In this post: This delicious cranberry muffin recipe has the most DELICIOUS, fantastic crumb topping and these muffins are quick and easy to make.


These cranberry muffins are filled with fruit and delicious Thanksgiving and Christmasy flavors like cinnamon and orange zest. Plus they make the perfect Christmas morning breakfast!

Cranberry muffin topped with glaze next to fresh cranberries

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

These cranberry muffins:

  • are quick and easy to make
  • don’t require fancy equipment or hard-to-find ingredients
  • can be adapted to comply with any dietary restrictions or allergies (see below for ideas!)

Cranberry Muffin Ingredients

Muffins ingredients

  • All-purpose flour: you can replace this with one-for-one gluten-free flour if you want to make the recipe gluten-free.
  • Baking powder: used to lighten the texture of baked goods.
  • Baking soda: encourages the batter to brown as it bakes.
  • Sea salt: processed much less than table salt and retains trace minerals.
  • Bananas: adds moisture and natural sweetness.
  • White sugar: adds plenty of sweetness to complement the cranberries.
  • Eggs: create stability and structure; the “glue” of baked goods.
  • Melted butter: releases much of its moisture when melted, which causes soft, dense muffins.
  • Vanilla extract: enhances the flavor of the muffins.
  • Cinnamon: has a strong, warm flavor.
  • Orange extract: adds a burst of fresh orange flavor.
  • Cranberries: sweet, tangy, and a classic holiday season fruit!

Streusel topping ingredients

  • All-purpose flour: you can replace this with one-for-one gluten-free flour if you want to make the recipe gluten-free.
  • Brown sugar: locks in moisture and adds sweetness.
  • Cinnamon: has a strong, warm flavor.
  • Baking powder: used to lighten the texture of baked goods.
  • Orange zest: adds a hint of fresh orange flavor.
  • Melted butter: releases much of its moisture when melted.

Glaze ingredients

  • Powdered sugar: this sugar mixes best to create a glaze, especially if it’s sifted like it is in this recipe!
  • Butter: helps create a smooth glaze.
  • Orange extract: adds a burst of fresh orange flavor.
  • Whole milk: the fat, protein, and creaminess of this milk are perfect for a thick glaze.
baked cranberry muffins in the muffin tin

How to Make Cranberry Muffins From Scratch

Muffin instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. In a medium bowl sift all dry ingredients and stir them together, aside from 2 tablespoons of flour.
  3. In a large bowl mash bananas together. Once mashed, add sugar, vanilla, egg, orange extract, and melted butter together.
  4. Slowly fold in dry ingredients.
  5. In a small bowl coat cranberries with the extra 2 tbsp of flour.
  6. Add cranberries to the muffin mixture and gently fold to cover.
  7. Put ¼ cup of muffin mix into each of the paper liners of a well-greased cupcake pan.
  8. Top muffins with an even layer of the crumble (instructions below) and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until muffins are slightly golden brown and the center is cooked through.
  9. Remove muffins from the oven and allow them to cool for 5 minutes (or until cool enough to safely transfer to a cooling rack). Once cooled to the touch, transfer the muffins to a cooling rack. Allow them to sit for 10 minutes then use a spoon to drizzle glaze over each muffin evenly.

Crumble instructions

  1. Add all the crumble ingredients to a bowl.
  2. Use clean dry hands to mix ingredients together gently. Only mix until the mixture becomes crumbly.

Glaze instructions

  1. Whisk sugar, butter, and vanilla extract in a bowl.
  2. Slowly add in milk little by little while whisking until you reach desired consistency (for these muffins, you want it on the thicker side).

Variations

Cranberry-walnut muffins

Add 1/2 cup of chopped walnuts after you add the cranberries.

Blueberry-cranberry muffins

Add 1/2 cup of frozen blueberries when you add the cranberries.

Can I add nuts? Chocolate chips?

Nuts and chocolate chips both taste wonderful in these cranberry muffins! I recommend adding 1/2 cup of nuts like walnuts, pecans, pistachios, or almonds. And if you want to add chocolate chips, about 3/4 cup of chocolate chips for a dozen muffins will do the trick! White chocolate chips would taste especially yummy.

Cranberry muffin on a white doily

Tips for Cranberry Muffins Recipe

  1. Try using a silicon muffin pan instead of muffin tins and muffin cups. With the silicon muffin pan, you won’t even need to use cooking spray!
  2. Use a 1/4 cup measuring cup to distribute the muffin batter evenly into each muffin cup. This will ensure you have fairly similar-sized muffins and no spillovers!
  3. For the best crumble texture, use your hands to mix the crumble just until combined. Avoid overmixing.
  4. Insert the toothpick into the center of the muffin. If no batter sticks to the toothpick, the muffins are done.

FAQs

Can you use dried cranberries instead of fresh cranberries in muffins?

You can absolutely use dried cranberries instead of fresh cranberries in these muffins! Soak your dried cranberries in hot water for 15 minutes before adding them to the recipe. Make sure you use 3/4 cup of sweetened dried cranberries instead of 1 cup of fresh cranberries. 

Can I use frozen cranberries?

Frozen cranberries work just as well as fresh cranberries, you can even use the same amount as specified in this recipe for both (1 cup).

Do I need to thaw frozen cranberries?

Thawing them is definitely a good idea! Frozen cranberries have a high water content that could mess up the chemistry of the baking muffins. That being said, it’s not absolutely necessary to thaw the cranberries before using them!

Do you have to cook cranberries before baking?

Not at all lovely! Because you are baking the cranberries into the muffins, they do not need to be cooked before you add them to the batter.

How long do these muffins last?

These muffins will last up to 3 days at room temperature, 5 days in the fridge, and 3 months in the freezer.

Can I make cranberry muffins ahead of time?

For sure! As stated above, if placed in an airtight container these cranberry muffins will last up to 3 days at room temperature, 5 days in the refrigerator, and 3 months in the freezer.

Cranberry muffin topped with glaze next to fresh cranberries

How to Store Cranberry Muffins

Storing cranberry muffins:

  • At room temperature: place in an airtight container and store for 2-3 days.
  • In the refrigerator: store in an airtight container or ziplock for up to 5 days.
  • In the freezer: place in an airtight container or ziplock for up to 3 months.

Reheating cranberry muffins:

  • From the fridge: microwave 1-2 muffins for 15 seconds. Serve with glaze.
  • From the freezer: bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 10-15 minutes or microwave 1-2 muffins for 1 minute. Serve with glaze.

How to Freeze Cranberry Muffins

Once the cranberry muffins have cooled and before you would put the glaze on them, place the muffins in an airtight container or ziplock bag. Seal well and place in the freezer. Store for up to 3 months. Make and add the glaze when you want to eat the muffins.

Dietary Considerations

Follow the instructions below to make this recipe fit your dietary needs:

  • Gluten-free: replace all of the all-purpose flour with one-for-one gluten-free flour.
  • Dairy-free: replace the milk with non-dairy milk like soy or almond milk. Trade the butter for a non-dairy substitute.
  • Vegan: replace milk and butter with plant-based substitutes and trade the egg for a chia or flax egg (or use a generic egg replacer).

Some of Our Favorite Muffin Recipes

Cranberry muffin topped with glaze next to fresh cranberries

Cranberry Muffin Recipe

Yield: 12 muffins
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes

Does your family have a favorite Christmas morning breakfast? Perhaps they'd like to try these cranberry muffins? 

Ingredients

Muffin Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ cups of flour +2 tablespoons
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon of salt
  • 3 large ripe bananas
  • ¾ cup of white sugar
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten
  • 1/3 cup of butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon of orange extract
  • 1 cup of cranberries

Streusal Topping Ingredients:

  • 2/3 cup of flour
  • 4 tablespoons of brown sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon of cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon of orange zest
  • 4 tablespoons of melted butter

Glaze Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 tablespoon of salted butter
  • 2 teaspoons of orange extract
  • 2-4 tablespoons of milk

Instructions

FOR MUFFINS

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. In a medium bowl sift all dry ingredients together, minus 2 tablespoons of flour.
  3. In a large bowl mash bananas together. Once mashed add in sugar, vanilla, egg, orange extract, and melted butter together.
  4. Slowly fold in dry ingredients.
  5. In a small bowl coat cranberries with flour.
  6. Add cranberries to the muffin mixture and gently fold to cover.
  7. Put ¼ cup of muffin mix into a well-greased cupcake pan.
  8. Top muffins with an even layer of crumble and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until muffins are slightly golden brown and the center is cooked through.
  9. Remove muffins from the oven and allow them to cool for 5 minutes (or until cool enough to safely transfer to a cooling rack). Once cooled to the touch, transfer to a cooling rack and allow to sit for 10 minutes before drizzling glaze over each muffin evenly.

FOR CRUMBLE

  1. Add all the crumble ingredients into a bowl.
  2. Use clean dry hands to mix ingredients together gently. Only mix until the mixture becomes crumbly (DO NOT OVER MIX).

FOR GLAZE

  1. In a bowl add sugar, butter, and extract.
  2. Whisk together and slowly add in milk, little by little until you reach desired consistency (for these muffins, you want it on the thicker side).
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 315Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 42mgSodium: 333mgCarbohydrates: 52gFiber: 2gSugar: 30gProtein: 4g

This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily via Nutrifox.

Did you make this recipe?

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What do you like to make for Christmas morning breakfast? What is your family’s favorite?

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13 Comments

  1. Ohh, these muffins look like the perfect definition of scrumptious! I cannot wait to make these! Thanks so much for sharing! 🙂