Fresh Cranberry Muffins

cranberry muffins in a muffin pan

Fresh Cranberry Muffins are loaded with tangy pops of cranberry ~ they’re a delicious way to celebrate the unique color and flavor of my favorite winter fruit. This easy one bowl recipe proves that comfort food can definitely be bright and fresh!

Fresh cranberry muffins in a muffin tin.

Fresh cranberry muffins are a winter holiday tradition

Baking with fresh cranberries is one of the great joys of the fall and winter season for me. I adore them for their super tart, bright flavor, and that color! I use them in everything from smoothies to pork roast.

If you’re a lemon lover, I think you’re bound to be a cranberry lover too, the two fruits share a tart tang like no other. (My mouth waters just looking at that bright pink juice dribbling out of the muffins!)

Cranberry muffins in a muffin tin on top of a baking rack.

My basic muffin recipe is no fail and so adaptable

I’ve used this same basic batter for many of my recent muffin recipes on the blog because when something works, I go with it. It’s got a super fluffy texture, rises well, and is very easy to adapt to different flavors and add-ins.

A fresh cranberry muffin sprinkled with sparkling sugar in a muffin tin.

A dusting of sparkling sugar makes these cranberry muffins Christmas morning material

I love my sparkling sugar when I want a little bit of a finishing touch for cakes, muffins, or pies, but I don’t want to fuss with making a separate crumb topping or glaze. It gives a sparkle and crunch to the top of these muffins, and the little extra sweet with the tart berries is perfect.

Sparkling sugar

Sparkling sugar is a decorative sugar that has a large crystal structure. You can add it before baking, or sprinkle it on just as your baked goods come out of the oven. Often I’ll do both 😉

Cranberry muffins on a baking rack.

You can use fresh or frozen cranberries for these muffins

Be sure to save some cranberries for these muffins, and when you finally run out of fresh, dig into your frozen stash. When baking with frozen berries it’s best not to thaw them, because they can become watery: I like to use them straight from the freezer instead.

A cranberry muffin in a piece of wax paper in a muffin tin.

variation suggestions

  • add the zest of an orange to the batter – orange and cranberry is an incredible combination!
  • add sliced almonds or chopped walnuts for extra flavor and crunch
  • use any other kind of berries – fresh or frozen – that you like in place of the cranberries
  • add some winter spices like cinnamon and clove
A cranberry muffin being broken open.




cranberry muffins on a cooling rack
4.87 from 74 votes

Fresh Cranberry Muffins

Fresh Cranberry Muffins are loaded with tangy pops of cranberry ~ the color and flavor of fresh cranberries are unrivaled in the food world, if you ask me. This easy one bowl recipe proves that winter food can definitely be bright and fresh!
Course Breakfast
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Yield 12 muffins
Calories 216kcal
Author Sue Moran


  • 12 cup muffin pan


  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup milk, or half and half
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 tsp almond extract (or substitute vanilla extract)
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 3 Tbsp 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.
  • Whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large mixing bowl.
  • Add the vegetable oil, milk, and eggs, and almond extract, and whisk everything together until well blended.
    Making cranberry muffin batter
  • Add the cranberries and fold to combine.
    cranberry muffin batter in a bowl
  • Divide the batter into the muffin tins, and top with the sparkling sugar. Bake for about 25 minutes until risen and just starting to turn golden on top.
    cranberry muffin batter in pan
  • Allow to cool in the muffin tins before removing.
    cranberry muffins in a muffin pan


Calories: 216kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 29mg | Sodium: 161mg | Potassium: 134mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 74IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 55mg | Iron: 1mg
The nutritional information for recipes on this site is provided as a courtesy and although tries to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.
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    Leave a Reply

    Please rate this recipe!

  • Reply
    March 22, 2021 at 6:52 pm

    5 stars
    Absolutely fab recipe. Made it with my daughter and we promptly devoured a muffin each!

  • Reply
    March 15, 2021 at 6:13 pm

    Hi Sue, I want to ask, in place of the 1/2 cup vegetable oil, can I used 1/2 cup of butter without destroying these muffins?
    Thank you!

    • Reply
      Sue Moran
      March 15, 2021 at 6:22 pm

      That should work fine Christine, I would melt and slightly cool the butter first.

      • Reply
        March 18, 2021 at 4:37 pm

        5 stars
        Just to let you know, Sue, I made these as you directed , but added 2 more tablespoons of sugar. PERFECT with the melted butter! My husband has wiped out 4 of the 12 in 2 days. Yes, he really likes them! Thank you for the help. Great recipe!

  • Reply
    February 20, 2021 at 10:45 am

    3 stars
    These definitely need more sugar! I love tart flavors, but this is just too sour.

  • Reply
    February 2, 2021 at 9:02 am

    made the muffins today, very easy recipe but not sweet enough for my taste!!

    • Reply
      Sue Moran
      February 2, 2021 at 9:55 am

      Feel free to add another 1/4 cup if you make them again, and don’t forget the little shower of sugar on top!

  • Reply
    January 17, 2021 at 8:54 am

    5 stars
    I used wheat flour instead of all purpose flour. I ran out of half and half so i used Chobani oat milk. I also added an extra 1/4 cup of milk. I also added 1/4 cup of sugar. Recipe was great! Great rise on the muffins too!

    • Reply
      Sue Moran
      January 17, 2021 at 10:10 am

      Love your resourcefulness Cherelle 🙂

  • Reply
    January 13, 2021 at 4:44 pm

    5 stars
    Best muffins I have ever made. Will save this one for sure. Fast and very easy to make.
    My husband loved them. Sprinkled with colored sugars for fun. Added a little color into my baking life.

  • Reply
    January 4, 2021 at 6:30 pm

    5 stars
    Do you list the nutritional content anywhere . ?
    I made doubled the recipe and made 16jumbo ones , I switched out 1\2 flour for whole-wheat . I only had milk on hand , plus I grated one orange into it . Loved the Almond they were quite tart but wasn’t wanting sweet , will make again and have forwarded my sister in the UK, the link.

  • Reply
    December 27, 2020 at 4:10 pm

    5 stars
    ABSOLUTELY AMAZING! I switched out the flour for King Arthur GF cup for cup baking flour and cut half the oil and replaced with one mashed overripe banana. Best ever muffin recipe! My husband loves them. Might trial them again with blueberries next time 🙂 thank you!!!

  • Reply
    December 25, 2020 at 12:38 pm

    5 stars
    These were great! I had to improvise a bit because I decided to make these Christmas morning and was out of a few things. Substituted bread flour for AP so added 3 tsp water to the liquid ingredients. Also, was out of milk so used eggnog instead. Nevertheless, these were delicious. Thanks for the recipe!

  • Reply
    December 25, 2020 at 8:11 am

    5 stars
    Hi ! They’re great ! Made those for my family. Can they go in the freezer ?

    • Reply
      December 25, 2020 at 12:00 pm

      Yes, they’ll freeze fine 🙂

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