These light and buttery cranberry and orange muffins are a delicious autumn/winter flavour combination. Paired with warming spices like cinnamon and ginger, these Cranberry Orange Muffins are a tasty afternoon treat for the cold season and perfect with a cup of coffee.
Sweet dried cranberries with chunks of dark chocolate in a light and fluffy muffin that only take 30 minutes to cook. We added a little bit of orange juice to these cranberry muffins as the citrus just lifts it all and adds some extra natural sweetness of course.
We call these our Christmas muffins, but we would happily eat them all year round. Looking for some other festive recipes? Why not try our Christmas Tree Brownies, Christmas Cheesecake or Christmas Popcorn?
Why you will love them
- Full of festive flavour - Cranberries and orange just scream Christmas to us and these orange cranberry muffins are one of the first things we bake when the festive season comes round.
- Easy for kids to help make - Everything is just mixed into a bowl, making it easy for kids to do. This cranberry muffin recipe is perfect for some Christmas family baking.
- Just 223 calories a muffin - These are not huge muffins, and more like mini muffins, and just 223 calories a muffin.
- Adaptable - You can easily adapt these muffins by using different dried fruit and chocolate.
- All purpose flour - We have tried making this cranberry orange muffin recipe with wholewheat flour, and even a mixture of the two, but they were just too dense for our liking.
- Sugar - We used granulated sugar, although you could use a mixture of brown sugar and granulated for a richer flavour.
- Butter - Unsalted butter is best for this cranberry muffin recipe.
- Eggs - We used medium eggs in this recipe. If you use large eggs, it will change all the other amounts of ingredients.
- Greek yogurt - Keep these muffins lighter by using a 0% fat Greek yogurt.
- Vanilla - Use extract instead of essence, as you will have much more of a natural flavour.
- Baking powder and soda - These are used to increase the volume and lighten the texture of baked goods
- Cinnamon and ginger - These spices give the muffins a real Christmas feel. Feel free to adapt the amounts to suit your own tastes.
- Orange - We used the juice and the zest for a real burst of orange flavour.
- Milk - We used almond milk, but any milk would work in this recipe.
- Cranberries - We used dried cranberries, as that is all we could find at the time, but fresh cranberries would work in this recipe too.
- Chocolate chips - For an intense chocolate flavour, use dark chocolate chips. Milk or white would work too.
A full ingredients list with measurements is in the recipe card below.
How to make Cranberry Orange Muffins - Step by step
Prep: Preheat your oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas 6. Grease a 12 hole muffin tin.
One: In your stand mixer, or a large bowl, mix the butter and sugar together until creamy and well combined.
Two: Add the yogurt, eggs and vanilla and combine.
Three: Add the orange zest, orange juice and milk and mix gently.
Four: In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger and salt.
Five: Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix well.
Six: Add the cranberries and dark chocolate chips and mix well.
Seven: Divide the batter between the muffin tin and put in the oven for 30 minutes.
Eight: Once cooked, allow to cool on a wire rack.
Health benefits of cranberries
Cranberries are probably most well-known for their association in the management of urinary tract infections (UTIs). Fresh cranberries are very low in sugar, which contributes to their sour taste.
Cranberries are also a good source of vitamin C, E, K1, manganese, and copper.
One of our favourite ways to adapt these muffins with cranberries, and to take them to the next level, to top them with a cream cheese frosting. We mix together cream cheese, butter and icing sugar with a little vanilla and spread it on top of the muffins. Super indulgent, but delicious.
You could also drizzle some white chocolate on them for something a little indulgent, but with minimal effort.
You can also swap the cranberries for dried blueberries or cherries and use different chocolate chips if you like. Chunks of fudge also work well.
What to serve with Cranberry Orange Muffins
Any of the following drinks will go perfectly with one of these cranberry muffins:
- Cinnamon Mocha
- Healthy Pumpkin Spiced Latte
- Mocha Frappuccino
- Healthy Peppermint Hot Chocolate
- Slow Cooker Hot Chocolate
Our toddler LOVED these muffins, but they were a little bit too big for him. Not that he didn't give it a good go! You could easily make mini versions of these in a mini muffin tin so they were more toddler friendly. It would make them perfect for a kids party - something a little different.
Yes, you can use both. If you are using frozen, it is best to stir them in to the batter when they are still frozen. If they defrost first, they can become very watery.
You certainly can and I would highly recommend it as these tasty muffins are seriously moreish. Once a batch of these are out of the oven, it is hard to keep your hands off them.
Once they have cooled down, wrap them individually and then put them in the freezer. You can then take them out one at a time when you want once. Ideal for kids lunch boxes, or relaxing with a cup of coffee before you get the kids from school.
The most common reason this happens is because the flour isn't measured correctly, so always make sure you are measuring your flour. Also, make sure you don't overmix the batter because that will make the cranberry orange muffins too dense too.
You can store leftovers in an air tight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
• You could use fresh cranberries instead of dried, but it might change the texture a little.
• Don't overmix your muffins, otherwise you will end up with dense and heavy muffins.
• Don't open the oven when cooking the muffins, as they might deflate.
• When using dried cranberries, it is best to soak them first, as it makes them a little juicier.
• The dark chocolate chips in these muffins do make them sweet, but you could easily leave them out.
• Mix things up a bit and swap the cranberries for dried cherries or sultanas.
• Try using white chocolate chips instead of dark.
• Add a few extra cranberries to the top of the muffins to make them look more presentable.
• To make these gluten free, you could use almond flour, however it would make them a little dry.
More dessert recipes
If you’ve tried this orange muffin recipe, then let us know how you got on in the comments below.
Tag us in your creations on Instagram @hungryhealthyhappy - You can use the hashtag #hungryhealthyhappy too.
Cranberry Orange Muffins
- 220 g Plain flour
- 115 g Butter
- 120 g granulated sugar
- 2 Eggs
- 120 g 0% Greek yogurt
- 2 teaspoon Vanilla extract
- 0.5 teaspoon Sea salt
- 1 teaspoon Baking powder
- 1 teaspoon Baking soda
- 0.5 teaspoon Cinnamon
- 0.5 teaspoon Ground ginger
- 1 Orange - (zest and juice)
- 3 tablespoon Almond milk - (you can use any milk though)
- 100 g Dried cranberries
- 50 g Dark chocolate chips
- Preheat your oven to 200°C/390°F and grease a 12 hole muffin tin.
- In a stand mixer, or a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar together until creamy and well mixed.115 g Butter, 120 g granulated sugar
- Add the yogurt, eggs and vanilla and combine.2 Eggs, 120 g 0% Greek yogurt, 2 teaspoon Vanilla extract
- Add the orange zest, orange juice and milk and mix gently.1 Orange, 3 tablespoon Almond milk
- In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger and salt.220 g Plain flour, 1 teaspoon Baking powder, 1 teaspoon Baking soda, 0.5 teaspoon Cinnamon, 0.5 teaspoon Ground ginger, 0.5 teaspoon Sea salt
- Pour the wet ingredients in to the dry ingredients and mix well.
- Add the cranberries and dark chocolate chips and mix well.100 g Dried cranberries, 50 g Dark chocolate chips
- Divide the batter between the muffin tin and put in the oven for 30 minutes.
- You could use fresh cranberries instead of dried, but it might change the texture a little.
- When using dried cranberries, it is best to soak them first, as it makes them a little juicier.
- The dark chocolate chips in these muffins do make them sweet, but you could easily leave them out.
- Mix things up a bit and swap the cranberries for dried cherries or sultanas.
- Try using white chocolate chips instead of dark.
- To make these gluten free, you could use almond flour, however it would make them a little dry.