Classic Cranberry Orange Muffins are a must make breakfast during winter and the holiday season! This whole wheat version is tender, light, and loaded with cranberries, fresh orange zest, and cinnamon.
If I were to ask you what a classic muffin flavor is that’s most often made in winter, my guess is that you would say cranberry orange muffins. Fresh cranberries are readily available in fall and winter. And while oranges are available year round, they’re best during the colder months of the year.
Cranberry orange muffins are one of my favorites. I love the tart cranberries paired with sweet oranges. It’s the perfect balance.
There’s plenty of recipes out there for cranberry orange muffins. They can range from ultra sweet and more like dessert, too super healthy and maybe not quite what you imagine when you’re craving a muffin.
I like to think of my muffin recipe as something in between. The muffin is made with white whole wheat flour and uses a modest amount of maple syrup to sweeten it. I don’t think maple syrup is superior to sugar in muffin recipes, I just enjoy the flavor it adds.
Ingredients For Cranberry Orange Muffins
- fresh or frozen cranberries
- white whole wheat flour
- baking powder
- baking soda
- ground cinnamon and allspice
- vegetable oil, canola oil, olive oil or melted coconut oil
- maple syrup
- plain Greek yogurt
- vanilla extract
- orange zest
- pecans (optional)
How To Make Cranberry Orange Muffins
Start by combining the dry ingredients in one bowl and the wet ingredients in a slightly larger bowl. It should be big enough so that you can mix the muffin batter together easily.
For the cranberries you have two options. You can either cut them in half with a knife or if you have a food processor, pulse them until their in small pieces, sort of like roughly chopped nuts.
The advantage to using the food processor is that it’s faster and you don’t have the cranberries rolling all over your cutting board. I also think the finer chop with the food processor allows for a more even distribution of cranberries throughout the muffins.
Add the dry ingredients into the bowl with the wet and fold the batter together using a rubber spatula. Don’t over mix the muffin batter or they’ll be tough instead of tender and fluffy.
Add the cranberries and pecans to the batter and gently fold them in. The batter gets divided evenly into a standard 12 cup muffin pan. You can either spray the muffin pan with cooking spray or use liners. If you use liners I highly recommend going with parchment paper liners. The muffins won’t stick to them at all.
Before putting the muffins in the oven, sprinkle the top with raw (turbinado) sugar so that they have a nice crunchy sweet top. The muffins will bake at 400° F. for 18-20 minutes.
Test them for doneness by inserting a toothpick into the center of the muffin. If the toothpick comes out clean or with a few crumbs attached they’re done. Let the muffins cool for a couple minutes in the pan before removing them to cool completely on a wire cooling rack.
How To Freeze Cranberry Orange Muffins
- Let the muffins cool completely. They need to be completely cool because any warmth will create condensation and ice crystals in whatever you’re storing the muffins in.
- Place the cooled muffins in a single layer in an airtight container. You can also use a freezer bag. If you use a freezer bag, be sure to press all of the air out before sealing it. Place the freezer bag filled with muffins into a second freezer bag, again pressing out the air. This will help prevent freezer burn.
- Freeze the muffins for up 2-3 months. When you’re ready to eat one of the muffins, pull it out of the freezer and microwave it for 30-60 seconds or until it’s defrosted and warm.
More Of My Favorite Muffin Recipes
- Pear Ginger Muffins
- Lemon Zucchini Muffins
- Mini Chai Muffins with Vanilla Bean Glaze
- Cranberry Apple Carrot Muffins
- Pumpkin Pecan Muffins with Bourbon Maple Glaze
- 1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries, chopped (you can also use a food processor and pulse them for 10-15 seconds.)
- 2 cups white whole wheat flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/4 cup vegetable, canola, avocado, or olive oil
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon orange zest
- 1/4 cup chopped toasted pecans (optional)
- Coarse sugar (turbinado sugar) for sprinkling on top
- Preheat oven to 400° F. and line a standard 12 cup muffin pan with parchment paper liners.
- In a large bowl whisk together the eggs, oil, maple syrup, Greek yogurt, vanilla, and orange zest.
- In a second bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, allspice, and salt. Pour the dry ingredients in with the wet and use a rubber spatula to fold everything together. Be careful not to over mix the batter.
- Add the chopped cranberries and pecans into the batter and gently fold them in. Divide the batter evenly into the lined muffin pan then sprinkle the tops with coarse sugar.
- Bake the muffins on the middle rack of the oven for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with a few crumbs attached. Remove the muffins from the pan and let the muffins cool on a wire cooling rack.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 175Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 32mgSodium: 202mgCarbohydrates: 26gFiber: 3gSugar: 10gProtein: 6g
Nutritional information is an estimate. Please consult a registered dietician for the most accurate nutritional information.