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Cranberry Orange Muffins Recipe | The Recipe Critic


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These sweet and zesty orange cranberry muffins are going to become your new favorite holiday breakfast! It’s the perfect easy treat to start your day out with.

Muffins are one of my favorite things to grab in the morning. They are so soft and sweet! You’ll have to give my lemon poppyseed, pumpkin cream cheese, and apple streusel muffins a try!

2 cranberry orange muffins stacked on top of each other.

Fluffy and Delicious Orange Cranberry Muffin Recipe

With Thanksgiving in just a few days and Christmas around the corner, it’s time to break out all the delicious holiday recipes! These orange cranberry muffins are some of my favorites and are SO good. Honestly, there’s so much focus on holiday dinners, but why not breakfasts? This easy homemade muffin recipe is the perfect thing to start your day off with! I love the flavors of both cranberry and orange. Together, they create a flavor that is sweet, zesty, and tart!

Each soft and fruity muffin is topped with a citrus sugar glaze which makes them even better! And the best part is, these muffins use simple, staple ingredients! They come together in a pinch and taste so absolutely delicious! Whether you make them for Christmas morning or just breakfast to take on the go, orange cranberry muffins will not disappoint! Need more cranberry goodness in your life? You’ll have to try my cranberry cheesecake fluff and white chocolate cranberry macadamia cookies, too!

Ingredients for Orange Cranberry Muffins

Just a few simple ingredients make muffins that taste better than anything you can buy! Once you’ve got your pantry staples ready, all you need are cranberries and orange zest for that signature fruity flavor! All measurements can be found below in the recipe card.

  • All-Purpose Flour: Give your muffins a light, fluffy structure.
  • Baking Powder: Added to help your muffins rise when baked.
  • Salt: A pinch of salt enhances the overall flavor of the muffins.
  • Unsalted Butter: Adds a tasty richness and fat content to your muffins. This is what makes them soft and moist!
  • Granulated Sugar: Sweetens up your muffins and balances the tart and tangy flavors.
  • Orange Zest: Added in for a little flavor and aroma!
  • Large Eggs: Needed to bind everything together.
  • Vanilla Extract: Vanilla helps to deepen the flavor of your muffins.
  • Sour Cream: Sour cream will make your muffins extra moist! It adds a bit of tang, too, which I think is absolutely delicious.
  • Orange Juice: Orange juice is needed for the batter and citrus glaze added on top.
  • Cranberries: You can use either fresh or frozen cranberries.
  • Course Sugar: I like to add a little course sugar to the tops of the muffins for added sweetness and texture.

Let’s Make Muffins!

Orange cranberry muffins are super easy to make. With just a little bit of prep, you’ll have tasty muffins baking in no time! You’re going to love how they turn out!

  1. Preheat Oven, Prep Pan: Let’s begin! First, preheat the oven to 400°. Line a muffin pan with muffin liners and lightly spray with baking spray.
  2. Sift Dry Ingredients: In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Remove 1 tablespoon of the flour mixture and toss it with the cranberries in a medium bowl. Set aside.
  3. Mix in Butter: In the bowl of a mixer, use the paddle attachment to beat the butter, sugar, orange zest and vanilla. Beat on medium for 2-3 minutes, until light and fluffy.
  4. Add Eggs: Next, add the eggs and beat until fully combined. Mix in sour cream.
  5. Mix Together: Add half of the dry ingredients to the mixer and mix on low until just about combined. Add the orange juice and mix on low for 10 seconds. Then, add in the second half of the dry ingredients and mix until just barely combined. Add the cranberries and any loose flour left in the bowl and fold into the batter by hand until just barely combined.
  6. Bake: Scoop the batter into the prepared muffin pan filling the cups 2/3-¾ of the way full. Sprinkle the tops with course sugar. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the tops are lightly golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean from the center of a muffin. While the muffins are baking, combine the sugar, orange juice and lemon juice for the glaze.
  7. Top With Glaze: Brush the tops of the hot muffins with the glaze. Allow cranberry orange muffins to cool for a few minutes in the pan before removing to a cooling rack.
Process shots of preparing muffin batter.

How to Make Successful Muffins

Here are some of my favorite tips and tricks on making muffins like a pro! I hope you love these muffins just as much as I do. They’re so festive and delicious!

  • Room Temperature Ingredients: Like many other baked goods, the key to a smooth batter is to use room temperature wet ingredients! Set eggs, butter, and sour cream out on your counter for about 10 minutes before adding to batter.
  • Don’t Thaw Cranberries: No need to thaw frozen cranberries! You can add them straight to your batter.
  • Don’t Overmix: Mix your batter together gently, only until combined. If you overmix your batter you may end up with muffins that are too dense.
  • Let Muffins Cool: It’s important to let your muffins cool down completely so they set. If you try to serve them too early, they may break apart.

Baked orange cranberry muffins in a muffin tin.

Storing Leftover Orange Cranberry Muffins

These flavorful muffins can be stored and enjoyed days later! They’re perfect for having on hand for a quick breakfast. You and your family will love them!

  • At Room Temperature: Store muffins in an airtight container for 3-4 days.
  • In the Freezer: Baked muffins can also be stored in the freezer! Place in a freezer-safe bag and store for 2-3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge before serving. To reheat, pop muffins in the oven at 300 degrees Fahrenheit for 10-15 minutes.

A cranberry orange muffin cut in half.


  • Preheat the oven to 400°. Line a muffin pan with muffin liners and lightly spray with baking spray. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Remove 1 tablespoon of the flour mixture and toss it with the cranberries in a medium bowl. Set aside.

  • In the bowl of a mixer use the paddle attachment to beat the butter, sugar, orange zest, and vanilla. Beat on medium for 2-3 minutes, until light and fluffy.
  • Add the eggs and beat until combined. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl and mix for a few seconds more to make sure everything is fully combined. Add in the sour cream and mix until just barely combined.

  • Add half of the dry ingredients to the mixer and mix on low until just about combined. Add the orange juice and mix on low for 10 seconds. Add in the second half of the dry ingredients and mix until just barely combined. Add the cranberries and any loose flour left in the bowl and fold into the batter by hand until just barely combined.

  • Scoop the batter into the prepared muffin pan filling the cups 2/3-¾ of the way full. Sprinkle the tops with coarse sugar. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the tops are lightly golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean from the center of a muffin. While the muffins are baking, combine the sugar, orange juice, and lemon juice for the glaze.
  • Brush the tops of the hot muffins with the glaze. Allow the muffins to cool for a few minutes in the pan before removing them to a cooling rack.


Serves: 12

Serving1muffinCalories348kcal (17%)Carbohydrates55g (18%)Protein5g (10%)Fat13g (20%)Saturated Fat7g (35%)Polyunsaturated Fat1gMonounsaturated Fat3gTrans Fat1gCholesterol61mg (20%)Sodium127mg (5%)Potassium210mg (6%)Fiber2g (8%)Sugar28g (31%)Vitamin A430IU (9%)Vitamin C8mg (10%)Calcium80mg (8%)Iron2mg (11%)

All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods and portion sizes per household.

Course Breakfast

Cuisine American

Keyword cranberry orange muffins, orange cranberry muffins





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