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Cranberry-Orange Muffin Recipe

Cranberry-Orange Muffin Recipe

Ingredients

Directions

  1. Prepare compote: Place cranberries, brown sugar and orange juice in a small saucepan. Cook on stovetop over moderate heat, stirring and popping the cranberries as they cook. Once almost all of the liquid has evaporated and you’re left with a thickened sauce, remove from heat and let cool.
  2. Preheat oven to 400°F with the rack in the top-third position. Grease a 12-cup muffin tray with cooking spray or rub lightly with vegetable oil.
  3. Prepare topping: Gently toss orange zest with granulated sugar. Set aside, along with sanding sugar.
  4. Prepare muffins: Place flour, baking powder and kosher salt in a large bowl and whisk to combine. Place sugar and eggs in a medium-sized bowl and beat with a hand mixer on low until combined. Drizzle in oil and melted butter, followed by buttermilk and vanilla. Fold the egg mixture into the dry mix, and stir in the remaining cup of cranberries. Divide batter evenly into the muffin wells. Add a teaspoon of the cooled cranberry compote mixture to the top of each muffin. Swirl it down into the batter using a brochette. Sprinkle the top with the sugar and orange zest topping, followed by a sprinkle of sanding sugar.
  5. Transfer to oven and bake for 13-15 minutes, rotating the pan at halftime. Bake until puffed and golden.
  6. Remove from oven and cool in pan for 10 minutes. Remove muffins from pan and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
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Cranberry-Orange Muffin Recipe

5 / 5. 1

Moist, tender muffins flavoured with cranberry and orange with a surprise of tangy sugared cranberry swirl within…

  • clock icon
    30 MIN
  • 12 SERVINGS
Cranberry-Orange Muffin Recipe.

This CRANBERRY-ORANGE MUFFIN RECIPE is a home bakery dream come true!

Know the phrase “third time’s a charm”? Well, this post proves it. Our first test of this recipe was good. We tweaked the bake time and temperature in the second round, and the results were way better. But then, for the third test, we pulled out all the stops and created a baked good that’s so fabulous, you’ll need to make this scrumptious CRANBERRY-ORANGE MUFFIN RECIPE as soon as possible.

Here’s what makes the recipe so exceptional:

  • The principal ingredients are tart cranberries and fragrant orange, a classic pairing of tangy and sweet.
  • Despite being easy to make, the flavour, texture, and presentation of these muffins are so impressive, they will rival the best bakery-style muffins you’ve ever had.
  • The muffin batter is made using butter, vegetable oil, eggs and buttermilk, yielding a pleasantly tender crumb.
  • We cook up a cranberry compote and swirl it through the batter to give the muffins even more flavour.
  • A dusting of sanding sugar and orange zest adds beauty to the muffin domes while they bake.
  • Prep time is 15 minutes, and so is the bake time. Just 30 minutes total time between you and something so wonderful!

Now, as good as this all sounds, don’t forget our other muffin recipes, all worthy of your attention. After making these, try our hugely popular MORNING GLORY MUFFINS, our BRAN AND RAISIN MUFFINS, these EASY SWEET POTATO MUFFINS or our savoury CHEDDAR CORNMEAL MUFFINS. Muffins are always a welcome treat whenever you need a quick grab-and-go snack or a quick bite for family and weekend guests.

Who’s ready to try this CRANBERRY-ORANGE MUFFIN RECIPE?

All of the ingredients needed to make Cranberry-Orange Muffins.

INGREDIENTS

I know it might look like a lot, but look again. We bet you already have most of these ingredients in your pantry and fridge. We decided to make this recipe without walnuts, pecans or chocolate chips; our thinking is if they are orange-cranberry muffins, the orange and cranberry better stand out. 

This recipe was also created using buttermilk instead of sour cream or Greek yogurt to keep the texture light and moist. One thing worth mentioning is how to make your own buttermilk. Simply add a tablespoon of lemon juice or white vinegar to a cup of whole milk, stir and voilà, homemade buttermilk. 

Sliced fresh or frozen cranberries.

CRANBERRIES

No need to get bogged down wondering if cranberries are good for you; all evidence points to yes. Loaded with vitamins and minerals like vitamin C, E and K1, cranberries are a source of manganese, calcium, potassium and copper. Often referred to as a superfood, cranberries also contain antioxidants that can help prevent heart disease, stomach ulcers and urinary tract infections. Click HERE to learn more about them, but let’s look beyond all that good health stuff and mention two more attributes. They add a bright tartness and vibrant colour to this recipe, and you can use either frozen cranberries or fresh. However, we suggest not using dried cranberries, as they’ll make the muffins too chewy.

A bowl of the muffin batter with all of the sliced cranberries spilled on top.

MUFFIN BATTER

Making the batter for these cranberry-orange muffins is easy. Start by stirring together the dry ingredients, then beating the wet ingredients together – that would be sugar, eggs, cooled melted butter, oil, vanilla extract and buttermilk. Then it’s just a quick stir to combine it with the flour mixture, add the sliced cranberries and your batter is ready for the muffin tin.

A muffin tray filled with the muffin batter plus a dollop of cranberry compote on each muffin.

FILLING

Ready for the game changer in this recipe? In all honesty, it may become my twist for all future muffin recipes too. Thinking the muffins needed more fruit flavour, we crafted a cranberry compote using cranberries (we used fresh cranberries), brown sugar and fresh orange juice. Swirling a spoonful of this sweet-and-sour cranberry mixture into each muffin gave them way more flavour. It also keeps the muffins soft and moist.

A tray of the unbaked cran-orange muffins with the cranberry compote stirred into the batter.

MUFFIN PAN

We crafted this recipe using a standard 12-cup muffin tray. It only needs a quick shot of non-stick cooking spray; no need for fiddly paper muffin liners. The muffins come out of the pan perfectly, without incident.

A jar of sanding sugar, a bowl of granulated sugar and a small bowl of orange zest.

TOPPING

There’s a big finish for our CRANBERRY-ORANGE MUFFIN RECIPE, but not a streusel topping or orange glaze in sight. Instead, we toss fresh orange zest from one big, juicy navel orange in with some granulated sugar and sprinkle a little bit onto each muffin.

The tray of cranberry-orange muffins ready for the oven.

Then, to add even more sparkle, we also add a sprinkle of sanding sugar. If you have kids in your midst, invite them to join in this easy and fun step. The topping takes this recipe from simple to amazing! 

The tray of muffins fresh from the oven.

BAKE

Note the cook time on this recipe, 15 minutes. Because every oven is different, we suggest checking the muffins at the 12-minute mark. The muffins get extra points for the way they puff up as they bake, creating that classic, much sought-after domed muffin top. The degree to which the edge of the dome browns, right where it meets the muffin tin, is a helpful guide. Your muffins are done when the edge of the muffin top is golden brown.

A batch of the cranberry orange muffins, removed from the baking tray, cooling on a wire rack.

SERVE

Give the muffins 10 minutes to cool in the muffin pan after they come out of the oven, then lift them out and onto a wire rack to cool completely. Wait, reality check! “Cool completely” may not be the best direction, especially since something fabulously tasty is now within reach.

Freshly baked Cranberry-Orange Muffin Recipe.

We enjoyed these muffins still kinda warm and loved the surprise of opening them to discover the ribboning of cranberry and orange flavour. Someone always asks if a recipe like this freezes well, and it does! Transfer the cooled muffins to an airtight container lined with parchment paper, and you can keep them in the freezer until you want to enjoy them. Whether in the freezer or on the counter, these muffins never last very long: too delicious. Ha!

One of the cran-orange muffins cut open to reveal the fruit-swirled center.

Because these muffins are so tasty, we suggest you PIN the recipe to a favourite breakfast or baking board on PINTEREST or BOOKMARK this tab for easy access. SHARE it with friends so they can make them too. We’d also appreciate seeing pics of all the scrumptious baking you’re making these days. Use #weekendatthecottage when you post those pics on Facebook and Instagram. Thanks!

Looks amazing, right? Wait until you try this CRANBERRY-ORANGE MUFFIN RECIPE!

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Cranberry-Orange Muffin Recipe

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Cranberry-Orange Muffin Recipe

Ingredients

  • For the cranberry compote:
  • 1 cup cranberries, fresh or frozen
  • ¼ cup dark brown sugar
  • ¼ cup orange juice
  • For the muffin batter:
  • cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
  • ¼ cup vegetable or canola oil
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup cranberries, fresh or frozen, sliced
  • For the topping:
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • zest from 1 navel orange
  • 1 tablespoon sanding sugar

Directions

  1. Prepare compote: Place cranberries, brown sugar and orange juice in a small saucepan. Cook on stovetop over moderate heat, stirring and popping the cranberries as they cook. Once almost all of the liquid has evaporated and you’re left with a thickened sauce, remove from heat and let cool.
  2. Preheat oven to 400°F with the rack in the top-third position. Grease a 12-cup muffin tray with cooking spray or rub lightly with vegetable oil.
  3. Prepare topping: Gently toss orange zest with granulated sugar. Set aside, along with sanding sugar.
  4. Prepare muffins: Place flour, baking powder and kosher salt in a large bowl and whisk to combine. Place sugar and eggs in a medium-sized bowl and beat with a hand mixer on low until combined. Drizzle in oil and melted butter, followed by buttermilk and vanilla. Fold the egg mixture into the dry mix, and stir in the remaining cup of cranberries. Divide batter evenly into the muffin wells. Add a teaspoon of the cooled cranberry compote mixture to the top of each muffin. Swirl it down into the batter using a brochette. Sprinkle the top with the sugar and orange zest topping, followed by a sprinkle of sanding sugar.
  5. Transfer to oven and bake for 13-15 minutes, rotating the pan at halftime. Bake until puffed and golden.
  6. Remove from oven and cool in pan for 10 minutes. Remove muffins from pan and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

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