Light and moist apple cranberry muffins, studded with fresh or frozen cranberries and topped with an apple slice and turbinado sugar. A great Fall treat!

Cranberry Vanilla Muffins

These apple cranberry muffins are one of my favourites. They are a wonderfully light muffin, with a great vanilla flavour, lots of cranberries for tart bursts of flavour and a topping of apple and turbinado sugar. They are perfect “coffee break” muffins and great for Fall baking!

Ingredients and Substitutions

Cranberries – You can make these muffins with either fresh or frozen cranberries. Since cranberries keep so well in the freezer, I always have some on hand to make a batch of these. If using frozen cranberries, no need to thaw. Use the cranberries from frozen, but allow a few extra minutes of baking time.

Apple – the slice of apple on the top is a nice flavour addition. You can use any type of apple you have on hand. I think a red-skinned apple looks nice.

Recipe Tips

If you like, feel free to add a bit of peeled chopped apple to the muffin batter, as well.

These muffins bake a quite a high temperature, which is great for getting them to rise up nice and light, but it also means that you’ll want to check on them between 18-20 minutes in to baking and probably loosely lay a piece of foil over-top to prevent them from over-browning for the last 5 minutes of baking.

Cranberry Vanilla Muffins

Making Ahead, Storing and Freezing

These cranberry muffins keep well for a couple of days, stored in an airtight container. These muffins also freeze well.

cranberry muffins in muffin tins

Get the Recipe: Apple Cranberry Muffins

Delicious, light cranberry muffins, flavoured with vanilla and studded with fresh cranberries. Topped with an apple slice and turbinado sugar.
5 stars from 10 ratings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Yield: 8 muffins


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, spooned and levelled
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup salted butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup + 2 Tablespoons white granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla, or vanilla bean paste
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen whole cranberries
  • 1 small apple, cored, unpeeled and sliced to thin slices
  • Turbinado or coarse sugar, for sprinkling


  • Preheat oven to 425 F. (not fan assisted) Line 6-8 muffin cups with paper liners and set on a baking sheet.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl with an electric mixer or the bowl of a stand mixer, add the butter and white sugar and beat well for about 2 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beating well between additions. Add vanilla and beat to combine. Add flour mixture, a bit at a time until all added, then add sour cream. Fold in cranberries by hand.
  • Scoop batter in to muffin cups. Top with a slice of apple, then sprinkle generously with turbinado sugar.
  • Bake in pre-heated oven for 18-20 minutes, then check. If already golden enough, loosely lay a piece of aluminum foil over-top. Continue baking another 5 minutes, or until a tester inserted in the centre comes out clean. *Muffins made with frozen cranberries will take a few minutes longer to bake.
  • Remove muffins from muffin tin on to a cooling rack to cool.


Be sure to read the notes above this Recipe Card, where I share more tips on making this recipe!
Cuisine: American, Canadian
Course: Snack
Serving: 1muffin, Calories: 371kcal, Carbohydrates: 55g, Protein: 6g, Fat: 15g, Saturated Fat: 9g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 4g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 82mg, Sodium: 238mg, Potassium: 218mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 29g, Vitamin A: 487IU, Vitamin C: 3mg, Calcium: 81mg, Iron: 2mg
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