This easy muffin recipe is perfect for Christmas breakfast or all year round! Cranberry Orange Muffins with a hint of orange and a crumb topping are just like your favorite coffee shop baked goods but even better.
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Easy Muffin Recipe
What’s a more quintessential holiday breakfast pastry than a Cranberry Orange Muffin? Okay, maybe cinnamon rolls. I’ll give you that.
But there are times when you want a seasonal pastry that’s a little less sweet with something tart to get you going in the morning. These Cranberry Muffins are just the thing.
You can make this easy muffin recipe for Christmas breakfast, holiday parties, morning meetings or anytime you want to put a smile on someone’s face.
If you only make ONE muffin recipe this holiday season, make it Cranberry Orange Muffins!
Cranberry orange muffins from scratch start with fresh cranberries and a batter made with instant vanilla pudding mix for a soft and fluffy texture.
PRO TIP: Stock up on those fresh cranberries while they are in season. Toss bags of them in the freezer for year round use!
To get the orange flavor, you add in orange extract and orange zest.
Never zested an orange before? It’s easy! Use our tips and tricks showing how to zest a lemon (or orange)! The zest adds that burst of real citrus flavor that helps make these muffins so irresistible.
Pour the batter into muffin tins, add crumb topping if desired and bake! Sit back and enjoy while your kitchen fills with the aroma of freshly baked cranberry muffins.
While the crumb topping is technically optional and the muffins still taste wonderful without it, it’s such an easy way to add even more delicious orange flavor and a bit of crumb to your homemade muffins.
How to make crumb topping for muffins:
Mix together more orange zest with butter, brown sugar, flour and quick oats. Spoon a bit of topping over each muffin before baking. Use your hand to gently press the crumb topping into the batter so it stays in place.
Try not to spill any excess crumb on to the tin. If you do accidentally leave a little on the edges of the pan, use your hand or a paper towel to remove it so it doesn’t burn to your muffin tin.
After baking, let the muffins cool for a few minutes in the pan, then remove them to complete cooling. These are delicious served warm or at room temperature!
PRO TIP: Skip the streusel and opt for white sanding sugar instead!
There are about 3 cups of whole cranberries in a 12 oz bag.
Homemade Cranberry Orange Muffins keep well in an airtight container at room temperature for about 3 days. They taste freshest if served within 24 hours of baking.
Cranberry Muffins freeze very well. Store in a freezer bag in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature or warm in the microwave before serving.
A basket of warm muffins with mugs of coffee and hot cocoa will make your family so happy while they open their presents Christmas morning!
Cranberry Orange Muffins are also a welcome addition to the Christmas brunch or breakfast table alongside other dishes. Serve these with Egg Casserole and crispy bacon for a Christmas breakfast feast!
A batch of homemade muffins is also a wonderful hostess gift or teacher gift this time of year.
More easy muffin recipes
Baking muffins is so wholesome to me–they’re usually easy enough for even the most beginning home bakers to make and the kids can help with them too.
Because they freeze and store so well, and are appropriate for just about any occasion, you can never have too many muffins around. If you like these Cranberry Orange Muffins, you’ll also love these other easy muffin recipes:
- Cinnamon Breakfast Muffins – Dusted with cinnamon sugar, these muffins are so simple but so good, especially if you love warm seasonal spices.
- Pumpkin Donut Muffins – Is it a donut? Is it a muffin? It’s both. Pumpkin muffins with a donut twist are a popular Thanksgiving breakfast choice.
- Bakery Style Blueberry Muffins – Another classic muffin bursting with real blueberries is a family favorite!
Cranberry Orange Muffins
For the muffins:
- 1 cup unsalted butter softened
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 4 large eggs
- ½ teaspoon orange extract
- 1 orange zested
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 3.4 ounce pkg instant vanilla pudding
- 1 cup milk
- 12 ounce fresh cranberries about 3 cups
For the topping:
- 1 cup quick cook oats
- ½ cup unsalted butter softened
- 1 cup light brown sugar packed
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 orange zested
- For the muffins, cream butter and vanilla sugar for about 3 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time. Beat in orange extract and zest (about 1 tsp zest).
- In separate bowl, mix flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and pudding mix.
- Add milk and flour mixure alternately, about 3 additions of each. Fold in cranberries.
- For the topping, mix all ingredients with a fork until crumbly. Set aside.
- Grease or line muffin tins, fill them 3/4 full if not using the topping, and a little less if putting the topping on the muffins. If using the crumb topping, sprinkle 1-2 Tbsp of topping on each muffin, pressing in slightly. Try not to spill excess on pans.
- Bake in a 350 degree preheated oven. Recipe makes 2 dozen jumbo muffins, or 4 dozen regular sized. These muffins freeze very well. Bake jumbo muffins for 27-30 minutes, and regular sized for 22-25 minutes.
- You can use this recipe to make jumbo muffins, regular sized muffins or mini muffins. For Jumbo Muffins, bake 27 – 30 minutes. For regular muffins, bake 22 – 25 minutes. If making mini-muffins, bake for 15 – 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of one muffin comes out clean.
- This recipe makes 2 dozen jumbo muffins, 4 dozen regular muffins and about 6 dozen mini-muffins. Feel free to freeze whatever your family can’t eat within a few days!
- Make sure to use Instant vanilla pudding mix (not the sugar free kind) in this recipe.
- A 12 oz bag of cranberries is approximately 3 cups of cranberries.
- I used vanilla sugar in this recipe for more aroma and flavor. Granulated sugar works just fine as a substitute, too.
- Love fruity muffins? These Morning Glory Muffins are packed with fruit and nuts for a healthy treat.
- See blog post for more recipe tips and tricks.
Skip the stop at the coffee shop and make your own delicious Cranberry Orange Muffins right at home! Whether you eat them now or freeze for later, these muffins are always a hit.