Cranberry orange muffins are a family favorite for us! Is there any better type of cake than a muffin? Delicate, sweet, and already prepared in miniature servings – why not try this recipe for some cranberry orange muffins for a sweet yet tangy alternative to the thousands of chocolate and blueberry muffin recipes out there? (though those are great as well!)
They would go wonderfully with my Orange Cranberry Relish or drizzle with some Orange icing glaze!
Cranberry Orange Muffins
Most muffins out there are all about exceptional sweetness, offering nothing more than a way to relieve your sweet tooth – muffins ARE just small cakes after all! These muffins, however, are not only sweet and flavorful, but they are bursting with slightly sour, citrusy contrast, making for a great snack.
Just make sure that you get only the very best quality oranges and cranberries that you can; quality really matters with these muffins!
Ingredients for Cranberry Orange Muffins
- All-purpose flour
- Baking powder
- Baking soda
- Butter (butter)
- Juice & Zest of an orange
- Vanilla extract
- Fresh cranberries ( you can use dried as well, but fresh really makes these special!)
How To Make Cranberry Orange Muffins
- Mix together your melted butter and sugar until creamy.
- Beat in your eggs one at a time, then mix in the orange zest and juice until combined
- Whisk all your dry ingredients together, then add to the wet mixture and stir. Mix in cranberries when almost done and stir until no dry spots remain.
- Bake for 20 minutes at 375 in prepared muffin wells.
How to Get the Best Oranges
Considering how simple this recipe is, you need to make sure you are using the very best oranges you can find. Orange quality can vary SO much in the grocery store, but if you are struggling to find anything beyond regular eating oranges, you can actually substitute some normal orange juice from a carton. Sometimes the oranges in the store are woody with very little juice, if you have a brand that you know is good, use those!
While juice will likely be a lot sweeter, it will have the same flavor profile you are looking for. However, the zest you can use from a regular orange, as the difference in quality isn’t really noticeable.
What Kind of Cranberries Should You Get?
When hunting for the cranberries for this recipe, make sure you aren’t buying the regular dry, sweetened cranberries. Instead, look for fresh cranberries that are in the bag, they will be a bit sourer but carry their flavor much better in the muffins once baked. Fresh cranberries are ONLY available in the fall, so take advantage of them now!
How to Store These Cranberry Orange Muffins
While these muffins do have a lot of fruit in them, the high quantity of sugar helps preserve them, so you don’t need to store them in the fridge. Instead, keep them in a sealed container, or even a freezer-safe bag, and keep them on the counter or a bread box.
In fact, if you really like them, you could freeze half of the batch and then thaw them weeks or months later! After a slow defrosting, you could pop a muffin in a low oven to toast it back up, and it will taste just as good as it did fresh from the oven.
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Cranberry Orange Muffins
- Prep Time
- 5 minutes
- Cook Time
- 20 minutes
- Baked Goods
- 12 muffins
- Karlynn Johnston
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup butter melted
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 3 tablespoons orange zest
- 1/2 cup orange juice
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 cups fresh cranberries cut in half
- one batch orange icing glaze
- Preheat your oven to 375°F. Grease the wells in a 12 muffin pan and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, mix together the melted butter and sugar until creamy and smooth. Beat in the eggs, one at a time until fully combined. Mix in the orange zest and juice until combined.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add into the butter mixture and stir until mixed in well. Stir in the cranberries until they are just mixed in.
- Divide the batter between the prepared muffin wells. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a cake tester or toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.
- Remove from the oven and let cool until you can touch the muffin pan safely. Turn out onto a rack to cool completely.
- Glaze with my Orange Icing Glaze when fully cooled.
- Try to find the best, most flavourful oranges for this recipe but if all else fails, use the orange zest from a fresh orange and use orange juice from a carton for a great orange taste.
- don't use sweetened cranberries in this, the amount of sugar is too much, they have to be fresh or at least ones with no sugar
All calories and info are based on a third party calculator and are only an estimate. Actual nutritional info will vary with brands used, your measuring methods, portion sizes and more.
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Comments & Recipe Tips Share a tip or comment!
These are wonderful muffins, full of flavour with a good bite. I used frozen cranberries, defrosted and drained, and chopped. I left out the rind and vanilla, – forgot!- and used fresh mandarin orange juice. I think that fresh juice makes all the difference. I did use a glaze for half the muffins, but find they are tasty as is.
I made these muffins but they were really soggy. Almost too buttery and fell apart. Do you think my baking powder may be old or is 1/2 cup butter too much??? They were really flavorful but more like a soggy cake than a light muffin. Not sure what I did wrong??? Would appreciate any advice you could give.
So, so good! Your recipes are the best! ❤️
Wondering if I could substitute pumpkin instead of orange juice
Elizabeth McGaw says
I didn’t see when the vanilla is to be added. I made them by following the recipe but afterwards realized the vanilla wasn’t added. They taste great without that addition but am still wondering. Thx!
Can I use the recipe as a bundt cake instead?
Cheryl Daddo says
In Australia, we don’t have access to fresh cranberries. However, we can access frozen. Are these good to substitute for fresh. If so, do we use them froze, or thawed?
Karlynn Johnston says
Yep just defrost them on a paper towel to absorb any excess moisture and use the frozen ones!
Shirley Doucette says
Where is the recipe. For thd ORANGE INCING GLAZE??????
Mr. Kitchen Magpie says
It is quite literally linked to at the top of the post?
Nina Lewis says
Made these last night. Sooo good! Another reason to look forward to cranberry season!