It’s that time of year! If you’re looking for a muffin that tastes like the holidays, you need to try my cranberry orange muffins with streusel topping! They’re bursting with bright citrus flavor, thanks to the orange zest, orange juice and fresh cranberries. Plus, couldn’t be easier to make! This is a perfect recipe to make ahead for busy mornings, this holiday season or to enjoy as a snack.
This muffin recipe is a prime example of why I love baking at home. Sometimes homemade just tastes so much better than store-bought! When you smell these in the oven, and enjoy one while they’re still warm, you’ll understand exactly what i’m talking about! These muffins are so tender and fluffy, with bursts of tart flavor that’s balanced out by a sweet streusel topping. Better yet, they’re simple to make and can feed a crowd!
Ingredients you’ll need for orange cranberry muffins:
- Softened butter
- Granulated sugar
- Brown sugar
- Sour cream or plain greek yogurt
- Vanilla extract
- Orange zest and juice
- All-purpose flour
- Baking soda
- Baking powder
- Fresh cranberries
- Cold butter
- All-purpose flour
- Brown sugar
- Ground cinnamon
- Ground nutmeg
Make sure you use fresh tart cranberries for this recipe!
Although I do love dried cranberries, set them aside and save them for your salads because you’ll need fresh cranberries for this recipe! The fresh, juicy cranberries will burst and add moisture (and flavor) to the muffins while they bake.
My top tips for the best batch of homemade muffins:
- Don’t over-mix the batter! You just want to incorporate the dry ingredients until there’s no flour remaining to ensure these turn out moist and fluffy.
- Toss the cranberries in 2 tbsp of flour before adding them to the batter. This prevents them from sinking to the bottom of the muffins.
- Line your muffin tin with cupcake liners. This prevents the muffins from sticking to the pan.
- Fill the cupcake liners all the way to the top! Filling them up all the way will help give the look of a bakery style muffins as muffins rise in the oven. You should have enough batter for exactly 12 muffins.
- Don’t skimp on the streusel topping! It adds a crunchy texture to the tops of the muffins and sweetness too!
You can make this as a loaf cake or mini muffins too!
Follow the directions as is, but switch up the pans if you like. For a cranberry orange loaf cake, add the batter to a parchment lined 9×5 loaf pan and bake for about 50 minutes. For mini muffins, spoon the batter into mini muffin tins and bake for 12-15 minutes. These can over-bake easily so check them with a toothpick for doneness to ensure you’ll have tender muffins!
How to make cranberry orange muffins with a streusel topping:
- Combine the wet ingredients.
- Sprinkle in the dry ingredients and fold everything together to form a batter.
- Toss the fresh cranberries in flour, then fold them into the batter as well.
- Line a muffin pan, then spoon batter into the muffin cups (all the way to the top).
- Make the streusel topping and sprinkle it evenly on top of all the muffins.
Tips and tricks:
Try your best to zest only the orange part of the skin. It’s ok if you get some of the white, just don’t go crazy because that can be bitter tasting. To avoid zesting the white part, work in small motions and continuously rotate the orange as you zest!
Use your hands to mush and flatten out the butter cubes into the flour and sugar. You’ll want to do this until the butter is broken down into tiny, pea sized pieces. When you’re done, you should have a crumbly (sort of dry) mixture. Don’t worry though, you’re doing it correctly!
Using a triggered cookie or ice cream scoop! When you scoop the batter into the prepared pan with a tool like this, it’s easy to keep track of how many scoop each muffin has!
Don’t open the oven to rotate your muffin pan until the muffins are at least halfway baked! Leaving the oven shut for at least the first half of baking will help ensure the muffins rise nice and high! Every time you open the oven, heat escapes and therefore won’t give your muffins as much of a rise.
You can add the cinnamon and nutmeg to the muffin batter or to the crumble mixture (or both)! I like it in the crumble topping because I think you can taste the spices more that way. Maybe I’m crazy but I’ve convinced myself that since the crumble topping of the muffins hits your tastebuds first, those warm holiday spices are the first thing you taste when you take a bite, which I love!
Set a paper towel in the bottom of an airtight container, then place the cooled muffins in a single layer on top. The paper towel prevents the muffins from becoming soggy! When stored like this at room temperature, they should last up to 4 days.
Cranberry Orange Muffins
- 1 rubber spatula or whisk
- 1 standard 12 cup muffin tin
- 12 paper liners
For the batter:
- 1/2 cup softened butter
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup sour cream or plain greek yogurt
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- zest of 1 orange
- 1/4 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
- 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 2 cups fresh cranberries
- 2 tbsp flour for coating cranberries
- 4 tbsp cold butter cubed
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
- Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the softened butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar. Beat together until light and fluffy.
- Add in the eggs, sour cream, vanilla extract, orange zest and fresh orange juice. Whisk well.
- Sprinkle in the all purpose flour, baking soda and baking powder. Fold this into the wet ingredients to form a batter.
- In a separate bowl, toss the fresh cranberries in 2 tbsp flour. Once coated, add them to the batter and mix to combine.
- Line a 12 cup muffin pan with paper liners and evenly distribute the muffin batter into each one (fill them all the way up).
- In a medium mixing bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg for the streusel topping.
- Cut the cold butter into cubes and add it to the bowl as well.
- Using a pastry blender (or your fingertips) smoosh/press the butter into the flour and sugar mixture until it's broken down into pea sized pieces.
- Sprinkle the crumbly mixture on top of the muffins and bake for 20-22 minutes.
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