Vegan Orange Cranberry Muffins

By Alexandra Caspero on December 23, 2022
The perfect Christmas muffin! Wholesome spelt muffins with cranberries and orange.
Makes 12 muffins

Vegan cranberry orange muffins. Tender vegan cranberry muffins with fresh orange and vanilla.

Orange cranberry muffins! How festive and fun are these muffins? My kids and I have been on a huge baking kick lately, especially the last week when they’ve been off school. We made a batch of my vegan lemon crinkle cookies, chai sugar cookies, banana muffins and now these vegan orange cranberry muffins!

A delicious afternoon snack, and even better with a cup of coffee in the morning (or decaf in the afternoon). The inspiration for these came from my son who wanted to try a baking recipe with cranberries. I love when either one of my kids wants to try a new food and will eagerly follow their lead.

While I love my healing cranberry smoothie, fresh cranberry bars, and cranberry orange bread— I was in the mood to. try something new. So, cranberry muffins it is!

orange cranberry muffins in a bowl

What makes this cranberry orange muffin recipe so special?

These muffins are incredibly tender and wholesome because of the combination of both spelt and all-purpose flour. While you don’t have to use spelt flour (substituting with more all-purpose flour works), the overall muffin has a more nutty, toothsome flavor and texture that pairs perfectly with the orange and cranberry.

If you have it, I highly recommend the almond extract as well. It adds a unique flavor — especially with the orange juice! I wrote the recipe for just vanilla extract, but 1/2 almond extract and 1/2 vanilla is also great.

Can I use dried cranberries in these?

I highly recommend using fresh cranberries in these, but dried cranberries will also work. I usually buy fresh cranberries from the store during this time of year and then store them in the freezer to pull out for baking. You don’t have to thaw the frozen cranberries before placing in the food processor to chop!

Orange Cranberry Muffin Ingredient Substitutions and Recommendations

You can use either squeezed fresh orange juice or orange juice for this recipe. If you don’t want the orange flavor, then I recommend substituting with more milk instead.

If you want to add in nuts, then I recommend either pecans or walnuts. Simply chop then, then stir them into the batter right before baking. You can also finely chop, then sprinkle right on top after you place the batter in the muffin pan.

I typically don’t line my muffin pan with paper liners, but I do highly recommend using a silicone muffin pan for easy removal.

For gluten-free muffins, a gluten-free flour blend should work. I usually recommend a 1:1 blend, like that from Bob’s Red Mill.

Storing Recommendations

Let the orange cranberry muffins cool in the muffin pan until cool to the touch, then remove and let finish cooling on a wire rack. I like these slightly warm with a smidge of plant-based butter or almond butter!

Store at room temperature in an airtight container for 3 days on the counter, then freeze any remaining muffins in the freezer for up 3 three months.

These orange cranberry muffins are the perfect snack for the holiday season! Bursting with cranberry and orange flavor, I hope you love them as much as we do.

More Vegan Muffin Recipes:

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Two muffins on a plate

Vegan Orange Cranberry Muffins

  • Author: Alexandra Caspero
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 12 muffins 1x
  • Category: snack, breakfast, muffins, baking
  • Method: oven
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

The best vegan cranberry orange muffins. Tender vegan cranberry muffins with fresh orange and vanilla.


  • Author: Alexandra Caspero
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 12 muffins 1x
  • Category: snack, breakfast, muffins, baking
  • Method: oven
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan
  • Author: Alexandra Caspero
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 12 muffins 1x
  • Category: snack, breakfast, muffins, baking
  • Method: oven
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan
Scale

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons orange zest
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup spelt flour (or more all-purpose flour)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 cup dairy-free milk (like oat milk)*
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1/3 cup neutral oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla**
  • 1 cup chopped fresh cranberries

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Add the orange zest to the sugars in a large bowl and use your hands to mix in the orange zest into the sugar to release their oils. Whisk in the flours, salt and baking powder.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the milk, orange juice, oil and vanilla. Add into the dry ingredients and mix until combined. Fold in the chopped cranberries. 
  4. Divide the batter into a well-greased muffin tin and baking for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Notes

*I prefer oat milk in my vegan baked goods as it browns like cow’s milk.

**I also tested this recipe with almond extract an it was delicious!

***If you like walnuts with your orange cranberry muffins (like in my vegan cranberry bread) then you can fold in 1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts.

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Meet Alex Caspero

Alex Caspero is a Registered Dietitian, New York Times Bestselling Plant-Based Chef and mom of two. She aims to cut through the nutrition noise by providing real-life, nourishing tips for body and mind. Learn more about Alex.

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    1. Olivia
      December 27, 2022 AT 8:33 pm

      Pairs great with a cup of coffee. Glad i found this.