These Cranberry Chocolate Chunk Muffins with Chocolate Streusel are loaded with chocolate chunks, fresh cranberries and topped with a double chocolate streusel – perfect to serve for breakfast or brunch during the holidays!
If you’re looking for an easy, no-fuss recipe for your holiday breakfast or brunch, these Cranberry Chocolate Chunk Muffins with Chocolate Streusel are your answer. They’re freezer-friendy – making them easy to prepare in advance – and they’ll please both kids and adults alike. Serve them alone as a quick-and-easy meal, or pair them with an indulgent casserole or special occasion scramble.
Why This Recipe Works
- These muffins can totally be made in advance and enjoyed first thing in the morning with minimal mess and clean-up.
- On that same note, they freeze up great! If you’re planning on freezing these, you can make them up to three months in advance.
- They’re family-friendly. There’s no doubt that even the pickiest of eaters will love these tender muffins.
- They sneak in some whole grains. This recipe calls for both all-purpose and whole wheat flour to give the muffins the perfect crumb.
Ingredients You’ll Need
Let’s make the streusel topping first, then move on to the muffin batter.
Butter – Make sure your butter is nicely chilled and cut into small cubes. This will make it easier to work into the rest of the ingredients to make the streusel topping.
Sugar – Granulated sugar is the perfect way to balance out the semisweet chocolate.
Flour – All-purpose flour helps bind the topping together.
Semisweet chocolate chunks – I recommend buying a big bar of semisweet chocolate and chopping it up with a sharp knife. Do not use chocolate chips as they will not break down enough to make a perfectly crumbly topping.
Milk – You can use any milk you prefer in this recipe (almond milk, whole milk, oat milk, etc.)
Sugar and brown sugar – We use two different types of sugar in this recipe to really add to the complex flavors in the muffins.
All-purpose flour and whole wheat flour – Using a combination of the two gives the added benefit of some whole grains while making sure the muffin doesn’t become too crumbly.
Ground clove and cinnamon – These spices complement the cranberries and chocolate perfectly.
Orange zest – A secret ingredient! Do not leave this out as it adds a brightness to these muffins that really bring them over the top.
Semisweet chocolate chunks – Again, I prefer cutting up a big bar of chocolate to get little hints of it speckled throughout the batter. However, while I don’t recommend using chocolate chips for the topping at all, you could substitute chocolate chips for the chocolate that goes into the batter.
Chopped cranberries – I usually use fresh cranberries in this batter, but you can use frozen as well if that’s all you can find.
First, prepare the chocolate streusel.
Combine the butter, sugar, flour, semisweet chocolate chunks and salt in a small mixing bowl using your fingers, until a crumbly dough forms (as shown in the above photo).
Set aside the streusel topping for after you make the muffin batter. If your house is really warm, you probably want to put the streusel mixture in the refrigerator until you’re ready to use it.
Now it’s time to make the batter.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and both sugars until light and fluffy, then beat in the eggs, milk, vanilla and orange zest.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients (both flours, baking powder, spices and salt).
Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture and mix until incorporated, then fold in the chocolate and cranberries.
Scoop the batter into a prepared muffin tin and top with the prepared chocolate streusel. Bake for 23-25 minutes and enjoy!
If storing at room temperature, these muffins can be made up to three days in advance of serving. If freezing the muffins, you can make them up to three months in advance.
While I prefer the small chopped fragments of chocolate you get by chopping up a bar of chocolate, you could substitute chocolate chips in the batter itself. I do not, however, recommend substituting chocolate chips in the streusel topping.
No. You can use all all-purpose flour, however I would not recommend using all whole wheat flour as this would make the muffins too crumbly.
Either your butter wasn’t cold enough to begin with, or your topping mixture got too warm while you were making your batter. To ensure that your streusel topping stays in perfect form, pop it in the refrigerator while you are making the batter.
More Holiday Breakfast Ideas
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Cranberry Chocolate Chunk Muffins with Chocolate Streusel
For the chocolate streusel:
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped semisweet chocolate
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons chilled butter, cubed
For the muffins:
- 2 sticks unsalted butter softened to room temperature
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1/2 cup milk (okay to use almond milk or other milk alternative)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon orange zest
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground clove
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup chopped fresh (or frozen) cranberries
- 3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chunks
- First, make the chocolate streusel. In a small mixing bowl, combine all streusel ingredients. Blend using fingers (or a pastry blender) until mixture resembles wet sand and butter is at least in pea size chunks. Place in refrigerator until ready to use.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with liners or spray with cooking spray and set aside.
- Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and both sugars together until mixture is light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Slowly add in the eggs, milk, vanilla and orange zest until well combined. Set aside.
- In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flours, baking powder, spices and salt. Add these dry ingredients to the wet ingredients in the stand mixer and mix on medium speed until combined. Gently fold in the cranberries and chocolate chunks.
- Scoop batter into prepared muffin tin, filling each cup about ¾ of the way up. Top each muffin with a generous amount of streusel.
- Bake in 350 degree oven for 23-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the muffins comes out clean. Let cool for 10 minutes in pan before turning out onto a rack to cool completely.
- You can substitute chocolate chips for the chocolate in the muffin batter, however, I recommend you still use chopped chocolate for the streusel.
- You can use fresh or frozen cranberries in this recipe.
- These muffins can be made up to three days in advance if storing at room temperature, or up to three months in advance if freezing.
- To defrost, simply microwave each muffin for 30 seconds to one minute, or microwave a plate of them for a couple of minutes.