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!

cranberry muffin on marble background with crumbs and white napkin

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

overhead shot of ingredients to make the muffins in bowls on white background

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

cranberries chopped on cutting board

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!

dry ingredients mixed together in bowl

Next, whisk together the dry ingredients in a small bowl.

wet ingredients mixed together in glass bowl

In a larger bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients.

batter mixed together in glass bowl with white spatula

Add the dry to the wet and mix together with a rubber spatula.

batter in glass bowl covered with plastic wrap

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. 

streusel topping mixed together in glass bowl

While the batter is resting mix together the streusel topping until it forms pea-sized clumps.

muffin batter scooped in pan topped with streusel

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.

gluten free cranberry orange muffins with bite taken out of on marble background

Make-Ahead/Storage Tips

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:

cranberry muffin on marble background with crumbs and white napkin
5 from 25 votes

Gluten-Free Cranberry Orange Muffins

Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Resting Time 30 mins
Total Time 1 hr 10 mins
Servings 12 muffins
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!

Ingredients

Dry Ingredients:

Other Ingredients:

  • 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

Streusel Topping:

  • 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

Instructions 

  • 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!

Notes

INGREDIENT NOTES
  • 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. 
MAKE IT DAIRY-FREE: You can use plain dairy-free yogurt and vegan butter to make these muffins dairy-free. 
LET IT REST: 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. 
MAKE-AHEAD: You can make this batter the night before and store it covered in the fridge overnight. 
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.
STORAGE/FREEZING: These 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. 

Nutrition

Calories: 221kcal | Carbohydrates: 39g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 54mg | Sodium: 161mg | Potassium: 140mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 23g | Vitamin A: 231IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 69mg | Iron: 1mg

This post was originally published in December 2014. It was updated with new photos and instructions in December 2020.

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Hi, I’m Erin!

BS Food Science,

MS Nutrition

I believe you can make amazing, gluten-free food with everyday ingredients that everyone will enjoy. I’m here to share my tried-and-true recipes with you!

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    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!

    1. 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!

  2. 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?

    1. 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!

      1. 5 stars
        Thank-You Erin. Your instructions worked perfectly. No overrun. They were delicious and I will definitely be repeating this one.

  3. 5 stars
    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.

    1. Thanks for the comment! I’m so happy the muffins turned out for you! The 30-minute rest really does help 🙂

  4. 5 stars
    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.

  5. 5 stars
    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!

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