These soft, warm cranberry muffins feature both sweet and tart flavors with a mouthwatering citrus orange glaze on top. They’re the perfect seasonal breakfast and a healthier option during the holidays when super sugary cookies and pie can be found everywhere!
I especially enjoy baking these muffins around Thanksgiving and Christmas, but you can really make them any time using your favorite seasonal fruits (dried, fresh or frozen). They make an excellent grab-and-go snack when you’re on the run.
If you have leftover cranberries after making these muffins, use them to whip up my incredible Cranberry Orange Scones, Easy Cranberry Oatmeal, Maple Roasted Cranberry Oatmeal or these awesome Low-Carb Cranberry Thumbprint Cookies!
Fresh cranberries also freeze really well. If you can’t get to them right away, place them in a Ziploc bag and freeze for 8-12 months.
How To Make Cranberry Muffins
- All-purpose flour — Unbleached.
- Coconut sugar — Regular, refined sugar will also work. I prefer coconut sugar because it’s less processed.
- Leavening agents — Baking powder and baking soda.
- Salt — Just a touch for extra depth and complexity in flavors!
- Unsalted butter — Or vegetable oil. You can also use salted butter in a pinch, if you go this route use less added salt.
- Coconut milk — Or milk of choice (both dairy and non-dairy options can be substituted).
- Eggs — For extra flavor and fluff.
- Vanilla extract — Pure vanilla extract has the best flavor, but imitation will work fine.
- Fresh cranberries — I LOVE using fresh cranberries in this recipe because they’re so juicy and delicious. However, you can use dried or frozen fruit if cranberries are not in season.
- Glaze topping — Confectioners’ sugar and orange juice. You can also add orange zest if you would like.
- Don’t forget to preheat your oven! Set it to 350°F.
- Add paper liners to a 12-count muffin tin or coat it lightly with non-stick cooking spray.
- Rinse cranberries, pat them dry and set aside.
Combine dry ingredients:
- Measure flour, coconut sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt into a mixing bowl. Whisk until ingredients are well combined.
Combine wet ingredients:
- Add melted butter, coconut milk, eggs and vanilla extract to a separate bowl. Whisk vigorously.
Add dry ingredients to wet:
- Pour dry ingredients into wet and fold everything together gently. Be careful not to overmix as this can result in tough/dry muffins.
- Fold in your fresh cranberries.
Portion batter and bake:
- Evenly portion your batter into each cavity of the muffin pan. A spoon will work fine, but you can use a large cookie or ice cream scoop to speed things up, if desired.
- Bake muffins for 25-30 minutes. Once a toothpick comes out clean, they are done!
- Place your pan on a wire rack and allow muffins to cool (in the pan) for approximately 10 minutes.
Make orange glaze:
- While muffins cool, whisk orange juice and confectioners’ sugar together in a small sauce pan or bowl.
- Generously drizzle glaze over muffins and enjoy!
- For proper measurement, you should use a spoon and scoop flour from its storage container into your measuring cup. Once overflowing, level flour off with a knife. Sticking a measuring cup directly into your container can cause a packing effect, resulting in too much flour and dry muffins.
- Don’t overmix your batter. Fold gently until wet and dry ingredients are just barely incorporated, it’s okay if the batter is a little bit lumpy. Overworking the ingredients can make your muffins tough rather than soft and fluffy.
- For a lower carb and calorie muffin, use a 1 to 1 sugar replacement like Swerve.
- Feel free to swap fresh blueberries or strawberries for cranberries, if desired. You can also use dehydrated or frozen fruit options.
- Add a bit of cinnamon to your batter, if desired! A dusting of nutmeg would also be delicious.
- Whenever possible, I prefer to use fresh orange juice for my muffin glaze. However, bottled will definitely do the trick.
How To Store Leftover Cranberry Muffins
- To Store: Allow leftovers to cool and place them in an airtight container or Ziploc bag. Muffins will last for 3 days at room temperature or up to a week in the refrigerator.
- To Freeze: These muffins are also freezer friendly! Store them frozen for up to 3 months. When you’re ready to eat, defrost in the refrigerator or on the countertop. You can also microwave for 30-60 seconds.
More Muffin Recipes
In the mood for muffins? Be sure to check out these tasty recipes:
- Almond Flour Pumpkin Muffins
- Low-Carb Chocolate Muffins
- Gluten-free Carrot Muffins
- Blender Banana Oatmeal Muffins
- Cauliflower Muffins Recipe
- Breakfast Egg Muffins Recipe (Web Story)
Frequently Asked Questions
It’s not necessary to pre-cook cranberries before adding them to these muffins. Fold your fresh, uncooked cranberries directly into the muffin batter and they’ll cook in the oven!
Absolutely! Dried cranberries will work fabulously in this recipe, though I definitely prefer the taste of fresh. Other dried fruits can also be substituted.
The best thing to make if you have a ton of leftover cranberries? In my opinion, it’s Cranberry Orange Sauce! If you make these muffins and still have a lot of leftovers, you can make and freeze this sauce and keep it for the holiday season next year.
For the Orange Glaze
- 3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
- 3 tbsps orange juice
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a muffin tin with paper liners. Rinse cranberries and pat them dry, set aside.
- In a large bowl add flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix all together.
- In another bowl, add the melted butter, coconut milk, eggs, and vanilla extract. Stir everything together until well combined.
- Pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and slowly mix with a whisk. Add the cranberries and fold to combine. Avoiding overworking your batter as this could result in tough or dry muffins.
- Divide the batter among the prepared muffin cups. It’s about two tablespoons per muffin cup. The dough will be a bit thick, but it will work perfectly.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the tops of the muffins are set and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Place the pan on a wire rack and let the muffins cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Then, make the glaze by whisking the glaze ingredients together. Drizzle over warm muffins. Enjoy!
- For proper flour measurement, scoop flour from its storage container into your measuring cup and level with a knife.
- Use pure vanilla extract, if possible. Imitation will work but pure has the best flavor.
- Don’t overmix your batter.
- For a low sugar muffin, Use a 1 to 1 sugar replacement like Swerve.
- You can swap fresh blueberries or strawberries for cranberries. Dry and frozen fruit also work.
- Add a bit of cinnamon or dusting of nutmeg to your batter, if desired!
- Whenever possible, I prefer to use fresh orange juice but bottled will work.
- To store: Store the muffins in the fridge for up to a week or on the counter for 3 days. Make sure they’re in an airtight container.
- To freeze: You can freeze the muffins for up to 3 months.
Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.