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Enjoy fresh cranberries while they are in season!
With a sweet, citrusy glaze and tangy cranberries in every bite, these wholesome Orange Cranberry Muffins make for a tasty breakfast or a healthy snack.
When it comes to flavor pairings, cranberry with orange is a perfect match. Since my cranberry orange bread is always popular, I decided to create a whole wheat version in muffin form!
Not overly sweet, cranberry orange muffins have a bright orange flavor that’s absolutely delicious with your morning coffee.
If you’re looking for more ways to use up fresh cranberries, try my 5-minute cranberry orange relish — it’s a great accompaniment for turkey, chicken, or pork tenderloin. Or, you may enjoy baking this pretty and tasty Cranberry Christmas Cake.
Key ingredients & substitutions for Orange Cranberry Muffins
- Fresh cranberries — Once harvested, cranberries typically appear in the grocery produce aisle October through December. If you don’t have fresh cranberries available, frozen cranberries will also work, but don’t let them thaw before mixing into the batter.
- Whole wheat flour — I opted for whole wheat flour in this recipe, however you can just as well use all purpose flour in its place.
- Oranges — As the liquid in this batter freshly squeezed orange juice will give you an amazing flavor. That being said, any bottled 100% orange juice will do. You’ll also add orange zest to the batter.
- Maple syrup — I like the subtle flavor maple syrup adds, but you may also substitute an equal amount of brown sugar with great results.
- Coconut oil or butter — There’s no vegetable oil in these orange muffins. Instead, coconut oil or butter may be used for the fat in this recipe.
How to make Orange Cranberry Muffins?
STEP 1 | Cream together wet ingredients
Always start with room temperature ingredients — eggs, butter, etc. Use an electric mixer to beat the coconut oil or butter together with the maple syrup until you have a creamy consistency.
Add the eggs, beating until well incorporated. With the mixer on low, add the orange juice and zest and continue beating for about 2 minutes.
STEP 2 | Combine dry ingredients
Place all the dry ingredients in a large bowl — flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt — and use a whisk to evenly distribute. Make a well in the center and pour in the wet ingredients.
Working from the outsides of the bowl, use a rubber spatula or wooden spoon to gently stir the dry and wet ingredients together. Stop as soon as all the dry ingredients have been moistened.
- Resist the urge to stir and stir the muffin batter. Too much and the muffin texture becomes a little drier and tougher.
STEP 3 | Fold in cranberries and bake
Reserve 1/2 cup of the cranberries, then gently fold the rest along with the pecans into the batter — it will be thick. Spoon the batter into the paper-lined muffin pan, then press 2 or 3 of the remaining cranberries into the tops of each muffin.
Bake the first 5 minutes at 425 degrees, then reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees — without opening the oven door — for the remainder of the bake time. The muffins are done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Spoon muffin batter into the pans immediately after you have completed mixing the batter together and get them into the oven quickly. This will result in better rising.
- Once the muffins come out of the oven, don’t let them sit in the pan any longer than 5 minutes before removing them to a wire rack. Otherwise, the muffins will begin to sweat.
STEP 4 | Make the orange glaze
To make a simple glaze, place powdered sugar in a small bowl and add orange juice one tablespoon at a time, stirring until the desired consistency is reached. Drizzle the glaze over the cooled muffins and enjoy!
Frequently asked questions
Absolutely. Completely cool the muffins first, then store tightly sealed in a ziplock bag for up to 3 months in the freezer.
Sure. Dried cranberries work just fine in this recipe, but reduce the amount in the recipe to 3/4 cup.
Cupcake liners are a convenience for me, but you can certainly bake these muffins without lining your muffin pan. Instead, coat the pan with nonstick cooking spray.
Welcome to Cranberry Week!
This week we are celebrating all things cranberry! We have delicious recipes from across the country to celebrate all things cranberry!
#CranberryWeek is an annual blogging event that is hosted by Ashley from Cheese Curd In Paradise
- Slow Cooker Cranberry Apple Crisp from Cheese Curd In Paradise
- Cranberry Pecan Quick Bread from Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
- Roasted Cranberry Potatoes from Magical Ingredients
- Cranberry White Wine Spritzer from Our Good Life
- Oatmeal Cranberry Bars from The Fresh Cooky
- Orange Cranberry Bread from Devour Dinner
- Pear-Cranberry Sauce from The Spiffy Cookie
- Cranberry Pecan Cake Balls from The Freshman Cook
- Cranberry Moscow Mule from Art of Natural Living
- Orange Cranberry Muffins from Life Love and Good Food
- Cranberry Almond Granola from Family Around the Table
- Easy Classic Cranberry Sauce from Kate’s Recipe Box
Orange Cranberry Muffins
- 1/3 cup coconut oil
- ½ cup maple syrup
- 2 eggs room temperature
- ¾ cup orange juice + 2 tablespoons for the glaze
- 1 tablespoon orange zest optional
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 ¾ cup whole wheat flour
- 2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 1/4 cups fresh cranberries divided
- ½ cup pecans chopped and toasted
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line a muffin pan with cupcake liners.
- Add the coconut oil and maple syrup to a large bowl and beat together with an electric mixer until creamy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating until incorporated.
- Next, add the orange juice and zest (if using) and vanilla extract. Continue beating for about 2 minutes.
- In another large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Make a well in the center and pour in the wet ingredients, stirring gently just until combined.
- Using a rubber spatula, gently fold in 3/4 cup of the cranberries along with the pecans. Evenly divide the muffin batter between the muffin cups. Press 2 or 3 of the remaining cranberries into the tops of each muffin.
- Bake for 5 minutes at 425 degrees, then reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees. Continue baking for another 18 to 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Remove the muffins to a wire rack to cool completely.
- In the meantime, place the powdered sugar in a small bowl. Add orange juice, one tablespoon at a time, and stir until the desired consistency is reached. Drizzle the glaze over the cooled muffins.
About Sheila Thigpen
Recipe Developer, Food Photographer, Food Writer
Sheila Thigpen is the publisher of Life, Love, and Good Food — a Southern food blog — and the author of Easy Chicken Cookbook and The 5-Ingredient Fresh and Easy Cookbook. After 20+ years in the publishing industry, she retired in 2018 to focus on her own creative endeavors full time. She and her husband live near the beautiful Smoky Mountains and have a precious little granddaughter who has stolen their hearts. As an influencer, Sheila has collaborated with brands like Creamette, Kroger, HERSHEY’S, Hamilton Beach, Garafalo Pasta, OXO, Smithfield, Valley Fig Growers, and more.