GLUTEN-FREE / VEGETARIAN / MAKES 18

PREP TIME: 10 minutes

COOK TIME: 30 minutes, plus 15 minutes to cool

 

Bursting with fall flavors, I love to make these muffins for holiday breakfasts or brunch. The orange zest is key to infusing the muffins and glaze with tangy orange essence, which pairs well with the fresh cranberries. For the best results, make sure the refrigerated ingredients (cream cheese, butter, and eggs) come to room temperature before preparing the batter.

 

FOR THE MUFFINS

4 tablespoons (½ stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for preparing the muffin tins (optional)

1¼ cups finely milled almond flour, sifted

1½ teaspoons baking powder

¼ teaspoon kosher salt

4 ounces (about ½ cup) full-fat cream cheese, at room temperature

¾ cup granulated erythritol–monk fruit blend or other low-carb sweetener of choice

1 tablespoon grated orange zest

½ teaspoon orange extract

4 large eggs, at room temperature

1 cup cranberries, fresh or frozen

 

FOR THE ORANGE GLAZE

½ cup powdered erythritol–monk fruit blend or other low-carb sweetener of choice

1½ tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 tablespoon heavy (whipping) cream

1 teaspoon grated orange zest

½ teaspoon orange extract

 

TO MAKE THE MUFFINS

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line 2 (12-cup) muffin tins with 18 paper liners (some cups will be empty), or coat 18 muffin wells with butter.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk the almond flour, baking powder, and salt to blend.

3. In a large bowl using an electric handheld mixer on high speed, beat the cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy. Add the granulated erythritol–monk fruit blend, orange zest, and orange extract and whisk until combined.

4. One at a time, add the eggs to the wet ingredients, mixing well after each addition.

5. Add the dry ingredients to the wet batter and blend until fully combined. Fold in the cranberries. Scoop or pour the batter into the prepared muffin cups until they are a little more than three-quarters full. (Depending on how deep your muffin pan is, you may have leftover batter that can fill some of the empty muffin cups.)

6. Bake for 20 to 28 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool completely on a wire rack for about 15 minutes before glazing.

 

TO MAKE THE ORANGE GLAZE AND FINISH THE MUFFINS

7. In a medium bowl, whisk the powdered erythritol–monk fruit blend, lemon juice, heavy cream, orange zest, and orange extract until fully combined. Drizzle the glaze on the cooled muffins. Don’t add the glaze before the muffins are cool, or it will melt. If you are going to freeze the muffins, leave off the glaze.

8. Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to 5 days, or freeze for up to 3 weeks.

 

Ingredient tip: Use only an organic orange for the zest to avoid consuming pesticides. First, use a fruit and vegetable wash to clean the skin of the orange thoroughly. Next, using a box grater or a rasp-style grater, scrape just the surface of the orange, avoiding any of the bitter white pith.

 

Per Serving (1 muffin):

Calories: 111;

Total Fat: 10g;

Total Carbohydrates: 15g;

Net Carbs: 2g;

Fiber: 1g;

Protein: 4g;

Sugar Alcohol: 12g

 

Macros:

Fat: 81%;

Protein: 14%;

Carbs: 5%