The inspiration for these muffins came from a coffee cake that my mom used to make every year during the holidays. Slices of orangey yellow cake with bright red cranberries were always so beautiful on any Christmas baking plate. My mom used to also make loaves of this bread and wrap in beautiful paper to give to neighbors. It’s just one of those flavors that makes me feel like it’s Christmas.
This simple holiday treat turned out to be a very challenging recipe to adapt to paleo ingredients. And I really wanted to make something that tasted like my mom’s orange-cranberry bread (which meant I wasn’t willing to give up any of the components of her recipe that contribute to that perfect combination of orange, cranberry and almond).
A whole lot of experimentation with this recipe as a coffee cake ended up with many failures (they either tasted great but were too crumbly to slice or they sliced well but didn’t taste great and a couple of variations were too crumbly and also tasted terrible!). The move to muffin form saved this recipe. These muffins are sweet but have a wonderful tart zing (yes, that’s the technical term).
If you want to eat these muffins warm (which is pretty wonderful), use paper or silicone muffin cup liners in your muffin pan. If you are patient enough to let them cool completely before removing from the pan, a well-greased muffin pan will suffice (I suggest greasing with palm shortening, but coconut oil works relatively well too).
Yields 12 muffins.
- ¾ cups frozen orange juice concentrate (about ½ can), thawed
- Zest from 1 orange (about 2 Tbsp)
- 2/3 cups evaporated cane juice (aka sucanat)
- ¼ cup extra virgin coconut oil, melted
- 4 eggs
- ¼ cup coconut flour
- 1 ½ cups almond flour
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp cream of tartar
- ½ tsp baking soda
- 2 cups fresh or frozen whole cranberries
- 1 cup sliced almonds
- Preheat oven to 350F. Prepare a muffin pan by either greasing very well or by lining with paper liners or silicone muffin cup liners. (you could also use a silicone muffin pan)
- In a small bowl, combine coconut flour, almond flour, salt, baking soda, and cream of tartar.
- In a large bowl, combine eggs, melted coconut oil, orange zest, orange juice concentrate, and sugar in a bowl. Mix well.
- Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and stir to combine.
- Fold in cranberries and almonds. Spoon into prepared muffin pan.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes. If not using muffin cups, cool completely in pan before removing.