These cranberry orange muffins are made with tart cranberries, orange zest, and orange juice. They are fluffy and moist and only take 30 minutes to make. Perfect muffins for holidays, school mornings, or a quick breakfast

Have you seen those little bags of fresh cranberries in the store and ever wondered what to do with them other than make your own cranberry sauce. These muffins are my go-to recipe because they have the perfect balance of sweet and tart flavors, as well as a variety of refreshing flavors.

Once you start making homemade muffins, you will wonder why you ever bought the pre-made mix, they are easy.

Cranberry Orange Muffin Ingredients needed

Flour: I find the best way to keep muffins moist and fluffy is to accurately measure the flour with a spoon and level it off.

Sugar Granulated sugar is best in muffins, or you can use coconut sugar.

Baking Powder is used as the leavening to help make your muffins rise and be wonderfully fluffy.

Cinnamon The warming spice of cinnamon pairs wonderfully with cranberry and orange flavors. You also use pumpkin spice or fall spice here as well.

Orange zest adds a lovely citrus flavor to these muffins.

Eggs provide structure to the batter (which helps hold everything together).

Whole milk You can use any type of milk here; I usually use 2% or almond milk. It helps add moisture and richness.

Orange Juice If you’re able to get freshly squeezed orange juice, that’s best, but any orange juice will work here.

Butter You will need the butter melted and cooled for the muffin batter, and you will need the butter to be cold for the topping.

Vanilla is added here for additional flavor you can use pure vanilla or artificial vanilla

Cranberries Either fresh or frozen cranberries can be used in this recipe. You do not need to thaw frozen vegetables before using them in this recipe.

Fresh cranberries in wooden bowl
cranberries fresh
Dried cranberries
cranberries dried
orange peel (zest)
orange peel (zest)

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you substitute dried cranberries for fresh ones?

Yes, I do prefer the tartness you receive from fresh or frozen cranberries, but dried cranberries will definitely work in this recipe. I would reduce the cranberries to 1 cup and soak them previously before putting them in the batter.

Why are my muffins dry?

Muffins can become dry if they are overbaked. Bake the muffins in the middle rack at the recommended temperature for 15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Can you freeze cranberry orange muffins?

Place the muffins in a freezer-safe container or storage bag and store them in the freezer for up to 3 months. When you are ready to eat them, thaw them in the fridge overnight and reheat them in the oven at 350 degrees for 10 minutes to make them taste like they just came out of the oven.

How to make cranberry orange muffins

  • In a bowl combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt
  • In a separate bowl mix egg, milk, oil, orange juice, and zest
  • Create a well in your dry mixture, add the liquid mixture, and mix just until combined.
  • Fold in fresh or frozen cranberries; if using dried cranberries, rehydrate them in water before folding them into the batter.
  • Scoop batter into greased muffin tins
  • Combine sugar and orange zest and sprinkle on top of the muffins.
  • Bake in a preheated 400F oven
  • Cool on a baking tray and Enjoy!
cranberry orange muffins
cranberry orange muffins

Recipe Tips and Suggestions for Success

  • As hard as it is, try not to overmix the batter; stir just until you don’t see flour anymore.
  • Use paper liners or silicone liners
  • Use a toothpick in the center of your muffin; if it comes out clean or dry, the muffins are done. Or if you touch the top of the muffin and it springs back, that means it’s done too.
  • Allow muffins to cool completely on a baking rack before storing them in an airtight container.
istockphoto 1353358685 170667a

Cranberry Orange Muffin

These cranberry orange muffins are made with tart cranberries, orange zest, and orange juice. They are fluffy and moist and only take 30 minutes to make. Perfect muffins for holidays, school mornings, or a quick breakfast.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Course Bread, Breakfast
Cuisine American
Servings 12 servings
Calories 264 kcal


  • 1 Muffin pan


  • 2-1/2 cup flour
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 1-1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 tbsp orange zest
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • ¼ cup orange juice
  • 1-1/2 cup fresh cranberries see notes for frozen or dried


  • Preheat oven to 425°F. Spray a 12 cup muffin tray with non-stick cooking spray or line with paper liners.
  • In a large bowl, toss together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the vegetable oil, sugar, eggs, milk, orange juice, vanilla and orange zest. Mix until JUST combined, then fold in the cranberries. Divide the batter into the 12 muffin cups
  • Bake at 425°F for 5 minutes, then reduce the oven temp to 375°F and bake for another 13-15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.


How to substitute with frozen or dried cranberries:

  • Frozen – Do not thaw. Add the frozen cranberries into the batter as if you were using fresh cranberries and bake for a few minutes longer until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  • Dried – Soak the dried cranberries in hot water for 10 minutes to soften. Pat them dry with a paper towel and add to the batter as instructed. Please note that the taste and texture of dried cranberries are not the same as fresh. They are a bit sweeter and a bit chewy.
Keyword Cranberry, orange
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