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 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 buttery and moist, these festive muffins are packed with flavor!

Cranberry Orange Muffins on

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 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 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


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 (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


  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: 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 buttery and moist, these festive muffins are packed with flavor!


  1. I am not a baker at all and i made the Orange cranberry muffins they were to die for! They were moist ,full of flavor and easy to make.My 6 year old was in love .Plus the house smelt amazing! I will be keeping this recipe.

    1. I’m so happy they were enjoyed, Kat!!

  2. Omg Sally I swapped out the cranberries for chocolate chips, I’m having multiple foodgasms all over the kitchen they’re spectacular. I made them for volunteers at my local animal rescue butttttt I can’t promise they’ll ever see them! It’s like a cakey Terry’s chocolate orange, thank you for your guidance in crafting this masterpiece!

  3. Would adding orange extract exemplify the orange flavour? I really want that to stand out.

    1. Yes, definitely! I recommend starting with 1/2 teaspoon orange extract.

  4. I just finished making these muffins, and they’re wonderful! I’m not usually very good at sweet baked goods, but these came out great! Thank you!

    1. I’m so happy you enjoyed these, Kara!!

  5. Thank you for this recipe, my grandkids now think i do magic in the kitchen,they were gone as soon as they cooled, had to make two extra batches, one for coffee in the mornings n one for them better than a bakery

  6. Can you substitute margarine for butter? Have all the other ingredients to make these.

    1. Hi Margo! You can, yes, but the flavor of the muffins will change.

  7. Rosanne Stephen says:

    It doesn’t say what kind of yogurt? Is this just plain unflavored yogurt?

    1. Plain yogurt works! See my recipe note.

  8. Melissa Downie says:

    These are fresh out of the oven and absolutely delightful! Soft, tender, light, and fluffy all in the same bite! My cranberries are sour and make for an amazing tart bite. Thank you for showing me that muffins can be made from scratch! Yours are truly all wonderful and my family adores every single recipe of yours that I make! ❤️

    1. Melissa Downie says:

      I should mention also that these are way better than any bakery can make!

  9. Christine Graham says:

    what adjustments need to be made to the baking time and temp if I use a 6-count jumbo muffin pan rather than the standard 12-count?

    1. Hi Christine! You can follow the bake time and temperatures that I use for these jumbo muffins. Bake time will be the same, but you can always use a toothpick inserted in the center to test for doneness.

  10. Hi Sally – Most cranberry breads, muffins, etc recipes call for the cranberries to be chopped. Your recipe doesn’t state to chop, so I assume we put them in the batter whole?

    1. Hi Sharon! If you’d like, you can definitely chop the cranberries but I use them whole in this muffin recipe.

      1. I made these muffins and they were in a word “Awesome! I shared them with friends and got requests for the recipe which, of course, I gave them.

  11. Just reading this recipe makes me drool! Awesome! Suggestions for baking temps and times if go with mini muffins in this recipe?

    1. Hi Barb! For mini muffins, bake at 350F for about 11-13 minutes or until baked through. 🙂

  12. These were great! I didn’t make the glaze because I didn’t think they needed it. They totally reminded me of Panera’s with less sugar–I love the whole cranberries!

    1. So glad you love the cranberry muffins!

  13. I don’t have any yogurt or sour cream. Can something be substituted. Really don’t want to go to the store

  14. Kathleen Gulnac says:

    Absolutely wonderful. I was forced to make a few adjustments because I didn’t check the fridge before I started. I only had 1/4 cup of Choboni strawberry banana yogurt, and no sour cream. I used the yogurt, 1/4 cup of whipping cream and a splash of vinegar as a substitute. Worked beautifully. Thanks for a great recipe. I’m looking forward to making the buttery blueberry muffins next.

  15. Hi Sally, Longtime fan and follower. Question about the orange juice ingredient: Is that orange juice from the carton, or orange juice squeezed from fresh oranges? Thanks!

    1. Either work, but fresh orange juice preferred. Thanks for saying hi and asking Courtney!

      1. Thanks! Fresh is perfect. My college students thank you in advance so I can contribute something to their bake sale fundraiser tomorrow!

  16. Hi!! I loved this recipe, thanks so much for posting it! I just noticed the gal who asked about higher elevation. I begged for 5 minutes at 425, then 12 minutes on 350 and they came out beautifully. Thanks again, Sally, for these yummy yummy muffins!!

  17. Made these with lemon instead of orange and they were delicious! Super moist and packed with flavour and cranberries!

  18. Made this today and they were delicious even without the glaze. I added half cup walnuts for some crunch. Thanks for sharing this recipe.

  19. Hi Cindy! I’m unsure. Feel free to use a calorie counting website to calculate.

  20. Patricia Lynch says:

    I was looking for a muffin recipe to use my leftover cranberry relish. I used this recipe, substituting 1 cup relish for the cranberries & orange juice. They turned out great.

  21. I have recently come across your site and I am so happy I did. The cranberry orange muffins and pumpkin streusel bars were both delicious !!!!

  22. These are fantastic! Thanks for making our Sunday morning delicious!

  23. Hi Sally! I have a question about this recipe. I recently made it and it was delicious, but I ran into a small problem. In the recipe it says to use the zest of two oranges. Is there a more extact way of measuring how much zest is needed? When baking these I zested two oranges, and it seemed like way, way too much, so I only added half and it worked well. I know there are many types of oranges and such, so is using measuring tools, how much zest would be needed, or is a case by case basis? Thanks, and the recipe was lovely.

    1. Hi Isabella! It’s usually around 2 Tbsp of zest, but you can add or reduce based on your preference. So glad you enjoyed the cranberry muffins, thanks for trying them!

  24. I was a bit skeptical about using fresh cranberries but tried this recipe anyhow(so far all your recpies ive tried sre great). I made a few regular and mini muffins also used sour cream instead of the yogurt. The muffins were so moist and tasted delicious. Great recipe. Thanks for sharing.

  25. Pat Stapleton says:

    Jan. 5th was my 80th birthday and I invited some friends for coffee that morning, served these muffins since I had leftover cranberries from the holidays in my freezer. Without saying they were a huge hit. I’ve always loved cooking and baking and like to try new things (not always greatly received when my kids were young – how time flies) that was eons ago. My friends are always up for something new that I am trying, and are gracious with compliments. I am blessed with many guinea pig friends and they keep coming back. Thank you so much, keep up the work inspiring young people to be creative cooks. You’ll attract lifelong friends.

    1. Happy birthday, Pat!! I’m thrilled that these muffins were a hit and thank you for taking the time to leave such a kind comment.

  26. Holly Burrows says:

    Dark or light brown sugar…which do you prefer? And which one did you use for the muffins pictured?

    1. Hi Holly! I used light brown sugar in the pictured muffins. Either work wonderfully in this recipe!

  27. These have a wonderful texture. However, I would omit the cinnamon. Even one teaspoon seemed to overwhelm the orange flavor. I used orange extract in addition to the zest and it helped intensify the flavor.

  28. I just made these muffins for the second time. They are, by far, the very best muffins I have EVER had! I don’t know how you do it, Sally. You are a magician in the kitchen! Thank you!

    1. Love reading this, Susan! Thank you so much for your positive feedback- I’m thrilled these muffins were a hit 🙂

  29. 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

    1. I’m so glad you and your husband enjoyed them, Nancy!

  30. pauline morris says:


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