Cranberry Orange Muffins

Buttery and moist, these cranberry orange muffins are heavy on the flavor and bursting with cranberries in each bite.

Cranberry Orange Muffins by sallysbakingaddiction.com-- buttery and moist, these festive muffins are packed with flavor!

Cranberry is an underrated fall flavor, dontcha think? It’s often lost in all the pumpkin, cinnamon, and apple flooding kitchens in the fall. (Um, not that I’m complaining.) Cranberry deserves some love! That being said, how about a POP of vibrant cranberry for breakfast? An abundance of cranberries in every soft, buttery bite. Paired with a bright zest of orange and a sweet orange glaze to finish things off.

Orange is cranberry’s soulmate. Like peanut butter is to jelly chocolate, Fridays are to wine, and french fries are to a chocolate frosty–> an obvious match made in heaven.

Cranberry Orange Muffins by sallysbakingaddiction.com-- buttery and moist, these festive muffins are packed with flavor!

Cranberry Orange Muffins on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Anyway, cranberry and orange are absolute perfection together and I’ve been dreaming about today’s muffins since I posted this particular cranberry orange bread recipe last year. I have since made that bread, I don’t know, about 1 million times. Sometimes with streusel, sometimes without (who am I?), but always always always with tons of cranberries and orange zest. Divine.

And so, today’s muffins were born. Festive, fluffy, cinnamon-spiced, and packed with flavor. We’re talking huge flavor! I used my blueberry muffin recipe as the base. Why? All that glorious butter flavor packed inside. Paired with juicy cranberries and bright citrus, the combination of flavor is unreal in these cranberry orange muffins.

Cranberry Orange Muffins by sallysbakingaddiction.com-- buttery and moist, these festive muffins are packed with flavor!

These are simple to make. There’s nothing fancy, nothing strange about them. Just a few basic ingredients to make one outrageous morning breakfast.

The star of the show is obviously the cranberries. You may use fresh or frozen. I go a little heavy handed on them– and I think you’ll love that. Because you know when you bite into a “fruit” muffin only to find three small blueberries in one bottom corner? So all you’re really eating is baked flour, sugar, and butter masking as a “fruit” muffin? No, that’s not happening here. All crannies, all over the place.

Besides the burst of tart cranberries, I absolutely love the texture of these cranberry orange muffins. They have more of a cake-like crumb, which is a result of creaming butter and sugar together– as opposed to using oil. They’re light and fluffy, just like cupcakes. Also: they’re so moist. Two eggs, yogurt, and a splash of orange juice (for flavor!) are to thank for their tender, moist centers.

The sweet orange glaze adds to their charm. You can leave the glaze off, but it adds a little extra orange flavor. Kevin and I both liked the muffins with the glaze more. Shocking.

Cranberry Orange Muffins by sallysbakingaddiction.com-- buttery and moist, these festive muffins are packed with flavor!

Warm from the oven, these glazed cranberry orange muffins are the best treat to cozy up with on chilly mornings. Or this brown sugar goodness. Both winners.

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Cranberry Orange Muffins

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 12 muffins
  • Category: Muffins
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Buttery and moist, these cranberry orange muffins are heavy on the flavor and bursting with cranberries in each bite.


Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup (115g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup (50g) packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (120g) yogurt*
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • zest of 2 oranges
  • 1 and 3/4 cups (220g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 Tablespoons (30ml) orange juice
  • 2 Tablespoons (30ml) milk (any kind)
  • 1 and 1/2 cups (185g) fresh or frozen cranberries (do not thaw)

Orange Glaze

  • 1 cup (120g) confectioners’ sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons (45ml) orange juice

Instructions

  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. In a medium 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 and brown sugars and beat on high until creamed, about 2 full minutes. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. Add the eggs, yogurt, and vanilla extract. Beat on medium speed for 1 minute, then turn up to high speed until the mixture is combined and uniform in texture. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. Then, beat in the orange zest until combined.
  3. In a large bowl, toss together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and slowly mix with a whisk. Add the orange juice and milk, gently whisking until combined and little lumps remain. Fold in the cranberries with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula.
  4. Spoon batter into prepared muffin pan, filling them all the way to the top. Top the batter with an additional cranberry or two, for looks if desired. (I like the pop of color on top of the muffins in doing this.) Bake for 5 minutes at 425°F (218°C), then keeping the muffins in the oven, lower the oven temperature to 350°F (177°C) and bake for 18-20 more minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. The total times these muffins take in the oven is about 23-25 minutes.
  5. While the muffins are cooling for a few minutes, make the glaze by whisking the glaze ingredients together. Drizzle over warm muffins. Allow to briefly cool before serving.

Notes

  1. Make Ahead & Freezing Instructions: Unglazed muffins stay soft, fresh, and moist covered at room temperature for up to 5 days. Glazed or unglazed muffins freeze well for up to 2 months.
  2. Yogurt: Use your favorite yogurt; I prefer low fat plain Greek yogurt but regular (not Greek) would be just fine. Try with orange flavored, vanilla, honey, nonfat, or full fat. Sour cream works as well.
  3. Mini Muffins: For mini muffins, bake at 350°F (177°C) for about 11-13 minutes or until baked through. Use a toothpick to test for doneness.

Keywords: cranberry orange muffins

There’s more where these muffins came from! Try this same recipe, 3 other ways: Blueberry Muffins with Streusel Topping, Glazed Apple Crumb Muffins, and Peach Streusel Muffins.

For a more hearty, bakery style muffin– try these chocolate chip muffins! And here is my insanely-over-the-top-in-the-best-way-possible Cranberry Orange Bread:

Orange Glazed Cranberry Bread

Cranberry Orange Muffins-- buttery and moist, these festive muffins are packed with flavor!
Cranberry Orange Muffins by sallysbakingaddiction.com-- buttery and moist, these festive muffins are packed with flavor!

302 Comments

  1. I made these tonight and they were great, My husband had two and wanted more. I used the sour cream and dried cranberries. These are the best, Thank you

  2. I have made these muffins several times now and they have become a favorite of my husband and son. They request these when they go on road trips. They are full of flavor when you use fresh squeezed OJ and use that in your glaze as the liquid. I highly recommend. Very very moist an bursting with flavor

  3. I LOVE Cranberry Orange Muffins! Can’t wait to try these! Can you use Craisins in this recipe? Would you have to soak them in a liquid to plump them up? These look so yummy!! Thanks!

    1. Hi Sandy, Craisins would work! You can certainly take the extra step to soak them in hot liquid for a few minutes before adding them to the batter. Enjoy!

  4. I think I’ve commented before, but I have these in the oven right now & just have to say how much we enjoy this recipe. I keep a stash in the freezer (we’re down to one so I’m making more now). These have become the only muffins my husband seems to want! The tartness of the cranberries & the orange flavor really makes them pop. We don’t add the glaze because we love that they aren’t overly sweet (though the glaze is delicious as well). I just wanted to thank you for this wonderful recipe.

  5. This recipe sounds amazing and I plan on making it but can it also be veganized? I know there are egg replacers and vegan butter, and of course alternative milk products, but what about the yogurt…is there a vegan yogurt out there to sub out?

    1. I used Tofutti which is a sour cream substitute. I have used it on many things and it’s always worked well. My muffins are currently in the oven so fingers crossed they work! Gluten-free and vegan over here!

  6. Amazing taste. Love the slight tart taste of the fresh cranberries & the fragrance of the orange zest in this muffin recipe. Just made a dozen as of now & the kitchen smells great. Thank you for sharing your recipe.

      1. I see that you can leave the fresh cranberries whole but do they need to presoaked in order to soften them?

  7. Great muffins! Was worried about the cranberries being too tart, I used fresh, and my husband not liking them but he loved them so much! Orange glaze is amazing. I used vanilla yogurt and almond milk. Perfect!

  8. I have to say I was looking for a cranberry orange muffin recipe and really wanted to make yours BUT the level of distracting advertising on your page is a huge turn-off. I just couldn’t get past the flashing ads long enough to read the recipe. It really cheapens your brand to have so many ads on your page. Going to a more serene and peaceful blog for this recipe!

    1. Hi Meredith! Thanks so much for your feedback. Unfortunately, I need to run advertisements on my website in order to pay the server host, fees, domain, technical support, my staff, props, ingredients, and income. Of course, I’m sure you understand that. Pop-up ads are not tolerated on my website, so I hope you aren’t seeing any of those. If so, feel free to email me at [email protected] We will, of course, take your feedback into consideration when it comes time for a site layout change. Thank you again!

  9. I am getting ready to make these AGAIN! They are deeelicious!! They are light but moist and the flavor is to die for. I bake for my coworkers, seniors that I deliver meals to, and my women’s meeting at church!! They all love them! I’ve been cooking your recipes for about a year and you have taught me so much! Thanks for your hard work and your ads are not distracting to me.

  10. I want to make these as mini muffins. I think I may chop the cranberries a bit and add toasted chopped pecans. How long do you think I should bake them for?

  11. Hi Sally
    I made these muffins today for an office bake sale – they turned out delicious – fluffy and moist . However since I filled all the way to the top , they spilled over and didn’t rise as much – I used exactly the same temperature settings. I plan to make another batch tomorrow and wanted to know if there was a trick I am missing. Thank you

    1. Hi Kala, Make sure that your baking powder and baking soda are fresh and that your oven is fully pre-heated to 425 before placing the muffins in the oven. You can also try filling them just a bit less next time!

  12. One of my favorite muffin recipes of all time! These rival a muffin from a bakery any day! This flavor combination is my mom’s favorite. I used strawberry greek yogurt this time since it’s all I had, and they turned out amazing!

  13. I made these for a brunch when I had some of my friends over and eveyone commented how good they were. This recipe is a keeper.

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