Cranberry Muffins with Walnut Crumb Topping


It's hard to resist picking at the crisp topping of these muffins, which are baked with crunchy, sugary walnuts.

Cranberry muffins with walnut crumb topping, served on a black platter.

Beatriz Da Costa

12 muffins

These delightful muffins get their bright, tangy flavor from yogurt and tart pockets of fresh cranberry. The layered acidity of the muffins is tempered by a toasted walnut-brown sugar crumb topping and a finishing drizzle of a simple no-cook sugar glaze. The result is a perfect balance of tart and sweet against a backdrop of toasty walnuts and the molasses notes of lightly caramelized brown sugar. The moist interior of the muffin combined with the crunchy crumb topping, and the hardened glaze provides a pleasant textural contrast.


Crumb Topping

  • 1/4 cup walnut pieces

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour

  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar

  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar

  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder

  • Pinch of kosher salt

  • 2 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1/2 cup plus 1 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar

  • 2 teaspoons baking powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

  • Pinch of kosher salt

  • 1 cup plain low-fat yogurt

  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten

  • 1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, melted and cooled

  • 1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries


  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons water


  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Lightly grease the cups and top of a 12-cup nonstick muffin pan.

Make the crumb topping

  1. Add walnuts to a pie plate and toast in the oven for 5 minutes, or until browned and fragrant; cool. In a large bowl, mix the flour with the granulated and light brown sugars, baking powder and salt. Stir in the butter, then add the walnuts and pinch the topping mixture into clumps.

Make the muffins

  1. In a medium bowl, mix the flour with 1/2 cup of sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In another bowl, mix the yogurt with the egg and butter; stir in the dry ingredients. Toss the cranberries with the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons of sugar and fold into the muffin batter.

  2. Spoon the batter into the muffin cups and cover with the crumb topping. Gently press the topping onto the muffins so it adheres. Bake for 20 minutes, or until the muffins are golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let the muffins cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a rack set over a baking sheet.

Make the glaze

  1. In a medium bowl, mix the confectioners' sugar with the water until smooth and barely runny. Drizzle the glaze over the warm muffins and let it set. Serve the muffins warm or at room temperature.

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