Cranberry Orange Muffins
These Cranberry Orange Muffins are soft and moist and bursting with fresh cranberries! Enjoy these healthy muffins for breakfast or snack time.
If you get as excited as I do when you first spot fresh cranberries in your grocery store in the fall, then you are going to love these cranberry orange muffins! You might even find yourself hiding some fresh cranberries in your freezer so that you can bake these cranberry muffins long after fresh cranberry season is over.
This muffin recipe is so easy to make. You mix up the batter in just one bowl, similar to my Banana Muffins and Blueberry Muffins recipes. Then into the oven they go, where they’ll bake up soft and fluffy, with those irresistible bites of fresh cranberries.
Warm from the oven, these cranberry orange muffins are the best fall breakfast. They are hearty, healthy and full of sweet-tart cranberry orange flavor. They’re perfect for a holiday brunch and Christmas morning!
I like to add a sprinkle of coarse sugar on top of the muffins for extra sweetness and sparkle. You could also make a simple glaze with powdered sugar and milk or orange juice to drizzle over the muffin tops – that would be delicious!
Cranberry Orange Muffins Recipe Ingredients
- Butter: Butter adds richness and moisture to the muffins.
- Honey: These muffins are sweetened with honey. Feel free to substitute pure maple syrup.
- Orange Zest & Orange Juice: For a double dose of orange flavor! The orange juice also keeps the muffins soft and tender.
- Milk: I use whole milk, but feel free to use your milk of choice, such as almond milk or oat milk.
- Eggs: Eggs provide structure and help the muffins to rise.
- Vanilla Extract: Adds a touch of sweet vanilla flavor.
- Baking Soda & Baking Powder: These help the muffins to rise in the oven.
- Salt: Salt is an essential ingredient in baking recipes because it enhances all of the flavors.
- Cinnamon: I’ve added just a bit of cinnamon to complement the orange flavor.
- White Whole Wheat Flour: White whole wheat flour has all of the nutritious benefits of regular whole wheat flour, but it is lighter in texture and flavor. If you can’t find white whole wheat, you can substitute regular whole wheat flour or all-purpose flour.
- Fresh Cranberries: For that irresistible sweet-tart fresh cranberry flavor! I usually coarsely chop the cranberries because I prefer smaller pieces of cranberry in the muffins, but you can leave them whole if you wish. Fresh or frozen cranberries can be used. We like these muffins best with fresh cranberries, but you can substitute dried cranberries if you prefer.
- Turbinado Sugar: I like to sprinkle a bit of turbinado sugar on top of the muffins for extra sweetness and texture.
Find the full recipe with ingredient amounts and instructions in the recipe card below.
How to Make Cranberry Orange Muffins
- To make these cranberry orange muffins, you’ll start by melting some butter. I like to melt the butter in the microwave, right in the mixing bowl that I’m going to use for mixing up the muffin batter.
- Then mix in the remaining wet ingredients: honey, orange zest, orange juice, milk, eggs and vanilla.
- Next you’ll whisk in the baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Be sure to whisk these ingredients in really well, until they are fully incorporated. There is nothing worse than biting into a muffin and getting a clump of baking soda.
- Mix in the flour until it is almost incorporated.
- Last you will gently mix in the cranberries, being careful to not over-mix. If your cranberries are frozen you do not have to thaw them. You can use them straight from the freezer.
- Scoop the batter into a greased muffin tin. A trigger-style ice cream scoop makes this quick and easy. If desired, sprinkle turbinado sugar (coarse sugar) on the tops of the muffins.
- Bake at 350° F for 16-18 minutes, until a tester inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean or with just a few moist crumbs attached.
Cranberry Orange Muffins Recipe Tips
- Zest the orange before cutting it in half to squeeze out the juice.
- Use a silicone spatula or wooden spoon to mix in the flour and cranberries until they are just barely incorporated. By not over-mixing, the muffins will turn out light and soft.
- I recommend using a coconut oil spray or other cooking spray to grease your muffin tin. This way, you don’t need to use paper liners and the muffins won’t stick. Or use my favorite nonstick muffin pan, which requires no greasing.
- Give your cranberries a coarse chop for smaller pieces of cranberry in your muffins. I like to reserve a few of the cranberries to press into the tops of the muffins before baking. This way you will see those gorgeous cranberries on top!
- Feel free to bake the muffins in a mini muffin pan instead of a regular muffin pan. Bake mini muffins for 10-12 minutes.
Muffins can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. These cranberry orange muffins freeze wonderfully! Store them in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 months. To thaw, place muffins in the refrigerator overnight, or let them sit at room temperature for about an hour, or defrost in the microwave.
More Cranberry Recipes
- Cranberry Orange French Toast Casserole
- White Chocolate Cranberry Cookies
- Cranberry Almond Biscotti
- Cranberry Sauce
Cranberry Orange Muffins
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
- ½ cup honey, or pure maple syrup
- zest of 1 orange
- ¼ cup orange juice
- ¾ cup milk, dairy, almond, etc.
- 2 eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 cups white whole wheat flour
- 1 ½ cups cranberries, fresh or frozen, coarsely chopped if desired
- turbinado sugar, optional, for sprinkling on top
- Preheat oven to 350° F. Spray a muffin pan with nonstick spray (or use paper or parchment liners).
- Melt the butter in a large mixing bowl in the microwave. (Or melt the butter in a pan on the stove and transfer to a large bowl.)
- Add the honey, orange zest, orange juice, milk, eggs and vanilla. Whisk until well combined.
- Add the baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon and whisk until fully incorporated.
- Add the white whole wheat flour and stir gently with a rubber spatula or spoon until almost combined. Fold in the cranberries, reserving a few for the tops of the muffins if desired. Do not overmix the batter.
- Spoon the batter into the muffin pan. Press any reserved cranberries into the tops of the muffins. Sprinkle with turbinado sugar, if desired.
- Bake muffins for 16-18 minutes, until a tester inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean or with just a few moist crumbs attached.
- Let muffins cool in the pan for 10 minutes and then remove to a wire rack. Serve warm.
- You can make mini muffins in a mini muffin pan. Bake for 10-12 minutes.
- Extra muffins can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.