Homemade cranberry cardamom spice muffins combine favorite holiday flavors into one muffin. Each bite is bursting with fresh cranberries, orange, walnuts, cinnamon, and cardamom. The perfect fall breakfast, snack, or dessert!
Your search for the perfect cold weather weekend breakfast (or snack!) ends here. A perfectly tart and sweet combination of cranberry and orange is one of my favorite flavors this time of year, and I’ve used it as inspiration for many recipes like cranberry sauce and cranberry orange Bundt cake. Today we’re adding to the list with cranberry cardamom spice muffins—oodles of tart cranberries in a sweet orange scented batter with walnuts and plenty of delicious holiday cardamom spice flavor. I call this one “November in a muffin.” 😉
These Cranberry Cardamom Spice Muffins Are:
- Tart and sweet, similar to cranberry apple upside down cake and cranberry Christmas cake
- Perfectly spiced with warm fall flavors
- Extra soft, buttery, and moist
- Loaded with tart cranberries, fresh orange, and crunchy walnuts
- A texture lover’s dream!
- Drizzled with a sweet orange icing
- Super quick—ready in just 35 minutes
Behind The Recipe
I turned to my trusty master muffin recipe as the base of these Thanksgiving inspired muffins. What’s a master muffin recipe? It’s 1 muffin batter that can produce all sorts of different muffin varieties and flavors. Here are some of my other muffin recipes that begin with the same base muffin recipe: apple cinnamon muffins, peach muffins, cranberry orange muffins, strawberry cheesecake muffins, and blueberry muffins.
This recipe creates soft and buttery muffins, thanks to 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, just like vanilla cupcakes. Lots of little ingredients paired together create big-time flavor in this recipe. 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 1 dozen muffins.
- By the way: If you’re not into any of today’s add-ins, simply swap them out. That’s what makes this base muffin recipe such a staple in my kitchen—the flavor possibilities are truly endless. Try blueberries instead of cranberries, add chocolate chips or white chocolate chips, leave out the spices, try pecans instead of walnuts, etc.
How To Make Cranberry Cardamom Spice Muffins
These come together in a snap—much needed when your holiday to-do list is a mile long.
- Whisk the dry ingredients together: flour, leaveners, spices, and salt.
- Mix the wet ingredients together: butter, sugar, eggs, sour cream, and vanilla extract.
- Combine the wet and dry ingredients & add milk and orange zest. Fold in the walnuts and cranberries.
- Spoon batter into muffin pan.
- Bake. These muffins take about 22-23 minutes.
- Make icing & drizzle onto muffins.
Quick Tip for Filling Your Muffin Pan
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. (!!!)
More Favorite Muffin Recipes
- Banana Muffins
- Morning Glory Muffins
- Blueberry Muffins
- Pumpkin Crumb Cake Muffins
- Whole Wheat Apple Cinnamon Muffins
- Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins
- Gingerbread Muffins
- Simply Pumpkin Muffins
Warm, soft, and fluffy cranberry cardamom spice muffins ready in 35 minutes!
- 1 and 3/4 cups (219g) all-purpose flour (spooned & leveled)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon cardamom
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup (113g) 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)
- 1 cup (120g) confectioners’ sugar
- juice of 1 orange (about 3 Tablespoons)
- Preheat oven to 425°F (218°C). Spray a 12-count muffin pan with nonstick spray or line with cupcake liners. Set aside.
- Make the muffins: In a large bowl, toss the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cardamom, cinnamon, and salt together. Set aside.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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°F (218°C) 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.
- For the icing: Whisk the confectioners’ sugar and orange juice together. Drizzle over muffins.
- Muffins stay fresh stored in the refrigerator for 1 week.
- Make Ahead Instructions: 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.
- Special Tools (affiliate links): KitchenAid Stand Mixer, Muffin Liners, and Muffin Pan
Keywords: cranberry muffins, cranberry cardamom muffins