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. Deborah Harper says:

    These muffins are to die for! Served them with cranberry honey butter!

    1. Melanie Roche says:

      I added some chopped pecans. . Really great recipe!

  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. Sandy Stephens says:

    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. These look amazing!
    Can I use white whole wheat flour?

    1. Absolutely! Same amount.

  5. 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.

  6. Jennifer Stevens says:

    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!

  7. 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. You are welcome, Caroline! I’m so happy you enjoyed them!

  8. Sound wonderful. Will be making them today. Question, I’m using fresh cranberry, do you use whole or chop some?

    1. Hi Margo, I leave them whole but you can slice the cranberries in half if desired.

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

      2. Hi Alycyn, No need to pre-soak fresh cranberries!

  9. 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!

    1. I’m so happy these muffins were a hit! Thanks for your positive feedback 🙂

  10. Meredith Rogowski says:

    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!

      1. Delicious muffins!! (And no advertisements popping or distractions from reading the blog.) Added one more step by adding a crumb topping: Cut together 3/4 cup flour, 1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 cup butter till mixture resembled pea sized crumbs. As recipe directed, spooned batter into prepared muffin pan, topping the batter with an additional cranberry or two. Then sprinkled crumb mixture on top of dough and baked as directed. Drizzled orange glaze on top of cooled muffins.

    2. Just an fyi Meredith, there is a “Jump to Recipe” button that takes you to the recipe. I appreciate having that button for the same reason you complained about.

  11. Amazing, best muffins ever. Moist and cakey. We made these for a work Thanksgiving party. Thank you!

    1. Natalie Krueger says:

      We love these! Would like to try as jumbo bakery size muffins for Christmas how long would you bake? Would you start at higher temp them drop after a few mins? Just want to try a different size. Thanks for any advice! Love your blog!!

      1. Hi Natalie! You can definitely use this batter to make jumbo muffins. I recommend following the same bake time and temperatures as my jumbo blueberry muffins.

  12. Tandice Tinney says:

    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.

  13. 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?

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

  14. Linda J IANNONE says:

    The kitchen smelled lovely while the muffins were baking and these are so delicious!

  15. 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!

  16. 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!

  17. Great way to get rid of leftover cranberries from thanksgiving. Amazing muffins.

  18. 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.

  19. Michele Beroza says:

    Can you substitute dried cranberries?

    1. Yes. Use 1 and 1/2 cups dried cranberries as a substitute for the fresh.

  20. I only have 1 orange for the zest will it be enough or what should I add?

    1. Hi Sue, You can just use the zest of one orange, the muffins just won’t have as strong of an orange flavor.

      1. Do you use fresh orange or orange juice from a bottle?

      2. Either work, but fresh from an orange is best.

  21. Kara Van Verst says:

    I just made the batter with dried cranberries and allspice instead of cinnamon, Oh my! So good, can’t wait to smell them baking in the morning 🙂

  22. These were wonderful! My husband has celiacs and I made them using Bob’s Redmill GF 1 to 1 flour. No other changes. I wanted to pass along for others.

  23. These muffins are delicious! I made recipe using just OJ, no milk. I used my mini-chopper to chop cranberries instead of whole because I like the cranberry throughout the batter. Also added chopped walnuts. I did not add the orange zest because I didn’t have an orange. Thanks for the tip of substituting sour cream for yogurt because I didn’t have the yogurt. I did make the icing and that just makes them completely yummy!

  24. I added pecan pieces and lemon Greek yogurt they are delicious muffins. Thanks for the great recipe.

    1. I’m glad you enjoyed them, Susan!

  25. I was in a hurry and didn’t have powdered sugar, so I put green sprinkles on the muffins before I baked them. Absolutely delicious. This recipe is a keeper. Hmmm, I wonder about substituting egg nog for the milk…..

  26. These are the best cranberry orange muffins I have ever baked. These freeze beautifully too.

  27. So I made these today and they turned out wonderful. However I was wondering if the yoghurt should also be at room temperature. I ran into an issue where the sugar/butter/egg mixture curdled as I was mixing it all together. I wasn’t sure how to proceed so I just followed the rest of the recipe and baked them anyway. So glad I did… But any thoughts? I also added some nutmeg and used two cups of fresh cranberries. Delicious!

    1. Hi Melanie, Yes all of your ingredients including the yogurt should be at room temperature. I’m so glad they still turned out well for you! If you are interested in why room temperature is important I wrote this post explaining it!

  28. These are the most amazing muffins I have ever had. I used fresh cranberries pulsed to make smaller pieces because I don’t actually like fruit muffins but I am cranberry/orange obsessed right now. They turned out perfect. Light, fluffy and full of flavor. I have never been disappointed with any recipe from your site. Thank you!

    1. I’m thrilled that you enjoyed these so much, Connie!

  29. Amazing recipe! I like to use fresh cranberries if available, otherwise dried is fine too! I like the juicy pop from the fresh berries! I also used the sour cream option and added a splash of orange liquor to the batter. You can also soak the cranberries in orange alcohol of your choice as well! And for the glaze, I used 2 tblsp of fresh orange juice and 1 tblsp of the orange liquor! So delicious! The batter base is fantastic for any kind of muffin!

  30. I am a Grandma now and this is close to my Grandma’s recipe, filled with goodness. She used to make them without the glaze, but my granddaughters love them glazed.
    I never change a recipe the first time I make it, and if I do I publish my own recipe.
    It is wonderful as is written, my family and I have loved many of your delicious recipes.
    In my family, the Children love the mini muffins with the glaze, and adults loved the regular size warm, cut in half, and slathered in butter fresh from the local dairy.

    My recommendation to all, try it as written, try many of Sally’s recipes as written, she has captured the essence of old time cooks and bakers, and her creations will not only make savory moments to remember in the future, but will bring back the precious memorable moments of childhood and bring to life the lost recipes of all our great, great ancestors who turn love into each meal.

    1. Thank you so much for your kind and thoughtful review, Leiza. I’m so happy that this recipe brought back memories of your own grandmother and that you are now creating new memories with your family.

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