These festive Cranberry Orange Muffins feature fresh cranberries, fresh orange juice, and a touch of orange zest! Frozen cranberries can be used, but I don’t suggest using dried cranberries. Bust out your muffin pan and treat yourself to a batch today!
Cranberry Orange Muffins
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: cranberries are the underdog of the holiday season!
And oh, these muffins, you guys! They’re so moist, pack a punch of orange flavor, and are exploding with vibrant cranberries. We’ve made them 3 times this month and I see no end in sight!
They’re perfect for breakfast, brunch, or as an afternoon snack. Heck, add a glaze and you could call it dessert. So basically, they’re perfect morning, noon, or night.
How to Make Cranberry Muffins:
- Prepare the Pan: After you preheat your oven, you’ll need to line a muffin tin with paper baking cups, and then spray the pan and liners lightly with non-stick baking spray. If you don’t have baking spray, you can lightly grease the top of the pan with butter. This step just ensures your muffins will come out of the pan effortlessly. You can also gently run a knife around the edges of the muffin tops to help with this.
- Make the Batter: You’ll need an electric hand mixer and a large bowl for this recipe! But a stand mixer will also work! You’ll whip the room temperature butter, sugars, and orange zest until light and fluffy. Be sure to scrape the sides AND bottom of your bowl here. Then toss in the eggs and extracts. Then you’ll alternate adding in your dry ingredients (all purpose flour, baking powder, salt, cardamom, nutmeg) and liquid ingredients (orange juice and sour cream). Finally, gently fold in the cranberries.
- Bake the Muffins: Divide the batter evenly among the prepared muffin tins. Sprinkle with sparkling sugar, if using. And bake in preheated oven for 25 to 27 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of muffin comes out clean. Placed muffin tin on a cooling rack for at least 20 minutes before serving.
How Long do These Muffins Last?
Cooled muffins are best eaten the day they are baked! But will keep for 3 days, wrapped tightly in saran wrap, and stored at room temperature. Reheat for a few seconds in the microwave or in a toaster oven. Delicious with a slather of butter and a drizzle of honey!
Can I add Nuts? Chocolate Chips?
Absolutely, you can! I would suggest adding up to 3/4 cup of chocolate chips. And no more than a 1/2 cup of toasted nuts. Walnuts or pecans would be especially delightful! Adding more than the suggested quantity above could weight down the muffins and cause them to sink in the middle and/or bake up dry.
More Cranberry Recipes:
- Cranberry Banana Muffins
- Easy Apple Cranberry Crisp
- White Chocolate Cranberry Bundt Cake
- Cranberry Eggnog Muffins
- Cranberry Orange Cake
Bakery-Style Cranberry Orange Muffins
For the Cranberry Orange Muffins:
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 8 tablespoons (4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
- 1 Tablespoon orange zest, finely grated
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon orange extract, optional
- 1 cup full-fat sour cream, at room temperature
- 1/3 cup orange juice
- 2 cups cranberries, fresh or frozen
For the Orange Glaze (Optional):
- 1 cup confectioners' sugar, sifted
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed orange juice
- 1 teaspoon orange zest, finely grated
- 2 teaspoons whole milk, more if needed to achieve desired consistency
For the Cranberry Orange Muffins:
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees (F). Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners and spray lightly with non-stick baking spray. Set aside until needed.
- In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, nutmeg, and cardamom; set aside.
- In a separate large bowl using a handheld electric mixer, or in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter, sugars, orange zest, vanilla extract, and orange extract. And beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.
- Add in the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition, and scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.
- Turn mixer off and set batter aside for a moment. In a spouted bowl or measuring cup, add the sour cream and orange juice and whisk well to combine.
- With the mixer speed on low, alternate adding the flour mixture and the sour cream mixture, beginning and ending with flour. Be sure not to over mix here. Fold the cranberries into the batter, mixing just until evenly combined.
- Divide the batter evenly among prepared muffin tins.
- Bake for 25 to 27 minutes, or until the tops are lightly golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean, or with a just a few moist crumbs attached. Cool muffins 10 minutes in the pan before transferring to a cooling rack.
For the Orange Glaze:
- In a medium mixing bowl combine the confectioners' sugar, orange juice, zest, and milk; whisk until smooth, adding more milk as needed to reach desired consistency. Drizzle over the muffins right before serving.