These Gluten Free Cranberry Orange Muffins are made with a blend of gluten free flours, fresh cranberries, and plenty of orange zest for a soft texture and sweet, refreshing flavor you’ll love. Whip up a batch in no time for easy breakfasts or satisfying snacks throughout the week! Vegan Option.
Why You’ll Love These Cranberry Orange Muffins
When we tell you we test every recipe to make it perfect for you, we mean it! In fact, we’re so dedicated we tested these cranberry orange muffins a total of 5 times. So, you can rest assured that they are not only gluten free, dairy free, and vegan friendly, but they’re also tender, soft, and full of refreshing fruit flavor, too!
Inspired by the upcoming holiday season, we included sugar, spice, and everything nice while keeping the ingredient list as simple as possible. As a result, these muffins are super easy to create and enjoy throughout the week. We love snacking on them for breakfast with a warm oat milk latte! However, they also make for great additions to any packed lunch and fantastic edible gifts.
The only hard thing about this recipe is not eating them all at once!
Allergy Friendly Ingredients and Substitutions
For this recipe, we included a variety of flavors for sweet muffins with a lot of depth! Along with a few baking staples like baking powder, baking soda, and salt, here’s everything you’ll need:
- Flour – We used a blend of gluten free oat flour and gluten free almond flour for a soft, tender texture.
Note: For more information on how to use different gluten free flours, keep reading here!
- Spices – Cinnamon and nutmeg add just a slight kick of spice for the best holiday-inspired taste.
- Optional Sugar – If you prefer your muffins on the sweeter side, incorporate coconut sugar or brown sugar into the batter.
- Non-Dairy Milk – Plant based milk with higher protein contents like almond milk work best. However, coconut milk, oat milk, or hemp milk are totally fine if that’s what you have on hand. Just note that each milk will yield a slightly different texture.
- Lemon Juice or Apple Cider Vinegar – The acid is crucial to form the vegan “buttermilk.”
- Oil – Coconut oil or refined avocado oil works to combine the batter and add healthy omega fats without the need for butter.
- Fruit – Fresh cranberries, orange zest, and orange juice create a festive flavor unlike anything else!
- Egg or Flax Egg – Used to bind all of the ingredients and give the muffins structure, helping them to hold their shape.
How to Make The Best Cranberry Orange Muffin Recipe
Not only are these muffins gluten free, dairy free, and vegan friendly, but they’re also so easy to make when you follow the steps below!
Combine the dry ingredients: In a large bowl, sift the dry ingredients together. Create the vegan buttermilk: In a large measuring cup or medium-sized bowl, whisk together the almond milk, lemon juice, oil, and maple syrup until smooth. Set the mixture aside for 10 minutes to thicken and curdle.
Prepare the fruit: Chop the cranberries into small pieces, and transfer them to a small bowl along with the orange zest.
Combine the ingredients: Add the egg and orange juice to the “buttermilk.” Working in batches, gently combine the wet ingredients with the dry ingredients. Fold in the cranberry mixture, and let the batter sit to thicken for 10 minutes.
Bake: Fill the cups of a greased muffin tin ¾ of the way full. top each cranberry orange muffin with an extra orange slice, if using. Bake until the muffins have risen and a toothpick can be inserted into the center and comes out clean.
Cool: Once baked, let the muffins cool in the pan for 5 minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack. Enjoy immediately, or save for later!
Glaze and Add-In Options
Bursting with flavor in every bite, this cranberry orange muffin recipe is plenty flavorful all on its own. However, we can’t resist a good topping or mix-in.
Some of our favorite ways to switch these muffins up include
- Dairy-free chocolate chips
- Chopped nuts
- Unsweetened coconut flake
- A glaze topping made with powdered sugar and orange juice like the orange glaze below!
Easy Orange Glaze Recipe:
- ¾ – 1 cup powdered sugar (or sugar substitute) – adjust to desired sweetness
- 3 Tablespoons – ¼ cup orange juice
- 2 Tablespoons melted coconut butter or oil
- Whisk all of the ingredients together, and add spread the glaze on top of the warm muffins.
Use Room Temperature Ingredients. Letting your milk and eggs come to room temperature will allow for easier mixing and fluffier muffins.
Use a Food Processor. Work smarter, not harder, and use a food processor to chop up your cranberries instead of chopping them all by hand.
Don’t Overmix. You’ll want to combine the batter ingredients just until they are smooth. If you continue to mix any longer, you risk overworking the batter which will create dense, hockey puck-like muffins.
Storage and Freezing
These cranberry orange muffins are great to make ahead of time. In fact, we have a batch in the freezer as we type this! Go ahead and whip up a double batch while you’re in the kitchen. Your future self will thank you. Just follow the steps below to keep them fresh:
Room Temperature: For the best results, place leftover muffins in a sealable bag or airtight container, and store them in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Refrigerator: To keep your muffins fresher for longer place them in the fridge for up to 1 week.
Freezer: Transfer your leftovers to a sealable bag or airtight container, and store them in the freezer for up to 3 months. When you’re ready to eat, let them thaw in the fridge overnight. Then, serve them cold. Or, warm them up in the microwave for about 30 seconds or until they’re heated through!
Note: After a day or two your muffins may begin to have purple spots. Don’t worry! They haven’t gone bad. This color change is due to the high acidity of cranberry juice. Naturally, its pigment is pink. However, when added to an acid base (like baking soda in this recipe), it turns purple or blue!
Frequently Asked Questions About Cranberry Orange Muffins
We haven’t tested it, but it should work! Your muffins will likely be a little less fluffy but every bit as delicious.
No! The tartness of the berries pairs perfectly with the sweet, buttery flavor of the muffins, and the cranberries cook as the muffins bake, softening them up a bit.
Sure! Swap out the cranberries for any other berry you prefer like blueberries or raspberries.
Due to the delicate balance of wet and dry ingredients used with gluten free flours, we don’t recommend replacing them with anything else. However, we have a ton of muffin recipes to fit all your needs. Try out these Flourless Honey Oat Ricotta Muffins or Low FODMAP Gluten Free Blueberry Muffins instead!
More Gluten Free Muffin Recipes You’ll Love
Looking for more tasty gluten free, allergy friendly muffin recipes? Try out more of our favorites below!
- Flourless Chocolate Chip Protein Muffins – A fan-favorite, this recipe is high protein, low sugar, flourless, and bursting with chocolate chips!
- Gluten Free Coconut Orange Muffins – Made with whole food ingredients and a bright citrus flavor, just one bite will transport you to paradise.
- Gluten Free Apple Oatmeal Muffins – Full of warm flavor, this recipe comes together with rolled oats and natural sugars for a tasty kid friendly breakfast or snack.
- Breakfast Muffins with No Added Sugar – Better than any packaged options, these are simple, sweet, and completely refined sugar free.
Do you have questions, feedback, or tips about this recipe? Leave a comment below with any questions or feedback you’d like to share!