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Fresh Cranberry Muffins

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Fresh cranberry muffins, with a hint of orange and dusting of sugar on top, are a perfect seasonal grab and go breakfast.

Cranberry muffins made with fresh cranberries are a treat during the holidays.

Last holiday season I over-committed myself as I often do. I organize an event at school each holiday season that happens in early December. I knew I wanted to make something for my volunteers to nibble on so I made these fresh cranberry muffins. Well, my son made the muffins to help me out.

To be honest, I’d never used fresh cranberries for anything other than cranberry sauce. I wasn’t sure how they would work, especially since you slice them. I wondered if they would bleed into the batter. They did not and they softened slightly still adding texture to the muffin. Taking a page from my Mom, my son decided to sprinkle sugar on top of the muffins before baking. She always did this when making her blueberry muffins.

While the cranberries did bleed a little bit, not so much that the entire muffin turned pink. The volunteers at my event enjoyed them and I had none to bring home, which is OK because I know I can make them again. You could certainly make these in jumbo form but I would suggest making more than one batch as they won’t last long. 

Be sure to try these muffins with my cranberry butter.

Fresh Cranberry Muffins

Fresh Cranberry Muffins

Yield: 11 regular sized muffins or 6 jumbo
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 18 minutes
Total Time: 33 minutes

Cranberry muffins are a bit sweet and a bit tart. The perfect combination.


  • 1 cup fresh cranberries, cut into quarters or smaller
  • 8 tablespoons sugar, divided
  • 1 ¾ cups flour
  • 2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg
  • ¾ cup milk
  • ⅓ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange zest, optional
  • Extra sugar for sprinkling the muffin tops


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Prepare muffin tin by greasing or spraying with flour cooking spray. You can use 12 regular muffin size or 6 jumbo. (I only got 11 muffins though)
  2. Place cut cranberries in a small bowl. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons sugar and set aside.
  3. Sift remaining dry ingredients, sugar, flour, baking powder and salt, into large bowl.
  4. In another bowl, beat egg, milk and oil. Make a hole, or well, in center of dry ingredients; pour in liquid ingredients. Stir just until moistened. Do not over mix. Add berries and, if desired, orange zest.
  5. Fill muffin tins ¾ full with batter. (A little less to get 12 but they won't be as high.) Sprinkle each muffin with a bit of sugar before baking.
  6. Bake at 400° for 18 minutes for standard-size muffins or for 22 minutes for jumbo muffins.

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Fresh cranberry muffins will delight family and friends for breakfast.




Tuesday 25th of January 2022

There is no sugar in the batter recipe, just the 2 Tablespoons to sprinkle on the cut up cranberries. Is that correct or did the sugar portion get left out of the recipe? I made them today and added about 1/4 c. Sugar to the batter. The muffins were beautiful but, they tasted like a nice biscuit or scone with cranberries. They are definitely not sweet like most muffins I have made. I did sprinkle sugar on top before baking but they just weren’t sweet enough for my taste. I didn’t have any issue with the cranberries bleeding into the batter but mine were pretty firm. Thanks for the recipe. If I make them again, I’ll add more sugar.

Ellen Folkman

Tuesday 25th of January 2022

Hi Cici, Thanks so much for your comment. Actually, the recipe says 8 tablespoons of sugar (total), divided which means it's used in two places. First, 2 tablespoons are sprinkled and tossed with the cranberries. Then in the instructions, the remaining 4 tablespoons of sugar (or 1/4 cup), is mixed in with the dry ingredients. You are right though, they are not very sweet


Saturday 27th of October 2018

It's been a long time since I've made cranberry muffins! This recipe looks easy and delicious. Thanks for sharing with us...just pinned!


Saturday 27th of October 2018

These look so fun and festive for the holiday season! I’m definitely putting these muffins on my baking list. Thanks for sharing!


Saturday 27th of October 2018

I love the combination of sweet and tart flavors. Must taste amazing!


Saturday 27th of October 2018

These muffins look nice and moist. You sure know how to take care of your volunteers!

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