Cranberry orange muffins brighten up the darkest winter mornings with pops of tart juicy cranberries and sweet orange ~ everybody’s favorite holiday combination!
Hey, breakfast lovers! Today, we’re talking warm, homemade muffins ~ but first, banish that boring little muffin that probably just popped into your head. Cranberry orange muffins pack a tangy punch from fresh cranberries and orange zest and are anything but boring. This mood-lifting recipe is a game-changer, especially if you crave a little excitement in your morning routine.
Love the idea of overnight muffins? Load up your muffin pan the night before and bake them off while you brew your coffee.
Table of contents
Cranberry orange muffin ingredients
- orange zest
- baking powder and baking soda
- vegetable oil
- using oil instead of butter makes these muffins extra moist, plus they’re a breeze to make.
- use dairy or alternative milks like almond or soy.
- I love the vanilla/cranberry combination. You could also use almond extract.
- fresh cranberries
- frozen cranberries would work too, no need to thaw them.
- I make a quick orange sugar by processing the sugar and orange peel together in a food processor. You can skip this step and just add the orange zest to the batter, but my method really pumps up the orange flavor in these cranberry orange muffins.
- Whisk the wet ingredients (including sugar) together.
- Whisk the dry ingredients together.
- Combine the two, don’t over mix!
- Fold in the cranberries.
Make cranberry orange muffins ahead
Load up your muffin tray and pop in the refrigerator the night before. Preheat your oven and bake in the am, while you make your coffee.
Storage and freezing
Muffins are always best the same day, but they’ll last at room temperature another day or two. Keep them in an airtight container. Bring them back to ‘life’ with 15-20 seconds in the microwave.
Cranberry orange muffins freeze nicely, just be sure to wrap well.
Variations on cranberry orange muffins
Add chopped walnuts or pecans to the batter, about 1/2-3/4 cup.
Try a cranberry lemon combination: use lemon zest instead of orange.
Dairy free: use almond, soy, or other alternative milk in place of the dairy milk.
Sugar free: use a granulated sugar substitute.
Cranberry Orange Muffins
- 12 cup muffin pan
- paper muffin liners find them here
- zest of 1 orange, peeled with a serrated vegetable pepper (orange part only, try not to get too much of the bitter white pith)
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 3/4 cup milk, or half and half
- 2 large eggs
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
- 3 Tbsp regular sugar or sparkling sugar, for topping (optional), Find sparkling sugar online here
- Preheat oven to 350 and butter a 12-cup muffin tin, or line with muffin tin liners.
- Process the sugar and orange peel in a food processor until the peel has been totally incorproated into the sugar and it is fragrant, pale orange, and moist like brown sugar.
- In a large bowl whisk the orange sugar, vegetable oil, milk, eggs, and vanilla extract together until well blended. Make sure to break up those eggs.
- In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt to combine.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet and whisk until combined. Small lumps are ok, don't overwork your batter.
- Fold in the cranberries.
- Divide the batter into the muffin tins, and top with the sparkling sugar. You can bake right away but I find letting the batter rest on the counter for up to an hour results in the highest rise.
- Bake for about 25 minutes until risen and just starting to turn golden on top.
- Allow to cool in the muffin tins before removing.
- Muffins are best the same day, but they'll last a day or two more covered on the counter. Bring them back to 'life' by heating for 15-20 seconds in the microwave.
More cranberry recipes we love
- Cranberry Pumpkin Cornbread
- Cranberry Orange Cake
- Cranberry Orange Shortbread Cookies
- Cranberry Breakfast Cake
- Easy Crock Pot Cranberry Butter