Moist and full of fall flavors, these Dried Cranberry Orange Muffins are full of tart cranberries, zesty orange, and toasted pecans.
They’re fluffy, springy and tender and packed with robust fall flavors of cranberry, orange, pecans and a touch of cinnamon. The orange really brightens up the flavors and pairs well with the cinnamon. I love the intensity of flavor dried fruit gives bread. Cranberries have such a wonderful tangy tart flavor. There are plenty of cranberries and pecans in every bite because I hate a muffin that’s low on the good stuff.
Dried Cranberry Orange Muffins
These muffins are slightly sweet. For an extra dose of sweetness, I drizzled on a citrus glaze. You can easily adapt this to your taste. If you prefer a sweeter muffin, add the glaze. Or, if you choose, simply leave them plain.
To ensure these muffins were moist, I used I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter!® and Greek yogurt. You can substitute sour cream or buttermilk for the Greek Yogurt.
Don’t have buttermilk? Add one tablespoon lemon juice or white vinegar to one cup milk (whole, 2% or heavy cream will work). Mix and allow to stand at room temperature for 5 to 10 minutes. Mixture will thicken and contain small curdled bits. Use this mixture as you would buttermilk.
My family has a history of cardiovascular problems that’s why I use I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter!® in a lot of my recipes. It replaces butter, oil or shortening at a 1:1 ratio. I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter!® is made from real ingredients. It’s a delicious blend of plant-based oils which are, purified water and a pinch of salt. Plant-based oils are a source of both monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids, as well as a good source of omega-3 ALA. I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter!® available in grocery stores nationwide at a suggested retail price of $3.09.
Most notably, research has consistently shown that limiting saturated fat and replacing it with unsaturated, good fats from vegetable oils and foods that are mainly oils like spreads, nuts, and avocados may help reduce cardiovascular disease risk
Additionally, to ensure they were full of flavor, I added high-quality dried cranberries, fresh orange zest, and toasted pecans.
As well, to bring out the natural flavor in nuts, toast them. Toasting releases the oils and flavor, it makes a big difference.
This is the perfect flavors to serve for all breakfast and brunch. You may want to make them in mini muffin tins to serve for Tea or a ladies luncheon.
Finally, to get that bakery-style dome shape, cook muffins at a high temperature the first few minutes. For regular size muffins, you’ll want to bake for 5 minutes at 450° F, then lower the temperature to 350° F for the remaining time, usually 16 to 18 minutes. See notes in recipes below for mini muffins.
Dried Cranberry Orange Muffins
- 1/2 cup butter or I Can't Believe It's Not Butter, softened to room temperature
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup brown sugar light or dark
- 2 large eggs room temperature
- 1/2 cup Greek yogurt Sour cream, regular yogurt, or buttermilk can be substituted
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 and ¾ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoon orange zest
- 4 Tablespoons milk
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 and ½ cup dried cranberries
- 1 cup chopped pecans or any nut
- 1 cup confectioners' sugar sifted
- 3 to 4 tablespoons orange juice
- Toast nuts in a single layer in a saute' pan until fragrant.
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Spray a 12-count muffin pan with non-stick spray or line with cupcake liners. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, using an electric mixer, cream butter on high speed until smooth and creamy, about 1 minute. Add the granulated and brown sugars. Beat on high until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add eggs, yogurt, milk, and vanilla extract. Beat on medium speed for 1 minute, then turn up to medium speed until the mixture is combined and uniform in texture. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. Add in the orange zest and beat until combined.
- Spoon batter into prepared muffin pan. Fill to almost the top.
- Bake for 5 minutes at 425 degrees F, then lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees F and bake for 16 to 18 more minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Total cook time will be 21 to 23 minutes.Optional glaze:
- Whisk all glaze ingredients until smooth. Drizzle glaze over muffins and serve warm.
- For mini muffins, cook 4 minutes at 450 degrees F, reduce heat to 350 and cook another 8 to 10 minutes.