Sweet & Sour Lemon Cranberry Poppy Seed Muffins

Sweet & Sour Lemon Cranberry Poppy Seed Muffins

Who knew that Big Lots has really decent paper cupcake liners, for much less than most stores carry them for?  Certainly not me.  I recently made a few baked goods to help out a neighbor with an exciting holiday photo shoot she was in charge of styling.  (Ella of Start Close In.)  She requested a few desserts to help decorate the set, which in this case just happened to be her beautiful house, located in the most wonderful neighborhood in Virginia.  (Remember I said she was my neighbor, so I may be a little biased!)  The great thing about all of the recipes I chose, was that I could use them for something else I had going on at the time, and just put a few aside for her.  With Thanksgiving approaching, I tried to make things that would look great for Thanksgiving and/or Christmas, so cranberries were a quick go-to ingredient.  Cranberries scream Thanksgiving, but their reddish-burgundy color is just perfect for Christmas as well.  The cupcake liners I found at Big Lots kind of scream Christmas with their plaid design, but the muffins were for B.O.B. Bob’s breakfast, so I didn’t think he would care too much about what they looked like.  It’s not like he isn’t surrounded by Christmas throughout the house as it is!  That’s right; I have had most of my decorations and trees out since the beginning of November.  I want to spend December enjoying my time, not messing around with strands of lights that work one minute, and then all of sudden decide they’re not feeling in a twinkly mood.  Back to the cupcake liners, I had to rush out at the last minute to pick these up because all I had left were Halloween varieties, and that just wasn’t going to fly.  Big Lots just happened to be the closest store to where I was doing some other errands, and it was either that or Kmart…I’d rather shoot myself in the head than walk into a Kmart!  Wilton Treats & Sweets Cupcake Combo Pack – Christmas Plaid were $1.99, and came with decorative paper picks, which I admit went straight into the trash; they were just a little too cutesy for my taste.  As an added bonus to my Big Lots excursion, I also purchased some really simple, as well as inexpensive melamine poinsettia plates I can use during the holidays to deliver Christmas baked goods on.  I may just become a Big Lots shopper, at least for holiday merchandise, it will be nice to never have to walk into a Kmart again, and perhaps it will even help me keep my sanity.

Sweet & Sour Lemon Cranberry Poppy Seed Muffins



  • 7 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter
  • 1/3 Cup Heavy Whipping Cream
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 Egg Yolk
  • 1 Tablespoon Vanilla
  • 1 1/2 Cups All-Purpose Flour
  • 3/4 Cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoons Baking Powder
  • 1 Teaspoon Salt
  • Zest from 1 Lemon
  • 1 Tablespoon Poppy Seeds
  • 1 1/2 Cups Fresh Cranberries

Streusel Topping:

  • 3 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter
  • 1/2 Cup All-Purpose Flour
  • 3 Tablespoons Light Brown Sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Line a cupcake tin with paper liners; set aside.
  3. Melt the butter in a small saucepan, over medium heat.  Stirring occasionally, cook until it starts to brown, keeping a close eye on it.  As soon as it starts to brown, immediately pour it into a separate bowl because it will burn quickly.  Set aside to cool slightly.
  4. In the meantime, in a medium bowl, whisk together the milk, egg, egg yolk, and vanilla.
  5. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.  Stir the butter into the milk/egg mixture.
  6. Fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.
  7. Stir in the lemon zest, poppy seeds, and cranberries until just combined.
  8. Divide the batter among the muffin tins, filling about 3/4 full.
  9. To make the streusel, combine the butter, flour, and brown sugar in a bowl.  Using your fingers, rub the ingredients together until crumbly.  Sprinkle evenly over the muffin batter.
  10. Bake muffins for 20 minutes, or until golden on top and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  11. Allow to cool for 15 minutes before removing from the muffin tins.


  • Make sure you give the browned butter enough time to cool down; if you add it to the milk/egg mixture too early it will cook the eggs.
  • This recipe will yield 12 muffins.


  • Replace the lemon zest with orange zest.
  • Replace the cranberries with raspberries.

RECIPE ADAPTED FROM: Meyer Lemon Cranberry Poppy Seed Muffins by Eats Well with Others

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