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
    November 28, 2021 at 3:59 pm

    All your recipes look so,so good and easy to make,I just retired and I am going to dig right into trying as many as I can ,thanks so much,??

  • Reply
    November 28, 2021 at 10:14 am

    How would I adapt to make 6 jumbo muffins? Different temperature? Baking time? Appreciate your help, even if it’s just an educated guess. I can’t wait to try these. My husband loves Costco’s jumbo muffins but he shouldn’t have that much sugar . Making a muffin that LOOKS like Costco’s but tastes better and IS better for him is my goal. Thank you for your help!

  • Reply
    Barbara Armstrong
    November 21, 2021 at 11:14 am

    5 stars
    Delicious cranberry muffins! Just what I hoped for. I followed the recipe exactly except for adding a rounded teaspoon of orange zest and also a bit of juice from the orange in place of so e of the milk. The muffins are flavorful and moist! Delicious!

  • Reply
    November 14, 2021 at 12:15 pm

    5 stars
    I loved this recipe. I used cranberries from a small farm on Cape Cod, and they tend to be small and tart, which we love. I added some walnuts and a wee bit more sugar and a little less oil,

    • Reply
      November 14, 2021 at 12:17 pm

      Addendum.. also added more cranberries!!!

      • Reply
        Sue Moran
        November 14, 2021 at 3:42 pm

        Sounds absolutely delicious!

  • Reply
    October 25, 2021 at 9:36 am

    3 stars
    The muffin itself tastes fine, but I think I went wrong somewhere with the cranberries. This is the most bitter thing with cranberries I have ever eaten. I got the cranberries from a local farm stand next to a cranberry bog. Maybe they weren’t ripe? Either way, they ended up being nearly inedible.

    • Reply
      Sue Moran
      October 25, 2021 at 10:00 am

      Hmmmm, maybe your cranberries were extra sour, try adding a bit more sugar next time to compensate.

  • Reply
    October 22, 2021 at 2:03 pm

    5 stars
    Dear Sue, love your recipes but is it possible to include metric weights/measurements in them?
    I live in the UK and although I’m used to lbs & ozs , I’m not a fan of cup measurements .
    Many thanks, Vicky .

    • Reply
      Sue Moran
      October 22, 2021 at 2:29 pm

      Yes, Vicky, I now include them for all new recipes, but many of the older recipes don’t have them. Look for the conversion button at the bottom of the recipes. I’ll check this one and add them for you.

  • Reply
    October 15, 2021 at 6:43 pm

    5 stars
    Made these today….they were excellent! I loved the idea of just throwing everything in one bowl…not having to chop the cranberries was great. They had a nice texture and the tartness was balanced by the sparkling sugar on top. I will be making these often….a keeper! 🙂

  • Reply
    Mary Houle
    October 14, 2021 at 8:28 am

    5 stars
    Thank you for this recipe that doesn’t take TOO much sugar. Always looking for ways to cut it.

    • Reply
      Sue Moran
      October 14, 2021 at 8:48 am

      Thanks Mary! Especially since these are breakfast muffins, I think less sugar is the way to go.

  • Reply
    October 5, 2021 at 10:29 pm

    Do you think I could use about 1/2 cup of white chocolate chips in these muffins to balance out the tartness of the cranberries? Thank you!!

  • Reply
    June 16, 2021 at 10:12 pm

    Haven’t tried yet. But going to make them this weekend and will def come back give 5 stars if good. I’m going to try cranberry walnut muffins with sparkling sugar topping. Yummmmmm can’t find cranberry muffins in the grocery store ever! Except with orange. Snd to me the orange zest ruins the cranberry flavor. So thanks for sharing your delicious recipe!

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