Cranberry Orange Muffins (Gluten-free, Paleo)

Sweet and tangy with a mouthful of delicious flavor, these cranberry orange muffins are a perfect breakfast on the go, or snack anytime!

Has this ever happened to you? You have your busy schedule all worked out to the last second, and then something comes along and throws it for a loop?

cranberry orange muffin
cranberry orange muffin

On those days, grabbing a quick breakfast is essential to keeping yourself going strong. If you are in a hurry, then that may be off the table for you. (so to speak) What do you do?

I totally get it, I have been there so many times myself. With a busy homestead, 3 active kids and hubby, there are days I forget that I haven’t eaten at all until sundown.

By then, I am a ravenous wolf, seeking to devour any food I can get my hands on. Even food that is full of things I need to avoid, like gluten and highly processed sugar.

Of course, when I do things like that, I get headaches, joint aches and all the other things that go along with gluten intolerance. It’s not a lot of fun to deal with.

Ready to get started? Below, I’ll tell you how to make some super delicious, super healthy cranberry orange muffins that are sure to please even the finickiest of eaters (like me!).

Why You Should Make These Cranberry Orange Muffins

These delicious muffins are perfect for breakfast on the run. They are quick and easy to bake up, and freeze well.

When you need a quick snack, just grab one and let it thaw for a few minutes at room temperature and you’re ready to go!

cranberry orange muffin next to slice of orange
cranberry orange muffin next to slice of orange

The best part is that they are totally gluten free, with some amazingly nourishing ingredients as well.

  • Almond flour is a great source of protein, with 7 grams per serving. It’s also low on the glycemic index, meaning it won’t spike your blood sugar.
  • Cranberries are full of antioxidants, Vitamin C, and have been used to help treat bladder and kidney infections. They are also lower in carbs, with only 7.6 grams for a 100 gram serving.
  • Coconut oil is a medium chain triglyceride that is a healthy fat.
  • Honey is an all natural, low processed form of sweetener that you can obtain quite easily.

Now, off to make some deliciousness! Note, the dried cranberries I used here are not the “craisins” that are full of sugar. They are without added sugar.

two cranberry orange muffins
two cranberry orange muffins

Here’s your little tip for the day…when you remove the muffins from the oven, turn them in the pan on their side. That will let the steam and heat escape from the bottom of the pan and your muffins won’t end up soggy**

cranberry orange muffin

Cranberry Orange Muffins (paleo, gluten free)

Heather Harris
Here are the steps to follow if you want to make your own cranberry orange muffins at home!

Ingredients
  

  • 2 cups almond flour
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • cup honey
  • ½ cup coconut oil measured in liquid state
  • 1 cup fresh cranberries OR 1/2 cup dried cranberries

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (204 Celsius)
  • If you are using dried cranberries, measure out the orange juice in a large measuring cup and allow the cranberries to rehydrate in the juice.
  • In a medium mixing bowl, add the almond flour, baking powder, and salt together.
  • Whisk to combine.
  • In a separate mixing bowl, beat the eggs.
  • Add honey, coconut oil, orange juice and rehydrated cranberries.
  • Mix well to combine.
  • Pour the dry ingredients into the wet and stir well.
  • Scoop ⅔ cup of muffin batter into a medium sized muffin pan, lined with papers or greased with coconut oil.
  • Bake for 17-20 minutes, until cooked through in the center.

Recipe Variations and Notes

Cranberry orange muffins are a delicious way to enjoy the flavors of fall. The tartness of the cranberries pairs perfectly with the sweetness of the oranges, and the addition of cinnamon and nutmeg gives these muffins a warm and cozy flavor.

However, there are many ways to change up this recipe to suit your taste.

How to Prepare Fresh Cranberries for Baking

When baking with fresh or frozen cranberries, it’s important to coat them in flour before adding them to the batter. This will help to prevent them from sinking to the bottom of the muffins as they bake.

Just coat the cranberries in a bit of all purpose flour – note, this is not something you need to do for dried cranberries.

Then, when instructed to do so, fold them into the muffin batter. Then you’ll have cranberries throughout instead of just in one big blob!

Can I Substitute Frozen or Dried Cranberries for Fresh in Muffins?

Frozen cranberries can be used without thawing, and they will retain their tart flavor. Dried cranberries should be soaked in hot water for 10 minutes before being added to the batter.

Just remember that the taste and texture of dried cranberries are not quite the same as fresh. They may be a bit sweeter and a bit chewy.

Consider Adding a Sweet Orange Glaze

If you’re looking to take your muffins to the next level, consider adding a sweet orange glaze. The combination of zesty citrus and rich sugar is irresistible, and it will make your muffins look as good as they taste.

Plus, it’s easy to make – simply mix together some fresh orange juice, sugar, and cornstarch and brush it over the top of your muffins before they go into the oven.

Add Nuts or Chocolate Chips

For a festive twist, try adding dried cranberries and chopped pecans to the batter. Or, if you’re feeling indulgent, add chocolate chips and orange zest. Either way, your muffins will be deliciously moist and full of flavor.

Make Them Ahead

These muffins are easy to make ahead of time. Simply mix together the dry ingredients the night before, and then add the wet ingredients in the morning. Pop them in the oven, and in less than 30 minutes you’ll have a delicious breakfast or snack.

Try Mini Muffins!

This cranberry orange muffin recipe is perfect for making mini muffins. Simply follow the instructions below to create delicious, bite-sized treats that are perfect for any occasion.

Using a cookie scoop or spoon, fill each compartment of a mini muffin tin about three-quarters full with batter.

Bake the muffins for 15-20 minutes, or until they are golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Don’t Use an Electric Mixer – Use a Spatula or Whisk

When it comes to baking cranberry orange muffins, many people rely on electric mixers to get the job done. However, this kitchen appliance can actually cause dense muffins from overmixing.

The key to light and fluffy muffins is to not overmix the batter. This can be easily accomplished by using a spatula or whisk instead of an electric mixer.

Don’t Open the Oven Door While Baking

A tried and true method for making perfect cranberry orange muffins is to not open the oven door while they are baking. If you open the door, even just a crack, the heat escapes and can cause the muffins to deflate.

Once the muffins have deflated, they will never regain their original shape and will be dense and heavy instead of light and fluffy.

Press a Few Cranberries on Top for a Gorgeous Presentation

When it comes to muffins, there are two schools of thought: those who believe that the topping is the best part, and those who believe that the cakey center is where it’s at.

Regardless of your preference, there’s no denying that a cranberry orange muffin topped with a few ruby-red berries makes for a beautiful presentation.

The contrast of the bright fruit against the golden-hued muffin is simply stunning. And while you could use any type of berry, cranberries are particularly well suited for this purpose since they hold their shape so well when baked.

So if you’re looking to impress your guests with your baking skills, be sure to top your next batch of cranberries orange muffins with a few whole berries.

Measure, Measure, Measure

When it comes to baking, precision is key. One of the best ways to ensure that your baked goods turn out perfectly every time is to measure ingredients carefully. This is especially true when making cranberry orange muffins.

The acidity of the cranberries can throw off the balance of the batter, leading to muffins that are either too dense or too crumbly.

By measuring carefully and following the recipe to the letter, you can ensure that your muffins will be moist and fluffy every time.

Substitute Eggs for Greek Yogurt

Greek yogurt is a great substitute for eggs in cranberry orange muffins. It is lower in fat and cholesterol, and it is a good source of protein. Greek yogurt also gives the muffins a moist and fluffy texture.

When substituting Greek yogurt for eggs, use one-quarter cup of yogurt for each egg. You may need to add an extra tablespoon or two of flour to the recipe to compensate for the moisture from the yogurt.

What if the Cranberries Are Too Tart?

Cranberries are a tart fruit, and when used in baking, they can give muffins a delightful zing.

However, if the cranberries are too tart, they can overwhelm the other flavors in the muffins. If this happens, there are a few things you can do to balance out the tartness.

One option is to add more honey or some maple syrup to the batter. This will help to sweeten the muffins and offset the tartness of the cranberries.

Another option is to reduce the amount of cranberries in the recipe. This will allow the other flavors to shine through and prevent the muffins from being too tart.

Use a Toothpick to Check for Doneness

One of the trickiest things about baking is knowing when a muffin is done. If you underbake, your muffins will be gooey and dense.

If you over bake, they’ll be dry and crumbly. The best way to achieve the perfect balance is to use a toothpick to check for doneness.

Insert the toothpick into the center of the muffin. If it comes out clean, the muffin is done. If there’s batter or crumbs on the toothpick, pop the muffins back in the oven for a few more minutes.

How to Store Cranberry Orange Muffins

Cranberry orange muffins are a delicious and festive breakfast treat. However, they can be tricky to store. If left out on the counter, they will quickly become dry and crumbly.

Storing them in the fridge will extend their shelf life, but it will also make them less moist and flavorful. The best way to store cranberry orange muffins is in an airtight container in the freezer.

This will keep them fresh for up to two months.

When you’re ready to enjoy a muffin, simply thaw it overnight in the fridge or reheat it in the microwave for a few seconds

Final Thoughts

Will you make these muffins for your next brunch or gathering? How about for a quick and easy breakfast? Be sure to pin this for later, too!

cranberry orange muffins pin

5 thoughts on “Cranberry Orange Muffins (Gluten-free, Paleo)”

  1. Shannon @ GrowingSlower

    These look yummy! I’ve been needing a way to use up some coconut flour. This looks like a great option!

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