These Cranberry Orange Muffins are made with tart cranberries, bright orange zest, and sweet freshly squeezed orange juice folded gently into a thick and rich classic muffin batter. Perfect for the holidays, school mornings, or anytime!
These Cranberry Orange Muffins are such a fun breakfast treat, and SO delicious! We love breakfasts that can double as a dessert, like my Old Fashioned Donuts, and Sticky Buns. This is one of my Breakfast recipes you’ll definitely want in your collection!
CRANBERRY ORANGE MUFFINS
Have you spotted fresh cranberries out in the grocery stores yet? If you haven’t, you will soon! Other than using them to make Cranberry Sauce and White Christmas Sangria, these muffins are my favorite cranberry recipe.
They’re the perfect combination of sweet and tart, and full of bright, refreshing flavors! And they’re SO much better than any muffins you could make from a mix/box.
Once you start making homemade muffins you’ll realize how easy they are, and how much better they taste, and you won’t be buying anymore pre-made mixes.
Plus, muffins are great to freeze, so you can have fresh muffins anytime you want them!
HOW TO MAKE CRANBERRY ORANGE MUFFINS
- Combine dry ingredients. Add the flour, sugar, salt, baking soda and baking powder to a large mixing bowl and whisk.
- Add wet ingredients. Add oil, egg, and orange juice to the flour mixture and whisk.
- Fold in delicate ingredients. Gently fold/stir in the orange zest and cranberries.
- Transfer to baking pan. Scoop batter into standard 12 cup muffin pan lined with baking liners, filling the liners 3/4 of the way full.
- Make topping. Add sugar, flour, cinnamon and butter and mix using a pastry cutter or forks until pea-sized clumps form.
- Add topping and bake. Sprinkle topping over the top of muffin liners, then bake at 400°F for 20 minute or until cooked through.
- Cool. Let muffins cool in pan for a few minutes, then transfer to wire rack to continue cooling.
ADDITIONAL COOKING TIPS
- Room temperature ingredients – for the best results when baking, your cold ingredients should be at room temperature so they can incorporate fully into the batter.
- Easy on the stirring – when mixing you want to stir until JUST combined (when you no longer see streaks of flour). If you over-mix, your muffins could end up tough, bake unevenly, or have lots of large holes in it.
- Use fresh ingredients – some of these are obvious, like using non-expired eggs, but did you know using older baking soda/baking powder can affect the way your baked goods bake? Over time, leavening agents (which is what baking soda and powder are) lose their efficacy, and won’t give your quick bread a good rise.
- If you’re unsure if your baking soda or powder are still good, drop a pinch in some hot water. If it fizzes, it’s still good! If not, then you’re in need of some new ingredients.
VARIATIONS OF THIS RECIPE
- NUTS – adding a handful of chopped, toasted pecans or walnuts adds great crunch and texture to your muffins.
- DRIED CRANBERRIES – if you don’t have any fresh cranberries, you can use dried, but you’ll use about 1 1/2 cups of dried cranberries.
- SOUR CREAM – swapping the vegetable oil for sour cream will yield a springy, moist muffin, with less fat.
- GLAZED – instead of the streusel topping, try whisking together 3/4 cup powdered sugar and 1-2 Tbsp orange juice or milk. Whisk until smooth and drizzle over the tops of the muffins!
- DOMED TOPS – if you like your muffins to have a more domed top, bake the muffins at 425°F for the first 5 minutes, then reduce oven temperature (while the muffins are still in there) to 375°F and continue baking another 13-15 minutes.
MAKING MUFFINS AHEAD OF TIME
We think these muffins taste just as good, if not better the next day… so you can make them a day ahead of time, but I wouldn’t do much more than that.
But my favorite way to enjoy these muffins is nice and warm from the oven!
Leftover muffins should be stored at room temperature in an airtight container and consumed within 3-4 days.
For best taste, consume within 1-2 days.
Baked muffins can be frozen for up to 3 months. Place muffins on a baking sheet and freeze for 1-2 hours, then place frozen muffins into freezer containers and freeze.
Thaw overnight in the refrigerator (or on the counter for an hour or so), then reheat at 350°F for 10 minutes or so to warm them up and give them that “just baked” taste.
SPECIAL EQUIPMENT FOR THIS RECIPE
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- Muffin Pan – I have several of these pans and they’re great!
- Mixing Bowls – I love these stainless bowls with the non-slip bottoms and handles!
- Cookie Scoop – not just for cookies, this is great to scoop the muffin batter into the liners.
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- 1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 1 large egg
- 3/4 cup orange juice freshly squeezed is best
- 1 tsp orange zest
- 1 - 1 1/2 cups fresh cranberries
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup all purpose flour
- 1/3 cup unsalted butter cold
- 1 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a standard 12 cup muffin pan with paper liners and set aside.
COMBINE MUFFIN INGREDIENTS
- In a mixing bowl, add flour, sugar, salt, baking powder and baking soda, and whisk to combine.
- To the flour mixture, add vegetable oil, egg, and orange juice and whisk until combined.
- Use a rubber spatula to fold in the orange zest and cranberries.
ADD BATTER TO PAN
- Scoop/pour batter into the prepared muffin pan, filling the liners about 3/4 of the way up. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, add all topping ingredients and cut the butter into the mixture using a pastry cutter, two forks, or just your fingers. Once you get pea-sized clumps, you're good.
ADD TOPPING AND BAKE
- Sprinkle topping on top of muffin batter. Bake 20-23 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs.
- Remove muffin pan from oven and let muffins cool in the pan for a few minutes, then transfer to a wire cooling rack to continue cooling.
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