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

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 on a yellow plate

cranberry orange muffins

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.

2 images of cranberry orange muffin batter in a muffin pan and baked cranberry orange muffins in a muffin pan

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.

2 images of cranberry orange muffins

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 on a yellow plate

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


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


  • 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 (219g) 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


  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.


  1. Make Ahead & Freezing Instructions: Muffins without glaze stay fresh covered at room temperature for up to 5 days. Cover and store muffins with glaze at room temperature for up to 1 day or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. 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. Cranberries: You can use 1 and 1/2 cups dried cranberries as a substitute for the fresh/frozen cranberries.
  4. 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:

cranberry orange bread


  1. These muffins turned out perfectly. I used Greek yogurt and buttermilk, as well as dried cranberries. They weren’t too sweet and the icing makes them just right. They’re moist and the texture is just right and the recipe yielded 15 nice plump muffins. I might increase the cinnamon because I like it. It’s a keeper.

  2. Valerie Greenwood says:

    I just made these and they are so very flavorful! I had one issue with mixing ingredients. I used Greek yogurt and when I added that, the eggs and vanilla to my mixer, the ingredients splashed and splattered everywhere. I ended up mixing by hand. Maybe I should have used the lowest setting. I used my kitchen aide. I baked the 18 minutes and they were almost overdone. I think I will do a few minutes less next time. My oven maybe running hot. Thanks for another great recipe!

  3. These turned out delicious! The pop of fresh cranberries with super tender orange flavored crumb was perfect! I used sour cream because it’s what I had on hand and it worked perfectly.

  4. How many does it make?

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Ruth, one dozen standard sized muffins.

      1. Patricia M Vill says:

        I’m fairly new to baking. I was looking for a cranberry muffin when I came across this recipe! It was a very easy recipe to make and they tasted very good. I could not believe how light and fluffy they came out. My husband loved them too! Thank you for such a fantastic recipe!

  5. i have made these muffins three times now they are gone within days they are really good grandkids and adult children who come by eat a couple before they leave when stopping by!!!

  6. I just made another batch of these. Seems that every time I crave something sweet these muffins are my first choice every time! So good and I like to say “healthier” than most with fresh cranberries and yogurt. Added more orange zest for extra zing.
    Thank you Sally.

  7. Just made these replacing half the butter with oil, and they turned out lovely. Thanks for the recipe!

  8. Hi! Can I use 11% Greek yogurt for extra fat for my baby?
    Also, if I glaze some how do I store those? Thank you!

    1. Hi Ashley, you can use a high fat yogurt in this muffin recipe. Cover and store muffins with glaze at room temperature for up to 1 day or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

  9. Hi Sally! I am in the middle of making these and had a question purely for curiosity’s sake: is there a reason for adding the 2 TBSP each of orange juice and milk at the very end instead of with the wet ingredients? Always trying to learn more about the science and chemistry of baking, so I found this intriguing 🙂 Can’t wait to see how they turn out!

    1. Honestly either time would be fine to add the orange juice & milk, but I find it’s easier to mix at the end. It just curdles with the other liquid ingredients before you add any flour. I hope this makes sense! Did you enjoy the muffins? Thank you for trying them!

  10. Okay, these just came out of the oven and I CAN’T STOP EATING THEM, SEND HELP. Couldn’t even be bothered to add the glaze, THEY’RE SO FLUFFY AND ADDICTING!!!

  11. Could almond flour be substituted for white flour?

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Ann! We don’t suggest that swap. It would change the texture of the muffins too much.

  12. Successful recipe! The orange zest really gives it the flavour so dont miss that out. I made this without the glazing and it is still delicious!! Yummy

  13. Hello! I’m obsessed with your recipes!
    I was wondering what I need to adjust (time/temp) if I wanted to make these into jumbo muffins.

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Irene! You can definitely use this batter to make jumbo muffins. We recommend following the same bake time and temperatures as our jumbo blueberry muffins.

  14. Carole Rouillard says:

    Hi, is there any way to substitute honey for the sugar?

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Carole! We’d love to help but we are not trained in baking with sugar substitutes. For best taste and texture (and so you don’t waste your time trying to adapt this recipe since it may not work properly), it may be more useful to find a recipe that is specifically formulated for sugar substitutes like honey. Thank you!

  15. Vanessa Begat says:

    I’ve made these a bunch with fresh cranberries and LOVE IT but can’t find any right now. If I’m using dried, do I need to reconstitute them or just put them in as is from the bag?

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Vanessa, dried cranberries will work here — you can put them in directly from the bag, or you can rehydrate them by soaking them in water for a bit. Either works!

  16. Sue Russo says:

    Oh my, these are fabulous! Moist, loads of flavor! I have been a baker/cook for over 40 years and this is hands down, the best orange cranberry muffin I have ever had.. It’s a keeper! I didn’t have any oranges to zest, so I doubled the orange juice and wow!

  17. Hi Sally,

    I do not have all purpose flour at this moment, and I wanna try to make this recipe – I have cake flour and self raising flour. Any of these flour I can use instead?

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