Give the gift of delicious muffins anytime with this easy-to-make cranberry nut muffin mix. Package it in a mason jar, add a bow and one of the printable labels and you'll have an inexpensive and easy gift for any occasion. Plus, the muffins are so good, you may want to keep a jar of this on your own shelf!
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I'm bringing you another gift-in-a-jar idea that's just in time for last minute Christmas gifts, but also works for anytime you'd like to give the gift of food to family and friends.
Cranberry nut muffin mix makes a pretty gift layered in a mason jar, but more importantly makes yummy muffins perfect for breakfasts and snacks with coffee or tea.
When I asked readers recently about gifts, the main response I got back was people not wanting more stuff. They wanted gifts from the heart (usually handmade), or gifts of time, or food.
Well, here's a handmade gift of food (checks two boxes), that you could add a note to with a date for baking and sharing them over a cup of tea which would check all the boxes with one gift!
Oh, and what this gift isn't is hard to make or expensive.
Sounds pretty good, right?
Okay, let's get to it!
Cranberry Nut Muffin Mix
Ingredients & Supplies Needed
- Whole wheat pastry flour (I like to make baked goods healthier using this flour, but you could substitute all-purpose flour)
- Baking powder
- Brown sugar
- Dried cranberries
- Chopped nuts (pecans, walnuts, cashews, pistachios)
- Quart size mason jar with lid (here's a set of six that would work well)
- Large funnel (I use a canning funnel, which I use all the time, not just for canning)
- Ribbon or twine, scissors
- Printed direction tags (below)
Layer the ingredients in a quart mason jar in the order listed in the recipe card below.
Tamp the jar down on the counter (or wood cutting board if your counter is hard like quartz) after each layer is added to compress the ingredients to make everything fit.
Attach a lid to seal the mix in the jar.
PRO TIP: For distinct layers of even small amounts of ingredients, measure out the baking baking powder and cinnamon, etc. in a small bowl, then take a long handled spoon and spread a little at a time evenly all around the edge of the previous layer leaving the center free of that ingredient, like shown above.
Once your jar is full of the mix, print out the tags I've created for you below and attach one to the jar with ribbon or twine.
The sheet of tags has three options, depending on what nuts you use - pecan, walnut, or just "nut" to cover any other nut.
Free Cranberry Nut Muffin Mix Printable Gift Tags
Click on the image of the tags below to open in a new window and download to your computer. (Or click here to open.)
How to Print & Cut Out Tags
- There will be two pages, the muffin name on front and the baking directions on the back - print back to back on a colored printer to get the kraft paper tag color.
- Use a heavyweight paper or light cardstock for best results.
- You may notice that the front and back tags don't match up exactly (a-hem), but it doesn't matter after cutting. Cut from the front side first along the lines and then trim any white you see on the back after cutting out. It all works out!
- Use a hole punch on the white circle for the tag hole - it should match up perfectly
You can even make up a batch of the muffins and give a few along with the jar so they can have them now and later.
Cranberry Nut Muffin Mix FAQs
Since the mixes are made with dry pantry ingredients, they will last as long as the ingredients themselves (flour, sugar, etc.). Since baking powder is often the first ingredient to lose it's potency, a rule of thumb is about 6 months stored in a cool, dark place. If there are nuts in the mix like this one they should be used in 3-4 months.
Since many of the ingredients for muffin mixes come from regular pantry ingredients, they are a pretty inexpensive gift option. This mix includes dried cranberries and nuts, so it will be a bit more expensive that mixes without those ingredients, but it still is only about $5 a jar.
This recipe has been tested as written, so I can't say for sure what other sugars and flours would work as well, other than the specified options. Regular whole wheat (versus the pastry flour) would result in a denser cookie, though mixing half whole wheat and half all-purpose flour may work.
You can change easily change the dried fruit and nuts and - use whatever combo sounds good to you. I think dried blueberries would make a wonderful muffin, as well as chopped, dried cherries or even raisins (you would need to make your own tag, obviously).
Ideas For Packaging
You can always give the jar as-is, but if you'd like to add a few other muffin related items here are a few ideas:
- Wooden spoon and tea towel.
- Muffin scoop (makes portioning the dough SO easy).
- Non-stick parchment muffin liners (my FAV-no more sticking baked goods!), though I like muffins in simple greased tins.
- Box of coffee or tea, depending on what they prefer.
- A bag of freshly made cranberry nut muffins so they can "taste test" what their jar will be like.
- Kraft paper gift baskets to hold the jar and anything else you'd like to add.
Cranberry Nut Muffin Mix In A Jar
- 1 quart jar with lid
- large funnel
For Quart Jar (layer in order given):
- 1 ¾ cups whole wheat pastry flour (or white whole wheat or all purpose)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 ½ teaspoon baking powder (layer around edges)
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon (layer around edges)
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 cup dried cranberries
- 3/4 cup chopped nuts (pecans, walnuts, cashews, pistachios, etc.)
To Add Later:
- 3/4 cup milk
- 1/4 cup butter, melted
- 1 egg
- cinnamon-sugar sprinkle for tops, optional
Layer Dry Ingredients:
- In a clean, dry quart-size mason jar add the dry ingredients in the order listed (flour, salt, baking powder, cinnamon, sugar, cranberries, nuts) using a large funnel and tapping the jar on the counter between each layer to settle.
- Add lid to jar, print out direction tags and attach tag to the jar with ribbon or twine.
When Ready To Bake:
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Grease or line a 12-cup muffin tin.
- Pour the muffin mix from the jar into a large bowl.
- In a small bowl, combine the milk, butter and egg. Stir into the dry ingredients, just until no flour streaks remain.
- Spoon evenly into muffin cups, about half full. If desired, sprinkle tops with a cinnamon-sugar mix.
- Bake 14-16 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for about 5 minutes and then turn out onto a cooling rack.
- One jar of muffin mix makes 12 regular size muffins.