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.
I love cranberries so much I made a coffee cake and energy bars with them. My Simmering Potpourri has all the same flavors, they smelled similar while baking, which I thought was funny.
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
Want to save recipes? Create an account or login & then you can use the “Save Recipe” button when viewing a recipe to save it to your Recipe Box. You can access your saved recipes on any device and generate a shopping list for recipes in your collections.Save To Your Recipe Box Go to your saved recipes
- 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.
- In a different bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Add the dry ingredients and mix slowly . Fold in the cranberries and pecans.
- 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.
Karen Gulutz says
Great, next time I will use more orange zest and less nuts, maybe 1/2 cup.
These are the very best cop muffins I’ve ever tasted and I’ve made dozens of different recipes over the years. Follow the recipe exactly and don’t deviate (which I am wont to do from time to time ^^ ) and you won’t be disappointed. I’ve learned a few tricks also regarding room temperature ingredients especially what room temperature butter actually is and high to low temperature to get that (ever-elusive) dome top! Excellent thank you so much!
The muffins are delicious. I followed the recipe as given, and it yielded 24 mini-muffins plus six medium-sized muffins–a bonus! This recipe is definitely a keeper.
I made these and they were fantastic! Thank you for sharing this recipe, I will save it and use again!
Made these for the first time today – they turned out perfectly! I used real butter and sour cream since I was out of yogurt, and I didn’t have quite enough orange zest. I ended up using a tablespoon or two of fresh orange juice in the mix to boost the flavor. The glaze was perfect, too. As a baker who has highs and lows of success, these were a true winner.
I baked these and they turned out terrific!
Took some to work to share, one of my colleagues said they were the best muffins she’d ever had!!
Thank you so much for a great recipe.
I like a more complex spoce profile so I so in addition to the cinnamon, I also added 1/4 tsp cloves and 1/4 tsp allspice.
I did have a slight issue with the liquid mixture, after creaming butter and sugar things looked great, then I added the yogurt and it honestly looked curdled, no amount of mixing could make it combine. I guess it was too cold against the room temp butter, sugar and eggs? Anywho, I scraped it down and kept going. Yurned out Light and fluffy and delicious!!
Can I use Almond Silk or Almond Breeze?
Can I use soak dried fruit with brandy.
Yes, what a way to start the day 🙂
Sandra Bacigalupo says
🙂 I agree!
Donna Krumme says
Hi Paula! I just made these and they look (and smell) wonderful. I noticed in the recipe directions it doesn’t say when to add the milk and cinnamon…I just added the milk alternately with the flour mixture but you might want to make that part of the recipe clearer! Thanks!
OH, thank you Donna, I’ll take a look at it right now!
Joanne Loughran says
I would like to know if I can use cranberries that are not dried but frozen. Have to use some up. These muffins sound absolutely delicious.
Yes, you can. Substitute the same amount and no other substitutions should be necessary. That variation sounds wonderful!
Kelly - Life Made Sweeter says
These muffins look incredible, Paula! Love the cranberry and orange combo – so perfect for this time of year!
Nancy P.@thebittersideofsweet says
I love to eat muffins for breakfast! The combination of cranberry and orange goes so well together!
Lisa @ Cooking with Curls says
Wow, those look delicious Paula!! I love all of the flavors, and I will definitely need the glaze! 😉
Paula I love the flavors in these. They look so good and they are perfect for fall.
Claire @ A Little Claireification says
Love seeing the cranberries!! These sound wonderful. And now I am so hungry. lol
Ashley | Spoonful of Flavor says
That drizzle looks amazing! These are just what I need to make for Saturday brunch!
Sarah @ The Gold Lining Girl says
Lol! “Low on the good stuff” – Agreed! I don’t skimp on add-ins either! Bring on lots of pecans and cranberries! These look fabulous and I adore an orange glaze. Thanks for sharing these!
Julie | This Gal Cooks says
We are on a cranberry making missing this week, or something. Or we just like cranberries! These look GOOD, Paula!
These were delicious!
Thanks, Jala! I’m always nervous taking food somewhere!
Loving the flavors in these muffins, how perfect for this time of year!
Thanks so much Matt!