These Bakery-Style Cranberry Orange Muffins are the best baked good for the winter season. They are made with whole wheat flour, but perfectly light and delicious. This makes them a healthier option for this time of year. They are also made with fresh cranberries. The tartness blends perfectly with the citrus and muffin base.
There are a few tricks to a bakery style muffin. They are simple, but really important!
Using zests in baked goods is the best way to get that citrus flavor in, it is intense and packs an amazing punch (in a good way). Start by washing your citrus first. Dry it well, then use a microplane to grate off just the zest. Remember, the white under the zest is called pith and it is very bitter. Not desirable in your baked goods! Now, most recipes will just have you throw it right in at some point. I prefer to mix it in with my granulated sugar first. This ensures it is mixing equally in the batter or dough.
Part of having everything ready for a recipe is getting as many ingredients prepped before mixing as you can. So, we will mix the dry ingredients in a separate bowl.
For this recipe, as with almost all my recipes, most of my flour is whole wheat. Soft winter wheat is almost always my preference for muffins. It gives them a light delicate texture, very similar to an all-white batter. I have a Nutrimill Grain mill and use Farm Fresh Wheat for my soft winter wheat. If you do not have a grain mill, King Arthur Flour has a great whole wheat pastry flour.
Mise En Place simple means having everything in place and ready to go before you start mixing. Prep the dry ingredients as shown above, the orange sugar. I also cut the cranberries half. You don’t have to do this, but I really like the smaller chunks in my muffins.
Now that all the ingredients are ready, let’s start mixing. Add the orange sugar to the oil and butter mixture. I love to use a blend of oil and butter. The butter for flavor and the oil because it makes the baked goods really tender! Mix well.
Add in your eggs and mix. Now, after the eggs are added, do not overmix. This will result in tough baked goods. So, only mix to just barely combine. Next up is Greek yogurt, orange juice, and milk.
Then add in your dry ingredients.
Last is the cranberries. Fold these in carefully so you don’t break them up.
I love to use a portion scoop (or cookie scoop) to scoop the batter in. It might seem a little anal, but it is important you have the same amount of batter in each pan. This is the size scoop I am using for the muffin pans. A good muffin pan is essential as well.
To finish each muffin off I also place a few more cranberries on top.
Then sprinkle more orange sugar on top. This isn’t a must, but that flavored sugar gives such a delicious flavor!
They will bake up beautifully. The tops will dome and the edges will be a light golden brown. You can see the cranberries we added to the top add a really pretty touch, as does the orange sugar.
Does this not look like the best breakfast muffin for this time of year? I think so too!!
Do you need a gluten-free option as well? I really love these Gluten-Free Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins! you could also make this Fall Fruit Salad with pears. It is so good and so simple to make! I also really love this fruit salad with quinoa. It is just as delicious!
No. I think you will be surprised at how good they are, but using all-purpose for all of it is fine too!
For sure! There are a lot of great options out there. Rye is really good, as is spelt, kamut, and einkorn. If you are new to whole grains or serving these to someone who is, make sure and not use more than about 50% whole wheat.
Yes! The combined totals on the recipe for flours is 2 1/2 cup. I would reduce the amount of flour by 2 tablespoons if you are going to go 100% whole wheat.
You can, but it won’t be the same. It won’t have the same flavor as when you use fresh.
They do! Make sure they are in an airtight bag or container, and completely cooled before packaging. They will stay good for at least 2 weeks.
You sure can! I prefer the mix of both for a few reasons. They butter lends flavor, but I love the texture oil gives to muffins!
Not if you don’t want them! We love nuts in our house, so I add them wherever I can. You can omit them, or even use another nut if you prefer!