Orange Cranberry Muffins – These light, fluffy cranberry muffins are packed with fresh cranberries and bright citrus flavor. (Gluten Free & Dairy Free, too!)
Sometimes, a person just needs a really good baking project.
Sunday baking has become a sort of unofficial tradition at our house, whether that means a treat (cookies, endless rounds of brownies, gooey scotcheroos, etc.), some rosemary focaccia for dinner, or something fun for a slower-paced breakfast.
These light, fluffy orange cranberry muffins are one of our most recent projects and we’ve been eating them on repeat ever since. They’re perfect for a holiday breakfast, weekend brunch, or a fun fall baking project. The ingredients are pretty simple and straightforward, but they’re packing BIG flavors and gorgeous colors you won’t want to miss.
Before we dive into the cranberry muffin recipe, I just need to tell you these orange cranberry muffins are AMAZING paired with a dollop of leftover cranberry sauce or a smear of honey butter (or cinnamon honey butter!). Good? Ok, let’s dive in!
WHAT’S IN ORANGE CRANBERRY MUFFINS:
LOTS OF FRESH ORANGE FLAVOR. Just like in our Triple Berry Muffins, I use a combination of orange zest and orange juice for LOTS of bright, fresh orange flavor. If you don’t have a fresh orange to zest, just know the orange flavor will be less pronounced (you may want to increase the cinnamon or vanilla to compensate).
MILK. You can use whatever you drink. We’re dairy free, so unsweetened almond or cashew milk are my go-to’s. Rice milk, oat milk, dairy milk, etc. will all work!
AVOCADO OIL + HONEY + EGGS + VANILLA. The rest of our wet ingredients really play up the orange and cranberry flavors and give these a light, delicious texture that’s SO AMAZING fresh out of the oven!
GLUTEN FREE FLOUR BLEND. I make my orange cranberry muffins gluten free using a measure-for-measure gluten free flour blend. My two favorites are this one from King Arthur Flour and this one from Bob’s Red Mill. (If you’re not GF, see the FAQ!)
BAKING POWDER, SODA, SALT, CINNAMON. I finish up the dry ingredients with plenty of light, fluffy puffiness and just enough salt and cinnamon to round things out and give these a holiday feel. (Like more cinnamon? Add more!)
FRESH CRANBERRIES. Fresh cranberry season is the perfect time to make these orange cranberry muffins! I love them with fresh cranberries best, since they don’t make the muffins quite as wet. In a pinch, you *can* use frozen cranberries. (See the FAQ for more details!)
A LITTLE COARSE SUGAR. IF you want to send these over the top, sprinkle on a little coarse turbinado sugar before baking. It only takes about 1/2-1 Tbsp. for the whole recipe, but that delightful crackly crunch on top makes it seem like you got these orange cranberry muffins from a bakery.
FAQ + TIPS FOR PERFECT ORANGE CRANBERRY MUFFINS
LET’S TALK MUFFIN PANS! If you like some nice browning along the edges, you’ll probably be happiest with a metal muffin pan + parchment muffin cups. If you like super easy clean-up, we love these silicone muffin pans. (After the first 1-2 uses, they’re completely nonstick and don’t require liners or spray! The edges don’t brown as much, but the clean-up couldn’t be easier!)
CAN I USE FROZEN CRANBERRIES INSTEAD OF FRESH? Yes, though they will affect the texture somewhat. Don’t thaw them before using, and know that the muffins will be slightly more wet and dense.
HOW DO YOU STORE ORANGE CRANBERRY MUFFINS? They’ll be okay for a day or so in a bag on the counter, but they’ll keep 3-4 days in the refrigerator and at least a month in the freezer. You can reheat them in the oven, toaster oven, or even microwave!
I’M NOT GLUTEN FREE. CAN I MAKE THESE WITH REGULAR FLOUR? Yes! I made my orange cranberry muffins using a gluten free measure-for-measure substitute, meaning you’d use the same amount of white flour.
CAN I USE ALMOND FLOUR OR COCONUT FLOUR INSTEAD? Neither almond nor coconut flour are a direct substitute for gluten free flour, and unless you play with the ratios of liquid to flour, the muffins will not turn out the same. I don’t recommend them for this cranberry muffin recipe.
LOVE THESE MUFFINS? MAKE IT A MEAL WITH ONE OF THESE OTHER FAVES…
- BLT Quiche
- Gluten Free Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins
- Paleo Mini Quiche
- Orange Triple Berry Muffins
- Superfood Blueberry Pomegranate Smoothie
HELPFUL FOR THIS RECIPE:
These light fluffy muffins are packed with fresh cranberries and bright citrus flavor. They’re perfect for the holidays! (Gluten free & dairy free)
- Zest of 1 orange (about 1–2 tsp.)
- 1/4 cup orange juice (from the orange, or from a carton)
- 3/4 cup milk (we like unsweetened almond or cashew milk)
- 1/3 cup avocado oil (or another neutral-tasting oil)
- 1/3 cup honey (can sub agave or maple syrup)
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 2 cups gluten free measure-for-measure flour blend
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 1/4 tsp. baking soda
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/4–1/2 tsp. cinnamon
- 1 1/2 cups fresh cranberries*
- 1/2–1 Tbsp. coarse Turbinado sugar (sometimes sold as Sugar in The Raw)
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- Line a muffin pan with parchment muffin cups or grease to prevent sticking.
- In a 2-cup measuring cup or small bowl, combine orange zest, orange juice, and milk. Stir to combine and let the mixture rest for at least 2-3 minutes while you prep your other ingredients.
- Add avocado oil, honey, eggs, and vanilla to the orange/milk mixture, and whisk until smooth.
- In a large bowl, combine gluten free flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Whisk to combine.
- Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until mixture is just combined and there are no large powdery spots left (some small lumps are fine).
- Add cranberries to the batter and gently fold in, to combine. (If desired, reserve a few cranberries for the top of your muffins to make them extra pretty).
- Scoop the batter into 12 muffin cups (muffin cups will be full). (Add any reserved cranberries to the tops of the muffins and gently press into the batter, if desired)
- Sprinkle the tops of the muffins with turbinado sugar.
- Bake at 400 degrees F for 17-20 minutes, or until the muffins are puffed and golden.
- Remove from the oven and let cool 1-2 minutes in the muffin pan before transferring to a cooling rack.
*You can substitute frozen cranberries, if needed. Keep them frozen (don’t thaw) when adding to the muffin batter.
- Category: Muffins, Breakfast, Brunch
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: Cranberry muffins, orange cranberry muffins, gluten free muffins, gluten free cranberry muffins, gluten free orange cranberry muffins, dairy free muffins