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. 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:

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!

380 Comments

  1. Nora @ Savory Nothings says:

    So true, cranberries don’t get half the love they deserve! This looks so delicious! Perfect morning treat 🙂

  2. I love anything cranberry orange, including these muffins. I think I need to make a batch this weekend. Yum!

  3. Cranberries and oranges are one of my favorite combinations! I love making craisin orange cookies, and these muffins look so great! The colors are so bright and celebratory, perfect for fall 🙂 Thanks for this recipe!

    1. craisin orange cookies sound amazing!

  4. I’m liking your cranberry kick lately! Are you going to make a cool cocktail with it anytime soon? I’d love some Thanksgiving drink ideas!
    But honestly, I’m very grateful to you for taking care of my breakfast needs on Thanksgiving. These muffins will do the trick!

    1. i don’t think i’ll create my own cranberry cocktail for the holidays, but i’ve made this before and Mir… it’s awesome. http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/cranberry-mulled-wine-recipe.html

      1. Natalie Munroe says:

        If I may also offer a seasonal suggestion for all to enjoy–

        I got a winter white cranberry martini from Bonefish Grill last year and my husband has been making them for us ever since! They’re SO delicious. We’ve tried it with different vodkas (my liquor store didn’t have cranberry vodka the first time I went shopping, so I got Absolut Cherrykran and I really liked it. We’ve also switched it up with Pomegranate vodka, too.) and they were all winners. Have fun!

        Here’s the recipe:
        http://www.bonefishgrill.com/BehindTheScenes/cocktails-winter-white-cosmopolitan

        CHEERS, ladies!

      2. oh YES. Must try.

  5. Taylor @ Food Faith Fitness says:

    Yes! Cranberries are SO under-rated, and they basically need to marry anything orange! I actually just created a cranberry orange recipe and my taste buds fell in love, so I clearly need to get these muffins going! Pinned!

  6. Thank you Sally!!! This is like my favourite muffin flavour because I love that tartness of the cranberries (a.k.a. crannies) that’s balanced out by orange zest…

    1. agreed of the balance of flavors. also: crannies

      1. Hello,
        Can you use crasins in the muffins instead? and I saw on one of the other comments about orange crasin cookies. Do you have a recipe for that?

      2. Craisins are fine. I do not have a recipe for craisin orange cookies.

  7. Cranberries! Yes please =)

  8. Cranberries are one of my favorite parts about fall and winter! I think I have some stashed away in the fridge, ready for use in something yummy like this 🙂

  9. Joanna @ Everyday Made Fresh says:

    When I was 18 I worked at a local coffee shop that sold cranberry orange muffins. I had never had anything like them, they were so simple yet so flavorful. I have yet to have them since I ws wokring there. These will have to be made.

  10. Kerry @ Kerry Cooks says:

    Ooh yum! These would be just perfect for Christmas morning. Thanks for sharing Sally!

  11. I adore cranberry and orange and cannot wait to make these!!

  12. Cranberries are SO underrated!! And combined with orange is my favorite way to eat them! Yummmmm.

  13. Sounds so yummy, but I need nuts in my muffins. Is there a way to add walnuts to this recipe? Thanks.

    1. absolutely. 1/2 cup (or more if you’d like) chopped walnuts would be tasty.

  14. These muffins are going on my must try baking list! Also, the Wendy’s frosty and French fry thing….love that combo! It’s the only way to eat them!!

    1. ONLY way. agreed.

  15. Shashi @ runninsrilankan says:

    Cranberry is an underrated fall flavor indeed – love your combo of it with orange and cinnamon in these gorg muffins!!

  16. Sarah @ The Gold Lining Girl says:

    Yep… cranberries are totally underrated and under-appreciated!! And I agree that pairing crans with orange is super traditional and wonderful. I love this flavor combo. So many fruit desserts in the summertime, but in winter we just have this and apple stuff! 🙂

  17. OMG- I thought I was the only one who dipped french fries into frostys; absolutely the best! Also love orange and cranberries together; a great fall flavor combo! 🙂

  18. Mmmmmm I do so love cranberries! And cranberries + orange sounds divine.

    A quick question: do you think dried cranberries would work in this recipe? Or should I stick with fresh/frozen? I happen to have both on hand, but worry the fresh/frozen cranberries might be a little much for my little darlings. (I could totally handle them, of course, haha)

    1. I would go with fresh or frozen if you can (juicy) but if you do not have access to either, dried would be fine. Or half fresh/frozen and dried would be good too.

  19. Melanie @ Carmel Moments says:

    I still haven’t bought any cranberries. So ready to bake with them though. Love the cranberry orange combo. Mmm…

  20. Eve @ Baking the Day says:

    I was thinking about making crannie muffins this weekend coming! I can thank my granny so much for getting me to love crannies, every time we went to visit her when I was young, she would always give me a glass of cranberry juice; I used to hate it but now it is my favourite fruity juice. As for these muffins; they look amazing ~ tender, moist and fluffy with plenty of flavour and butteriness, pinned! 😀 x

  21. Shannon @ Bake.Frost.Repeat. says:

    I love cranberry and orange together. These muffins look fantastic! And that glaze?!!?!?! Wow.

  22. These muffins sound delicious! Can you imagine them with dried cranberries? Sadly,I never saw either fresh or frozen cranberries here.

    1. dried would be just fine

  23. Matt Robinson says:

    What an awesome flavor combo, these look amazing!

  24. These look lovely, and perfect for a large event I’m baking for tomorrow! I’m going to be making them in a mini muffin pan, instead of standard. Do you think I’d need to cut my fresh cranberries in half, or will that compromise the texture? I’ve never baked with fresh cranberries, so I wasn’t sure if they needed to stay whole. Any suggestions to alter the baking time for the minis? Thanks for all the great recipes, you’re one of my favorite blogs!

    1. Hi Carrie! I suggest 10 minutes for mini muffins – at 350F the whole time. And slicing the cranberries in half or chopping them up as you wish is a great idea.

  25. French fries and frosting?! Really, Sally?! Was this discovered on a night of a few margaritas? 😛

    I NEED to try the cranberry orange bread ASAP. My mom loves this combination of flavors, so she’d probably die over these. I like to make the glaze and put it in a little mason jar in the fridge. It makes it easier for if a person doesn’t want glaze on the muffins (weird-o).

    1. Laur hahahahahaha a chocolate frosty (like from wendy’s). not frosting! oh dear god I draw the line at that – sounds a little gross. i’m laughing so loud.

      1. LOL that makes more sense. My eyes deceived me on that one. EPIC fail! HAHAHA. I was thinking, “Wow, she must have been pretty tipsy”!

  26. Jennifer @ Show Me the Yummy says:

    That glaze is a must! Yum. Those muffins like so tender and delicious 🙂

  27. I’m definitely putting these on my “to make” list11
    The photos of those muffins makes my mouth water!!
    That glaze will really put it over the top!! Thanks for sharing!

  28. Yum! I love cranberry and orange together.
    I was actually planing on making chocolate chip cranberry cookies this week, but I can’t wait to try this as well 🙂

  29. My mom and I bought a peach muffin from Whole Foods a few months ago with my mom. We had high expectations because a) their blueberry muffins are FULL of blueberries and was so delicious, and b) there was a huge peach slice right on top. But eating it, there were only about 2 1/2 small peach slices in the whole muffin! And one of them was the one on top! I’m very excited to make these muffins; I completely trust your fruit muffins actually have fruit it them! 🙂

    1. so disappointing. and they’re muffins aren’t incredibly cheap either. make these! you’ll love them ashleigh.

  30. Sally, could you explain how I get zest from an orange. I always skip recipes because I don’t know how 🙁

    1. Audra–
      There is a tool called a zester which is basically a tiny grater. I have also seen people use a peeler and peel some off. If you don’t have a zester(or on the days when my kids have “helped” me by putting it somewhere I can’t find it) I have used the smallest holes in my grater, but it really isn’t small enough. Hope this helps!!

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