These simple bakery-style Vegan Cranberry Orange Muffins are bursting with festive flavors of cranberry and citrus!
With the holidays around the corner, a festive-themed muffin is a must. These vegan cranberry orange muffins are the perfect plant-based treat during the winter months! Made with just 10 ingredients, these bakery-style muffins are bursting with orange juice and cranberry flavors - a perfect holiday flavor combination.
The recipe for these flavorful muffins is flexible - it can be made using fresh or dried cranberries with an optional citrus glaze. These moist orange cranberry muffins are made in under an hour, using basic pantry ingredients, two bowls, and a muffin pan. They can be made ahead and keep well for up to 4 days.
Ingredients and Variations
Flour - You can use cake or AP flour. As always, I recommend the use of digital kitchen scales to weigh your ingredients accurately.
Cranberries - You can use dry or fresh cranberries for these muffins. If using fresh cranberries, you may want to increase the amount of sugar in the batter to balance the tartness of the cranberries.
Sugar - Granulated or caster sugar work fine for these vegan muffins. I opted for a reduced amount of sugar in the batter, especially since I used dried cranberries which already have added sugar. I used ¾ cup of sugar instead of the typical 1 cup. However, feel free to adjust the amounts to your liking, especially if using fresh cranberries.
Baking powder and baking soda - leavening agents for a perfect bakery-style rise.
Salt - Flavor enhancer - just a pinch!
Vegetable Oil - I suggest using a neutral-flavored oil such as canola oil. You can also use sunflower or avocado oil.
Orange Juice and Orange Zest - You will need around 5-6 tablespoons of fresh orange juice in total (for the muffins and glaze) and the zest of one orange.
Milk - I recommend using neutral-flavored non-dairy milk. Some options include oat milk, rice milk, and soy milk. You can also use unsweetened almond milk.
These muffins are fabulous with or without the optional orange glaze, but if you want to go ahead with a drizzle, you will need around 1 cup of powdered sugar and a 1-2 tablespoons of fresh orange juice.
How to Make Vegan Cranberry Orange Muffins
- Preheat the oven to 220°C (428F) and line a muffin tin with muffin liners (or use silicone liners).
- Sift and mix your dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt) in a medium bowl and set aside.
- Mix oil and sugar in a large mixing bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until combined.
- Add orange juice and zest and mix. Add milk and mix for another minute.
- Add dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Do not overmix.
- Fold in cranberries using a spatula.
- Divide the batter between the muffin liners. Fill all the way to the top for a large muffin or ¾ full for a medium-sized muffin.
- Bake at 220°C (428F) for 7-8 minutes. Without opening the oven door, reduce the temperature to 175°C (350F) and bake for another 10-13 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Cool for 5-10 minutes in muffin tin, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.
- Once cooled, drizzle with orange glaze (optional).
To make orange glaze, mix powdered sugar with 1-3 tbsp. of orange juice, depending on your preferred consistency. Use more juice for a thin glaze and use more sugar for a thick glaze.
The Perfect Bakery-Style Muffins
Some tips for making the perfect bakery-style vegan muffins:
- Use digital weighing scales to weigh your ingredients accurately for best results. Unfortunately, measuring cups are not always accurate.
- Do not overmix your batter after adding the dry ingredients. Overmixing will result in gluten formation leading to a dense muffin sponge.
- Fill muffin liners all the way to the top! I like to pour 80-100 grams of muffin batter for each muffin.
- Bake at high heat 220°C (428F) for a few minutes, then lower the oven temperature to 175°C (350F) without opening the oven and bake until done. The high initial temperature helps muffins to rise rapidly, giving that bakery-style high-rise.
- Cool muffins on a cooling rack. Do not leave them in the muffin pan for too long (not more than 10 minutes) as steam will cause them to become soggy and they may collapse.
- Cool muffins completely before glazing otherwise it won't hold.
Storing Vegan Orange Cranberry Muffins
Make sure that the muffins have cooled down completely. Store glazed or unglazed muffins in an airtight container at room temperature for 4-5 days.
You can freeze these muffins for up to 2 months in a freezer safe container.
Before serving, bring out the muffins from the freezer and thaw at room temperature for 5-8 hours.
Yes! You can also make the batter in advance and store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 day.
Bring out the batter to room temperature while preheating your oven.
I have not yet tried making this recipe using frozen cranberries, so I cannot recommend using frozen cranberries at this time.
Vegan Cranberry Orange Muffins
- 250 g flour all-purpose or cake flour (2 cups)
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- ½ tsp. baking soda
- ¼ tsp. salt
- 150 g granulated sugar or light brown sugar (¾ cup)
- 80 mL vegetable oil e.g., canola oil (⅓ cup)
- 180 mL plant-based milk neutral flavored e.g., oat milk (¾ cup)
- 3 tbsp. fresh orange juice
- zest of one orange
- 120 g cranberries dried or fresh 1 + a few extra for topping (1½ cup)
- 120 g powdered sugar
- 1-3 tbsp. fresh orange juice
- orange zest optional
- Preheat oven to 220°C (428F). Lightly oil a muffin pan or line with muffin liners.
- Sift and mix flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium sized bowl and set aside.
- Place sugar and oil in a large mixing bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment (or use a hand mixer) and mix on medium speed until combined.
- Add orange juice and zest and mix for another 30 seconds. Add milk and mix for 1 minute until well combined.
- Slowly add dry ingredients and mix on low speed until just combined. Do not overmix.
- Fold in cranberries using a spatula.
- Divide muffin batter between 10 to 12 muffin liners and fill almost all the way (for a large muffin) or ¾ full (for a smaller muffin). Top with extra fresh cranberries if desired.
- Bake in a preheated oven at 220°C (428F) for 7-8 minutes. Without opening the oven door, reduce the temperature to 175°C (350F) and bake for another 10-13 minutes until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Allow muffins to cool in muffin pan for at least 10 minutes (otherwise they may break apart). Then, transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.
- To make the glaze, whisk together powdered sugar and juice. For a thicker glaze, add less juice (1-2 tbsp.) and for a runny glaze, add more juice, until a desired consistency is reached. Drizzle over cooled muffins and top with extra zest as desired.
- If using frozen blueberries tap dry using paper towels before adding them to the batter. Do not thaw frozen blueberries before using.