This Cranberry Muffins recipe is very easy and makes the best muffins. The tartness of cranberries and their subtle sweetness makes them great for this recipe. The trick with muffins is not to over-mix... the batter. There should still be streaks of flour in it as you spoon it into the tins. Use whole wheat pastry flour, as it reacts very much like all purpose flour, but adds nutrients. For a lighter muffin, substitute half the whole wheat pastry flour with all purpose flour.
In a large bowl sift the whole wheat pastry flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir in the brown sugar and lemon zest.
In medium bowl beat together the mashed banana, eggs, buttermilk, vanilla, and melted butter.
Add the banana mixture to the dry ingredients, folding them together with 10-12 quick strokes of a spatula. The batter will be lumpy and streaked with dry flour, but it is essential not to over-mix the batter for a tender muffin.
Carefully fold in ¾ of the cranberries with another 4-5 strokes. By this time the batter should be mixed in but still a little uneven. If it is too smooth, you’ve over-mixed it.
Fill the muffin cups ½ - ⅔ full, depending on preferred size, scatter the remaining cranberries on top and sprinkle with the remaining tablespoon of brown sugar.
Bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
To make substitute buttermilk add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or 1 teaspoon of cream of Tartar to 1 cup of regular milk.
If whole wheat pastry flour is not available, then substitute half whole wheat flour and half all-purpose flour. Just swapping in whole wheat flour will result in a drier and grittier muffin.