Cranberry Orange Muffins

Simply Perfect Cranberry Orange Muffins

Exactly what you expect when you crave cranberry orange muffins! These Simply Perfect Cranberry Orange Muffins are light and fluffy, lightly sweet and chock full of fresh cranberries!

Happy Saturday! If you’re in the mood for a little weekend baking, you can’t go wrong with these Cranberry Orange Muffins. These are just the latest in a growing collection of “Simply Perfect” recipes here on Seasons and Suppers. The recipes that get this special title are my go-to recipes, that just deliver a simply perfect and satisfying result every time.

These muffins are exactly what I think of when I think of cranberry orange muffins. They are light and fluffy, chock full of fresh cranberries and lightly sweet. On top is a sprinkling of sugar, for a lovely bit of crunch.

Make these muffins with either fresh or frozen cranberries. Here in Canada at least, frozen cranberries are regularly found with the frozen fruit these days, so we can enjoy these lovely muffins any time of year.

Simply Perfect Cranberry Orange Muffins

Cook’s Notes for Simply Perfect Cranberry Orange Muffins

The muffins shown are the large size (yield of 10). You can make them regular size by dividing the batter between 12 cups, if you prefer.

Be sure you don’t overmix your batter when you add the wet ingredients to the dry. Stir just until any traces of flour disappear.

You may notice that I am essentially making “homemade buttermilk” when mixing the lemon juice with the milk ahead. So yes, you could substitute buttermilk in the recipe. The reason I go this route is that it allows me to use whole milk, whereas buttermilk is just 1% base. So the lemon brings the tang of buttermilk, with a more substantial milk.

You can use fresh or frozen cranberries here. If using frozen, do not thaw. Toss in 1 tsp of flour before adding to the batter to keep them from clumping together.

If you have empty muffin cups, be sure to fill the empty cups 3/4 full with water before putting your muffins in the oven. This will ensure that your muffins bake evenly.

If you only have dried cranberries, you can use them here (though it’s hard to replace the lovely tart fresh ones!). For dried cranberries, plump them by soaking in very hot water for 10 minutes, then drain and pat dry well. As dried cranberries are sweetened, you may wish to reduce the amount of sugar in the recipe by a few tablespoons.

Simply Perfect Cranberry Orange Muffins

Cranberry Orange Muffins

Simply Perfect Cranberry Orange Muffins

Course: Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: muffins using fresh cranberries, muffins using frozen cranberries
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 10 muffins
Energy: 335 kcal
Author: Jennifer

Light and fluffy muffins, that are flavoured with orange zest and juice and studded with lots of fresh cranberries. Can be made with fresh or frozen cranberries. 



  • 1/2 cup milk whole milk recommended
  • 1 1/2 tsp lemon juice
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp fine table salt
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 1/4 cups white sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • Zest of one orange about 1 Tbsp
  • 1 tsp vanilla or vanilla bean paste
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries

For topping:

  • 2-3 Tbsp white sparkling sanding sugar demerara sugar, turbinado sugar or white sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 425F (220C) Spray a 12 cup muffin tray with baking spray or line with paper liners. Set aside.
  2. Add lemon juice to milk. Stir and let stand 5 minutes.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together well the flour, baking powder and salt.
  4. *If using frozen cranberries, do not thaw. Toss with 1 tsp flour before adding to batter. Starting with frozen cranberries will add 5-8 minutes to your baking time.
  5. In a medium bowl, whisk together the milk/lemon juice, the vegetable oil, sugar, eggs, orange juice, vanilla and orange zest. Add the wet mixture to the dry ingredients, mixing just until combined and no flour is visible. Fold in the cranberries.
  6. Divide the batter amongst the 10-12 muffin cups (10 for large muffins, 12 for regular muffins). Sprinkle tops generously with sugar.
  7. Bake at 425F (220C) for 5 minutes, then reduce the oven temp to 375F (190C) and bake for another 13-16 minutes if you started with fresh cranberries or 18-22 minutes if you started with frozen cranberries. Bake until lightly golden and a tester inserted in the middle comes out clean.

  8. Remove from oven and allow to cool in the pans. Remove from pans and store in an airtight container.

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    • Hi Isabella, you could. I would simply increase the orange zest, replace the orange juice with equal amount of water and omit the vanilla.

  • These look awesome! Just the perfect cranberry muffin, which is great this time of year. I haven’t worked much with fresh cranberries but this might be an awesome recipe to give a shot with em! Plus your directions seem very easy to follow and super thorough, thanks for sharing!

I love hearing from you, so if you have a question or something isn't quite clear, I'm happy to help. If you made this recipe, I'd love to know how you liked it ~ Jennifer

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