The Best Orange Cranberry Muffins
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5 from 1 vote

The Best Orange Cranberry Muffins

A perfect blend of sweet orange, vanilla flavor and cranberry tartness, packed into a wonderfully dense, chewy, crispy-topped muffin. Made with the zest of one navel orange, frozen cranberries, melted butter, and sour cream.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Breakfast, Brunch
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cranberry muffins, orange cranberry muffins, orange muffins
Servings: 12 muffins
Author: Bri @ monday sunday kitchen


  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup melted butter (cooled)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup sour cream room temperature
  • 1 large egg room temperature
  • 1 tbsp orange zest ~ zest of one navel orange
  • 1 1/2 cup fresh or frozen (not defrosted) cranberries
  • extra sugar to top muffins optional


  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees and line muffin tins with parchment papers.
  • In a mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl add butter and melt on low heat in the microwave. Once it begins to melt, give it a good stir to melt the unmelted pieces. This will help to keep the melted butter closer to cool/lukewarm.
  • Add sugar to the butter and stir to combine. Add in remaining wet ingredients, vanilla, sour cream, egg, and zest. Whisk until smooth.
  • Add frozen (not defrosted) or fresh cranberries to the flour mixture to coat.
  • Add flour, cranberry mixture to the wet and using a spatula, fold over/stirring lightly until just combined. The batter will be very thick and sturdy.
  • Scoop the batter into the lined muffin tins, filling past the fill line. Because the batter is thick (almost cookie dough-like), I find the best tool for this is a medium-sized cookie scoop. However you do it, there will be some sticky-fingers—it's quite unavoidable!
  • Optional--at this point, should you wish, sprinkle (douse) the muffin tops with a generous pinch of sugar.
  • Bake at 375 for 25 to 30 minutes or until the tops are golden and a toothpick inserted comes out clean.


This recipe makes 12 large muffins, depending on the size of your scoops. Because the batter is so thick you can fill the muffin tins beyond the fill line (see photos above) and they will not overflow, but instead result in large dense muffins. 
You can of course, make these smaller and get another few muffins out of the recipe. If you do make them smaller in size, check them around the 20-minute mark.