These are the best orange cranberry muffins ever! They are super tender, fluffy, and moist with a sweet and tart flavor. They are topped with a delicious brown sugar streusel topping that gives them extra sweetness and crunch!
They’re the fluffiest muffins and you are going to love them! These are genuinely some of my favorite muffins. They are similar to my popular blueberry muffins and banana blueberry muffins and blackberry muffins have the same soft, buttery flavor.
The cranberry and orange complement each other perfectly too. I use this combination when making my orange cranberry cornbread and it’s so delicious! The tartness of the cranberries is a wonderful contrast to the sweet muffin and streusel topping.
This is a great recipe for Thanksgiving, Christmas morning, brunch, or a winter snack when cranberries are in season! I love the pop of color the cranberries add! I’m covering everything you need to know and a step-by-step guide for making the best muffins.
Why this recipe works:
Table of Contents
- Incredibly Moist and Tender Muffins – We use oil, butter, and buttermilk to give these muffins a super tender, fluffy texture.
- Sweet and Tart – The tangy, tart cranberries and sweet batter are a match made in heaven.
- Streusel Topping – It’s an extra step, but there is nothing better than a crunchy streusel topping! It brings the muffins to the next level and we use extra orange zest to give them a vibrant flavor.
- One Bowl – This recipe is made in one mixing bowl, making it super easy to whip up.
How to Make Orange Cranberry Muffins
These muffins are made in one bowl, no electric mixer is required!
You’ll need a few items to make these:
- Measuring Cups and Spoons
- Muffin Pan and Muffin Liners
- Mixing Bowl and Spatula
- Cookie Scooper
- Cooling Rack
The full recipe is in the recipe card at the bottom of the post.
This recipe uses simple ingredients that you can find at your local grocery store.
All-purpose flour – this is the best type of flour to use in muffins. You could also use whole wheat flour, but I find that all-purpose gives the best results. See our guide to properly measure flour when baking.
Baking powder – This is used as a leavening agent to help the muffins rise. Always check the date on the baking powder for freshness.
Salt – Enhances the flavors in the recipe.
Eggs – Use large, organic eggs when possible.
Sugar – This recipe uses granulated white sugar in the muffin batter and brown sugar in the topping.
Vanilla extract – This adds flavor and also enhances the flavor in all of the ingredients
Buttermilk – Makes the muffins super tender and moist. You could make your own buttermilk using milk and lemon juice.
Unsalted Butter – Melted butter is added to give the muffins a buttery flavor and super moist texture.
Vegetable oil – This helps keep the muffins moist. You can also use canola oil, sunflower oil, or coconut oil.
Fresh cranberries – Use fresh cranberries when making these muffins. Fresh cranberries are available at your local grocery store during cranberry season.
Orange zest – This adds all of the orange flavor and fragrance to the muffins.
6 Steps to Make Orange Cranberry Muffins with Streusel Topping
- Preheat your oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit and line a muffin tin with cupcake liners.
- Combine the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl and the wet ingredients in a large liquid measuring cup.
- Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry and fold to combine.
- Fill each muffin cup 3/4 of the way full
- Mix together the streusel topping and add to the top of the muffins.
- Bake for 10 minutes or until golden brown and then let them cool.
Easy Streusel Topping
Every muffin needs a streusel topping, it’s the icing on the cake! The best part is, it’s so easy to make.
Simply add flour, brown sugar, orange zest, and melted butter into a bowl and mix with a fork until the mixture crumbs.
Sprinkle it over the cupcake batter and then bake to perfection!
Expert Tips for Making Fluffy Muffins
- Do not over-mix the batter. Over-mixing will result in tough muffins. The batter should have lumps in it.
- Be sure to use fresh cranberries and orange zest for the best flavor.
- Use natural vanilla extract and real butter for the best taste.
- Use the toothpick method to test if the muffins are done.
- Always use good quality, organic ingredients when possible.
- Check the dates for freshness on all of the ingredients before using them.
- To make your own buttermilk, add 1 tablespoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice to 1 cup of milk and let it sit for 5 minutes.
- No worries if you don’t have paper liners. Spray each cupcake tin and the top of the pan with cooking spray and they will come out easily when baked.
How to Store Muffins
These muffins will stay fresh for 2-3 days when stored in an airtight container at room temperature. When you want to reheat them, I recommend popping them in the microwave for 20 seconds. This will help to keep them moist and soft!
How to Freeze Muffins
You can also freeze them for up to 2 months. Place them in a ziplock bag that is tightly sealed. For an even fresher muffin, you can wrap them individually with plastic wrap and then add them to a freezer-safe bag. Make sure to write the date on the outside of the bag.
When you want to thaw them, let them sit on the counter for 30 minutes or place them in the fridge overnight. You can also reheat them from frozen by placing them in the microwave for 30-45 seconds.
Frequently Asked Questions
The streusel topping is made with brown sugar, flour, orange zest, and butter. Simply mix these ingredients together and then sprinkle them on top of the muffins before baking.
The secret to a good muffin is not to over-mix the batter and to use fresh, high-quality ingredients. Over-mixing will result in tough muffins, so be sure to mix the batter just until combined. Use good quality ingredients, don’t overfill, and never over-bake.
For this recipe, we prefer that you use fresh cranberries. Frozen cranberries are the next best if you can’t find fresh and absolutely have to use something else. However, you may need to add a few extra minutes of baking time.
Muffins are classified as quick bread. This means that they are made with a leavening agent (baking powder or baking soda) and do not require yeast. Muffins are similar to cupcakes, but usually do not contain as much sugar. They are often made with fruit, nuts, or chocolate chips and are intended to be eaten for breakfast or as a snack.
When to Serve Cranberry Orange Muffins
These muffins are perfect for breakfast, brunch, or a snack. They also make a great gift! We love to make them during the holidays and they make a wonderful after-school snack.
These muffins are perfect on their own, but you can serve them with butter or even leftover cranberry sauce too!
More Festive Cranberry Recipes
Let us know what you think!
There you have it, the best orange cranberry muffins you will ever eat! Be sure to follow the tips above for perfect results every time.
If you make this cranberry orange muffin recipe, please let us know your thoughts by leaving a comment and review below.
Easy Orange Cranberry Muffins
Orange Cranberry Muffins
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 4 tbsp unsalted butter , melted
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 2 cups cranberries, fresh
- 3 tbsp orange zest
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 6 tbsp granulated sugar
- 6 tbsp brown sugar
- 8 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees and prepare a muffin tin with paper liners.
- In a mixing bowl, add the flour, salt, sugar, and baking powder in a mixing bowl and whisk with a fork.
- Combine the wet ingredients, eggs, vanilla extract, butter, buttermilk, oil, orange zest, and sugar in a bowl and mix until combined.
- Gently fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients using a spatula.
- Mix just until the dry ingredients are moistened, not fully mixed until smooth. The batter should have lumps in it.
- Add in the cranberries and just barely mix until coated in batter.
- Prepare a cupcake tin with paper liners and fill 1/4 cup of batter in each.
- In a small bowl combine the streusel ingredients and then crumble 2-3 tbsp over the top of each muffin.
- Bake in a 425-degree oven for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown.