Start off your morning with these tasty Orange Cranberry Muffins.
These are perfect for breakfast or brunch any time of year, and especially when the holidays roll around.
So pull out your muffin pan and whip up a batch of fresh muffins today!
When is your favorite time to eat muffins? I know they are traditionally considered a breakfast treat, but I like to keep homemade muffins on hand for a quick snack during the day, and I even sometimes make them to accompany my main dinner dish.
SAVE THIS EASY ORANGE CRANBERRY MUFFIN RECIPE TO YOUR FAVORITE PINTEREST BOARD!
Whenever you serve them, these sweet muffins are the perfect mix of tart cranberries and sweet oranges, with some fresh orange zest mixed in, similar to my very popular Cranberry Orange Scones. The best part is the delicious orange glaze on top of the muffins. I know pumpkin and apple get all the glory during the time of year when this cranberry orange flavor combination is popular, but there’s something about these flavors that they deserve to be enjoyed all year long.
I know you will want to make this easy recipe again and again!
What Ingredients do I need for this easy muffin recipe?
Here’s what you’ll need to make the Orange Cranberry muffin batter:
- vegetable oil or melted butter
- light brown sugar, packed
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- all-purpose flour
- baking powder
- whole milk or 2% milk
- fresh orange juice
- grated orange zest
- a cup of cranberries
- powdered sugar
How do I make Orange Cranberry Muffins?
Prepare your muffin pan: Preheat your oven temperature to 325 degrees F., and prepare your pan. Line your 12 muffin cups with paper liners or spray each well with cooking spray.
Make Your Muffin Batter: In a large bowl, whisk together sugar and oil. Add eggs, one at a time, whisking in between.
In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Add half the flour mixture to your wet ingredients and whisk to combine. Add half the milk and stir, then add the remaining dry ingredients until incorporated.
Finally, add the remaining milk, orange juice, and orange zest and stir just until combined. Then roughly chop your cranberries and fold them into the batter.
Bake Your Muffins: Spoon batter evenly among the wells of the prepared muffin tin and bake in preheated oven for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the muffin comes out clean.
Glaze: While the muffins are baking, prepare the glaze by whisking together powdered sugar and orange juice in a small bowl. Once the muffins are done, brush the sweet orange glaze on the muffin tops immediately and sprinkle with sweet orange zest (optional). Let them sit for 10 minutes before taking them out of the pan and transferring them to a wire rack to cool.
Helpful Recipe Tips
- I recommend mixing by hand. When you use an electric mixer, you risk over-mixing your batter, which results in a tough, dense muffin.
- Bring your eggs and milk fully to room temperature in order to fully incorporate them into your batter
- If you’re not using paper liners, make sure to grease and flour your muffin tins thoroughly so that nothing sticks.
- For this recipe, you need to fill your muffin cups about 3/4 full. I like to use a large cookie or ice cream scoop to help make all the muffins the same size.
- Press a few extra fresh cranberries on top of the muffins before baking for a beautiful presentation
- Resist the temptation to open the oven door while baking! If you open that door too soon, it could cause your muffins to deflate. Use the oven light to view, but remember to turn it off because it can add additional heat.
- And remember, all ovens cook differently, so do check for doneness a minute or two before the end of the suggested baking time.
How long do these muffins last?
Cooled muffins are best eaten the day they are baked! But they will keep for 3 days, wrapped tightly in plastic wrap or placed in an airtight container, and stored at room temperature. Reheat for a few seconds in the microwave or in a toaster oven.
If you want to store them for longer, freeze them on a tray until fully frozen, then transfer them to a freezer bag (making sure to let any air out), and store them for up to two months. Alternatively, wrap them individually in plastic wrap once they’ve cooled and freeze them. When you’re ready to enjoy them, you can thaw them overnight in the fridge and warm them up in the microwave or defrost the muffins in the microwave.
Can I add nuts or chocolate chips to this muffin recipe?
Absolutely! I would recommend adding about ¾ cup of your favorite chocolate chips or ½ cup of nuts to this recipe. I think walnuts or pecans would compliment the juicy cranberries perfectly.
A little trick: coat your nuts with a little bit of flour before adding them to the batter. This will keep them from sinking to the bottom of the muffin!
Can I use dried cranberries in this recipe?
Yes, you can! For dried cranberries, you’ll need to use less than the amount listed for fresh cranberries. You can also soak the dried cranberries in warm water for about 10 minutes to soften them before patting them dry to add to the batter. The dried cranberries are chewier and sweeter, so just know it will change the taste slightly if you use them.
If you can’t find fresh cranberries, which are seasonal, you should be able to find frozen cranberries in the freezer section of your grocery stores. Using fresh or frozen cranberries ensures a tender, moist muffin.
Can I substitute almond milk for this recipe?
While this recipe is written for whole or 2% milk, you can substitute your favorite milk instead. The taste and texture may vary slightly, and you may need to add a little more milk than is called for in the recipe if the milk is thicker.
Can I make this as bread instead?
You can! Check out the recipe for Orange Cranberry Bread here! (It’s very similar but has some very important adjustments).
Try some of my other favorite muffin recipes:
For another fun fall-flavored or any time of year muffin, I love to bake these Blueberry Muffins. When we need a chocolate fix, my family adores these fluffy Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins, too. You could even give these Chocolate Chip Cream Scones a go.
Love lemon in the morning? Make these Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins.
More Cranberry Recipes you’ll want to try:
Orange and Cranberry are the flavors of the holiday season, though, of course, they are amazing any time of the year. I have a bunch of recipes featuring orange and cranberry together. Here are just a few of my favorite ones:
Easy Breakfast Recipes
- Overnight Breakfast Casserole
- Caramelized Onion, Bacon and Gruyere Quiche
- Banana Pancakes
- Maple Bacon Gravy
- Breakfast Hash Brown Bites
Orange Cranberry Muffins
- 1/4 cup melted butter *can use vegetable oil
- 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 2 large eggs room temperature
- 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 cup 2% milk *can use regular milk, but nutritional value will change.
- 2 tablespoons orange juice
- 1 tablespoon grated orange zest
- 1 cup roughly chopped cranberries *can use dried cranberries
- 3 tablespoons powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon orange juice
- additional orange zest for garnish optional
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line 12-well muffin tin with liners. In large bowl, whisk together sugar and oil. Add eggs, one at a time, whisking in between.
- In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Add half the flour mixture to wet ingredients and whisk to combine. Add half the milk and stir, then add the remaining flour until incorporated. Finally, add the remaining milk, orange juice, and orange zest and stir just until combined.
- Fold in cranberries. Transfer batter to muffin tin, filling wells ¾ full. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until toothpick come out clean when inserted into middle of muffins.
- While muffins are baking, prepare glaze by whisking together powdered sugar and orange juice in small bowl. Once muffins are done, brush glaze on immediately and sprinkle with orange zest (optional). Let it sit for 10 minutes before taking out of pan and transferring to cooling rack.
did you make this recipe?
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