These gluten-free cranberry orange muffins are bursting with fresh cranberries and orange zest and topped with sweet streusel. Make them for a holiday treat or gluten-free Christmas breakfast!
These cranberry orange muffins will brighten up any winter day! They are full of fresh cranberries, orange zest and topped with a buttery, sugar streusel. The sweet streusel topping makes the perfect contrast to the tangy cranberries.
I experimented quite a bit to get the texture of these muffins just right. They are fluffy, moist and full of flavor without being dry or gummy.
They’re everything I expect from a good muffin! They also make a delicious gluten-free Christmas breakfast along with this gluten-free quiche.
If you like these muffins you might also like these Gluten-Free Blueberry Muffins for a year-round favorite!
Ingredients You’ll Need
A few important ingredients are key to making these muffins turn out soft, flavorful and fluffy.
- Gluten-Free Flour: I like to use a high-quality 1:1 gluten-free baking flour. This is my favorite brand.
- Full-Fat Plain Yogurt: If you use low-fat yogurt the muffins may be drier. Full-fat (not greek) plain yogurt is best.
- Fresh or Frozen Cranberries: If you’re using frozen cranberries do not thaw them. Just chop them up while frozen as best you can and add to the batter as instructed.
- Orange Zest/Juice: Be sure to zest the orange before you cut it to squeeze out some juice. A combination of zest and juice gives these muffins delicious flavor!
Make them Dairy-Free
You can use plain dairy-free yogurt and vegan butter to make these muffins dairy-free. I like to use Kite Hill plain almond milk yogurt. I also like Earth Balance Buttery Sticks.
How to Make Gluten-Free Cranberry Orange Muffins
Start by chopping up the cranberries. I prefer the texture of these muffins when made with chopped cranberries rather than whole berries. That way every bite is bursting with cranberry flavor!
Next, whisk together the dry ingredients in a small bowl.
In a larger bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients.
Add the dry to the wet and mix together with a rubber spatula.
IMPORTANT! Let the batter rest for 30 minutes before baking. The 30-minute rest is important so the batter has time to hydrate. Gluten-free flours need more time to absorb liquid and this will prevent dry muffins.
While the batter is resting mix together the streusel topping until it forms pea-sized clumps.
Scoop the muffin batter into a muffin pan lined with paper liners. I like to use a large cookie scoop for this. Then top with the streusel (press it slightly into the batter) then BAKE!
MUFFIN LINERS: I highly recommend this brand of muffin liners for gluten-free baked goods. If you are using another brand, you may want to spray the liners with cooking spray before filling them.
MAKE-AHEAD: You can make this batter the night before and store it covered in the fridge overnight.
STORAGE/FREEZING: These gluten-free cranberry muffins are best served the day they are made. They can be stored in a ziploc-bag at room temperature for up to 1 day. They can also be frozen by wrapping each muffin individually in plastic wrap then storing in a ziploc-bag. To reheat from frozen, remove the plastic and microwave the muffin for 20 to 30 seconds, until thawed.
Happy Baking! I hope you love this recipe as much as we do. If you try it, please leave me a comment/rating below!
More Gluten-Free Muffins Recipes:
Gluten-Free Cranberry Orange Muffins
- 1 ¾ cups gluten-free 1:1 baking flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 6 ounces cranberries (1 1/2 cups) fresh or frozen
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 3 eggs
- ½ cup full fat plain yogurt
- 1 stick butter (1/2 cup) melted
- 2 teaspoons orange zest
- 2 tablespoons orange juice
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup gluten-free 1:1 baking flour
- 1/3 cup butter cold and chopped into small pieces
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. Finely chop the cranberries.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, brown sugar, eggs, yogurt, butter, orange juice and orange zest until smooth. Add the dry ingredients and mix with a spatula until fully combined. Fold in the chopped cranberries.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes (or in the fridge overnight). (This is an important step to allow the batter to hydrate.)
- Meanwhile, make the streusel topping. In a small bowl, add all the topping ingredients and cut the butter into the mixture using a pastry cutter, two forks, or just your fingers until you have pea-sized clumps.
- Preheat the oven to 400F. Line a standard muffin pan with paper baking cups. Using ice cream scoop or large spoon, portion batter evenly into prepared muffin tin. Top with the streusel topping, pressing the topping lightly into the batter.
- Bake for 18-22 minutes, until golden and a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to continue cooling. Enjoy!
- This recipe works best with full-fat plain yogurt. If you use low-fat yogurt the muffins may be drier.
- This recipe with fresh or frozen cranberries. If you’re using frozen cranberries do not thaw them. Just chop them up while frozen as best you can and add to the batter as instructed.
This post was originally published in December 2014. It was updated with new photos and instructions in December 2020.
These muffins were delicious I made the batter before I went to bed so it would be easier in AM. It puffed up quite a bit plus I didn’t have liners so I buttered the cupcake tin quite well & had no trouble they popped right out. I got 16 because of the batter increase I guess with the baking powder & the whole night in the fridge but they were very good definitely will make again.
I’m glad they turned out for you! Thanks for the comment!
delicious! My taste testing neighbor and I both agree these are nummy. My muffin pan liners had a lot of butter on them. I’m wondering if maybe I should use less butter?
Hi Erin I have exactly what you have, dermatitis vasculitis which also came to be celiac disease for the last 2yrs but I thankfully have under control but I’m really glad to know there’s so much more to eat besides basic frozen dinners which aren’t bad but there’s nothing better than a home meal
Hi! Which size of the cookie scoop do you use for muffins? Your link goes to the 4 T, but there are larger ones. Thanks!
These muffins were amazing. I have tried many GF muffin recipes & this has been the best one so far. Thanks so much for the tip on letting the batter hydrate- game changer! I normally add half the sugar in recipes but I took a chance and didn’t for this one and found it was the perfect sweetness. This will be a regular staple!
Hooray! I’m so glad the muffins turned out for you. Such a game-changer to allow the batter to hydrate. Thanks for the comment!
Hands down the BEST muffins I have ever had. Not just the best GF muffins – but the best muffins ever! Thank you for sharing the GF baking tip of letting the dough sit for 30 minutes before baking. That was truly a game changer! Can’t wait to try more of your recipes!
Hooray! Yay for GF muffins being the best muffins you’ve ever made! I’m so glad they turned out for you. Thanks for the comment!
Hi Erin: My streusel topping melted and rolled onto the pan and in the oven. What did I do wrong?
other than this, the muffins turned out great. I tried the with mixed berries first, delicious and just mad the chocalate chip with the streusel topping. I want to try the orange cranberry next. Can I use dried Cranberries?
Hi Gretchen! Yes you can use dried cranberries – I like the rehydrate them in a little orange juice! Sorry you had trouble with the streusel topping. I would try using less and pressing it into the batter slightly before baking. I hope this helps!
Thank-You Erin. Your instructions worked perfectly. No overrun. They were delicious and I will definitely be repeating this one.
This is a wonderful recipe! I used frozen cranberries and it took about 23 minutes in my oven. The muffins bake up with a beautiful crumb and the flavours are so good. Don’t skip the step of resting for 30 minutes – this is key to avoiding the dry, crumbly texture you sometimes get in gluten free baked goods.
Thanks for the comment! I’m so happy the muffins turned out for you! The 30-minute rest really does help 🙂
These are so good, you would never know they are gluten free. I used Bob’s Red Mill All Purpose flour and added a tsp of xantham gun.
I’m so glad they turned out for you! 🙂
I made this without the topping, and using dried cranberries instead of fresh / frozen. The result was AMAZING. These are the best muffins I’ve ever made, gluten free or otherwise. They are perfect. Thank you for this recipe!
Instead of white sugar and brown sugar I would like to use coconut sugar and honey. Is there a good way to do this?