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Easy Orange Cranberry Muffins

Muffins are always a popular treat as they are a great single serve snack ideal for morning or afternoon tea or popped in a lunch box. These Orange Cranberry Muffins are one of the quickest and easiest to make, as everything is prepared in a food processor. A whole orange is used in this recipe (yes, everything but the pips) so there is no waste. They are golden and delicious with pops of sweetness from the cranberries. I have included dairy-free and gluten-free options too. You’ll have these muffins made and ready to eat in 30 minutes!

A round wire resting rack has a mound of freshly baked muffins on it. In the background are plates and cutlery. In the foreground is a small sieve with icing sugar in it.
Delicious served as they are or with a sprinkling of icing sugar.

Everyone who tries these muffins loves them. Using a whole orange imparts so much flavour and gives these muffins a beautiful golden colour. The cranberries add a lovely burst of sweetness too.

The beauty of this recipe is that it is very versatile. They can be made plain, without the cranberries, or you can substitute them with other ingredients like sultanas, dates or even chocolate chips! I will sometimes also add 1 teaspoon of spice to these such as ginger, but you could also experiment with allspice, cinnamon, or cardamon. As mentioned earlier, I have also included options to make these dairy-free and gluten-free. I hope you enjoy this very easy to make recipe as much as I do.

Let’s take a look at the ingredients you’ll need.

An old vintage mint green cake tin lined with baking paper is filled with muffins and the lid is propped on one side.
They are so easy and quick to make, I often make 2 batches and freeze some as they freeze well.

Ingredients

  • Orange – a whole large orange is used in this recipe. Using the whole orange (cut in quarters, and each quarter in half, removing any pips) gives these muffins a beautiful golden appearance and great orange flavour.
  • Sugar – white sugar is used. It is added to the processor with the orange in the first step of the recipe.
  • Egg – helps bind the mixture.
  • Milk – (or orange juice). To make this dairy-free, use orange juice or a milk alternative. These muffins are delicious with either milk or orange juice. I have made them both ways as I sometimes don’t have milk in the fridge.
  • Butter – salted or unsalted is fine. The butter is melted for this recipe. You can substitute the 100g butter for 75ml canola oil (or any neutral flavoured cooking oil) as a dairy-free alternative.
  • Flour – standard plain flour or use gluten-free plain flour for a gluten-free option.
  • Baking Powder – normal or gluten-free
  • Baking Soda
  • Cranberries – (optional) or you can substitute the cranberries with the following: sultanas, finely diced dates, finely diced apricots, or chocolate chips.
  • Optional: you can also add 1/2 cup of nuts to the recipe. Finely chopped walnuts, pecans or pistachios work well with these flavours. I sometimes add 1 teaspoon of spice like ginger.
A loaf tin lined with baking paper is full of freshly baked muffins. There are plates and a glass of milk in the background and a small sieve with icing sugar in it, in the foreground.
A delicious treat made in 30 minutes. They are a great lunch box snack and also freeze well.
A pile of freshly baked Orange Cranberry Muffins are on top of a vintage cake resting rack.

Easy Orange Cranberry Muffins

Muffins are always a popular treat as they are a great single serve snack ideal for morning or afternoon tea or popped in a lunch box. These Orange Cranberry Muffins are one of the quickest and easiest to make, as everything is prepared in a food processor. A whole orange is used in this recipe (yes, everything but the pips) so there is no waste. They are golden and delicious with pops of sweetness from the cranberries. I have included dairy-free and gluten-free options too. You’ll have these muffins made and ready to eat in 30 minutes!
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Resting Time: 3 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Course: Snack, Sweet
Cuisine: Australian
Keyword: cupcakes, easy orange cranberry muffins, easy orange muffins, easy whole orange muffins, muffins, orange muffins, whole orange and cranberry muffins, whole orange muffins
Servings: 12
Calories: 197kcal
Author: Katrina | Katy’s Food Finds

Equipment

  • food processor
  • 12 hole Muffin Tray

Ingredients

Wet Ingredients:

  • 1 large orange washed, cut into quarters and each quarter cut in half – discard any pips
  • 3/4 c sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 c milk or orange juice
  • 100 g butter, melted (see note 1 for dairy-free substitute – 75ml canola oil)

Dry Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 c plain flour or use plain gluten-free flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 c dried cranberries (see notes for substitutes)

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 200°C with the rack just below the middle. Lightly butter or spray the muffin tin or use muffin liners.
  • In the bowl of a food processor, add the orange pieces and the sugar. Process until the orange is very finely chopped. Add the rest of the wet ingredients (egg, milk and melted butter) and process until combined.
  • Sift the flour, baking powder and baking soda straight into the food processor over the orange mix and sprinkle in the cranberries and nuts (if using). Pulse, or process in short bursts, until the mixture is just combined. Do not over mix (see notes).
  • Divide the mixture evenly between your 12 hole muffin tin. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown and the centre of the muffins spring back when pressed. Remove the tray from the oven and allow the muffins to cool for 3 minutes before removing them to a wire rack. Enjoy these muffins warm or at room temperature.
    Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days or refrigerate for up to 5 days. These muffins are also suitable to freeze for up to 3 months.

Notes

Note 1: To make these muffins dairy-free, simply use orange juice instead of milk (or use a milk alternative) and instead of the butter use 75ml of any mild flavoured cooking oil (eg. canola or grapeseed). Please note the amount of oil used is only 3/4 the amount of butter used.  
Gluten-free muffins – use plain gluten-free flour and baking powder.
Do not over-mix the muffins when the dry ingredients are added. Over-mixing the batter results in dense muffins. 
Substitutes for cranberries: These muffins can be made plain without cranberries, or you can substitute the cranberries for other dried fruits or even chocolate chips. Here are some suggestions:
Finely diced dates or apricots, or sultanas. Chocolate chips are also a nice option (if using white chocolate I would reduce the amount of sugar to 1/2 cup).
Optional: You can also add 1/2 cup chopped nuts to this recipe. Walnuts, pecans or pistachios work well with the orange flavour of these muffins.

Nutrition

Calories: 197kcal | Carbohydrates: 30g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 33mg | Sodium: 215mg | Potassium: 55mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 17g | Vitamin A: 269IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 45mg | Iron: 1mg
Have you cooked one of my recipes? I’d love you to tag me @katysfoodfinds or #katysfoodfinds!

2 Comments

  • Corlia
    September 29, 2020 at 7:16 pm

    5 stars
    I’ve had this as a loaf and it was beautiful! Dollops of cream cheese frosting with a good squeeze of lemon was the perfect topping.

    Reply
    • Katrina
      September 30, 2020 at 9:46 am

      Oh I’m so glad you enjoyed it. I’m going to do a new post for the loaf as I think it was a winner too. Thank you ❤️

      Reply

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