Amazingly Moist Cranberry Bread Recipe
Tart and sweet cranberry bread recipe with just a tiny bit of crispness that protects each soft and moist slice. The best cranberry bread youll ever eat.
Cranberry bread is one of my favorite holiday traditions in our house. When fresh cranberries arrive at the supermarket I know the holidays arent far away.
Read on for the cranberry bread recipe
Can I Add Nuts Chocolate Chips
Absolutely, you can! I would suggest adding up to 3/4 cup of chocolate chips. And no more than a 1/2 cup of toasted nuts. Walnuts or pecans would be especially delightful! Adding more than the suggested quantity above could weight down the muffins and cause them to sink in the middle and/or bake up dry.
Ingredients For Bakery Style Cranberry Muffins
This is an overview of the simple ingredients that you’ll need for a batch of homemade cranberry muffins. As always, specific measurements and complete cooking instructions are included in the printable recipe box at the bottom of the post.
- All-purpose flour: the base of the batter.
- Baking powder and baking soda: leavening agents that help the muffins rise.
- Salt: to enhance the other flavors in the muffins, balance the sweetness, and add depth of flavor.
- Vegetable oil: keeps the muffins incredibly moist. You can substitute with melted unsalted butter.
- Granulated sugar: for just the right amount of sweetness.
- Eggs: give the muffins structure.
- Vanilla extract: for warm flavor.
- Orange zest: an optional ingredient if you like Cranberry Orange Muffins.
- Sour cream: use the full-fat variety for the most moist and tender crumb.
- Cranberries: fresh or frozen will work. You can even sub with dried cranberries if you like.
- Coarse sparkling sugar: an optional topping that gives the muffins crunchy, sugar-coated tops.
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Fluffy Cranberry Orange Muffins
These fluffy cranberry orange muffins will make your house smell like the holidays! I hope they become your new favorite holiday muffin recipe. It took me eight tries to get these muffins just right, but they were absolutely worth the effort.
These muffins are bursting with fresh cranberry and orange flavor. Theyre fluffy and moist and deliciouseverything I want a muffin to be.
Plus, theyre made with wholesome ingredients like whole wheat flour and Greek yogurt, and theyre naturally sweetened with honey or maple syrup. You can keep those details to yourself, thoughno one will guess that these muffins are healthier than most!
Did I mention that you can easily mix these together by hand? No mixer required. Serve them for breakfast or brunch, or bring them to your holiday parties this year!
Substitutions Tips And Tricks For Recipe Success
- Add in a little bit of orange zest for citrusy flair. Same goes for lemon or lime zest!
- Sprinkle the tops with sparkling sugar to add a little crunch and make them shine.
- Use fresh cranberries, they are tart and wont make the muffins soggy.
- Dont over mix the batter! The more you work the batter, the tougher the muffins will be. We want them light and fluffy!
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Cranberry Orange Muffin Recipe Development
I thought this recipe was going to be so easy. Take my blueberry muffin recipe, substitute cranberries for the blueberries, add orange zestdone. Not so fast, Kate!
Problem: The fresh cranberries were so much bigger than blueberries and so tart that they left mouth-puckering polka dots in the muffins. Fortunately, I found a clue in Americas Test Kitchens cranberry muffin recipe.
Solution: Blitz the fresh cranberries in a food processor for a few seconds to break them up. That way, you get delicious little bits of cranberries in every bite. This also allowed me to double the amount of cranberries for maximum cranberry flavor.
Problem: The muffins were still far too tart, though .
Solution: To counteract the tartness of the cranberries, I added 1/4 cup more honey or maple syrup, which made these muffins perfectly sweetnot too much, not too little.
Problem: The extra moisture from the additional liquid sweetener made the muffins flatten out on the top. I wanted beautifully domed, fluffy muffins, so I tried decreasing the amount of yogurt, tweaking the baking powder and baking soda, and I was almost ready to give up
Solution: I went back to the original formula and added 1/4 cup more flour. The muffins rose like a dream!
Eight tries later, I landed on perfect cranberry orange muffins! I hope youll make them while cranberries are still in season.
Can You Freeze Them
You can freeze the muffins by placing the cooled muffins into freezer safe containers and freeze for up to 3 months. If you wish, you can wait about adding the glaze, but they can be frozen with the glaze as well.
To serve, simply remove them from the freezer and allow to thaw completely. I like to serve these warm , so I will reheat them a bit before serving.
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Cranberry Quick Bread Recipe
This cranberry bread recipe is so different from the bland dry stuff that comes on catering platters. This loaf is golden brown with vibrant bits of cranberry and orange zest in each slice. Even more than the beautiful slices is how incredibly moist it is. The outside has just a tiny bit of crispness that protects a soft and moist inside. Its perfectly tart and sweet. Its honestly the best cranberry bread youll ever eat.
Make Cranberry Crumb Loaves Or Muffins
I’ve always loved that this recipe uses both dried and fresh cranberries because it doubles the lovely tart berry flavor. But I’ve adapted it to also use up leftover cranberry sauce, so there are two ways you can make these. The photos here all show the bread with a cranberry sauce filling, but in the full printable recipe you’ll find directions on how to use chopped, fresh cranberries instead .
The other great thing about this recipe is that the topping is made as part of the quick bread dry ingredients – you just scoop out the specified amount before adding the remaining ingredients. So easy.
To use cranberry sauce: partially fill the pans with batter, add a spoonful of cranberry sauce to the centers and then evenly top with remaining batter, swirling and covering with a knife. As you can see from the top photo above, it doesn’t have to cover perfectly – especially because they will be covered with wonderful crumbs.
Baking Pans Needed for this Cranberry Crumb Loaves and Muffins Recipe:
As much as I don’t like to keep a lot of tools or one-use gadgets in my kitchen , I do like having a small 4-loaf pan which makes it so much easier to bake a number of small loaves. I have used this mini 8-loaf pan in the past , though for this recipe I was able to use this bigger 4-cup, 4-loaf pan, which you see in the photos.
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Easy Cranberry Muffin Recipe
I first came across this easy cranberry muffin recipe in a vintage cookbook from Mrs. Wilkes’ Boarding House in Savannah — a cozy little Southern diner that serves comfort food lunches at communal tables. The wildly popular spot may be best known for its fried chicken, cornbread dressing, biscuits and corn muffins, but these homemade cranberry muffins are hidden gems that deserve some love, too!
After making them many times, I’ve tweaked and updated the recipe to make these muffins the absolute best. They’re moist with a tender crumb and have a great sweet-tart flavor. You can jazz up the base recipe with walnuts or orange zest if you prefer Cranberry Nut Muffins or Cranberry Orange Muffins, or pile them high with streusel for bakery-style treats.
This Skinny Cranberry Orange Loaf Or Muffins Are Packed With Cranberries And Flavored With Fresh Orange Juice An Easy Muffin Or Loaf Recipe Thats Sure To Be A Favorite
Makes 12 muffins or slices
What ingredients do I need for this Skinny Cranberry Orange Loaf or Muffins?
- All purpose flour for this particular muffin/loaf recipe I use Gold Medal All Purpose Flour. You can substitute the all purpose flour for wheat, almond, or gluten-free flour. The point values may vary depending on the brand you use. For those looking for a gluten free option you can use THIS gluten-free flour. For those looking for a low carb option THIS almond flour would work great as a substitute.
- Baking powder-be sure to use aluminum free. Baking powder with aluminum can react to acidic ingredients , causing discoloration and a metallic taste.
- Baking soda
- Zero point white sugar substitute: I use LAKANTO CLASSIC OR BAKING SWEETENER
- Light butter or unsweetened applesauce: I use Land o Lakes made with canola oil light butter melted or if you prefer you can substitute the melted light butter for 3 Tbsp of unsweetened applesauce. I recommend the light butter. It really gives this loaf/muffins that creaminess! Also, the overall point value is the same for either option.
- Oranges: you will use the juice/zest from 2-3 large oranges. You can substitute the 2-4 Tbsp fresh organge juce for 1/4 cup of fresh bottled no sugar added orange juice.
- Fresh or frozen cranberries: If using frozen cranberries toss them with 1 Tbsp of flour to coat-this will help ensure they dont fall to the bottom or/and discolor the batter.
What sweetener do I use?
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How Do You Prepare Fresh Cranberries For Baking
To prepare fresh or frozen cranberries for baking and to prevent them from sinking to the bottom of your muffins as they bake, simply toss the cranberries in a bit of all purpose flour to coat them. You do not do this with dried cranberries. Then, when instructed in the recipe, gently fold them into the muffin batter. The muffins will then have cranberries throughout.
Tips For The Best Cranberry Muffin Recipe
- Properly measure the flour. Always spoon and level the flour or weigh it on a kitchen scale — do not scoop it out of the package. Incorrectly measuring the flour packs it too tightly into the measuring cup and results in dense, dry muffins.
- The key to a perfect muffin is just barely mixing the ingredients. You want them to come together, but a few lumps are fine. This way theyâll stay moist and tender!
- Fill the muffin cups nice and full. I like to use an ice cream scoop to make sure that each cup has an equal amount of batter, ensuring that the muffins bake evenly in the oven.
- To check if the muffins are done, insert a toothpick into the center and make sure it comes out clean. Donât cook them for too long, or they can dry out.
- Bakery-Style Cranberry Muffins: For those crisp sugary muffin tops that you find in a bakery, sprinkle coarse sugar on top of the muffins before baking.
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Ingredients In Fresh Cranberry Muffins
- Flour: We use all-purpose flour for these cranberry muffins, but you could also use gluten free flour that has a one-to-one ration with all-purpose flour.
- Sugar: I dont like my muffins to be overly sweet, but you do need a good amount of cane sugar regardless. We use 2/3 cup, if you like yours on the sweeter side, bump it up to ¾ cup.
- Baking powder: This is the leavened in our muffins, its needed to make the muffins rise. Make sure yours isnt expired.
- Salt: I love to add more salt that most people do. Not only does it help to balance out the sweetness, but I love to get a little salty bit in each bite.
- Milk: You could use any kind of milk, this time around we used whole milk, but 2% or non-dairy milk would also work.
- Butter: Our recipe calls for melted butter, make sure its unsalted so you can control the amount of salt that goes in the muffins.
- Yogurt: Use whatever yogurt you have on hand! We used a sweetened greek yogurt, but plain yogurts or regular yogurt would work as well.
- Egg: You need an egg to bind all the ingredients together. We like to use large organic eggs, but whatever you have on hand is fine.
Cranberry Orange Muffin Ingredient Notes
Heres what youll need to make these cranberry-studded beauties:
White whole wheat flour or regular whole wheat flour: Either one will work. White whole wheat flour is made with white wheat berries instead of red, and has a more mild flavor as a result. As long as your whole wheat flour hasnt been sitting on the shelf too long, your muffins will not have a strong whole wheat taste. In fact, if your flour smells rancid or your muffins taste bitter, your flour has gone bad.
You could also substitute all-purpose flour or Bobs Red Mills gluten-free all-purpose blend.
Pro tip: The proper way to measure flour is to spoon flour into your measuring cup and level off the top with a knife. Do not scoop flour into your cups, or you could end up with way too much flour, and dry/tough muffins.
Baking powder and baking soda: These are leavening agents, which help the muffins rise so they are light and fluffy. These ingredients are not the same thing and are not interchangeable, so be careful with your measurements!
Fine sea salt: I prefer to use non-iodized sea salt instead of plain table salt because it has a cleaner taste and contains some good-for-you trace minerals. You can substitute regular salt if thats what you have!
Coconut oil or extra-virgin olive oil: Instead of butter, these muffins call for oil. I cant taste either one in the end result. If you use olive oil, I recommend a mildly flavored one, like California Olive Ranchs Everyday variety.
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A Dusting Of Sparkling Sugar Makes These Cranberry Muffins Christmas Morning Material
I love my sparkling sugar when I want a little bit of a finishing touch for cakes, muffins, or pies, but I dont want to fuss with making a separate crumb topping or glaze. It gives a sparkle and crunch to the top of these muffins, and the little extra sweet with the tart berries is perfect.
Sparkling sugar is a decorative sugar that has a large crystal structure. You can add it before baking, or sprinkle it on just as your baked goods come out of the oven. Often Ill do both
Mini Cranberry Orange Muffins
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Combine a handful of simple ingredients into fresh Cranberry Orange Muffins to share with the kids come breakfast or snack timeor to serve alongside your favorite chili, soup, or holiday recipe! These work well to make ahead too.
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The Health Benefits Of Cranberries
I’m by no means a health expert, but I really enjoy learning why healthy foods are healthy for your body. Cranberries happen to be one of the best superfoods for you. Here’s why:
- One cup of raw fruits has 25% of your daily Vitamin C, 9% of your daily Vitamin A , 6% Vitamin K, and then some potassium, iron, and calcium .
- Cranberries can help prevent liver disease, urinary tract infections, can lower blood pressure
- It’s important to note that when cranberries are dried, they lose most of their vitamins but keep most of the minerals — like potassium and calcium. Doesn’t mean they’re not good…you’re just losing some of the goodness.
Cranberry Crumb Loaves Or Muffins Recipe
Delicious cranberry crumb loaves or muffins are made with dried cranberries and your choice of fresh berries OR leftover cranberry sauce for double the cranberry flavor. Wrapped and tied with a ribbon, this sweet bread makes a great holiday food gift.
Love bread? Check out all our Best Bread Recipes like this that anyone can make.
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Oh, goodness these cranberry crumb loaves are so amazingly delicious – whether you make them as loaves or muffins! Even though I’ve been making them for years – usually at the holidays because they make such great gifts – and it’s always a case of “Wow, I always forget how good these are!”
You know those simple recipes that use real food pantry ingredients and have not-super-exciting names like ‘cranberry crumb loaves,’ but then blow you away with their flavor, texture, and all around yumminess? Yeah, this is that kind of recipe.
And if you’re not feeling the “loaf” part of the recipe, go ahead and make muffins anytime – regular size or mini, they’ll be welcomed for breakfast or snacks any time of the year.
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Homemade Cranberry Bread Faqs
- Can you make cranberry bread with frozen cranberries?
- Yes, you can use fresh or frozen cranberries for this recipe without adjusting the baking time.
Looking for more amazing holiday recipes? Try these:
- Total Time:1 hour 30 minutes
- Yield:8 slices 1x
- Zest of one large orange
- 2/3 cup buttermilk*
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1 large egg
- 1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped fresh or frozen cranberries**
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans