by Olena

Cranberry Orange Muffins

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Olena Osipov
5 from 4 votes

Cranberry Orange Muffins are a moist and fluffy muffins with a tender crumble. Packed with cranberries and infused with refreshing orange, these are the perfect healthy breakfast or on the go snack!

Love fruity bakes? Me too! You might also like these healthy lemon bars, blueberry muffins, apple bread, or much-loved banana bread!

Cranberry Orange Muffin Recipe

Beautiful red cranberries give these cranberry orange muffins a pop of vibrant colour. This muffin recipe uses natural sweeteners and healthy fats but all simple and wholesome ingredients that you either have in your kitchen or can easily get at the store. No scavenger hunting for obscure ingredients in an effort to bake healthy!

Recently I’ve been loving making healthier versions of some of my favorite fruity desserts like no-bake strawberry cheesecake, healthy 100% fruit popsicles, key lime pie bars, and more! Now, who wouldn’t want to try these cranberry muffins?!

These healthy muffins are made with two flavors that pair so well together. It’s why you usually find a hint of orange in cranberry sauce or why you find cranberries and oranges in so many baked goods, like cranberry orange oatmeal cookies. They are both an explosion of flavour but one never overpowers the other.

The balance of sweet and tart combined with juicy citrus is sure to make these deliciously moist muffins ones everyone will love! It’s the perfect easy to follow recipe ready to enjoy in under an hour! It’s also the reason I’m obsessed with citrusy flavors in my baked recipes like lemon zucchini muffins!

Best of all, they’re decadent enough to be enjoyed for dessert but healthy enough to grab for breakfast. I love to keep them in my breakfast rotation along with apple muffins, banana oat bars, blueberry oatmeal crumble bars, and my healthy blueberry breakfast cake. It’s never a bad time to enjoy ‘dessert for breakfast!’

Ingredients for Orange Cranberry Muffins

  • Baking basics: Whole wheat or spelt flour (like I use for these healthy zucchini muffins). If using all purpose flour, use 1 cup for every 3/4 cups whole wheat. You’ll also need to reserve a bit of flour for dusting the cranberries. Baking powder. Baking soda. Salt. Sugar. Egg. Pure vanilla extract.
  • Sweetener: Maple syrup, honey, or agave. Do not use dry sweetener, it must be liquid.
  • Fat: Plain yogurt. Try to avoid Greek yogurt unless you are a more experienced baker and know how to balance the liquids. Either avocado, melted coconut oil, light olive oil, or melted butter.
  • Featured flavours: Orange zest. Fresh or frozen cranberries.

How to Make Cranberry Orange Muffins

This is a no-fuss cranberry orange muffin recipe. A little prep and some combining in a bowl, and you’re well on your way!

  • Prep: Preheat the oven and spray a nonstick muffin tin, silicone, or otherwise, with cooking spray. Use muffin cups if you have them. If you can find unbleached and chlorine-free muffin wrappers, feel free to use those. They’re super convenient and pretty cute! It makes releasing out of the tin really easy. Set the prepared tin aside.
  • Whisk and add: In a large mixing bowl, whisk the egg for 10 seconds. Then add all of the ingredients with the exception of the flour and cranberries. Whisk until there are no lumps. Having a smooth batter is key to not biting into chunks of flour! Add the flour and gently stir to combine. Overmixing will cause too much air to be released. This also means goodbye fluffy muffins.
  • Incorporate: Once everything has been incorporated, grab a medium bowl, and add in the cranberries and a tbsp of flour. Stir to coat. The flour will help absorb some of the juice from the cranberries so it won’t sink to the bottom of the batter. The beauty of these muffins is seeing the flecks of cranberries all over! If you are using dry cranberries, no need to do this. Once they’re nice and coated, add them to the muffin mix and stir gently to combine. I do the same trick with my almond blueberry muffins, too!
  • Scoop and sprinkle: Using an ice cream scoop, pour the batter into prepared muffin tins, trying to divide them as evenly as possible. For no other reason than to have them bake evenly and so they look uniform. This way no one is fighting over who gets the biggest one! If you’d like, you can sprinkle the top with a bit of granulated sugar.
  • Bake: Bake for a total of 23 minutes, starting with higher heat to help muffins rise to that bakery style look. Then reducing the heat part of the way through. A great way to find out if they are done is by taking a toothpick and inserting it into the middle of one of the muffins. If it comes out clean, that’s a good indication they are done. Remove them from the oven to cool before transferring to a cooling rack.

Breaking open one of these little treats and watching the steam release is enough to make your heart sing. Enjoy!

Tips and Variations

  • It’s a science: Although you can get creative with flavours and toppings, measurements aren’t as flexible when it comes to baking. Follow directions exactly and make sure you’re using the correct measuring tools!
  • Gluten free: Try gluten free all-purpose flour. Bob’s Red Mill makes it. It’s a bit drier, so if you have experience with baking, try adding a bit of liquid like milk to thin out the batter. If you’re not experienced, perhaps don’t take the chance as putting too much milk it may be a problem! Either way, plain yogurt will give your muffins added richness and a slight tang. So good!
  • Finding the right yogurt: Use at least 2% for body and thickness but not Greek as it is too thick. See, it really is a science!
  • Dried cranberries: If you are using dried cranberries, use unsweetened. This way your muffins won’t be overly sweet.
  • Streusel: The added sprinkling of sugar on top gives the muffins a lovely added texture (like a fruit cobbler!), a bit of sparkle, and extra sweetness. Combine flour, butter, and sugar for an indulgent streusel topping.

More Healthy Muffins Recipes

Cranberry Orange Muffins

Cranberry Orange Muffins

Cranberry Orange Muffins are a moist and fluffy muffins with a tender crumble. Packed with cranberries and infused with refreshing orange, these are the perfect healthy breakfast or on the go snack!
5 from 4 votes
Print Save Rate
Course: Dessert, Muffins and Quick Bread
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 23 minutes
Total Time: 38 minutes
Servings: 12
Calories: 248kcal
Author: Olena Osipov

Ingredients

  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/4 cup avocado, melted coconut, light olive oil or melted butter
  • 1 cup maple syrup, honey or agave
  • 1 large orange, zest of 1 tbsp
  • 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3 cups whole wheat or spelt flour + 1 tbsp, for dusting berries
  • 2 cups cranberries fresh or frozen
  • 1 tbsp sugar for sprinkling on top

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees F and spray non-stick 12 muffin tin with cooking spray. Set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk the egg for 10 seconds.
  • Add yogurt, oil, maple syrup, orange zest, vanilla extract and whisk. Add baking powder, baking soda and salt; whisk very well until no lumps.
  • Add flour and gently stir until well incorporated. Do not over mix otherwise muffins will be tough.
  • In a medium bowl, add cranberries and 1 tbsp flour, stir to coat with a spoon. Add to the bowl with batter and give a few more gentle stirs to incorporate.
    Cranberry Orange Muffins
  • Using an ice cream scoop, divide batter between 12 openings of previously prepared muffin tin and sprinkle with sugar.
  • Bake for 10 minutes in preheated to 425 degrees F oven.
  • Reduce heat to 375 degrees F (no need to wait for oven to cool off) and bake for another 13 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.
  • Remove from the oven, let muffins cool for about 5 minutes and transfer to a cooling rack to cool off a bit more.
    Cranberry Orange Muffins

Store: Store in a cool dry place for up to 3-4 days or freeze for up to 3 months.

    Notes

    • Please follow the recipe: Baking is a science and for favorable results please follow recipe.
    • Has to be liquid sweetener: If you use dry sweetener like sugar, batter consistency will be thrown off and muffins will not turn out.
    • All purpose flour? I have not tried it but you can use 1 cup of white flour for every 3/4 cup of whole wheat flour that recipe calls for.
    • Gluten free flour? The only one I would recommend is all-purpose gluten free flour. It tends to be more dry though, so if you are experienced baker, I recommend to add a bit of any liquid like milk to make batter a bit thinner.
    • Greek yogurt? Greek yogurt is more thick than regular because whey has been removed. You may use it if you are experienced with baking and can add a bit of liquid to make batter more thin.
    • 0% yogurt: I use at least 2% yogurt. Skim yogurt will work but muffins might be not as rich.
    • Dried cranberries: I recommend to use 1 cup unsweetened, if you can. With sweetened kind muffins will be indulgently sweet.

    Nutrition

    Serving: 1muffins | Calories: 248kcal | Carbohydrates: 44g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 18mg | Sodium: 199mg | Potassium: 221mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 19g | Vitamin A: 53IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 127mg | Iron: 1mg
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    olena osipov in the studio

    Hello and welcome to iFOODreal.

    My name is Olena Osipov. I'm a mom to 2 boys, a wife to Alex and we reside on magical Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada. This is our healthy family recipes blog. Originally from Ukraine, I grew up on real food. As an adult, I struggled with diets for years because none worked long-term. Now for over 10 years, I cook easy healthy meals for my family. I can help you with “What’s for dinner?” too.

    11 comments on “Cranberry Orange Muffins

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    1. 5 stars
      It is really good. I used 1 cup of dried cranberries instead of 2 cups of fresh ones and it was still very good.

    2. Mine are baking as I write this🙂

      I’ve had this question in mind for a while..: I learned to mix all the dry ingredients together, including baking soda and baking powder when baking. So I’m curious as to why you mix these latter two to the wet ingredients? I know it works as I follow your recipes exactly but I’m curious.

      Thanks

      1. Hi Marie. Yes, that’s the golden rule of baking in the past. It is to make sure even distribution of leavening agents throughout entire batter and help dough rise properly. It is more forgiving with muffins, cookies etc. and if you make sure you break all lumps and mix them well, I do not see a need to dirty another bowl. But you can.

    3. 5 stars
      I love these muffins for their “fresh” and slightly zingy taste. Every time I cook turkey over the holidays, I end up throwing out the leftover cranberry sauce. This year I decided to find a healthy muffin recipe which is extremely hard to do as most call for lots of sugar and/or butter/oil. I was happy to find your recipe and swapped out the cup of maple syrup for the cup of cranberry sauce (with berries). The only other change I made was to add a mix of frozen berries (as I realised too late that the recipe calls for 2 cups of cranberries). I ended up having to bake the muffins for 15 extra minutes at 375 than your recipe calls for but they finally passed the toothpick test and are delicious!

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