout out to autumn. They are chock full of apples and dried cranberries and gooey sharp cheddar cheese. Funny enough, there is no milk in the recipe. So if taking these to share as a party side dish with folks who may have dairy aversions, these are perfect.

They gain their moisture from fresh diced apple, cranberry juice, and vegetable oil. If you wanted a less-dense crumb, you could swap the dried cranberries for fresh. I do not advise trying that though until you have experienced this method exactly the way it’s written herein. I love when great tasting recipes are this easy.

basket of apple cranberry & cheddar muffins

Apple Cranberry and Cheddar Muffins are quick to throw together, they bake up lickety split, and leftovers freeze very well!

Breakfast muffin recipes are always something I keep my eyes peeled for. Apple cranberry muffins, plain apple muffins, a cinnamon muffin recipe, or delicious cheese muffins all begin with a basic muffin recipe. This method is no different.

The measured dry ingredients support a host of different ingredient possibilities. I am using just under one cup Ocean Spray cranberry juice if you need a gouge to go by. And no, the cranberry juice is not discernable once these are baked. I cream everything together by hand until just incorporated and let the science do its thing!

close up of muffins

All images and text ©Jenny DeRemer for Not Entirely Average, LLC

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basket of muffins

Apple Cranberry & Cheddar Muffins

This hearty little breakfast muffin recipe makes delicious muffins that are lactose-free and quick bake if you are short on time.
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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Keyword: apple, apple cranberry cheddar muffins, bake, baking, best breakfast foods, breakfast muffin, Brunch, cheddar, cranberry, lactose free, muffin, no dairy, savory muffin
Servings: 12 servings
Calories: 225kcal

Want a bigger or smaller serving size? Hover over the serving size and move the bar until you get the number of servings you want. Easy.


  • 12 cup muffin pan


Did you know that it’s super easy to print out a version of a half recipe or even a double recipe on Not Entirely Average? Hover over the serving size (highlighted in blue, it says 12 on this recipe) and then slide the the white line to the left to make less or to the right to make more. This "calculator" allows you to play until you get the number of servings you want. Easy. 

    Ingredients for Apple Cranberry & Cheddar Muffins

    • 2 cups all purpose flour I am using King Arthur
    • 1/3 cup sugar
    • 3 teaspoons baking powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 4 ounces sharp cheddar cheese grated, I am using Cabot
    • 3/4 cup cranberry juice I am using Ocean Spray
    • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
    • 1 large egg
    • 1 apple finely diced
    • 1/2 cup dried cranberries I am using Ocean Spray Craisins


    The Method

    • Preheat oven to 400°F. Coat insides of 12-hole muffin pan with cooking spray or line with muffin cups.
    • Whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a mixing bowl. Stir in grated cheddar.
    • Whisk together cranberry juice, vegetable oil and egg, in another bowl. Add juice mixture to dry ingredients along with apples and cranberries; stir just until dry ingredients are incorporated, but batter is still lumpy.
    • Fill muffin cups about two-thirds full. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until nicely browned on top and skewer inserted in center comes out clean. Let stand for about 1 minute before removing from pan.
    • If desired, during the last 5 minutes of bake time, scatter a few pieces of shredded cheddar atop muffins and return to oven to complete the bake.


    Serving: 1serving | Calories: 225kcal | Carbohydrates: 30g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 25mg | Sodium: 269mg | Potassium: 66mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 132IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 135mg | Iron: 1mg

    Please note that the nutrition information provided above is approximate and meant as a guideline only.

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      1. Beverly, Happy Easter! HE IS RISEN! Thank you for featuring my muffins – I’m kind of biased but I think they’re DELISH! Blessings to you and yours, Beverly.