These cranberry orange muffins are bursting with color and flavor and are perfect for any morning of the week!
They’re sweet and citrus-forward, contrasted perfectly by the tart cranberries. Together, they’re a match made in heaven.
They’re excellent for breakfast or brunch. But if you drizzle them with glaze on top, they make fantastic desserts, too!
Fluffy Cranberry Orange Muffins
If you think blueberry muffins are great, you’ll think these cranberry orange muffins are to die for.
The tops are nice and crisp, and everything else is moist and tender. Best of all, cranberry orange muffins take under an hour to whip up.
Gorgeous, scrumptious, and easy to make? Yep, that’s what I call the perfect recipe.
They’re ideal for a crowd and make the perfect Thanksgiving side or dessert. Everyone will devour them!
You need a few pantry staples plus the fruity ingredients to make this recipe. And as always, you’ll find all the details at the bottom of the post.
- All-Purpose Flour – The base of the batter. You can also try whole wheat for healthier muffins. The measurement should be the same.
- Granuluted Sugar – For sweetness. Regular, granulated sugar works.
- Baking Powder – The leavening agent to make the muffins rise and give them those adorable muffin tops.
- Salt – A bit of saltiness to counterbalance the sweetness.
- Vegetable Oil – For maximum muffin moisture.
- Egg – It also leavens the batter and adds richness.
- Milk – A liquid ingredient to saturate the dry. Buttermilk makes a fantastic alternative.
- Orange Zest and Orange Juice – Zest the orange before juicing it.
- Cranberries – If yours are too large, pulse them in the food processor to make them smaller.
Can I Use Frozen or Dried Cranberries?
If you don’t have fresh cranberries, you can take a shortcut with frozen or dried berries.
Using Frozen Cranberries: They’re perfectly fine for this recipe. Use the same amount, and don’t thaw them. Just throw them into the batter and bake the muffins for a few minutes longer.
Using Dried Cranberries: I don’t recommend dried cranberries because the flavor and texture aren’t the same. But in a pinch, you can submerge dried berries in hot water for 10 minutes to soften and saturate them.
Pat rehydrated cranberries dry with paper towels, then add them to the batter.
How to Make Cranberry Orange Muffins
Making these delicious muffins couldn’t be simpler!
1. Prepare. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and line your muffin tins.
2. Mix the dry ingredients. Sift the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Whisk them until combined.
3. Mix the wet ingredients. Next, take a 1-cup measuring cup and pour the oil in (you’ll only need 1/3 cup). Crack in the egg and fill the remaining area with milk.
4. Combine the dry and wet ingredients. Pour the oil mixture into a bowl and whisk until well combined.
5. Pour the mixture into the bowl of dry ingredients. Whisk with either a rubber spatula or a wire whisk.
6. Add the remaining ingredients. Gently mix in the orange zest, orange juice, and cranberries.
7. Bake. Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin tin. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Let the muffins cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer them onto a wire rack to cool completely. Enjoy!
Tips for Making the Best Muffins
This recipe is pretty foolproof. But following these tips will make your muffins even better.
- Get zesty. Zest the orange before juicing it. It’s much easier that way.
- Resist the urge to overmix! There is no need to use an electric mixer. A good old wire whisk or rubber spatula will do. Stop as soon as you no longer see streaks of flour. An over-mixed batter will yield dense muffins.
- Room temperature rules. The milk and egg will incorporate easily with the rest of the ingredients.
- Set some cranberries aside. Then, sprinkle them on top right before baking for a prettier look.
- Add a buttery twist. Use buttermilk instead of regular milk for moister muffins. Stir together 1 tablespoon of vinegar with 1 cup of milk and let the mixture sit for 10 minutes or until it curdles.
- Ditch the butter. Use vegetable oil instead. While butter does help with flavor, it won’t make the muffins as moist as vegetable oil does. Butter also makes the muffins super greasy. Stick to oil and add vanilla to improve the batter’s flavor.
- Save your empty muffin cups. Pour water over them. This will prevent the pan from getting scorched while baking.
- Don’t open the oven door! This will alter the temperature inside and might cause the muffins to deflate.
Customize this recipe with these yummy variations.
- Make them crunchy! Add toasted nuts for extra crunch. Pecans, walnuts, cashews, pick your fave.
- Glaze them up. Turn your breakfast into dessert. Whisk together 1 cup of powdered sugar, 2 tablespoons of milk, and 1 tablespoon of orange juice. Drizzle the glaze over the muffins.
- Throw in some chocolate chips. Cranberries, orange, and chocolate all together in one muffin? It might sound strange, but don’t knock it till you try it! White chocolate, in particular, tastes amazing with cranberries.
- Try a citrusy twist. The citrus in this recipe doesn’t just have to be orange. Try the recipe with lemon zest and lemon juice instead.
How to Store Cranberry Orange Muffins
If you have leftover cranberry orange muffins, here’s how to keep them fresh longer:
To Store: Store cooled muffins on the counter in an air-tight container for up to 2 to 3 days. In the fridge, they’ll last for about a week.
To Freeze: Place the muffins in an air-tight container and freeze them for up to 3 months.
To Reheat: Thaw frozen muffins in the fridge overnight. Then, warm them in the microwave for 30 seconds at low power.
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