Cranberry Orange Muffins
These cranberry orange muffins are bursting with cranberries in every bite. This healthy muffin recipe is easy to make in one bowl!
Having four young kids means that it’s no simple task to find recipes that everyone in my family enjoys. When I do make something that all six of us love I consider it a major win! These healthy cranberry orange muffins are one such recipe – all of us love them and the last batch I baked disappeared in record 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 go crazy for these 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. Be sure to save some cranberries to make my overnight cranberry orange french toast casserole.
You can make this cranberry orange muffin recipe with fresh or frozen cranberries. Or, you can substitute dried cranberries or craisins if you don’t enjoy the tartness of fresh cranberries.
Warm from the oven, these cranberry orange muffins are the best fall breakfast. They are hearty, healthy and full of flavor. They’re perfect for holiday brunch and Christmas morning!
Why we love these cranberry orange muffins
- They are made with whole wheat flour and honey, making them a healthy breakfast.
- I use a full 1 1/2 cups of cranberries in this orange muffin recipe, so there is a burst of cranberry flavor in every bite.
- These easy muffins freeze well, so they are a convenient make ahead breakfast or snack.
These soft orange cranberry muffins have a pinch of cinnamon for flavor. I like to add a sprinkle of coarse sugar on top for 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!
This muffin recipe is so simple to make. You can mix up the batter in just one bowl, just like I do with my best banana muffins.
How to make cranberry orange muffins
To make these cranberry orange muffins, you’ll start by melting some butter. I like to do this in the microwave, right in the bowl that I’m going to use for mixing up the muffin batter.
To the melted butter, add honey, orange zest, orange juice, milk, eggs and vanilla.
Next you’ll whisk in some baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Be sure to whisk these ingredients in really well. There is nothing worse than biting into a muffin and getting a clump of baking soda.
Last you will gently mix in the white whole wheat flour and cranberries. If your cranberries are frozen do not thaw them, just use them straight from the freezer. Be careful to not overmix the muffin batter at this last step. Mix just until the flour and cranberries are mixed in.
Tips to make the best cranberry orange muffins
- Whisk the batter very well when you add the baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. You do not want any clumps of these ingredients left in the batter.
- Use a silicone spatula or spoon to mix in the flour and cranberries until they are just barely incorporated. This will help your muffins to 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. A small spatula makes it easy to remove muffins from the pan.
- 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 pretty cranberries on top!
- If you have some turbinado sugar (coarse sugar) on hand, sprinkle it onto the tops of the muffins before baking for an extra touch of sweetness.
- You can make mini muffins in a mini muffin pan with this recipe. Bake mini muffins for 10-12 minutes.
Cranberry Orange Muffins
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup honey (or pure maple syrup)
- zest of 1 orange
- 1/4 cup orange juice
- 3/4 cup milk (dairy, almond, etc.)
- 2 eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 cups white whole wheat flour
- 1 1/2 cups cranberries (fresh or frozen (do not thaw), coarsely chopped if desired)
- turbinado sugar (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a muffin pan with nonstick spray (or use paper or parchment liners).
- Melt the butter in a large 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 until almost combined. Fold in the cranberries, reserving a few for the tops of the muffins if desired.
- 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 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.
- Extra muffins can be stored airtight at room temperature for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
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