Cranberry Muffins

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These homemade Cranberry Muffins are fluffy and moist with the perfect balance of sweet and tart flavors. They make a delicious breakfast, snack or dessert.

Cranberry Muffins are a must-try, especially around the winter holidays. They are great for a quick on-the-go breakfast, perfect for Christmas morning, and they freeze beautifully if you happen to have any leftover.

Cranberry Muffin drizzled with powdered sugar glaze.

Why We Love This Recipe

My kids are huge fans of all kinds of muffins, especially Sour Cream Banana Muffins and Lemon Blueberry Muffins. They’re perfect for snacking or packing in lunches. But it’s officially cranberry season and these Cranberry Muffins are bringing all the cozy, homey, holiday-feels.

Quick breads and muffins are great for this time of year. They come together fast, the flavor possibilities are endless, and they are perfect alongside a cup of hot coffee or tea.

Pumpkin Apple Bread and Banana Nut Bread are two of our favorite quick breads, and now these Cranberry Muffins are on frequent rotation, too.

Cranberry Muffins on a piece of parchment paper.

How to Make Cranberry Muffins

These muffins are flavored with almond extract, studded with tart cranberries, sprinkled with coarse sugar, and drizzled with a powdered sugar glaze. They bake up moist, tender and perfectly sweet. Here’s how to make them:

Combine dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, and salt) in a large mixing bowl, then combine the wet ingredients (buttermilk, oil, eggs, and almond extract) in another bowl.

Combine the wet and dry ingredients, then stir in the cranberries.

Cranberry Muffin batter in a glass bowl next to a red striped towel.

Divide the batter between 12 standard muffin cups and sprinkle the tops with coarse sugar. Bake as directed and let cool before drizzle with a quick glaze made from powdered sugar, milk and almond extract.

No Buttermilk? No Problem!

Buttermilk helps to make these muffins light and tender. If you don’t have any on hand, you can make a buttermilk substitute with milk and something acidic, like lemon juice or vinegar. Check out my post on How to Make Buttermilk.

Recipe FAQs

Can You Bake with Frozen Cranberries?

Yes! Frozen cranberries are easy to use in place of fresh cranberries. If you’d prefer to use frozen cranberries, keep them frozen and stir them into the batter straight from the freezer. Note: You might need to increase your bake time a minute or two.

If you want to make this recipe year-round, look for frozen cranberries in the freezer section of your grocery store, or stock up during fall and winter months and freeze them yourself.

Can I use dried cranberries instead of fresh?

Dried cranberries are a great addition to baked goods and you can absolutely use them as a substitute for frozen. You’ll want to reduce the amount by about a third. This recipe calls for 1 ½ cups of fresh cranberries, so you’ll only need 1 cup of dried.

What is the best way to store muffins?

Like any bread, muffins will dry out quickly if refrigerated. Keep muffins fresh by storing them in a sealed plastic bag or airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. Allow muffins to cool completely before storing.

Can you freeze muffins?

Cool completely, then place in plastic freezer bags. Store in the freezer for up to 3 months. If you need to keep them longer than that, wrap them individually in plastic wrap to keep them safe from freezer burn.

Helpful Tips

  • I love the combination of almond and cranberries together, so these muffins have a fairly prominent almond flavor. If you’d prefer the traditional orange-cranberry flavor combination, you can swap the almond extract for vanilla extract and add the finely grated zest of one large orange right into the batter.
  • Be careful not to overmix the batter, or your muffins will be dense. Combine the wet and dry ingredients just until the flour has disappeared. The batter will be lumpy, and that’s ok!
  • Use an ice cream scoop to portion out the batter evenly among the muffin cups.
  • Make sure to line or grease the pan. You can use paper cupcake liners, but I prefer to just grease the cups with cooking spray.
Two Cranberry Muffins stacked on top of each other.

More Muffins and Quick Bread Recipes

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Two Cranberry Muffins stacked on top of each other.

Cranberry Muffins

5 from 4 votes
Homemade Cranberry Muffins are fluffy and moist with the perfect balance of sweet and tart. Perfect for snacking and they freeze beautifully.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 17 mins
Total Time 32 mins
Course Breakfast
Cuisine American
Servings 12 muffins
Calories 255kcal

Ingredients
  

Muffins:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup buttermilk
  • ½ cup vegetable or canola oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 ½ teaspoons almond extract
  • 1 ½ cups fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 3 tablespoons sparkling sugar or coarse/raw sugar

Icing:

  • 5 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon milk
  • Drop of almond extract

Instructions
 

Muffins

  • Preheat oven to 375°F.
  • In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, granulated sugar, and salt.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk buttermilk, oil, eggs, and almond extract.
  • Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon until mostly combined. Add cranberries and stir until just combined, being careful not to overmix.
  • Grease 12 standard muffin cups or line with paper liners. Divide the batter between the 12 cups, filling each about ¾ full. Sprinkle the tops with coarse sugar.
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  • Place the pan on a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes, then carefully remove each muffin and place directly on the rack to cool completely.

Icing

  • Whisk all ingredients until smooth. If necessary, add more powdered sugar to thicken, or more milk to thin. Drizzle the icing on the cooled muffins.

Notes

  • If you don’t have almond extract, you can substitute with vanilla.
  • For an orange-cranberry flavor combination, you can swap the almond extract for vanilla extract and add the finely grated zest of one large orange to the batter.
  • Be careful not to overmix the batter, or your muffins will be dense. Combine the wet and dry ingredients just until the flour has disappeared. The batter will not be completely smooth.
  • Use an ice cream scoop to portion out the batter evenly among the muffin cups.

Nutrition

Calories: 255kcalCarbohydrates: 37gProtein: 4gFat: 11gSaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 29mgSodium: 122mgPotassium: 114mgFiber: 1gSugar: 20gVitamin A: 72IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 47mgIron: 1mg

Kristin Maxwell

Kristin Maxwell is the creator and main recipe developer, writer, and photographer of Yellow Bliss Road. A self-taught cook and self-appointed foodie, she specializes in easy, flavorful and approachable recipes for any home cook.

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Comments

  1. Excellent recipe! I had to substitute oil with 4oz melted butter since I was out, but it was exactly what I was looking for; a way to get rid of my extra buttermilk and utilize my cranberries. I will use this recipe again. Thank you!

  2. Can you use dried cranberries and put in a little water to plump them. Can’t find frozen or fresh ones