Cranberry-Orange Muffins {Delicious Recipe}

Last week my next door neighbor dropped of my yearly delivery of oranges (from their tree).  It’s a special treat I look forward to each year (usually just after Christmas).  I can see their giant orange tree from my yard, but can’t quite reach it, so it’s sweet that they bring me a big bag of oranges when they ripen each year.  I usually just make juice or smoothies with the oranges, but since I am a baker through and through I thought it would be a perfect opportunity to work up a recipe using the delicious fruit.

I had a bag of dried cranberries left over from some Christmas baking, so I thought some cranberry orange muffins could be a nice treat.  As I usually do when I have a recipe idea, I searched through my cookbooks and the internet for recipe ideas. I found a few that sounded good… read up on all the reviews and notes in each recipe, and added a few ideas of my own to create the final recipe.  I often have to make (and adjust) a recipe several times before I’m happy with it, but these were wonderful the first time!  Of course you are welcome to adjust it to your tastes… substituting some of the flour with whole wheat flour would add some health benefits, or you could go the other way and and top them with a glaze made with some powdered sugar, a bit of butter and orange juice.

Cranberry-Orange Muffins 

1 cup dried (sweetened) cranberries

1/3 cup fresh orange juice

2 cups all purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon powdered ginger

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 Tablespoon fresh orange zest (the zest of one whole orange)

2/3 cup sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon orange extract

2 Tablespoons oil (vegetable, canola or olive)

1/2 cup milk (any fat content)

 Directions ~

1.)  Preheat oven to 375 F.  Line a muffin/cupcake pan with paper liners.

2.)  Zest one whole orange (making about 1 Tablespoon of zest) and set aside.

Squeeze the juice from that one orange (about 1/3 cup).

3.)  Put the orange juice (if needed, add some prepared orange juice to the fresh juice to make 1/3 cup) and the cranberries in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer.  Simmer about 5 minutes, stirring as needed.  Turn off heat and set aside.

4.)  In a large bowl add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and ginger, and set aside.

5.)  In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter, orange zest and sugar until light and fluffy (about 2 minutes).

6.)  Scrape down the side of the bowl, then add in the eggs (one at a time), vanilla, orange extract, and oil.  Blend until well combined.

7.)  Add the flour mixture, alternating with the milk (add about half of the flour mixture, then some milk,then the rest of the flour, and the rest of the milk).  Fold in the cranberries.  Do not over mix.

8.)  Scoop batter into prepared muffin/cupcake pan.

Bake muffins about 20 minutes (test with a toothpick, there should be moist crumbs, but not wet).

9.)  Cool muffins on a wire cooling rack.

Enjoy the muffins while still warm, or when cool.  They are best the day they are made, but are still very good the next day.

Yields about 8 large or 12 medium (standard) muffins.

Recipe Source ~  Glorious Treats

~ Shopping note ~

 The muffin liners I used are called Panettone liners (or molds).  I bought mine at Sur la table (and they sell them for the best price I’ve found).  They are free standing (you don’t need to use a muffin pan, just set them on a baking sheet), and the ones I used are about 50% larger than a standard muffin/cupcake.

Happy baking!


  1. they look great! must try this recipe one day. Love the pictures, especially all the details…orange peel as a ribbon…SOOO Glorious!!!

  2. YUMM!! Where did you get the liners from? Love them!

  3. Love cranberry… love orange… this sounds great! Like the liners, how are these used?

  4. Thanks ladies!
    Opps, I forgot to add the info about the liners…
    they are called Panettone liners and I have found the best price is at SurlaTable (I bought my in the store). They are free standing (you don't need to put them in a muffin pan) and these ones were about 50% larger than a standard muffin.

  5. I am going to try these, your photography is amazing!

  6. Thanks Glory, I always trust your recipes, so I will definitely try this one. Your pictures are amazing, they could so be in a magazine!

  7. These sound absolutely delicious and I love your muffin liners!

  8. Wish I could reach into the screen a grab one of these!!!:)

  9. YUM! These remind me of Nigella's christmas morning muffins. I love the photos too, just stunning.

    I have tried some cases similar to those for cupcakes (my SIL asked me to use them for her baby shower) but they were an awful pain and lost their shape so many of them came out all oval. I wonder if the consistency makes a difference since muffins are usually a thicker more solid batter than cupcakes?

    Was lovely to see you over on my site today 🙂

  10. they look so yummy.
    lovely pics too
    bises from France

  11. These look and sound so Delish!!!!! Thank you so much for sharing!!!!!!

    Michelle Torres
    [email protected]

  12. YUM! I would be so fat if we were neighbors!
    Love, Cecilia

  13. Holy cow, this is awesome. Can't wait to try it out.

    Thanks for sharing.

    John McConnell

  14. This reminds me of a quickbread recipe my mom made alot when I was a kid..I always loved it!!

    Thanks for sharing, girl!! 🙂

  15. I have to make these! I usually make a cranberry-orange bread, but I have not tried it in a muffin. I bet it is delicious! 🙂

  16. Hum, they look so yummy! You are an artist!

  17. These muffins look delicious! Great shots!

  18. yum and oh so pretty! I agree with the first comment on here – SOOO Glorious!

  19. They look delicious, I love panatone liners!

  20. They Look wonderful and I love these photos!

  21. These look so good 😉 I love citrus muffins!

  22. These muffins look delicious and the wrapping is so special.

    Plan B

  23. What size did you purchase of the Panettone molds? 2.75, 5.25 or 7? Thanks!

  24. @Abby- I used the 2.75" size.

    Happy Baking!

  25. These muffins look wonderful! Totally linking to them in tomorrows post.

  26. How much batter did you put in the molds?

  27. Abby- Fill the muffin molds about 2/3 full. Enjoy!

  28. Ever made these with fresh cranberries?

  29. Just found this recipe when googling for cranberry & orange muffins and of all the ones I found, it appealed the most – and I haven't been disappointed! Absolutely delicious. I didn't have orange extract so just used juice, so the orange flavour probably isn't as intense as yours, but still very delicious. Not as prettily wrapped as yours, mind. 🙂 Thanks for the recipe!

  30. Delicious muffins !

  31. Have you ever made these with frozen cranberries? What changes did you make?

  32. I love orange cranberry muffins. I need to make this recipe stat!

  33. What an amazing recipe! Made these last night. Thank you. My old recipe is being replaced.

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  35. OMG… so I just hadddd to comment and say THESE MUFFINS TOTALLY ROCK! i started to bake them a little late since my boyfriend forgot oranges (DUH i know) i went on a hunt to wal-mart for oranges.. now its 1:47am i’m finally tasting one from the first batch as the second batch is in… and magnificent. everyone must try.. very easy and wonderful taste! thanks GLORY you’re glory-ous 🙂 THANK YOU..great BLOG

  36. I tried these, and the batter was delicious! The muffins were really yummy, too; just a little dry. Probably will just take them out a little sooner than 20 minutes next time. Other than that, they were very soft, crumbly, and flavorful. Definitely going to be making these again!

  37. These are the best orange-cranberry muffins that I have ever tasted. Just took them out of the oven and they are delicious! Thank you so much for the recipe; the fact of simmering the cranberries in the juice makes them so soft. My muffins were ready, but very pale; I took them out of the oven, brushed them with melted butter and sprinkled them with brown sugar. I will definitely make them again.

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  40. These were fantastic!!! Did recipe exactly, only added 1 cup of chopped walnuts. By far my favorite muffin recipe to date. Was going to make it healthy by subbing this and subbing that, but instead did just what was listed and they were wonderful. Thank you…..perfect recipe.

  41. Love your website-it’s one of my favorites! What type of packaging did the cranberries come in or what’s a good brand to use? Thanks for your help!

    • For the dried cranberries I don’t have any brand preference. I usually buy the cranberries in the bulk foods section of my grocery store, or buy Crasins (brand).

  42. Can I substitute oil for butter ? I am allergic to dairy

    • Hi Nisha, I have not made the recipe any way other than what’s listed, but I would imagine that you could make it will all oil. I think you could just do 1/2 cup total oil (no need for the additional 2 tablespoons). Happy baking!

    • Here in CA one of the dairies makes a lactose-free butter/oil spread.  I keep butter buds around to boost the flavor also.  I understand there are all sorts of allergies, and my partner has the lactose-related variety.  This has been my solution, and so far so good.

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  45. Just made the muffins. Came out as photographed, and they have a wonderful texture and flavor, the only minus I found is that they were not sweet enough. I would increase the sugar the next time. Thanks for the recipe!

  46. I made these  and they’re amazing. They tasted like they came from an expensive  bakery.  

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