Cranberry Orange Muffins are a delicious breakfast to make this holiday season! Incredibly moist and bursting with the flavors of citrus and tangy cranberries, these muffins are perfect for those busy mornings, or as a festive Christmas snack.
This cranberry orange muffin recipe is simple to make, uses mostly kitchen staples, and easy to whip up in just 10 minutes of hands on time. Once out of the oven, they never last long!
Cranberries are one of my favorite ingredients to use during the holiday season. They are so beautiful and festive with that pop of crisp red. We also love to make Cranberry Orange White Chocolate Chip Cookies and Apple Walnut Cranberry Sauce and these beautiful Sugared Cranberries during this time of year.
Soft, fluffy, and packed with flavors, these cranberry muffins are a family favorite! Not only do they taste heavenly, they will also make your home smell like the holidays! They make the best breakfast, brunch, afternoon snack, or holiday treat to bring to family, friends and neighbors.
Why You’ll Love these Cranberry Orange Muffins
- They're so easy to make
- Perfect for busy mornings, holidays, or a fun festive snack
- Minimal Ingredients
- Great to share with family, friends, and neighbors
- Easy to throw in the freezer for later
I love these cranberry orange muffins. Their festive colorful appearance makes me so excited for the holiday season. Layers of bright flavors and bursting with cranberries in each bite, these orange muffins will not disappoint!
Cranberry Orange Muffins Ingredients
- Eggs – We always use large eggs.
- Milk – I use whole milk, but you can use anything you have on hand.
- Pure Vanilla extract – I always buy the best vanilla extract I can find, or make my own. It makes such a huge difference to use a good quality vanilla!
- White granulated sugar-
- Flour – I always use the spoon and level method. Fluff the flour and lightly spoon into your measuring cup. Level with a butter knife.
- Baking powder- you'll want to make sure it is fresh or it won't work as well.
- Orange Zest- You will need the zest of 2 oranges. I find that the oranges that are the most fragrant before grating end up being the best for zesting.
- Vegetable oil - If you're wanting a softer, tender, moist muffin, vegetable oil is the key.
- Orange juice- you can use bottled orange juice for this, but you won't want to skip the fresh zest, so you may as well use the juice from those oranges.
- Fresh or frozen cranberries- do not thaw if using frozen.
- Try adding a ½ cup of toasted walnuts or pecans to your mixture for added texture and flavor.
- To add a bit more sweetness, try mixing up to ¾ cups of semi sweet chocolate chips to your batch of muffins.
- Add a dash of sparkling sugar to the tops of the muffins for a beautiful taste and effect.
- Use any other berries - fresh or frozen - in place of the cranberries.
- Add a glaze and make it into a scrumptious dessert. Mix 1 cup confectioner's sugar with just enough orange juice to make a glaze- 2 to 3 tablespoons.
How to Make Cranberry Orange Muffins
- Preheat Oven to 400°.
- Line a regular sized 12 cup muffin pan with paper liners.
- In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt until fluffy and well combined.
- In a medium bowl, add sugar and orange zest. Whisk together for about a minute until combined and fragrant.
- Add oil, milk, eggs, orange juice, and vanilla and stir until well combined.
- Pour the four mixture into the sugar mixture and stir until almost combined. It's ok if there are small lumps of dry ingredients.
- Fold in the cranberries and stir until just evenly throughout.
- Divide batter between the 12 baking cups and bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
- Let cool in pan for a few minutes before removing.
The full printable recipe is below.
- One of the biggest tips I can give is to make sure you measure your flour correctly. Adding too much flour can cause your muffins to become dense. I always use the spoon and level technique for measuring flour.
- Press a few fresh cranberries on top of the muffins before baking for a prettier look.
- To check for doneness, insert a toothpick into the center of one muffin and if it comes out clean, your muffins are done baking.
- I have learned if you let your milk and eggs sit to reach room temperature, they will fully incorporate into your batter more easily.
- Use paper liners for a quick and easy clean up.
- While your muffins are baking, do not open the oven, this can cause them to deflate.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I substitute dried cranberries for fresh cranberries?
Yes, dried cranberries still work well for baked goods. Just keep in mind when using dried cranberries there is a ¼ cup difference in measurement. If a recipe calls for one cup of fresh cranberries, use ¾ cup of dried cranberries instead. I have also found that if you soak your dried cranberries in hot water for 10 minutes, it will help soften a little before baking. Make sure to pat down any excess moisture on them before using. Please note that dried cranberries will have a different taste and texture upon eating. They tend to be a bit chewy and and a bit sweeter.
Do you have to thaw frozen cranberries before using?
Do not thaw. Add the frozen cranberries as you would your regular fresh cranberries. Make sure to allow a few more minutes of cook time and check for doneness by inserting a toothpick into the center until it comes out clean.
What is it used for?
- Perfect for busy mornings, holidays and a fun festive snack
- Great treat to share with family, friends, and neighbors
What kind of pan should I use?
- Muffin tin
- You can also use a mini muffin tin. Make sure to grease the pan if you aren't using liners. Bake at 350° for 11-13 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
How to Store
Refrigerator- These muffins can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 5 days. When you're wanting to have left overs, pop them in the microwave for 30 seconds to warm them up and enjoy. I actually prefer them cold, but many people like them warm.
Room Temperature- In an airtight container, these muffins can stay fresh for up to 3 days at room temperature.
Freezer- This cranberry orange muffin recipe freezes well. Place them in a freezer safe container or freezer bag and it will store for up to 3 months. Make sure to label and date your muffins. When you're ready to eat them again, you'll want to thaw them overnight in the fridge.
More Holiday Recipes You're Sure To Love
Italian Christmas Cookies - These cookies are little bites of joy. Soft, sweet and cake -like make these sprinkled covered cookies a must have for the Christmas season.
Christmas Salad with Citrus Vinaigrette - Christmas Salad with Citrus Vinaigrette is such a beautiful and festive Christmas side dish!
Perfect Baked Sweet Potatoes - Perfect Baked Sweet Potatoes are the perfect side dish to make for Thanksgiving, Christmas, or any day of the week!
If you make this recipe, please rate it below- and I would love to see! You can tag me on Instagram @ellaclaireblog
Cranberry Orange Muffins
Super moist and bursting with flavors, cranberry orange muffins are a must have recipe for the holiday season!
- 2 cups all-purpose flour (240g)
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup granulated sugar (200g)
- zest of 2 oranges
- ½ cup milk (120mL)
- ½ cup vegetable oil (120mL)
- ¼ cup orange juice (60mL)
- 2 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1½ cups fresh or frozen cranberries (180g)
Preheat oven to 400°. Line a regular sized, 12 muffin pan with paper liners.
In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt until fluffy and well combined.
In a separate larger bowl, add sugar and orange zest. Whisk together for about a minute until combined and fragrant.
Add milk, oil, orange juice, eggs, and vanilla and stir until well combined.
Pour the flour mixture into the sugar mixture and stir until almost combined. It's ok if there are small lumps of dry ingredients.
Fold in the cranberries and stir just until evenly throughout.
Divide batter between the 12 baking cups and bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool in pan for a few minutes before removing.
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