Cranberry Orange Muffins

January 17, 2012 by Ali

Growing up, my family absolutely loved cranberry-orange bread. All of the goodness of sweet cranberries, paired with that yummy citrus zest and loads of glorious carbs — it was always a definite crowd-pleaser! The only tiny downside was that this deliciousness came from (ahem) a box mix.

So when I had a cranberry-orange craving last week, decided to make some cranberry-orange muffins from scratch! Sure enough, found a quick recipe online that didn’t even require me to pull out the mixer. It was a basic muffin recipe with a handful of cranberries plus lots of delicious orange zest thrown in. And then (the best part) you dip the muffins once they have baked in a fabulous sweet orange glaze.

Honestly, these required little more time together than the box mix. So quick and easy! And my friends agreed that they were super tasty!! Definitely a fantastic recipe for a small loaf of bread, or a dozen quick muffins. Look forward to making this old favorite with the new recipe again soon!

Cranberry Orange Muffins

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 18-24 muffins


    Muffin Ingredients:
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. finely grated orange zest
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup (half stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 3/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)
  • Glaze Ingredients:
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. finely grated orange zest
  • 1/4 cup orange juice (freshly squeezed from the orange you zested, if you would like)


To Make The Muffins:

Preheat the oven 350 degrees. Grease a muffin pan or prepare with baking cups; set aside.

Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl; set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk the egg until combined, about 20 seconds. Add the sugar and whisk until the mixture is thick and thoroughly combined. Stir in the orange zest until evenly distributed. Slowly whisk the vanilla and butter into the mixture until combined. Add half the sour cream, whisking until just combined, repeat with the remaining sour cream.

Add the flour to the sour cream mixture and fold with a spatula until the batter comes together. Add the cranberries (and nuts, if using) and continue folding the mixture until the berries are evenly distributed. Do not overmix.

Evenly divide the batter in between the cups of the muffin pan (about 3 tablespoons of batter per cup). Bake for 20-23 minutes, or until light golden brown, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Transfer the muffins to a wire cooling rack and allow to cool for 5 minutes before glazing.

To Make The Glaze:

While the muffins are baking, combine 1/2 cup of the sugar and orange zest in a bowl until the zest is evenly distributed; set aside.

In a small saucepan set over medium heat, combine the remaining sugar (1/4 cup) and the orange juice, bring to a simmer. Stir occasionally to dissolve the sugar and continue simmering until the mixture becomes syrupy.

Generously, brush the tops of the muffins with the orange glaze. Once all of the muffins are glazed, dip the top of each muffin into the orange sugar, being sure to cover the top of each muffin. Serve warm.

Ali’s Tip:

These are heavenly when also paired with my favorite Crustless Spinach Quiche!


Adapted slightly from Bakingdom.

About Ali

Ali Ebright is a freelance recipe developer and food writer/photographer, and blogs at Gimme Some Oven and Gimme Some Life. She also loves all things music, traveling near and far, actually making things from Pinterest, cozying up with a good book and her sweet pup, Henry, and spending time with a wonderful group of friends. Come say hello and follow Ali on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ & Instagram.

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15 thoughts on “Cranberry Orange Muffins

  1. I found your recipe via a google search yesterday and made these muffins last night and brought in for my co-workers today. They were a huge hit! Thank you!!! I used fage 2% instead of sour cream and it was perfect. I am also going to use the base muffin recipe next time and instead of the sugar, vanilla, etc. do sharp cheddar, jalapenos, and some hot sauce for a savory muffin.

    - Peninna

  2. Cut down on the sour cream by 1/2 cup… Batter was a little stickier but the muffins were incredible! I’ve been searching for a good, simple cranberry-orange muffin recipe and this is perfect :)

    - Kayla

  3. “1/4 orange juice”

    1/4 what?

    - Abby

  4. Mmm, I just made these. They are so delicious!

    - Liz

  5. This recipe was amazing! The muffins were very moist and full of flavor. I accidentally bought light sour cream and you couldn’t even tell!

    - Stephanie

  6. Cranberry orange is one of my favorite flavor combinations!

    - Autumn@Good Eats Girl

  7. These look yummy! I’d love one with a morning cup of coffee!

    - Kathy

  8. Oh these look so yummy! I was debating whether I should try them out tonight but as soon as I read “sweet orange glaze” I was hooked. Gonna go try them right now!

    - Marilla

  9. They look so moist! I love cranberry-orange flavors together!

    - Cassie

  10. Yum, these look great and I have all the ingredients handy! I need to stock my freezer for a kitchen overhaul and these are now on the list, can never have too many muffins :)

    - Anna @ hiddenponies

  11. It must be muffin day! :-D I just posted a whole wheat blueberry muffin recipe. Yay muffins! These look fantastic!

    - Caroline @ chocolate and carrots

  12. I want one – right now!

    - Ali's Mom

  13. These sound full of citrusy flavor- perfect for this time of year!

    - Blog is the New Black