Bakery-Style Cranberry Orange Muffins

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Light and fluffy Bakery-Style Cranberry Orange Muffins. This delicious cranberry muffin recipe is filled with bright and citrusy flavors from fresh orange zest and juice, and tart juicy cranberries all topped with generous amounts of turbinado sugar. 

A real treat during the holidays, these impressive bakery-style orange muffins are made with fresh or frozen cranberries. They are very soft, fluffy, and almost cake-like with the perfect sparkly tops and bright and tart flavors!

Orange cranberry muffin sliced in half on a table.

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I’ll receive a commission if you purchase through my links, at no extra cost to you. Please read the full disclosure here.

There’s just something about bakery-style muffins. They are just so delicious, and soft, with beautiful domed tops and plenty of sparkling sugar. These homemade muffins taste like the ones I would get from the bakery section of Central Market (a store similar to Whole Foods) but they are super easy to make at home, and cheaper too!

Cranberry orange muffins have all the flavor of your favorite bakery but are simple enough to make whenever you are craving a sweet snack!

Enjoy these bakery-style cranberry muffins with a hot cup of coffee or tea for breakfast, as a snack on the go, to serve during the holidays, or simply as an after-dinner treat. 

Recipe Ingredients

Orange Zest and Juice – The fresh orange zest helps to add bright citrus flavor to the muffins. The orange juice adds more flavor and helps to keep these muffins light, fluffy, and moist. 

Fresh or frozen Cranberries – The tart berries complement the sweet and citrusy orange. Feel free to use either fresh or frozen cranberries. Whichever you have on hand will work great for this recipe!

Milk – I love using milk in baked goods because it helps them to be extra moist!

Dry ingredients – all-purpose flour, baking powder, salt. Gives a nice rise and crumb texture to the muffins.

Butter – creamed with sugar to give the muffins a soft and tender texture.

Cane sugar – for sweetness. Can also use regular white sugar instead.

Large egg – use a room-temperature egg so everything binds together more easily.

Vanilla extract – gives an extra hint of delicious flavor.

Demerara or turbinado sugar (raw sugar)- The key to a nicely browned bakery-style muffin is to top them generously with either demerara or turbinado sugar before baking. These chunky sugar crystals help to brown the top of the muffins as they cook and make the perfect crispy crunchy sparkling top. 

How to Make Cranberry Orange Muffins

All ingredients, measurements, and instructions are in the recipe card at the bottom of this post.

Step 1. Preheat the oven to 375F degrees and line the cupcake pan with regular or tulip cupcake liners, then set aside. 

Step 2. Mix together the dry ingredients – all-purpose flour, baking powder, and salt.

Step 3. In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter, orange zest, and cane sugar. Then mix in the egg and vanilla extract. 

Step 4. Alternate folding in the flour mixture and the milk. Then mix in the orange juice, don’t over-mix. 

Step 5. Fold in the cranberries. 

Step 6. Fill the cupcake liners ¾ of the way with the batter, then top generously with demerara or turbinado sugar. 

Step 7. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted comes out clean. 

Step 8. Allow the muffins to cool on a wire rack, enjoy!

Recommended Tools

Nonstick muffin pan

Tulip cupcake liners

Large mixing bowl

Microplane

Wire rack

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you have to cook cranberries before baking?

It depends on the recipe and the taste and texture you are going for. For this recipe, all you need to do is throw the berries into the batter before baking. 

Can I use frozen cranberries instead of fresh ones?

Of course! You can use fresh or frozen cranberries for these muffins. There’s no need to thaw them before using.

Can you freeze fresh cranberries?

Yes, freezing fresh cranberries is a great way to preserve them if you have too many on hand. 

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orange muffins with cranberries

Bakery-Style Cranberry Orange Muffins

Light and fluffy Bakery-Style Cranberry Orange Muffins. This delicious recipe is filled with bright and citrusy flavors from the orange zest and juice, and tart juicy cranberries all topped with generous amounts of turbinado sugar. 
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Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 12 muffins
Calories: 197kcal
Cost: $15

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup butter unsalted, or 1 stick
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup milk
  • ¼ cup orange juice
  • 1 ½ cup fresh or frozen cranberries
  • Demerara or turbinado sugar for topping

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and line a cupcake pan with regular or tulip cupcake liners. Set aside. 
  • In a medium-sized bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter, orange zest, and sugar until it is light and fluffy, 2 -3 minutes. Then add in the egg, and vanilla extract, whisk until smooth. 
  • Add in ⅓ cup of the flour mixture, then milk, alternating. Then mix in the orange juice. Now gently fold in the cranberries.
  • Fill the cupcake liners 3/4 of the way up, and top each muffin with a generous amount of demerara or turbinado sugar. 
  • Bake for 20 - 25 minutes or until the muffins are lightly golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Allow the muffins to cool on a wire rack. Enjoy!

Notes

Store the muffins in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for a week or in the freezer for several weeks. 
You can reheat them in the oven for a few minutes.

Nutrition

Calories: 197kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0.3g | Cholesterol: 36mg | Sodium: 240mg | Potassium: 69mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 14g | Vitamin A: 299IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 67mg | Iron: 1mg

All nutrition information is automatically generated and should be only used as a rough estimate. This recipe card may contain affiliate links.

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