Cranberry Orange Muffins are moist and tender muffins with a delightful combination of sweet and tangy flavors from cranberries and oranges. A turbinado sugar topping adds a touch of crunch and extra sweetness to each delicious bite! Enjoy one with your morning cup of coffee, as a snack, or as a dessert. You will also love my Cranberry Orange Star Bread! And, with cranberries in season, try my Cranberry Banana Muffins, too!

Cranberry Orange Muffins on a Table Next to Cranberries from Overhead.

Ingredients & Substitutions

Room Temperature Ingredients: Room temperature ingredients (specifically butter, sour cream, milk, and egg) are important here to prevent lumps in this muffin batter.

Orange: After zesting the orange, squeeze juice out of it for freshly squeezed orange juice.

Cranberries: I used fresh cranberries for the muffins. However, you could also use frozen cranberries that have not been thawed. If you let the frozen cranberries thaw, they will bleed into the batter and not hold their shape.

Turbinado Sugar: I sprinkled a little bit of turbinado sugar on the tops of each muffin before baking them. Turbinado Sugar is a sugar that falls between granulated sugar and light brown sugar in both color and flavor. It has a yellowish-brown color and with some molasses content left in the turbinado sugar (which gives it the color), it will provide a slight butterscotch flavor and has larger and coarser grains. If you can’t find turbinado sugar, you can use granulated sugar for the topping of the muffins.

Adding Turbinado Sugar to Cranberry Orange Muffin Batter in Muffin Pan.

Can I Use Dried Cranberries In The Muffins?

Yes, you can use dried cranberries instead of fresh or frozen cranberries. However, you will want to use fewer dried cranberries when compared to fresh or frozen. Generally, you would use about half of the amount of dried cranberries as to fresh. (But, adjust the amount to your liking.) In addition, using dried cranberries will result in a slightly different texture in the muffins.

Can I Add Nuts Or Other Mix-Ins To The Muffins?

Absolutely! Although the muffins are flavorful and delicious as-is, you can certainly add various mix-ins to customize their flavor and texture. Try adding nuts like chopped pecans, walnuts, or almonds. Or, mix in semi-sweet or white chocolate chips for a sweet addition

One Cranberry Orange Muffins in the Pulled Down Wrapper with a Bite Removed.

How To Store Cranberry Orange Muffins

There are a few ways to properly store muffins.

  • Room Temperature: Because they are best enjoyed at room temperature, this is usually the recommended way to store them. I use a larger sealable plastic bag or an airtight container to store the muffins in a single layer. Some folks recommend adding a piece of paper towel to the bottom so that it will soak up any condensation. If your muffins are properly cooled before storing, this may not be necessary. However, if using an airtight container, I will often add a piece of bread to the container, torn in half, and fit in between the muffins. The bread will soak up moisture as well. They are best enjoyed within 2-3 days.
  • Refrigerator: (Refrigeration, in general, dries out baked goods faster so a typical muffin recipe shouldn’t be refrigerated.) Place in a sealable plastic bag or airtight container and then place into the refrigerator. They should keep for up to 5 days. To reheat, remove from refrigerator and pop into the microwave for 10 seconds or just allow muffin to come to room temperature naturally, about 15 minutes.
  • Freezer: Place cooled muffins into a freezer-safe sealable plastic bag or a freezer-safe airtight container and pack as closely as possible without crushing. Remove as much air as possible. Label with date and recipe name.
Cranberry Orange Muffins on a Table Next to Cranberries from Overhead.
5 from 1 vote

Cranberry Orange Muffins

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Cranberry Orange Muffins are moist and tender muffins with a delightful combination of sweet and tangy flavors from cranberries and oranges. A turbinado sugar topping adds a touch of crunch and extra sweetness to each delicious bite! Enjoy one with your morning cup of coffee, as a snack, or as a dessert!



  • ¾ cup (150 g) granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup (½ stick / 57 g) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • ½ cup (115 g) sour cream, room temperature
  • ½ cup (122.5 g) whole milk
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1 ½ cups (187.5 g) all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 ½ cups (150 g) cranberries, fresh or frozen (unthawed), divided
  • 1 tablespoon turbinado sugar, for topping, divided



  • Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a muffin tin with liners. This recipe yields 9 muffins.
  • To the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, add the sugar and butter. Cream together until light and fluffy. Then add sour cream, milk, egg, orange zest, and orange juice. Beat until combined.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  • With the mixer on low, add the flour mixture and mix until combined.
  • Gently fold in 1 cup cranberries.
  • Pour the batter just to the top of each lined muffin cup. Top with reserved cranberries and sprinkle about ¼ teaspoon of turbinado sugar on the top of each muffin.
  • Bake for 20-22 minutes. The muffins are done when an inserted toothpick comes out clean with a few crumbs, but no wet batter. Let the muffins cool completely.


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What the Test Kitchen had to say about this recipe:


Give me all of the cranberry orange recipes! I love how these two flavors really blend together to give you a delicious and tart treat. The turnbinado sugar gives the muffin a nice sweet crunch!


I love the texture of these muffins, and both the orange and cranberry flavors really shine through in each bite! One of these muffins is the perfect way to start your day!


Fresh burst of tart cranberries in this subtle orange sweet muffin. It is the perfect combination of flavors!


The sweet and tart flavors in this muffin make each bite a little more enlivening!


The tartness of the cranberries really gives these a complex flavor that I adore! They're soft and sweet, with a burst of flavor from the cranberries!


A nice soft muffin with a tart burst of flavor from the cranberries. They are not too sweet which is perfect for a muffin. I also think they are beautiful with the turbinado sugar on top and the gorgeous berries.

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Meet Amanda Rettke

Amanda Rettke is the creator of I Am Baker, and the bestselling author of Surprise Inside Cakes: Amazing Cakes for Every Occasion – With a Little Something Extra Inside.Over the course of her 15+ year blogging adventure, she has been featured in and collaborated with the Food Network, New York Times, LA Times, Country Living Magazine, People Magazine, Epicurious, Brides, Romantic Homes, life:beautiful, Publishers Weekly, The Daily Mail, Star Tribune, The Globe and Mail, DailyCandy, YumSugar, The Knot, The Kitchn, and Parade, to name a few.

Reader Comments

  1. Thank you Amanda! Could you please tell me how I can make this recipe to make a dozen? I would love to make a big batch for my coworkers 🙂

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