Sunday, April 6, 2014

Orange Cranberry Muffins

This is a great recipe. It's easy, too - just stirred together, no mixer required. It bakes up light, and firm yet tender, and comes out of a prepared muffin tin like a dream. I adapted this recipe from one I found on for a great basic buttermilk muffin. There are enough changes to the recipe to make it my own, and you can too with whatever you imagine. The original recipe included nutmeg which I omitted for this citrus-y version. Anyway, compare the linked original to my adaptation, and go on to create whatever muffin your heart desires!

Helpful hint of the day: use a levered ice cream scoop (standard size) to measure and drop dough into muffin cups. It makes the job so much easier!

Makes 1 dozen
Preheat oven - 375 degrees F

2 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 c. granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 egg lightly beaten
1/2 cup buttermilk (or 1/2 cup milk soured with 1 tablespoon white or cider vinegar - let sit 5 minutes)
1/2 cup orange juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
fresh zest of 1/2 an orange (about a generous tablespoon fresh, or a teaspoon dried)
2.5 oz. dried cranberries (half a 5 oz. package) tossed with a tablespoon of flour. The flour keeps them suspended in the batter. You can use more cranberries if you like.

Prepare muffin pan by spraying well with cooking or baking spray rather than using paper liners.

In large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

In another bowl, mix together buttermilk, orange juice, beaten eggs, melted butter, and vanilla.

Pour milk mixture into flour mixture and, with a fork, mix together just until all dry particles have been incorporated.  Make sure it's all mixed in, especially at the bottom of the bowl. Wait a few minutes - the batter will become light and fluffy before your eyes as the acids in the buttermilk react with the leavening (baking powder and soda).

Gently but completely fold in cranberries and orange zest.

Drop batter into prepared muffin cups.

Bake for 18 minutes or until edges begin to brown and muffins spring back when pressed lightly in the center.

Remove from oven and cool on wire rack for about 15-20 minutes. Remove muffins from pan and cool completely.

Here are photos of the process:

Beautiful orange!

Microplane was a birthday gift from
my great friend, Claire!

This is what the batter looks like
when the buttermilk reacts with the baking powder and soda.

And a little sugar on top...

You can see the orange zest!

On my really cool cooking rack
from King Arthur Flour!

Picture perfect...

And a close up!

Enjoy every bite!

AND, here's a recent photo of Henry and Peter, visiting on a Sunday morning. They're getting SO big, so fast. I want to slow down time!!!

Henry and Peter visiting Grandma
on a recent Sunday morning


  1. The combination of orange and cranberry is one of my favorites. Don't be surprised if you see these on our Easter morning buffet...I don't think I'll be able to resist. I think I might have to make an orange butter to go along with them. YUM! Thanks for the great idea. :-)

    1. It's going to be my new standard orange cranberry muffin. So quick and easy, and so good!

  2. oh these look real good - good enough that I might even make them :)

  3. love orange cranberry great combo
    can this be adapted to a orange cranberry bread loaf?

    1. Judy, I haven't tried that but most muffin recipes convert well to loaves. I'd give it a try and bake it in a standard loaf pan (greased and floured) and bake till it tests done, at 350 degrees rather than 375, probably for 45 minutes to an hour or until it tests done. Let me know if you try it!

  4. I hope to make these once I master the lemon scones I'll be working on tomorrow. Keep these recipes coming Jeannie. Who needs a cookbook when they have you??? ����

  5. I just made these (they are in the oven now). My only question is, where were we supposed to use the melted butter? I didn't see it mentioned again beyond the list of ingredients, so I just dumped it in at the end. Time will tell...they sure smell good!

    1. Oops - just fixed it - it's added with the milk! Yikes! :) Thanks for the eagle-eye, Di!