Stress and Cranberry Orange Muffins

A natural energy boost, that doesn't come with the dreaded crash!

Stress: here at college nobody can avoid it.

Everyone has different mechanisms of dealing with stress. Some go running (I was never athletic), others draw (the only things that I can draw really well are stick figures). The way I personally deal with stress is by baking. Friends ask, “How do you find the time to bake?”. Honestly, I think I would go crazy if I didn’t make the time! It gets my mind temporarily off of my heavy work load, while making me (and ultimately my stomach) happy.

As previously stated, everyone at college experiences stress in one form or another. As a research assistant in a lab on campus, I know my peers feel the same strain. Bringing in my baked goods and brightening their day improves my mood and the overall mood of my immediate environment. Essentially everybody wins when I bake!

Today I wanted to bake a muffin that encompasses the flavors of Autumn while also making me feel energized. With two exams, three quizzes, and a reading comprehension test in Italian this week, I can use all of the energy that I can get!

The sweetness of the cranberries combined with the sour citric taste from the orange zest and juice combine to make a delicious and nutritious muffin.


  • 1 cup AP flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup milk (I used skim)
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 1 cup fresh cranberries, chopped
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons orange juice (no pulp)
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar (will be used later in recipe)
  • 1/4 cup wheat germ (optional)
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a standard muffin tin with paper liners.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, 3/4 cup sugar, salt, baking powder, wheat germ, orange zest and chopped cranberries.
  3. In a large bowl combine the milk, egg, vanilla, vegetable oil, and orange juice. Mix well. Add the dry ingredients all at once. Mix only until dry ingredients are moistened. Fill muffin tins 2/3 full. Sprinkle the tops of each muffin with 1/4 teaspoon white sugar.
  4. Place in the oven for 15 minutes, or until tops of muffins are golden brown.

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