Growing up in New England, it’s only natural that my all time favorite muffin would be cranberry orange (with cinnamon apple as a close second). Unfortunately, the older I got the harder it seemed to be to find a delicious cranberry orange muffin. This could be because I moved to Texas and they may be less popular, or maybe they weren’t great sellers so my favorite coffee chain stopped selling them. Either way, I’ve finally put my foot down and decided to make my own Cranberry Orange Muffin Recipe.
This muffin is packed with bold flavors between the fresh tart cranberries and sweet and sour oranges. We use the juice and zest of the orange to get a ton of taste without the calories in this delicious but surprisingly low calorie recipe (only 162 calories per muffin!!!) and using fresh cranberries instead of dried gives the muffin extra tartness and lightness that will have you wanted to come back for seconds.
Here’s How to Make the Perfect Cranberry Orange Muffin (or any muffin, really):
- The Muffin Batter: Mix with restraint. The key to a perfect muffin batter is just getting it moist, lumps are ok (think pancake or waffle batter). When mixing, try to stay under 12 turns with the spoon. This will help give you a light fluffy muffin instead of a dense (but delicious) muffin.
- Timing: Don’t make the batter ahead of time. Make the batter when you are ready to make it.
- The Add Ins: Lightly coat the cranberries with 1 tbsp flour to help them stay suspended in the batter instead of falling to the bottom. This also works if you decide to add nuts to the batter.
- Change It Up: Recipes are all about being a guideline for you. Love nuts? Add some! Like orange but not a ton? Reduce the zest amount in half. This recipe is pretty forgiving for you to modify it as you like so you get your perfect muffin. Crazy for Cranberries? Add more. In terms of guidelines, this is what I recommend: For a very subtle orange flavor, the zest can be omitted completely but don’t modify the amount of orange juice, you can add up to a cup of walnuts without modifying anything else, and you can increase the cranberries to 1½ cups before it becomes too much.
- Start with the oven at a slightly lower temperature at 375°F and when you put the muffins in increase it to 400°F. This will help your muffins rise and give you a nice crispy muffin top.
- 2 cups all purpose flour plus 1 tbsp
- ½ cup sugar
- 2 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 cup fresh cranberries coarsely chopped
- 1 egg
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- 2 large oranges
- 1 tbsp course sugar Turbinado or Demerara (optional)
- Preheat oven to 375°F and line your muffin tins.
- In a smaller bowl, zest 1 orange with a fine grater, then juice the oranges until you have ¾ cups of orange juice. Whisk in egg and oil. In a larger bowl sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix just to moisten (keep it to no more than 12 turns with your spoon otherwise your batter will get tough). In a separate bowl mix cranberries with 1 tbsp flour then fold into the muffin batter.
- Fill muffin liners until about ¾ full. Sprinkle with course sugar if desired. Put muffins in the oven and increase temperature to 400°F. Bake for 16-18 minutes, until tops are lightly browned and an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Let cool for 5 minutes in tin then remove from tin to continue cooling. Enjoy!
Love this muffin recipe? Try out our Walnut Banana Bread Muffins next!