These Cranberry Orange Muffins are a variation of the Cranberry Vanilla Muffins which are equally good. Cranberries team up well with other fruits especially orange and nowhere better than in these muffins.
One of my most favorite things about Fall is cranberries arriving around the middle of October and this is a perfect recipe to use them in. Other recipes featuring cranberries on my blog you might want to try are, Cranapple PIe, Chocolate Cranberry Curd Tart and Cranberry Pecan Streusel Coffee Cake.
From Left to Right. Back Row: All-purpose flour, cranberries. Middle Row: Butter, eggs, granulated sugar, milk. Front Row: orange zest, baking powder, vanilla extract, almond extract, salt.
- Cranberries can be fresh or frozen. If fresh are used, freeze them until hard.
- Milk can be whole or 2%.
- Eggs are size large.
- Orange Zest. A microplaner is best for obtaining the zest. A medium to large orange will yield the amount needed.
- Butter can be salted or unsalted for this recipe.
Step 1. Butter and granulated sugar in a mixing bowl.
Step 2. The butter and sugar creamed together.
Step 3. The vanilla and almond extracts along with the orange zest are added to the creamed mixture.
Step 4. The extracts and zest added to the creamed mixture.
Step 5. One egg at a time is beaten into the batter.
Step 6. After both eggs are added the batter will most likely look curdled. That will be fixed in the next step.
Step 7. The baking powder and salt to be mixed with the flour.
Step 8. The first third of flour added to the mixing bowl. The flour will be added alternately with the milk.
Step 9. The first third of the flour mixed in.
Step 10. The first half of the milk added.
Step 11. The finished batter after 3 additions of flour alternating with 2 of milk.
Step 12. The frozen cranberries are placed inside a food processor.
Step 13. The frozen cranberries are pulsed in the processor to make smaller pieces.
Step 14. The cranberries are added to the batter in the mixing bowl.
Step 15. The muffins are filled ¾ full. This applies to either the mini, regular or Texas size muffins.
Step 16. Sanding sugar is sprinkled liberally on top to add a bit of crunch.
*Be sure to see the recipe card below for the full ingredients list & instructions
The number of muffins will increase if adding either of these.
- 2 cups of Mini chocolate chips can be added. Chocolate, cranberries and orange are a great combination.
- 1 cup of any coarsely chopped nuts can be added. For extra flavor toast the nuts at 350°F for 7 to 10 minutes depending upon the nut. Cool before chopping.
These muffins can be stored for several days at room temperature or frozen for longer storage. Thaw at room temperature.
Freezing the cranberries before adding them to the batter keeps the batter from turning that dreaded gray color from fruit juices. Chopping them in the food processor and immediately adding them to the batter and filling the muffin tins keeps the color vibrant and inviting.
To use or not to use paper liners? The muffins bake up softer and stay more moist if paper liners are used. If they are baked directly in sprayed pans, they brown much faster and the outside of the muffins are sturdier.
A Cranberry Orange Muffin
- 12 oz fresh cranberries, fresh or frozen (340 grams)
- 1 cup sugar (200 grams or 7 ounces)
- ½ cup butter, softened (114 gram, 4 ounces or 1 stick)
- 1 tablespoon grated orange zest
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 2 large eggs
- 2 cups all purpose flour (280 grams or 10 ounces)
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup milk
- Sanding sugar as needed
- Freeze the cranberries hard.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line muffin cups with paper liners or spray them well.
- Cream together the sugar and butter until light and fluffy.
- Add the vanilla and almond extracts as well as the grated orange rind, mixing in completely.
- Scrape down and add the eggs one at a time. Beat until light and completely combined.
- In the meantime, combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Mix together.
- Combine the flour, baking powder and salt.
- Add the flour and milk alternately, starting and ending with the flour in thirds and the milk twice.
- Last, place the cranberries in a food processor and pulse to coarsely chop. Add to the batter and mix in just until well combined. The batter will be stiff at this point because the cranberries are frozen.
- Fill the cups ¾ full. This applies to whatever size you are using.
- Sprinkle the tops liberally with the sugar/nutmeg mix.
- Regular size muffins – bake 24 to 26 minutes – makes about 20 muffins
- Mini size muffins - bake 117 to 20 minutes - makes about 40
- Texas size muffins - bake 27 to 30 minutes - makes about 10 to 12
- 2 cups mini chips can be added.
- 1 cup toasted, chopped nuts of your choice can be added.
- Either addition will increase the the number of muffins.
- Freezing the cranberries will keep the muffins vibrant without turning an off color.
- Using paper liners for the muffin tins makes a softer, muffin that stays more moist. If baked directly in sprayed tins the muffins brown more quickly and have a sturdier outside to them. They don't stay fresh as long.