Christmas Muffins

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You’ll probably already be familiar with these. They’ve been done to death, but as my Mum has made them every Christmas morning breakfast for as long as I can remember, and I am now continuing the tradition with my own little family, I felt it was about time I shared the recipe here. It’s very quick and easy – as muffin recipes always are – and utilises cranberry sauce from a jar, although feel free to make your own if you like! I’ve tweaked Mum’s recipe a little bit (adding the sprinkle of demerara sugar and cinnamon combo at the end – reminiscent of snickerdoodle cookies – for a deliciously crunchy muffin top) and I’ve also included directions for making these vegan, which is how I usually make muffins these days (and no one can ever tell the difference). How you make them is up to you – the end result is always the best festive breakfast imaginable (split open fresh from the oven and slathered with brandy butter is simply knockout) and your home will smell more Christmassy than a Yankee Candle shop.

Merry Christmas everyone! x 

Makes about 10 muffins, using large cupcake cases/muffin cases.

280g plain flour
90g caster sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp mixed spice (or use speculaas spice if you’ve got it – click here for the recipe!)
1 egg (for vegan muffins, omit the egg and use an extra 60ml milk plus 1 tsp apple cider vinegar)
200ml milk (any, but I like Oatly)
100ml sunflower oil
Zest of 1 orange
200g cranberry sauce (the chunkier the better)
Topping: Combine 2 tbsp demerara sugar with 1/2 tsp cinnamon

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Preheat the oven to 200c/400f/gas mark 6. These only take a few minutes to prepare, so be sure to preheat the oven well in advance! In a large bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder and mixed spice. In a separate jug, combine the egg (if using) with the milk, oil and orange zest. If you’re making these vegan, be sure to use a total of 260ml milk plus a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar. Then whisk in the cranberry sauce until it doesn’t look quite so clumpy, and pour the whole lot into the dry mixture. Use a spatula to quickly combine the wet and dry ingredients, until no dry bits are visible. Keep scraping down the edges of the bowl and try to work quite quickly, especially if these are to be vegan muffins.

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Use an ice cream scoop or something similar to evenly distribute the batter between 10 large cupcake/muffin cases. Sprinkle the demerara sugar and cinnamon over the tops and get them in the oven quickly. Bake on the middle shelf for about 23 minutes or until the tops look golden and spring back when pressed gently.

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Remove from the tin as soon as they are cool enough to handle and cool on a wire rack. Store in an airtight tub and use within a couple of days. Muffins are best eaten within 24 hours. Pop them in a hot oven for a minute or two to warm up before eating, if you like – and a nub of brandy butter is always a good idea.

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