Birthday Muffins recipe and a 100th post SURPRISE!

We celebrated Amalia’s 14th birthday last month, by starting the day with some special Birthday Muffins, hot and dripping with butter (it was her birthday, after all!) and packed with the things Amalia likes best.  They were so delicious that I took a picture of them and determined to share the recipe with you, Gentle Readers.  Which now I will do.

But first:  An Important Announcement!  (Cue the cymbal crash!)

When I started this blog, I wasn’t sure what I was doing (obviously) nor how long it would last, more accurately, how long I would last.. I just enjoyed the process–it’s very creative, you know–writing, taking photographs, stopping in the middle of a recipe or a project or a thorny problem or an interesting fact and realizing that here was fodder for an interesting blog post!  Getting lost in the Nebraska countryside, amusing grammar and punctuation mistakes, unusually beautiful sights and fierce selfish guineas have all made it into  And yet–people keep reading!

Well, today I am celebrating my 100th blog post–this is it, folks, right here–and I’m going to celebrate it by giving you, my Gentle Readers, a wondrous Surprise!!

I’m hard at work on The Surprise, and it should be ready by the end of the week . . . and here’s the deal:  if you will SHARE this post and then comment below that you’ve done so (and in what format–Facebook share?  Twitter? Google+? Pinterest?  YOU get to choose, then you get the Surprise!) and then later this week you’ll find something special from me in your inbox!  It’s THAT simple.  And . . . you get this delicious Birthday Muffin recipe on top of it all!  And did I mention that it’s all FREE? No?  Well, consider it mentioned now!

I’m grateful for you, my readers, I really am, and this is how I can show my gratitude. I appreciate your sticking in there with me through vomiting chickens and marauding steers, through the Dreaded Varmint and endless references to my little Mack.  Thank you. Thank you.  Thank you.

One more thing, and then we’ll get to the recipe:

Everything outside was covered with "Sparkle Snow."  It was enchanting!

Everything outside was covered with “Sparkle Snow” on my daughter’s birthday.  It was enchanting!  Here’s my route to the chicken yard that morning.

This is what it looked like when I went outside to do my chores on Amalia’s birthday.  We had had a nice snow, and then a deep fog during the night-time hours, the combination of which covered the world with sparkles.  You can’t see it so well in these photos, but it was absolutely beautiful.  I caught my breath over and over and over again.  I just knew that God made it an especially pretty day just for my adorable daughter, who certainly deserved it.

. . . and more sparkles! . . .

. . . and more sparkles! . . .

(Now that spring is just around the corner, I can afford to be romantic about winter . . . right?)

Now!  Let’s get on to the recipe.  I actually make muffins a couple times a week for breakfast.  They’re quick and easy to make, everybody loves them, I can pack them full of healthy ingredients (of my choosing, heehee!) and they are easy to change up according to my mood, or what I’ve got available in the garden or the freezer.

Rhubarb going crazy in the garden?  Perfect–make rhubarb and cinnamon muffins!  Got overripe bananas on the counter?  Banana and toasted walnut muffins for breakfast!  Zucchini and cilantro . . . well, maybe not . . . well . . . maybe? (I could go on and on, I really could!)  In this case, my daughter loves cranberries, and I found a bag of cranberries in the freezer, leftover from Thanksgiving, so I pulled those babies out with a cry of joy, grabbed a few pecans I had squirreled away for an important occasion, and chopped them all up, and made these muffins, which filled the house with a wonderful happy-birthday aroma!

Since they were Birthday Muffins, I not only packed them full of chopped cranberries and pecans, I also sprinkled a delicious Streusel topping on their tops before I baked them.  That made them crunchy and sweet and crackly on top, and therefore they were really special!

And . . . the birthday girl loved them. Score!

These were still hot when I took the picture . . . can you see the butter melting on top?  Yum!

These were still hot when I took the picture . . . can you see the butter melting on top? Yum!

So without further ado, here’s the recipe!

Cranberry-Pecan Birthday Muffins!

Recipe Type: muffins/quick breads
Author: Amy from
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 24 muffins
Make any day special by serving these delicious muffins to your family! Change up the add-ins if you like.
  • 2 cups unbleached flour
  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour (preferably white whole wheat)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1/2 cups cooking oil
  • 2 cups coarsely chopped cranberries
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 recipe Streusel Topping: Stir together 6 Tb flour, 6 Tb brown sugar, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, and 3 Tb orange zest. Cut in 4 Tb soft butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Double this Streusel recipe if you’re feeling particularly self-indulgent!
  1. Preheat over to 400 degrees F.
  2. Prepare Streusel topping, set aside.
  3. Grease 24 muffins cups, or line with paper cups.
  4. Combine dry ingredients, make a well in the center.
  5. In another bowl combine egg, milk, and oil. Add all at once to flour mixture.
  6. Stir just until moistened, and then fold in chopped cranberries and pecans.
  7. Spoon batter into muffin cups, filling each two-thirds full.
  8. Sprinkle with prepared Streusel topping.
  9. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until golden and toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  10. (This gives you time to scramble some eggs and cut up some fresh fruit to go with them!) Cool on wire rack for a few minutes, then serve warm with butter!
Here's one last photo to tease you. . .

Here’s one last photo to tease you. . . can’t you just taste one of these babies, with the butter melting into all the little nooks and crannies?

So a quick recap–thanks again for reading, enjoy the muffin recipe, and share this post with your friends and leave me a comment about it!  Deadline for sharing and for The Surprise is this Friday, March 8, after which time I’ll send out the Something Special for you.  (Your friends who share get a surprise, too, so encourage sharing today!)

Thank you, Gentle Readers!  No go–make muffins–enjoy your day–and don’t forget to share!

33 thoughts on “Birthday Muffins recipe and a 100th post SURPRISE!

  1. Chef William

    I hope the surprise is a loaf of the bread you bake with the poppy seeds, but I’m happy with this recipe. Somehow I don’t seem to be able to lose any weight. Wonder why that is? Think it has something to do with eating six times a day, trying out all the new recipes I am getting. Tweeted and liked on fb or course.

    1. dramamamafive Post author

      Thanks, Chef! Yes, losing weight for me is very difficult, too, because there’s almost always fresh bread on the counter! Thanks so much for your encouragement, and for sharing!

    1. dramamamafive Post author

      Francene, I’ve found that you can make muffins sweet or savory, with success in both areas, as long as you get the right combination of add-ins (mine were cranberries and pecans here) and stir the wets and drys together with as few strokes as possible.

  2. Laurie L

    Happy Birthday to Amalia! The muffins look wonderful! Thank you for sharing your life, Amy….and your recipes. A hearty yummm to both! (and I shared on FB! Bring on the surprise!)

    1. dramamamafive Post author

      Me too, Sophie. I always grab a few extra bags around Thanksgiving and Christmastime when they are abundant in the store, and throw them in the freezer. They freeze well!

  3. Alana (@RamblinGarden)

    I posted this on my blog’s Facebook fan page, and tweeted it (@RamblinGarden) – I also tried three times to pin on Pinterest but it keeps saying the “image isn’t found”. Too bad because I am out of town, can’t print and can’t bake – but these muffins sound yummy! (Despite being on Weight Watchers, these sound too good to pass up. And, I have cranberries in the freezer, too. )Hope your daughter had a very happy birthday.

    1. dramamamafive Post author

      Thanks, Alana, for all your efforts! Maybe when you get back from your travels, you can still make the muffins! It’s nice to have those cranberries in the freezer, isn’t it–so handy! Travel safe!

  4. Anita-Clare Field

    Amy, you achieve the impossible with me again, An actual real, honest to god hankering to bake muffins. Very many congratulations on the wonderful achievement of your 100th post and to the birthday girl : )

    1. dramamamafive Post author

      Ah, Anita-Clare, then you just indulge and make some muffins! It won’t take long, and it’ll make everybody happy!

  5. Kelly DeCamp

    I shared it on Facebook!
    I definitely want to know foods and recipes you recommend. BTW I’m in the process of making my first loaf of bread!
    BTW what’s Brian up to these days? He’s only been mentioned once in the blogs that I’ve read! LOL

    1. dramamamafive Post author

      Oh, Kelly, Bryan gets more mention than that–haha! Read the BATS story for one! Bryan is fine and very busy with his practice in Lincoln and teaching for the school in Alabama. And trying to keep up with all our kiddos! I am so proud of you for making your own bread! I’d love to hear how it turned out! Thanks so much for reading.

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