Cranberry Orange Muffins

Cranberry Orange Muffins are the perfect holiday sweet treat made with dried cranberries, orange zest and a super tender bakery-style muffin.

There’s just something about certain flavors, like Pumpkin Muffins and Cranberry Orange Muffins, that taste just like the winter holidays. Like some of the other treats on my Holiday Recipe Page, Cranberry Orange Muffins are quick to make and perfect to enjoy during busy family gatherings. 

Cranberry Orange Muffins

CRANBERRY ORANGE
 MUFFINS 

Cranberry Orange Muffins have a rich, natural sweet citrus orange flavor, and is absolutely irresistible. There are few things that go better with coffee than a golden brown, warm, fresh out of the oven muffin. They’re the ultimate yummy brunch and breakfast food, light and tasty especially with some butter or jam spread on them.

One of my favorite muffins are Cranberry Orange Muffins during the holidays, they are like bringing the coffee shop into your kitchen. The tartness of the cranberries goes so well with citrusy orange and these muffins are bursting with a classic Christmas flavor combination in every bite. 

Another thing I love about this muffin recipe is all the fresh flavor. Using fresh orange zest really balances the sweetness of the cranberries. If you love the little pops of fresh berry juice when you bite into a warm muffin, swap out the dried cranberries for fresh ones. Use about half as many fresh cranberries when swapping dried fruit.

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HOW TO MAKE CRANBERRY ORANGE MUFFINS

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Soak the dried cranberries in the orange juice for 10 minutes.
  3. In a large bowl add the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt and whisk it together.
  4. Add in the egg, vegetable oil and orange zest along with the soaked cranberries and orange juice.
  5. Whisk together until smooth.
  6. Using an ice cream scoop, fill your muffin liners ¾ full.
  7. Bake for 18-20 minutes.

VARIATIONS ON CRANBERRY MUFFINS

  • Fruit: Change the flavor of your Cranberry Orange Muffins by swapping the fresh cranberries or orange for another kind of berry or citrus. Try lemon cranberry muffins or orange blueberry muffins for a refreshing spring treat.
  • Nuts: Mix in some chopped or sliced pecans or walnuts to give your muffins a little crunch.
  • White Chocolate: Cranberry and white chocolate are another classic holiday flavor combination. Add some white chocolate chips if you’re looking to give your muffins a coffee shop classic taste. 
  • Toppings: You can dust the tops with sifted sugar or confectioner’s sugar to give them a beautiful “snowy” look. 
  • Lighten Up: Swap out the oil in this recipe with some light sour cream will make your Cranberry Orange muffins melt in your mouth moist, as well as make them lighter in calories.  

CRANBERRY ORANGE MUFFINS FAQS

  • Can you use dried cranberries instead of fresh in muffins? Yes, but there will be a difference in the flavor and texture. Fresh cranberries have more moisture and you will use about half the amount if you make that swap.
  • Do you have to cook cranberries before baking? No, if you used fresh cranberries, they will cook during the baking process. This recipe uses dried cranberries so you definitely don’t need to cook them beforehand.
  • How do you tell if the inside of a muffin is cooked? Insert a toothpick into the middle, and if it’s clean when it’s pulled out then the insides are solid, and they’re ready to come out.

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HOW LONG ARE CRANBERRY ORANGE MUFFINS GOOD?

  • Serve: You can keep Cranberry Orange Muffins at room temperature for up to 2 days. I recommend keeping the muffins in an airtight container or in plastic wrap to keep them moist. 
  • Store: You can keep Cranberry Orange Muffins in the fridge for up to 1 week. Always let the muffins cool down to room temperature before you put them away, and keep them covered with plastic wrap or in an airtight container. 
  • Freeze: Properly sealed in the freezer, Cranberry Orange Muffins will stay good frozen for up to 3 months in the freezer. Just be sure to keep moisture out. 

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Cranberry Orange Muffins

Cranberry Orange Muffins are the perfect holiday sweet treat made with dried cranberries, orange zest and a super tender bakery-style muffin.
Yield 12 Servings
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 18 minutes
Total Time 33 minutes
Course Breakfast
Cuisine American
Author Sabrina Snyder

Ingredients
 

  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 3/4 cup orange juice
  • 2 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 orange , zested

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  • Soak the dried cranberries in the orange juice for 10 minutes.
  • In a large bowl add the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt and whisk it together.
  • Add in the egg, vegetable oil and orange zest along with the soaked cranberries and orange juice.
  • Whisk together until smooth.
  • Using an ice cream scoop, fill your muffin liners ¾ full.
  • Bake for 18-20 minutes.

Nutrition

Calories: 225kcal | Carbohydrates: 40g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 14mg | Sodium: 149mg | Potassium: 116mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 21g | Vitamin A: 75IU | Vitamin C: 14mg | Calcium: 27mg | Iron: 1mg
Keyword: Cranberry Orange Muffins

Cranberry Muffins with Orange Zest

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the upcoming cookbook: Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients which is being published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

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Comments

    1. Hi Donna. I don’t have exact answers because I don’t know exactly where you are, but if you google baking in high altituide there are lots of helpful websites that can lead you in the right direction.

    1. Thank you for catching that. Yes, you should add it in with the baking soda. I’ve edited the recipe card to read correctly now. Enjoy!

  1. Full of flavor, easy, and delicious. I was looking for a recipe to use the dried cranberries since they are around all year. My entire family loved the muffins and this recipe will be used often. Thank you.

  2. We love these muffins for breakfast, for snacking and even for dessert. I always make a double batch so that I can freeze some!

  3. I made these muffins this morning using fresh cranberries as I had some in ths fridge I needed to use up. I used one and three fourths cups of fresh cranberries (coated them in a little flour to prevent them sinking) and they were absolutely the best muffins I have ever made. You would not find a better muffin in a top class bakery…they are so good. Not too sweet with a burst of tart from the cranberries. They rose beautifully and the texture was perfect. Thank you Sabrina.

  4. hi Sabrina, if i use frozen cranberries, will i need to defrost them first and how much can i use for these muffins? Thank you for sharing these festive looking muffins. i bet they will knock the socks off my coworkers!