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Cranberry orange muffins, one split in half.

Cranberry Orange Muffins

Heather Smoke
These cranberry orange muffins are bursting with tart cranberries in a fluffy orange muffin, with crunchy sugar-crusted muffin tops.

All recipes on Curly Girl Kitchen are developed for high altitude at 5,280 feet.

5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course Breakfast
Cuisine American
Servings 12 muffins


  • Standard Muffin Pan with 12 Cups


  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp fresh orange zest (from 1/2 of a navel orange)
  • ¼ cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
  • 1 tbsp corn starch
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp coarse Kosher salt (if using table salt, use half the amount)
  • ¼ tsp ground cardamom
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ½ cup orange juice, fresh or bottled
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp orange extract
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 ½ cup fresh or frozen and thawed cranberries
  • ¼ cup coarse Turbinado sugar


  • Preheat the oven to 425 F, and position a rack in the center of the oven. Line a standard-sized muffin pan with 12 paper liners. Spray the liners and the top of the pan with non-stick baking spray.
  • In a bowl, use your fingers to rub the orange zest into the sugar until fragrant.
  • Add the brown sugar, flour, corn starch, baking powder, salt, cardamom and nutmeg, and whisk until combined.
  • Separately, whisk together the orange juice, sour cream, eggs, vanilla extract, orange extract, and melted butter. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and use a spoon to stir everything together until mostly combined, but a few floury streaks remain, then use a spatula to fold the cranberries into the batter. The batter will be very thick.
  • Divide the batter between the muffin cups, using an ice cream/cupcake scoop with a release lever to make it easier. The cups will be very full, with the batter mounded up.
  • Sprinkle the batter with the Turbinado sugar.
  • Put the muffins in the oven, and immediately turn the heat down to 375 F. Bake the muffins until golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean. If the cranberries are still cold or slightly frozen, it could take 20-22 minutes for the muffins to bake through. If the cranberries are fully thawed, it may take 15-20 minutes for the muffins to bake through.
Keyword Cranberry, Muffins, Orange
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