Cranberry Cardamom Spice Muffins

Cranberry, walnuts, cinnamon, and cardamom spice come together in these super easy muffins! Recipe on

Maybe you’ve already got your entire Thanksgiving feast planned out. Down to the apple cider cocktails, adorable rosemary wreath napkin rings, and Pinterest inspired table decor. And if this is the case, I applaud you.

Also, can I come over? Because your feast sounds delightful.

Cranberry, walnuts, cinnamon, and cardamom spice come together in these super easy muffins! Recipe on

But maybe there’s a Thanksgiving weekend breakfast or Thanksgiving weekend snack void you’ve still gotta fill. And if that’s the case, let me assist!

Today we have cranberry cardamom spice muffins on the agenda. We’re talking oodles of tart cranberries in a sweet orange scented batter with walnuts and plenty of delicious holiday cardamom spice flavor. It’s November in a cupcake wrapper.

It’s been a couple months since I baked a new muffin recipe. I’ve been so caught up in making pumpkin crumb cake muffins this fall– can you blame a girl– that I haven’t really been motivated to try something new. When there’s pumpkin spice and crumb cake topping, do you really need anything else?

How to make cranberry cardamom spice muffins on

I’m afraid to say that the answer is yes. Cranberry cardamom spice muffins for the win. Aka cranberry cardamuffins? I like that, let’s go with it.

These muffins are extremely buttery and moist, for which we can thank the butter and sour cream. Creaming butter and sugar together creates a fluffy base, so these definitely aren’t your typical super dense muffins. Rather, they’re impeccably soft like cupcakes. Lots of little ingredients paired together create big-time flavor. Vanilla and cinnamon, juicy cranberries, toasty walnuts, orange zest, spicy and aromatic ground cardamom– which pairs beautifully with citrus (and your morning coffee!). I adore cardamom for its versatility and often use it in chai spice inspired treats like these chai spice snickerdoodles.

It’s easy to go overboard with a strong spice such as cardamom, but I find that 1 teaspoon was the perfect amount distributed among a dozen muffins.

How to make cranberry cardamom spice muffins on

Remember to fill the muffin pan all the way to the top with batter. Don’t be nervous about overflowing because we’ll start the muffins in an extremely hot oven. A hot burst of air will lift the muffins right up— and not out. Reducing the oven temperature after 5 minutes ensures the centers cook through while preventing the tops from burning. It’s a little trick I’ve been using for years and the super tall muffin tops never cease to amaze me!

The icing is made from just 2 ingredients: confectioners’ sugar and orange juice. You’ll need the zest of an orange for the muffin batter, so cut that fruit open and juice it for the orange icing. The icing sets on top of the muffins after several minutes, creating an absolutely scrumptious icing “crust” on top. (!!!)

Cranberry, walnuts, cinnamon, and cardamom spice come together in these super easy muffins! Recipe on

Um, and can we talk about how the berries burst on top while the muffins bake? Creating the most awesome hot pink juices running down the sides. 

Cranberry, walnuts, cinnamon, and cardamom spice come together in these super easy muffins! Recipe on

And best of all: 35 minutes start to finish. That’s what I love most about muffins– they come together in a snap. Much needed when you have rosemary wreath napkin rings to make (I really want to make these!).

Cranberry Cardamom Spice Muffins


  • 1 and 3/4 cups (220g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (115g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 3/4 cup (150g) granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (120g) sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup (80ml) milk
  • zest of 1 orange
  • 1/2 cup (63g) chopped walnuts
  • 1 and 1/2 cups (187g) fresh or frozen cranberries (do not thaw if using frozen)

Orange Icing

  • 1 cup (120g) confectioners' sugar
  • juice of 1 orange (about 3 Tablespoons)


  1. Preheat oven to 425°F (218°C). Spray a 12-count muffin pan with nonstick spray or line with cupcake liners. Set aside.
  2. Make the muffins: In a large bowl, toss the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cardamom, cinnamon, and salt together. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on high speed until smooth and creamy, about 1 minute. Add the granulated sugar and beat on high until creamed, about 2 full minutes. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. Add the eggs, sour cream, and vanilla extract. Beat on medium speed for 1 minute, then turn up to high speed until the mixture is combined and creamy. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.
  4. Pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and beat on low speed until just about combined. Add the milk and orange zest and continue to beat on low until combined. Fold in the walnuts and cranberries.
  5. Spoon the batter evenly into each cup or liner, filling each all the way to the top. Bake the muffins for 5 minutes at 425 then, keeping the muffins in the oven, reduce the oven temperature to 350°F (177°C). Bake for an additional 15-18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. The total time these muffins take in the oven is about 22-23 minutes, give or take. Allow the muffins to cool for 5 minutes in the muffin pan, then transfer to a wire rack and drizzle with icing.
  6. For the icing: Whisk the confectioners' sugar and orange juice together. Drizzle over muffins.
  7. Muffins stay fresh stored in the refrigerator for 1 week.

Make ahead tip: For longer storage, freeze muffins (without glaze) for up to 3 months. Allow to thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then bring to room temperature or warm up in the microwave if desired. Glaze before serving.

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Here are some items I used to make today’s recipe.

Cardamom Spice | Chopped WalnutsKitchenaid Stand Mixer | Flex-Edge BeaterCupcake Liners | Muffin Pan

Some of the links above are affiliate links, which pays me a small commission for my referral at no extra cost to you! Thank you for supporting Sally’s Baking Addiction.

Cranberry, walnuts, cinnamon, and cardamom spice come together in these super easy muffins! Recipe on



  1. Debbie J. Elder on December 1, 2016 at 12:38 pm

    Hi Sally:

    I plan to make these for a Christmas brunch recipe.  Have you tried freezing them (without the frosting) and do they hold up well?  Or, should I make them fresh?  Looking to save time since I am hosting a large gathering and making ALL of the food.  These look like they will be a perfect addition to my menu.

    Best wishes

    • Sally on December 4, 2016 at 8:56 am

      Hi Debbie! You can make the muffins now and freeze them. But I suggest adding the icing on before serving. It tastes (and looks!) best when fresh.

  2. Christy Stanford on December 6, 2016 at 8:57 am

    I made these for breakfast last Sunday and my husband can’t stop talking about them….this from the man who always says nothing but “It’s good, baby!” about every. single. thing I make. Seriously, these muffins are what dreams are made of. Spectacular!

  3. Puneetha on December 6, 2016 at 7:34 pm

    Good morning Sally. In the part of the world where I live fresh cranberries are hard to come by. Can this be substituted for dry cranberries or raisins?

    • Sally on December 7, 2016 at 8:57 am

      Dried cranberries or raisins work in their place. Enjoy!

  4. Esha DeWilde on January 3, 2017 at 4:30 pm

    I have some leftover creme fraiche from another recipe that I need to use. Do you think I could use it in place of sir cream or would that mess with the consistency?

    • Esha DeWilde on January 3, 2017 at 4:32 pm

      I meant sour* cream

    • Sally on January 4, 2017 at 7:29 am

      Creme fraiche should be OK in the batter.

  5. Cat on February 5, 2017 at 8:05 pm

    These are so good!  I love the cardamom/cranberry/walnut combo.  I bought a large jar of cardamom to make homemade pumpkin pie spice and I’ve had a hard time finding recipes that call for cardamom in order to use what I had left.  I was really happy to find this one!  Unfortunately my family refuses to eat “those wimpy muffins” after having so many jumbo muffins (made from you master batter recipe with various add ins), so I had to double the recipe and make ’em jumbo to avoid a riot 🙂 Another winner according to me and my bunch.  Light, moist and packed full of sweet-tart flavor.  

  6. Aarti on August 16, 2017 at 5:35 am

    Hi Sally,

    What’s the substitute for sour cream? Please advice

    • Sally on August 16, 2017 at 8:18 am

      Plain yogurt works well

  7. Keilah on October 19, 2017 at 9:30 am

    This is perfect! I’m responsible for baking for Thanksgiving and will take this on my road trip for a breakfast muffin… can’t wait to bake them.

  8. Jessica on November 18, 2017 at 10:19 pm

    If i take out the walnuts will it mess up the recipe or ratio for anything? My husbands allergic 🙁

    • Sally on November 19, 2017 at 1:52 pm

      No other changes necessary! Simply leave them out.

  9. Maria on December 12, 2017 at 4:53 pm

    Will it work for mini muffins?
    Thank you.

    • Sally on December 12, 2017 at 8:41 pm

      Absolutely. Bake at 350F the whole time– maybe 11-13ish minutes.



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