Cranberry Orange Muffins


  • Muffin tin


  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 5 teaspoons of dried orange peel (or zest of 1 orange)
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup milk
  • 4 large eggs
  • ½ cup orange juice
  • 4 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons orange extract
  • 3 cups fresh or frozen cranberries (or one 12 oz bag of cranberries)


  • Preheat the oven to 400F. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners.
  • In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, and orange zest.
  • Whisk in the vegetable oil, milk, eggs, orange juice, orange extract and vanilla extract.
  • Stir until well combined.
  • Fold in the cranberries. Divide the batter among the paper liners.
  • Bake for 25 minutes or until the tops are golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. (Bake time may be a few minutes longer if using frozen cranberries.) Let cool for a few minutes in the pan before removing and enjoying.


  • You can double the amount of cranberries if desired.
  • (If zesting a fresh orange) In another bowl, combine sugar and orange zest. Work the zest into the sugar with your fingertips until evenly combined and the sugar feels like wet sand.
  • Don’t use an electric mixer or could overmix the batter, resulting in dense muffins or large holes in the crumb. Just use a spatula and mix until everything is just combined.
  • Don’t open the oven door, or you risk the muffins deflating.
  • It is much easier to zest the orange before juicing.
  • Bring your eggs and milk to room temperature so it incorporates fully into the batter.
  • Press a few extra fresh cranberries on top of the muffins for a prettier presentation.
  • To check if the muffins are ready, insert a toothpick into the center of one muffin, and if it comes out clean with no wet batter, they have finished baking.
  • I recommend using real vanilla extract over artificial vanilla extract.
  • Measure your flour correctly! Adding too much flour to the recipe is the most common reason your muffins end up dense. The best and easiest way to measure flour is by using a scale. If you don’t have one, then fluff your flour with a spoon, sprinkle it into your measuring cup, and use a knife to level it off.
  • If you’re not using paper liners, make sure to butter and flour the wells of your muffin tin thoroughly. Let your cranberry muffins cool for at least 10 minutes before removing them from the tin.
  • Don’t just stir in the orange zest. When you work the zest into the sugar with your fingers, it releases the oil, adding flavor.

Adapted from