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Cranberry Orange Muffins

Published on: November 17, 2019
Cranberry Orange Breakfast Muffins

One of my favorite things about fall is cranberries. The slightly bitter flavor works nicely in both sweet and savory dishes so I tend to use them a lot this time of year. But, my favorite way to use them is in baked goods, like these Cranberry Orange Muffins. I think they are just perfect on a cool, crisp fall morning!

I remember my Mom making a cranberry orange nut bread that we would have Thanksgiving morning. She could make it ahead and then have an easy but delicious breakfast that was perfect for Thanksgiving.

I still make that bread, but since there are just 2 of us, muffins work better. We can have one or two and then I wrap the rest individually and freeze them. Just take them out and warm them up when you’re in the mood. I tend to have 1 or 2 varieties in my freezer at any given time and they are a nice treat for rushed mornings.

For these, I used dried (Craisins) and soaked them overnight in orange juice to soften them up. They are a little sweeter than fresh and soaking them added a delicious orange flavor.

Not wanting to waste the orange juice, that was now cranberry flavored and had a beautiful ruby color, I decided to make a syrup out of it and drizzle it over top of the muffins.

That syrup added so much flavor! It’s one more step but I would recommend not skipping it. You can store the syrup in the refrigerator for a week or two if you don’t use it right away.

I think these are the perfect treat when you don’t want a heavy breakfast but want something a little extra special.

Do you have a breakfast tradition on Thanksgiving morning? Tell me about it below and if you make these, let me know what you think!

Cranberry Orange Breakfast Muffins

Cranberry Orange Muffins

Sweet and zesty muffins that are perfect for a chilly fall weekend morning.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Soaking time 8 hours
Total Time 8 hours 40 minutes
Course Breakfast
Cuisine American
Servings 12 muffins
Calories 170 kcal


  • 12 cup muffin tin


  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1-1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 3 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 Tbsp orange zest
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup 2% milk
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter melted and cooled
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 tsp salt


  • The night before making the muffins, place the cranberries in a small glass bowl and cover with the orange juice. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator.
  • Preheat the oven to 400F. Butter a 12 cup muffin tin, or line with paper liners.
  • In a large bowl, combine flours, baking powder, sugar and orange zest.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs until well blended. Stir in milk and melted butter.
  • Mix liquids into the dry ingredients until just combined. Don't over mix – there will still be lumps in the mixture and that is okay!
  • Drain cranberries, reserving the juice in a small saucepan.
  • Gently stir cranberries into the muffin mixture.
  • Using a 2 oz. scoop or large spoon, spoon batter into each muffin cup. Top with chopped walnuts.
  • Bake for 20 minutes in the preheated oven. Remove and cool on a wire rack.
  • While the muffins are baking, heat the reserved orange juice to a boil and boil gently until reduced by half to make a syrup. Brush the orange syrup over the muffins as soon as you remove them from the oven.


Nutrition Information (per muffin)
Calories – 170
Total Fat – 7g
Saturated Fat – 3g
Carbohydrates – 23g
Fiber – 2g
Sugar – 8g (4g added sugars)
Protein – 5g


Calories: 170kcal
Keyword Cranberry, Muffins, Orange
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
5 from 1 vote (1 rating without comment)

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Laura M. Ali, RD holding a bowl of pomegranate seeds

Hi! I’m Laura!

I love to cook and share simple tricks and tips to make healthy meals taste delicious.

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