Cranberry Orange Muffins

Cranberry Orange Muffins-1-32I’m convinced that one of the most important factors that makes a home more cozy and inviting than the smells that waft through each room. That’s why “scents” are a big business – candles, diffusers, air fresheners, potpourri, and probably lots of others things that make your car and home smell good. You know what’s the most guaranteed way to make your home smell incredible? Bake some of these amazing Cranberry Orange Muffins. They won’t hold a candle to any of the scent products available:). Seriously though, it will only take you 15 minutes to whip up the muffins and soon after you put them in the oven you will see what I mean. Citrus is one of my favorite scents in general and it works as a wonderful aromatic in cooking and baking too. Cranberries are plentiful this time of year and they go so well with the flavor of orange. The tart berries are a great addition to the tender muffins.

In Russian, this recipe would be called “palochka viruchalochka” (палочка выручалочка) or “magic wand”. It doesn’t really sound right in English, but basically it means that whenever you need something wonderful and fast, you wave your magic wand and “voila”, you have transformed your home into an inviting abode for all who enter. Don’t you just love those recipes? Whenever you want a special treat for your family or maybe you have expected guests arrive for a cup of tea, take out the muffin pan and start baking. The muffins are just heavenly when they are still warm. How about including this on your next brunch menu? You will be the hero of everyone who bites into this muffin.
Ingredients:

1 cup cranberries, fresh or frozen

3/4 cup (12 Tablespoons) butter, softened

1 1/4 cups sugar (plus 2 Tablespoons for the cranberries)

1/4 cup orange juice

1-2 teaspoons orange zest

3 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

Instructions:

Cranberry Orange Muffins-1-19Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Coat muffin pans with non-stick spray, or use paper liners.

Cut the cranberries in half and toss with 1-2 Tablespoons of sugar and set them aside. If you place the cranberries whole into the muffins, they will be very, very tart.

Cranberry Orange Muffins-1-27In a standing mixer with a paddle attachment, or using a hand mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.

Cranberry Orange Muffins-1-21Add the orange juice, orange zest, eggs and vanilla. Mix to combine, scraping down the sides of the bowl a few times with a rubber spatula.

Cranberry Orange Muffins-1-22

Cranberry Orange Muffins-1-23The mixture will look curdled at this point. Don’t panic. It will all work itself out as soon as you add the dry ingredients. Cranberry Orange Muffins-1-24In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder and salt together. Add the dry ingredients to the batter and mix to combine, just until the flour is mostly incorporated. Do not over mix.

Cranberry Orange Muffins-1-25

Cranberry Orange Muffins-1-26Add the cranberries to the batter and mix to combine with a spatula.

You can also use frozen cranberries instead of fresh. You don’t have to thaw the berries, but I would still halve them and toss with sugar. Instead of using fresh cranberries, you can also use dry cranberries. If cranberries aren’t available, you can also add some dark chocolate, chopped dry apricots or walnuts instead.

Cranberry Orange Muffins-1-28Divide the batter evenly among the prepared muffin tins. Cranberry Orange Muffins-1-29

Cranberry Orange Muffins-1-30Bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 min.Cranberry Orange Muffins-1-31

Cranberry Orange Muffins-1-33

Cranberry Orange Muffins-1-34

Cranberry Orange Muffins
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Sweets
Serves: 12 muffins
Ingredients
  • 1 cup cranberries, fresh or frozen
  • ¾ cup (12 Tablespoons) butter, softened
  • 1¼ cups sugar (plus 2 Tablespoons for the cranberries)
  • ¼ cup orange juice
  • 1-2 teaspoons orange zest
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1½ cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Coat muffin pans with non-stick spray, or use paper liners.
  2. Cut the cranberries in half and toss with 1-2 Tablespoons of sugar and set them aside. If you place the cranberries whole into the muffins, they will be very, very tart.
  3. In a standing mixer with a paddle attachment, or using a hand mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  4. Add the orange juice, orange zest, eggs and vanilla. Mix to combine, scraping down the sides of the bowl a few times with a rubber spatula.
  5. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder and salt together. Add the dry ingredients to the batter and mix to combine, just until the flour is mostly incorporated. Do not over mix.
  6. Add the cranberries to the batter and mix to combine with a spatula.
  7. Divide the batter evenly among the prepared muffin tins. Bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 min.
Notes
You can also use frozen cranberries instead of fresh. You don't have to thaw the berries, but I would still halve them and toss with sugar. Instead of using fresh cranberries, you can also use dry cranberries. If cranberries aren't available, you can also add some dark chocolate, chopped dry apricots or walnuts instead.

40 Comments

  • Natasha

    How much cranberries do you need for these muffins ?
    I didn’t see it in the ingredients.
    Thank you! Can’t wait to make them.

  • Elizabeth S.

    Oh, thank you! I think these will hit the spot. We used to make these for Thanksgiving but I haven’t been home for Thanksgiving in quite some time. And I am all about the “aromatherapy” these days. Putting it on my grocery list!

  • Mila

    These muffins look wonderful! Cranberry-orange combo is my favorite for quick breads, and I am so with you on the scent being the best thing to “cozify” the house. I would definitely file them under dessert with the given amount of butter and sugar though 🙂 Yummy treat! For every day snack muffins, I found buttermilk works wonders in keeping them moist without too much added fat.

  • Tallya Kuzmin

    Hi Olga. I made these today but they rose way over the top and spread out. Were delicious but looked very sad and stuck together. I used a standard2 cupcake pan. Any ideas?

  • Diana

    I love this recipe, have been making this muffins since i saw it on Laura in the kitchen, she has exact recipe… and the house smells awesome, anything citrus and vanilla is a hit in my family! =)

      • Diana

        The reason I mention her is you never know you may end up being next Laura in the kitchen only Russian/ Ukrainian version lol =))
        I like your work on the blog a lot. I don’t know if you realize but at least on my end I know a bunch of people using recipes from the blog. Thank you. =)

  • Mommy

    Made these twice this week and making another batch tomorrow for a mommy who just gave birth. Super tasty and easy to make. These taste like scones to me. I added the minimum amount of sugar to the cranberries and I think they turned out perfect. Thanks Olga.

    • olgak7

      I’m sorry to hear that, Natasha. I have no idea why that could have happened. I’ve been making these muffins for years and have never had any issues with them. I wish I could help:(.

      • Elizabeth S.

        I was just coming to comment the same thing! Not a big deal at all, but I was suddenly comparing mine (I took a pic) to yours and yours are all fluffy-looking! Could be the mixing, the leavening, the oven temperature…not sure since I made mine a month or so ago. Still delicious and colorful, though!

  • Scrumptious

    These muffins came out look great just like the photo! They smell SO good and they taste even better! Thank you Olga for the great recipe!

  • Scrumptious

    I tried three of your recipes during this Holiday Season: Roasted duck with apples, Medovik, Chocolate Truffle Cake and Orange Muffins. ALL of them were a success! Thank you so much!

  • Tanya

    Hi Olga, awesome recipe. I have a request. Would you please post a recipe of bran muffins (with berries possibly). You are my go to for baked goodies and I REALLY love bran muffins. There is this coffee shop I go to and they have these amazing marionberry bran muffins and I’d love to have something like that baking in my kitchen.

  • Valentina

    Interesting. I just made these and had the same issue as some of the above. You know how there’s cupcakes that have a fluffy round top and look perfect and then there’s those that have a flat top and interesting texture? Well that’s how these turned out. I made sure to follow the instructions carefully and not to overmix them but don’t know what happened. But the smell is amazing and they taste delicious.

    • olgak7

      These cupcakes do have a very unique texture. Just like not all cakes are sponge cakes, but some are more dense, others have a shortbread texture, plus there’s cheesecakes and custard cakes, there are different types of cupcakes too. I hope you enjoyed this version too, Valentina.

    • olgak7

      I don’t recommend it, Vicki. Whenever you use leavening agents, (baking powder, baking soda), they start doing their job as soon as they mix with the liquid ingredients, so they will not be as fluffy and won’t rise when you bake them the next day.

  • Alena Pish

    Hi Olga! I’ve made these muffins in the past and absolutely love them! Any recommendations if I try substituting flour with almond flour instead?

    • olgak7

      I’m so glad you enjoyed the muffins, Alena.
      I don’t have any idea about substituting almond flour. I don’t have any experience with gluten free baking.

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