New England Cranberry Apple Muffin Cake

This is my ALL-TIME FAVORITE coffee cake, hands down! I snipped the recipe from the back of a box of butter years ago and have been making it each year as soon as cranberries are available. It makes a lovely and easy-to-make treat for Christmas morning too!

This year I converted the recipe to a plant-based version and upgraded it with local ingredients. It's just as moist and delicious ~ and perhaps even better than the original.

I have many fond memories of this cake [like the early mornings I packed some of these still warm from the oven, along with thermoses of hot cocoa and headed to a marshy area on Cape Cod to watch the deer with my young daughters]. I'm excited to share this vegan version with you.

Here's what you'll need for about 12 regular-sized muffins, 9 shallow mini-bundts or 1 9-inch round or square pan:


Dry ingredients:

1 cup sifted whole wheat flour*AND 1 1/4 cups white whole wheat flour, OR 2 1/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour OR 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup maple sugar, maple syrup or organic cane sugar [if using maple syrup, add it to the wet ingredients]

1 Tbsp baking powder (make sure it's fresh! Not sure how to tell? Check out this quick tip from renowned baker and cookbook author David Lebovitz)

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup walnuts or hazelnuts, toasted and roughly chopped


I love the local flours I can purchase from Maine Grains in Skowhegan, ME! Check 'em out here.

Wet ingredients:

1 cup nut milk (I used almond)

1 tsp apple cider vinegar

1/2 cup vegan butter or coconut oil, melted (I used Earth Balance)

1 tsp vanilla

1 large Granny Smith or other baking apple, diced small (1 cup)

1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries, roughly chopped (if using frozen, chop while still frozen)

Glaze (optional):

1/2 cup powdered sugar

2-3 tsp nut milk or orange juice


1. Pre-heat oven to 350. Grease and flour pan or muffin cups, or use paper liners.

2. Add the teaspoon of apple cider vinegar to the nut milk, stir and set aside for a few minutes.

3. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients. Make a shallow well in the center.

4. In a smaller bowl (or the saucepan used to melt the vegan butter), combine the nut milk mixture, melted vegan butter, vanilla and diced apples.

5. Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture and stir until just combined. The batter will be thick.

6. Carefully fold in the chopped cranberries.

7. Spoon the batter evenly into muffin cups or spread into pan. For 9-inch pan, bake 45-55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean and cake is golden brown. For cupcakes, bake 25-35 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes, then remove from pan onto a wire rack.

8. While cake is cooling, make the glaze by combining the powdered sugar and enough nut milk or orange juice for drizzling consistency. Drizzle over slightly warm cake with a spoon. Enjoy!

These muffins are fantastic to take along on outdoor adventures, pack into lunch boxes, add to a brunch buffet or take to the office party.

Nutrition information is for 1 muffin or 1/12th of the whole cake.

When you make this, let me know how it turned out. Be sure to take a photo and tag me #chefcatherinebrown. I love seeing what you make!

DISCLOSURES: None. This post was not created in affiliation with any product or brand. The opinions expressed are my own. I will only write about products I use and trust.

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