Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. I may earn a small commission for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial, and/or link to any products or services from this website.
Vegan Cranberry Muffins are crisp on the edges, soft and fluffy in the center, then drizzled with a simple orange glaze. Whip these up in 1-bowl with pantry staples.
These Vegan Cranberry Orange Muffins are the perfect combination of sweet orange juice, tart cranberries, and citrus-y glaze icing. Enjoy these dairy free muffins year round or as a holiday breakfast treat.
Table of Contents
Tart and Zesty Bakery-Style Muffins
If you didn’t know by now, cranberry + orange is one of my absolute favorite flavor combinations. And after making Cranberry Orange Crumble Bars, Cranberry Orange Bread, and Healthy Cranberry Sauce with Orange Zest, I decided it was finally time to merge this flavor combination with my other love: muffins.
These muffins are everything you’d want them to be: light, fluffy, golden on the exterior, tender in the center, and made with a high, domed top. Once drizzled with the orange glaze, you won’t be able to resist eating more than one.
What You Need for Vegan Cranberry Orange Muffins
These muffins are equally as simple as most of my vegan muffin recipes. They’re made with mostly pantry staples, as well as a few ingredients to help make the cranberry orange flavor pop.
- Orange juice – For the best flavored muffins, I’d highly recommend using freshly squeezed orange juice, but store-bought orange juice can work in a pinch. If using store-bought, avoid orange juices fortified with vitamin D. These are typically not vegan as the vitamin D is often derived from sheep.
- Fresh cranberries – You can use fresh or frozen whole cranberries. If using frozen, thaw the cranberries, then drain any excess moisture and lightly pat them dry.
- Powdered sugar – This is optional, but powdered sugar is used to make a simple orange glaze. For the smoothest glaze, sift the sugar before combining with the orange juice.
- Orange zest – Essential for bringing the best orange flavor to these cranberry orange muffins. Don’t skimp on the zest here!
How to Make Vegan Cranberry Orange Muffins
- Whisk the dry ingredients together in a large bowl, then form a well in the center.
- Add the cane sugar, brown sugar, flax egg, yogurt, orange juice, melted butter or oil, and orange zest. Mix together to form a thick batter. Fold the cranberries in until evenly distributed.
- Divide the batter among the muffin tins, filling each tin to the top. Sprinkle a few extra cranberries on each, if desired.
- Bake until slightly golden and fluffy.
- Allow the muffins to cool completely, then drizzle with the simple orange glaze.
Caitlin’s Cooking Tips
- Cool the muffins on a wire cooling rack. Once your muffins have baked, allow them to cool in the muffin tin for 5-10 minutes, then transfer the muffins to a wire cooling rack to cool completely. This will prevent the condensation from the hot muffins from building in the muffin tin and making the muffins soggy.
- Correctly measure the flour. For best results, I highly recommend using a baking scale to measure the flour by grams. If that is not an option, measure the flour using the spooned and leveled method. Incorrectly measuring the flour can make your muffins dry and crumbly instead of light and moist. If this is new to you, check out this in-depth article: How to Measure Flour Accurately.
I love these vegan cranberry orange muffins as an easy grab-and-go breakfast, an afternoon snack, or a simple holiday dessert. You truly can enjoy them any time of day when you need something slightly sweet!
If you’re looking for more easy vegan muffin recipes, you’ll also love these Vegan Chocolate Chip Zucchini Muffins, Vegan Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins, Pumpkin Apple Muffins and these Lemon Blueberry Muffins!
How to Store Vegan Cranberry Orange Muffins
These vegan muffins will keep best covered at room temperature for up to 3 days or in the fridge for 1 week. These muffins can also be frozen for up to 2 months (without the orange glaze). Allow the muffins to cool completely before storing.
I typically enjoy these muffins at room temperature, but if you prefer your muffins warm, these cranberry orange muffins can be reheated in the microwave in 15 second bursts until warm. Or, wrap the muffins in foil and reheat in the oven for 10 minutes at 350F.
Unfortunately dried cranberries would not make a good substitute for fresh in a muffin recipe. Dried cranberries would be an odd texture and would not blend well into the batter. Save dried cranberries for recipes like my Fall Farro Salad or Vegan Stuffed Acorn Squash with Mushrooms.
Not necessary! Add the cranberries into the muffin batter straight from the fridge. Baking them ahead of time would make them burst and may make your muffin batter too wet.
There are a few factors that yield light and fluffy muffins but in short, the best way to ensure your muffins are light and fluffy is to use room temperature ingredients, avoid over-mixing the batter, and use a higher baking temperature for the first 7 minutes.
The secret to a high crown on muffins is to start with a higher baking temperature, then lower for the remainder of the bake time. This gives the muffins a bakery-style texture with a crip edge, tender center, and domed top.
There are many options when it comes to replacing eggs in vegan baking. In these vegan cranberry orange muffins, I went with flax eggs. They’re easy to make, work well as a binder, and add great nutrition to the recipe.
Enjoy! If you make this recipe and decide to share it on Facebook or Instagram, don’t forget to tag me @FromMyBowl + #FromMyBowl! I would also love it if you could leave a comment below with a recipe rating! Thank you for the support 😊
Vegan Cranberry Orange Muffins
For the Muffins:
- 2 tablespoons ground flax
- 5 tablespoons water
- 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour, spooned and leveled*
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup cane sugar
- 1/2 packed cup light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup unsweetened vegan yogurt
- 1/2 cup orange juice pulp-free
- 1/2 cup melted vegan butter or neutral oil
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- Zest of 2 oranges
- 1 1/2 cups fresh cranberries
For the Orange Glaze (optional):
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 2-3 teaspoons orange juice
- Prep: Preheat the oven to 425F and generously grease a 12-muffin pan with vegan butter or oil. Prepare the flax eggs and let sit for at least 5 minutes, to thicken.
- Dry Ingredients: Add the flour to a large mixing bowl, then add the cinnamon, ginger, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Whisk until combined, then form a well in the center of the bowl.
- Wet Ingredients: Add the cane sugar, brown sugar, flax egg, yogurt, orange juice, melted butter or oil, and orange zest to the same bowl. Use a spatula to mix everything together, starting in the center of the bowl and working outwards; the batter will be thick. Gently fold in the cranberries until evenly distributed.
- Divide the Batter: Use a large scoop or spoon to evenly divide the batter among the muffin tins, filling each tin level to the top. I like to sprinkle each muffin with a few extra cranberries, but that’s totally optional!
- Bake: Bake in the middle rack of the oven for 7 minutes, then, without opening the oven, reduce the oven temperature for 350F. Bake for an additional 15 to 18 minutes, until the tops of the muffins are slightly golden.
- Let Cool: Remove from the oven and set the muffin tin on a cooling rack; let the muffins rest for 5 minutes before using a knife to remove them from the muffin tin. Enjoy warm, or let cool completely on the wire rack before storing.
- Storage: Muffins will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. You can also freeze these cranberry orange muffins or up to two months, and defrost/reheat as necessary in a toaster oven. I do not recommend storing your muffins in the fridge as it makes their texture chewy.
- Measuring Flour: Make sure to fluff your flour with a spoon or fork, then carefully spoon it into a measuring cup and level off the top (or go by weight, which is the most accurate method). Do not scoop your flour with your measuring cup as this compresses the flour too much and will result in dry muffins.
- Refined Sugar Free: Replace both the brown sugar and cane sugar with equal parts (3/4 cup) coconut sugar. The muffins will be less moist and darker in color
- Flour Substitutions: I have not (yet) tested this recipe with any gluten-free flour substitutions, but if you make this gluten-free with success, leave a comment below!