Cranberry Orange Muffins Recipe

Cranberries are often seen a strictly seasonal fruit — and yes, we know, all fruits are seasonal, at least to some extent. With cranberries, though, we're not talking about a growing season so much as a selling season, since this fruit isn't always easy to find in the produce section once the winter holidays are over. That's a shame, really, since cranberries are just as tasty in June as they are in November. Still, the great thing about cranberries is how well they freeze. If you're a cranberry fan, we sure hope you remember to stock up on a few extra bags each fall so you'll have them on hand to make these delicious cranberry-orange muffins.

As recipe developer Jessica Morone tells us, "Cranberries and oranges are a perfect flavor combination." She goes on to explain that "Orange cuts down on the tart flavor of the cranberries and makes them a bit sweeter." Morone describes these muffins as "light and fluffy ... [but] still bursting with flavor." She also notes that they are very easy and quick to make!

Gather the ingredients for cranberry orange muffins

To make these muffins, you'll need the standard baking essentials: flour, baking powder, baking soda, and white and brown sugars, as well as a little bit of cinnamon. You'll also need butter, eggs, sour cream, milk, and vanilla. For the flavoring, you'll be using orange zest, orange juice, and, of course, cranberries, either fresh or frozen. (Not dried cranberries, though, since those won't have the right flavor or texture.)

If you'd like to top your muffins with a sugar glaze, you'll also need confectioner's sugar and some extra OJ.

Mix the batter

Before you begin baking, preheat the oven to 400 F. Now, whisk the flour together with the baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and ½ teaspoon salt. In another bowl, beat the butter until it's nice and creamy, then add in the granulated sugar and brown sugar. Beat until the mixture is smooth, then add the eggs, sour cream, orange zest, and vanilla. Once those are stirred in, slowly add the flour mixture to the bowl, then stir in the milk and ¼ cup orange juice until they are just combined. Finally, fold the cranberries into the batter.

Bake the muffins

Grease a muffin pan or line it with paper cupcake liners. Spoon the batter into the cups, filling them all the way up to the brim. Bake the muffins for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean. Let the muffins cool completely before you attempt to remove them from the pan.

While Morone used a standard 12-cup muffin pan, she says "You can also put the batter in a mini muffin pan." She does note, though, that in this case you'd reduce the baking temperature to 350 F and the time to 12 minutes.

Top the muffins with glaze

Morone tops her muffins with a sugar glaze that she says "adds a bit of sweetness and more orange flavor to the muffins," but she does tell us that "it can easily be skipped and these will still be delicious."

If you would like to make the glaze, though, mix the confectioner's sugar with the remaining orange juice, stirring until smooth. Once the muffins are completely cool, drizzle the glaze over the top, then let the glaze sit for 5 minutes to harden before you eat the muffins.

Cranberry Orange Muffins Recipe
5 from 49 ratings
When you're looking for a bright and fresh way to start your day, consider whipping up a batch of these cranberry orange muffins.
Prep Time
Cook Time
stack of muffins on plate
Total time: 35 minutes
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons orange zest
  • 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 7 tablespoons orange juice, divided
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 2 cups cranberries, fresh or frozen
  • 1 cup confectioner's sugar
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 F.
  2. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and ½ teaspoon salt.
  3. Beat the butter until creamy, then add in the granulated sugar and brown sugar and continue beating until the mixture is smooth.
  4. Add the eggs, sour cream, orange zest, and vanilla, beating until the mixture is well-combined.
  5. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the egg mixture.
  6. Stir the milk into the batter along with ¼ cup orange juice, beating until just combined.
  7. Fold the cranberries into the batter.
  8. Spray a 12-cup muffin pan with nonstick spray or line with cupcake liners.
  9. Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin pan, filling each well to the top.
  10. Bake the muffins in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean.
  11. Cool the muffins completely.
  12. Whisk together the confectioner's sugar and the remaining orange juice until the glaze is smooth. Drizzle the glaze over the muffins.
  13. Let the glaze set for about 5 minutes before eating the muffins.
Calories per Serving 274
Total Fat 10.7 g
Saturated Fat 6.3 g
Trans Fat 0.3 g
Cholesterol 52.5 mg
Total Carbohydrates 41.5 g
Dietary Fiber 1.6 g
Total Sugars 23.2 g
Sodium 240.4 mg
Protein 3.7 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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