Cranberry Orange Muffins

Cranberry orange muffins are sweet and tart with fresh orange juice, dried cranberries, and a simple orange glaze. The crumb is soft and tender – a great muffin recipe for a holiday breakfast or brunch!

close-up shot of a muffin with a bite taken out of it.

Fresh and bright orange muffins studded with tart cranberries is a delicious way to express your holiday good tidings this year. Cookies, cakes, and candy seem to always take center stage in the arena of Christmas baking, but what about breakfast and brunch? Don’t we all deserve a special Christmas treat at the start of the day? Of course we do!

a stack of three muffins.

Maybe you’ve already have the breakfast casserole planned, so I highly suggest tacking on a fresh-baked batch of these cranberry orange muffins to go with it. They’re cheery and holiday-ish with their sunny orange flavor and Christmas-y red dried cranberries – bonus points if you bake them in festive paper liners.

ingredients for the muffins.

Ingredients

  • All-purpose flour
  • Baking soda
  • Baking powder
  • Ground cinnamon
  • Salt
  • Vegetable oil or canola oil
  • Large egg
  • Buttermilk
  • Vanilla extract
  • Granulated sugar
  • Brown sugar
  • Orange zest
  • Dried cranberries
  • Powdered sugar
  • Fresh orange juice

Recipe Steps

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a muffin pan with paper liners and set aside.

Whisk the flour, baking soda and powder, cinnamon, and salt in a mixing bowl. Set the flour mixture aside.

In a large bowl, mix the canola oil, egg, buttermilk, vanilla extract, both kinds of sugars, and orange zest. Mix until just combined.

three photos showing how to make the batter.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir just until combined. Gently fold in the cranberries.

Equally divide the batter among the muffin cups in the pan.

the baked muffins in a pan.

Bake in the center of the oven for 23 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Take the muffins out of the muffin tins and cool them on a wire rack. While the muffins cool, make the orange glaze.

two photos showing how to make the glaze.

Whisk the confectioner’s sugar and orange juice in a small bowl. Add more juice for a thinner glaze or more sugar for a thicker one, as desired.

Drizzle the glaze over muffins and enjoy!

Recipe Tips

Buttermilk Substitute: You can add either ½ tablespoon of lemon juice or white vinegar to a ½ cup measuring cup and fill the rest with milk. Mix and let it sit for about five minutes. Or, try switching the buttermilk for sour cream or Greek yogurt.

Cranberries: You can use the same amount of fresh cranberries or frozen cranberries for this recipe. If you use frozen, don’t thaw them – you can mix them right into the batter. They will release more moisture, so you may need to bake the muffins a few minutes longer.

Ingredients: Using room-temperature ingredients is always a good idea when baking. So, if you remember, pull the eggs and buttermilk out of the refrigerator about 30 minutes before you make the muffins. It’s not a huge deal if you forget, but warmer ingredients mix better making it harder to overwork the batter.

Room Temperature Storage: If you don’t plan on eating them right away, store them in an airtight container at room temperature for three to four days. For the best results, don’t glaze them until you’re ready to serve them. You can keep the glaze in the fridge or make it before serving the muffins.

Freezer Tip: If you don’t glaze the muffins, you can also keep them in a freezer-safe container for up to two months in the freezer. Pop them into the microwave to thaw and enjoy!

glaze being drizzled onto a muffin.

A holiday breakfast or brunch will be a lot sweeter when you make this cranberry orange muffins recipe. The combo of flavors will get everyone in the Christmas spirit. Enjoy!

Happy baking,

April
a muffins with a bite taken out of it.

More Breakfast Ideas

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Cranberry Orange Muffins

muffins on a platter.

Cranberry orange muffins are sweet and tart with fresh orange juice, dried cranberries, and a simple orange glaze. The crumb is soft and tender – a great muffin recipe for a holiday breakfast or brunch!

  • Author: April Anderson
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 12 muffins 1x
  • Category: Breakfast
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: American

Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup canola oil or vegetable oil
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • 1 ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 1 ½ cup dried cranberries

For the Glaze

  • 1 cup confectioner’s sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of fresh orange juice (from about one navel orange)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a muffin tin with paper liners and set it aside.
  2. Whisk the flour, baking soda and powder, cinnamon, and salt in a medium bowl.
  3. In a large bowl, mix the canola oil, egg, buttermilk, vanilla extract, both kinds of sugars, and orange zest. Mix until just combined.
  4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ones and stir just until combined. Gently fold in the cranberries.
  5. Equally divide the batter among the muffin liners in the pan.
  6. Bake in the center of the oven for 23 to 25 minutes. Take muffins out of the pan and cool them on a wire rack. While the muffins cool, make the glaze.
  7. Whisk the confectioner’s sugar and orange juice in a small bowl. Add more juice for a thinner glaze or more sugar for a thicker one, as desired.
  8. Drizzle the glaze over muffins and enjoy!

Notes

Buttermilk Substitute: You can add either ½ tablespoon of lemon juice or white vinegar to a ½ cup measuring cup and fill the rest with milk. Mix and allow to rest for about 5 minutes.

Cranberries: You can use the same amount of fresh cranberries or frozen cranberries for this recipe. If you use frozen, don’t thaw them – you can mix them right into the batter. They will release more moisture, so you may need to bake the muffins a few minutes longer.

Room Temperature Storage: If you don’t plan on eating them right away, store them in an airtight container at room temperature for three to four days. For the best results, don’t glaze them until you’re ready to serve them. You can keep the glaze in the fridge or make it before serving the muffins.

Freezer Tip: If you don’t glaze the muffins, you can also keep them in a freezer-safe container for up to two months in the freezer. Pop them into the microwave to thaw and enjoy!

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 muffin
  • Calories: 256
  • Sugar: 41.6g
  • Sodium: 174.8mg
  • Fat: 1.2g
  • Saturated Fat: 0.4g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 0.5g
  • Trans Fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 60.4g
  • Fiber: 1.8g
  • Protein: 3.1g
  • Cholesterol: 16.6mg

Keywords: orange muffins, cranberry muffins, cranberry orange muffins

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The nutrition is an estimate only. It was calculated using Nutrifox, an online nutrition calculator.

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