Healthy cranberry orange muffins with a lovely sugar crumb topping, dairy free, no eggs or oil, and a bright citrus flavor made in one bowl in under 30 minutes, a delicious soft muffin perfect for breakfast or brunch celebration!
Healthy cranberry orange muffins are easy to make, and are fine for all diets, soft and delicious, and also dairy-free, vegan and high in fiber. They have a gentle dome muffin-top and a sugary crumb on top, just enough sweet to make it a dessert while still keeping the healthy. Like my chocolate frosted donuts, my chocolate chip muffins or my Jordan Marsh blueberry muffins, they make a wonderful breakfast treat. Wash them down with my refreshing strawberry smoothie or my light and foamy banana milk.
Flour - Use all-purpose flour or 1 to 1 gluten-free baking flour or oat flour. If using oat flour, double the amount of flour - so 2 cups instead of 1 cup, and double the orange juice, so ½ cup instead of ¼ cup. That's because oat flour absorbs more liquid than other flours do.
Sugar - Use organic cane sugar if you can. It tastes better.
Butter - Use regular unsalted butter, or vegan butter for a vegan or dairy-free diet.
Applesauce - Use unsweetened.
Cranberries - You can use either fresh or frozen cranberries in this recipe. If you use frozen, the muffin will have pink streaks because of the wetness of the frozen berries. You can minimize this by tossing the cranberries in flour before folding them into the batter. Specifically, rinse the frozen berries, pat dry, and then toss them in flour - whichever flour you are using in the recipe.
Orange Juice - Instead of using milk as in most muffin recipes, I use orange juice. Use not-from-concentrate OJ or squeeze fresh oranges.
See the recipe card at the bottom for full information on ingredients and quantities.
Butter. Use yogurt. The texture will be lighter.
Applesauce. Or use aquafaba - the liquid from a can of chickpeas to replace eggs.
Step by Step Instructions
For more detail, visit the complete and printable recipe at the bottom of this post, but here are general steps.
1.Preheat the oven at 400 F. (You will lower it when you put in muffins.)
2. Next, make the crumble top first and freeze it while you make the muffin batter.
3. Finally, make the muffin batter in one bowl. Cream the butter and sugar, then add other wet ingredients and mix up the batter. Then add the dry ingredients.
4. Toss the cranberries - fresh or frozen - in flour.
Then fold those berries into the batter. The flour keeps them dispersed evenly in the batter and prevents them from turning gooey and the batter pink.
Fill the cupcake wells at least ⅔ of the way, pack on the topping and put them in that hot oven then lower the oven to 350 F and bake for 25 minutes.
1. Toss the cranberries in flour before putting them into the batter. I didn't slice mine in half, but you can if you want to. It might make your cake a bit pinker even with flouring the berries.
2. Make your crumble top first and put it in the freezer while you make muffin batter. If you want to set it aside for longer than half an hour, don't freeze, just refrigerate.
3. For the topping, be sure your butter is chilled, not softened, certainly not melted.
4. Fill your muffin wells nearly to the top and then add your crumb. To be sure your muffin tops don't stick to the pan, be sure to grease the TOP of the pan.
No, you don't have to cook cranberries before baking.
Yes, you can use frozen cranberries in cranberry muffins, just be sure to toss them in flour so they don't bleed too much and discolor the muffin.
No, you can not use dried cranberries when baking muffins, but you can use them in cookies.
My cranberry orange muffins have only 13 grams of sugar per muffin, which is much lower than the classic version which has closer to 40 grams of sugar per muffin.
Muffin & Donut Recipes
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Healthy Cranberry Orange Muffins
- 1 ⅔ cups oat flour or use 1 cup all purpose flour or gluten-free baking flour.
- ¼ cup butter softened or room temperature
- ⅔ cups organic cane sugar
- 3 tablespoon applesauce, unsweetened
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- pinch of salt
- 2 teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ cup orange juice
- 1 tablespoon orange zest
- ¾ cup fresh cranberries
- Preheat oven to 375 F.
- Grease the top surface of the 6-well cupcake pan (so muffin tops don't stick). Then line the cupcake pan with paper liners.
- Toss the cranberries in flour and set aside.
Make Sugar Crumb Top
- Make the top first and freeze while you make muffins
- To do this, use a fork to mix the flour, sugar, butter and zest together into a crumbly mixture. Don't thoroughly cream it up. Instead, let chunks of flour and butter be visible. Add in the hemp hearts and zest.½ cup oat flour, ½ cup organic cane sugar, 3 tablespoon butter, 1 teaspoon orange zest
- Put bowl in the freezer (or refrigerator for more than half hour) while you mix up muffins.
- In one large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar until combined.¼ cup butter, ⅔ cups organic cane sugar
- Add in the applesauce, vanilla, orange juice and zest.3 tablespoon applesauce, unsweetened, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, ¼ cup orange juice, 1 tablespoon orange zest
- Sift in flour, salt, baking powder.1 ⅔ cups oat flour, pinch of salt, 2 teaspoon baking powder
- Mix this mixture until combined.
- Fold floured cranberries into batter as well.¾ cup fresh cranberries
- Fill each cupcake well with batter nearly to the top.
- Sprinkle and lightly pack on the sugar crumb topping.
- Put the pan in the oven, and lower heat to 350 F. Bake at 350 F for only 20 minutes.
- Store the muffins in a sealed container for 24 hours at room temperature if you want. The tops begin to moisten however. So within a day, put them in the refrigerator for a week or longer frozen.