Cranberry Orange Zucchini Muffins

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Cranberry Orange Zucchini Muffins are moist and fluffy with the perfect sweet, tangy flavor. No one will suspect these glazed muffins have vegetables hiding inside!

This muffin recipe brings together two all-time favorites. Cranberry Orange Muffins meet moist Zucchini Muffins!

Two cranberry muffins stacked on each other.

Why Make Zucchini Muffins

With all the delicious zucchini recipes out there, you might be wondering: why put zucchini in muffins?

  • Zucchini adds moisture and texture to muffins without affecting the flavor.
  • The peel of the zucchini enriches your baked goods with nutrients and color.
  • You’ll reduce waste. Instead of throwing out unused zucchini, make a batch of muffins to eat or freeze for later!

These Zucchini muffins are bursting with cranberries and bright citrus flavor. The shiny orange glaze makes them look—and taste—every bit as delicious as a cranberry orange muffin from the bakery.

Ingredient Notes

Ingredients needed to make cranberry orange zucchini muffins.

This easy muffin batter includes all-purpose flour, sugar and unsalted butter for a rich flavor.

  • Baking powder – Leavens the muffins so they bake up light and fluffy.
  • Shredded zucchini – Makes the muffins super moist and tender. Use our guide on how to shred zucchini.
  • Cranberries – Frozen cranberries are best; they release more moisture as they bake for a pop of juicy texture.
  • Orange zest – Gives the cranberry muffins a zesty aroma and orange flavor. Get all our tips and trick on how to zest an orange.
  • Orange juice – Use the juice from your zested orange to make the glaze for these muffins.
  • Nutmeg – We use a half teaspoon of this spice to give the orange flavor more dimension without overpowering the muffins.
Muffins with cranberries stacked on a light blue cake platter.

How to Make Muffins

These cranberry orange zucchini muffins are so easy, you can make them before you have that first cup of coffee in the morning.

STEP 1. Get everything ready. Preheat your oven and spray a muffin tin with baking spray.

STEP 2. Make the batter. Combine the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Add the wet ingredients, including the zucchini, then fold in the frozen cranberries.

STEP 3. Bake. Divide the batter into your muffin tin and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. In my oven, this takes about 18 minutes.

STEP 4. Add the muffin glaze. Whisk together the powdered sugar and orange juice until smooth. Dip the top of each cooled muffin in the orange glaze.

Let the glaze set for a few minutes, then serve and enjoy!

Tips and Tricks

  • For a thinner icing, whisk in more orange juice, a teaspoon at a time.
  • For a thicker glaze, add more powdered sugar until you get the consistency you like.
  • Store the muffins at room temperature in an airtight container. They stay moist and delicious for several days.
Cranberry zucchini muffins with a glaze stacked on a cake platter.

Recipe FAQ

Should I squeeze the water out of the zucchini after shredding?

You do not need to strain the water out of the zucchini before adding it to this muffin recipe. The water adds the perfect moisture to the muffin batter!
I do recommend staining shredded zucchini that’s been frozen and thawed. The thawing process releases more liquid that could make the batter too runny. To strain thawed zucchini, place it in a colander over the sink and squeeze out the water with paper towels.

Can I freeze these?

Yes, you can! Cranberry Orange Zucchini Muffins are freezer friendly and you’ll love having homemade muffins on hand for quick breakfasts.
Store the muffins in a single layer in freezer bags. Thaw and enjoy within 3 months for best taste.

Can I use dried cranberries?

I do not suggest using dried cranberries as a substitute for the frozen ones in this recipe. The juice from the whole frozen cranberries gives the muffins their colorful appearance and a the pop of juicy bursting cranberries when you take a bite!

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Cranberry Orange Zucchini Muffins

5 from 2 votes
By: Aimee
Cranberry Orange Zucchini Muffins are moist and fluffy with the perfect sweet, tangy flavor. No one will suspect these glazed muffins have vegetables hiding inside!
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 19 minutes
Total Time: 34 minutes
Servings: 18 muffins


For the Muffins:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup shredded zucchini
  • cup milk
  • cup unsalted butter melted
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 orange zested
  • 1 cup frozen cranberries

For the Glaze:

  • 1 ½ cup powdered sugar
  • 1 orange juiced (about 2-3 Tablespoons)
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  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray muffin cup pan with baking spray. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg and salt together. Add zucchini, milk, melted butter, orange zest and egg. Fold in cranberries.
  • Fill muffin cups 2/3 full. Bake for 17-19 minutes until toothpick comes out clean.
  • Cool on wire rack 5 minutes, then remove from pan and cool completely.
  • For the glaze, whisk together the powdered sugar and orange juice until smooth. Dip tops of cooled muffins in glaze, and allow to set. ENJOY.



Serving: 1muffin, Calories: 166kcal, Carbohydrates: 31g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 4g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 20mg, Sodium: 134mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 19g
Course: Muffins
Cuisine: American
Did you make this recipe?Mention @shugarysweets or tag #shugarysweets!
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About Aimee

Aimee is a dessert lover (specifically rice krispie treats), workout enthusiast, self-taught foodie, and recipe creator.

Learn more about Aimee.

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Posted on August 12, 2015

Comments & Reviews

  1. Do you strain the water out of the zucchini after they have been grated?
    Cause that’s what I did, so I’m not sure if I was supposed to throw it in with water and all.
    I’m putting them in the oven now.
    Will keep u posted.

  2. My neighbor supplies us with zucchini every year from her organic garden. I came across your recipe and could not resist. OMG, delicious, very hard to eat just one. I did add some walnuts , splash of vanilla extract and a sprinkle of cinnamon on the glaze. Very good and a definite do over. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Have I told you lately how much I love that you get on baking sprees with certain foods?  Keep the zucchini coming girl!  These are seriously gorgeous!  I am loving the fruit twist to these yummy muffins!!!!

  4. Yum! I need to get on the sweet zucchini train before summer is over! These look perfect 🙂

  5. These sound delicious.  I’m on a diet, but come October 5 (after the big wedding) I’m making these!  Thanks for sharing.
    Wishes for tasty dishes, Linda

  6. These look delish! Love the combination of cranberries and orange flavors. I have a big bag of craisins, since they are dried, wonder how to use them instead of frozen? I also have some frozen blueberries, might replace the cranberries with those! I don’t want to remake this recipe, but want to use things I already have on hand. Thanks for this recipe!

    1. Blueberries would be fantastic (and you can use lemon instead of orange if you prefer). Not sure I would go with the dried craisins in this one, the pop of moisture from the fruit is amazing!! Good luck 🙂

  7. I am in awe – these muffins are chock full of veggie and fruit goodness! Yes – I’ll sign your petition to fruitify Zucchini!

  8. I will TOTALLY join that zucchini is a fruit campaign! I eat it like it’s going out of STYLE!
    I am loving that you added it to the delish combo that is cranberry and orange! I need a few of these for breakfast! Pinned!

  9. If my gardening skills were not completely sub par, then I would have zucchini to bake with! I’m bummed about that with all of your good recipes. Can you send over a green thumb?

  10. Well, these are the most beautiful zucchinis I have ever seen!  🙂  I will have to hang on to this for when my mom comes over with her latest crop!

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