Cranberry Orange Muffins

Total Time:
55 min
30 min
25 min

12 muffins

  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened, plus more for preparing the muffin tin
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange zest
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar, plus up to 1 tablespoon for topping the muffins, if desired
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup milk
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Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Put the cranberries and orange juice in a small saucepan, and bring just to a simmer over medium heat. Remove berries from the heat, and set aside to cool and plump. Drain off any excess liquid and set aside.

Lightly brush a 12-muffin tin with butter. Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt into a medium bowl and set aside.

In a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or with an electric hand-held mixer in a large bowl, cream the butter, orange zest, and 2/3 cup sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Remove the bowl from the mixer.

Fold the flour in 3 parts into the butter mixture, alternating with the milk in 2 parts, until just combined. Fold in the cranberries. Do not over mix. Divide the batter evenly into the muffin tin and sprinkle the tops with sugar. Bake until golden brown, about 25 minutes. Cool muffins in the pan on a rack. Serve warm.

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    i loved them
    Great recipe! I did make a few adjustments though. I simmered the cranberries in 1/2 cup of orange juice instead of 1/4 of a cup. This worked well as the cranberries absorbed all of the extra juice. I also used about 3 or 4 tablespoons of orange zest which deffinitely kicked up the orange flavor. Finally I added about a tablespoon of cinnamon to the flour mixture. I would also be careful about the baking time because my muffins were down after 20 minutes, and an extra five minutes in the oven would have really dried them out.
    I love it, it was simple and easy to follow. This one's a keeper!
    Agree w/those who said the muffins are good but needed more orange flavor and some cinnamon and/or nuts. I took some as a gift and my friends raved - I don't think they were bad but did need some additions. I left the OJ in too.
    Orange flavor is lacking. The muffins are kinda bland. I use suggestions and put the orange juice from the cranberries into the mixtue. Making another batch now. Going to try to lessen the milk and put more OJ. Also, add walnuts and cinnamon for additional flavor. I also only cooked them for 20 minutes and they are super moist. Good easy recipe just needs a few extra ingredients.
    The orange flavor does not shine through...needs much more orange zest and perhaps an Ora ge glaze. Needs tweaking. Just ok
    I thought they were good! I did not discard the orange juice after, but added it to the batter. I found them to be moist, but I also only baked them 20 minutes. They could have benefitted from chopped walnuts or pecans, and maybe a little more orange zest.
    Not quite 5 stars but better than 4. After softening the cranberries, I did not discard the juice. I left it in, hoping to avoid the dryness mentioned by others. Added 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon. Used fresh squeezed orange juice.  
    I thought these muffins were very tasty and had a nice firm texture.
    A little dry, but overall pretty good. Crumbles easily...
    I sprinkled chunky decorative sugar over the tops before baking. They looked amazing but I was disappointed that they were so dry. I'll have to play with the recipe to try to fix that.
    i justtt made them, eating one right now and i must say they taste pretty good.i wish i could make them like a bit crunchier on top but other than that they are amazing!!! and i would personally use less cranberries maybe a little more than half a cup or else its too sweet i guess and maybe 2 table spoons of orange zest and 3/4s cup of OJ. and i made the first 6 without sour cream and vanilla and the last 6 with a dollop of sour cream and about 1/2 tea spoon of vanilla. i also added a table spoon of oil and a little bit more butter and they came out pretty moist. overall i was happy with my muffins
    The flavor is good... I added twice as much zest. However, they are on the dry side. Next time I make them I will use more oj and add sour cream, as stated below.
    Fab!!!!! Used Buttermilk and added a handful of chocolate orange wasn't the best so didn't put in the zest but still the best muffins a have baked so far!!!!!!
    Love the tart flavors in this one. Pair it with some orange marmalade for a nice breakfast
    The best cranberry orange muffins not from a mix we have ever had. However I did change a few things. I omitted the salt and used salted butter, added a teaspoon of vanilla, omitted the milk and just used orange juice in its place, omitted the orange zest and added 1/3c. of pureed sweet potatoes. That helped with the color of the muffins. I also used 1c. of frozen cranberries instead of the dried, I just folded them in at the end. Next time I might add a little more OJ just a little dry. Otherwise, delish!!!!!!
    My rating is contingent upon a few changes. As a lot of others have noted, they are a bit dry and a little bit bland, so here's what I did: 
    -Simmered the dried cranberries in 1/2 c. Orange Juice (and did not drain 
    -1 T. Orange zest 
    -1/4 c. Sour Cream extra 
    -1/4 c. Brown Sugar extra 
    -1 t. vanilla 
    With these changes they were great and I'll definitely make them again! Maybe even with more orange zest next time :
    These muffins are good straight out of the oven with a pat of butter. I followed another person's post and added some ginger, which was a nice touch. However, they weren't as moist as I would have hoped.
    Made these as part of a holiday brunch. I have tried these with fresh and dried cranberries. I have mascerated them in orange liquor (Gran Marnier) and orange juice. That works better with dried, yet I prefer the flavor of fresh, so its a coin toss. There are so many recipes for this type of muffin, and I think I will go back to my old standby's-- Martha Stewart and a Junior League recipe I've had for 20 years.
    I used real cranberries that were steeped in simple syrup and then soaked in orange juice. Kept the 1/4 cup orange juice, and used an extra 2 tbsps, in place of the milk. Great texture. Light and fluffy. The only thing I would change is to use dark brown sugar instead of white, for a bit denser batter. Will make again.
    The revisions posted by NULL (see 8/27/2009) were FANTASTIC! I read through all the comments and reviews and decided to go with the revisions posted. The only thing I did was reduce the amount of ginger since I was using ground ginger and not minced ginger. The muffins were moist, aromatic and just delicious. Be sure to double your recipe so that you can have some for yourself! These won't last! Delicious!
    I made it the first time exactly the same way the recipe called, they were good, but not orangy enough. The second time I made them, I doubled the amount of orange zest and instead of using milk I used orange juice.... they were GREAT! Next time, I'll use real cranberries or frz ones to give the cranberries more "freshness" to them. Overall great muffins!
    This was excellent. I don't measure exactly I have to admit, so I'm sure I used a little more butter than called for in the recipe, and I didn't have any fresh oranges, so I just used regular old oj instead. These were awesome. I have no need to try another cranberry orange muffin recipe. This one's it!
    I took the advice of many of the commenters and made a few changes to this recipe. They were such a hit, I almost didn't get any! Here's what I did.

    Used 1 cup white flour and 1 cup whole wheat flour
    Frozen cranberries instead of dried, still soaked in OJ (if they're still frozen microwave them in the OJ for 10 seconds)
    Zest of a whole orange.
    Pour in the leftover OJ (from the cranberries) after the flour mixture and milk are in.
    I used stoneware muffin try with cupcake papers. Upped the orange juice to 1/2 cup. Omit salt and use regular salted butter. Use 1 TABLESPOON
    This recipe is good but the muffins seem to be lacking a little flavor. More orange zest or fresh (or frozen) cranberries would help.
    I tried this recipe for my blog without reading the reviews first. I followed it exactly and they turned out great! I put a little less zest, so they're not orangy, but the cranberries are great! They were not dry. I also used my kitchen aid mixer to fold in the flour and milk and it still turned out great. We'll have to see how they do overnight in a zippy bag, I guess. I plan on having them for breakfast before work!
    I *LOVE* this recipe! I followed it exactly - let the eggs come to room temp and folded the flour in (do *not* use the KitchenAid for that). The dough is like biscuit dough, not like cake batter.

    The only thing I did a little differently was add a tablespoon of orange zest instead of a teaspoon. That zest really makes the muffin. I used Pam to spray the muffin tins instead of butter to be sure it wouldn't burn. Seriously awesome muffins - PERFECT for Christmas morning brunch!
    Good recipe. After mixing in the flour and milk, I thought it might be a little dry, but all turned out well. Thanks!
    I read many of the reviews and took provisions to keep muffin from being dry. Well, it wasn't dry but taste just horrible. It was very floury tasteing. Also, maybe to much baking powder. DONT WASTE YOUR TIME ON THIS ONE !
    I took your comments and updated the recipe. I doubled the amount of milk and steeped the orange zest and 3T of minced ginger in the milk for extra flavor and a little spice. I also added 1/4 cup unsweetened macerated coconut because i had it in my pantry. Last, I changed the mixing method. Instead of creaming the butter, I used melted butter to produce a denser muffin-like texture. Hope you like it!

    1 cup dried cranberries
    Juice from two oranges
    Zest from two oranges
    3T minced ginger
    1 cup milk
    2 cups all-purpose flour
    2 teaspoons baking powder
    ? teaspoon salt
    ? cup macerated unsweetened coconut
    2 large eggs
    2/3 cup granulated sugar, plus more for topping
    ? cup butter, melted and cooled

    Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

    Put the cranberries and orange juice in a small saucepan and bring just to a simmer over medium heat. Remove to a small bowl and set aside to cool and plump. In the same saucepan, bring milk to simmer with the zest and ginger. Remove from heat, cover, and set aside to steep.

    Lightly brush a 12-muffin tin with butter. Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt into a large bowl. Stir in coconut and set aside.

    In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs and sugar together. Whisk in melted and cooled butter. Fold in the steeped milk and plumped cranberries.

    Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients and fold until just combined. Fill muffin tins 3/4 full and sprinkle the tops with sugar. Bake until golden brown, about 25 minutes. Cool muffins in the pan on a rack. Serve warm.
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