Cranberry Orange Muffins

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Fresh cranberry orange muffins are a perfect festive make-ahead breakfast for busy Christmas mornings (or any other busy day)!

Fresh cranberry orange muffin with a cream cheese drizzle, torn in half and on a plate.

I’ve been seeing a lot of ideas for lavish Christmas morning breakfasts around the web. Is this really a thing?

Growing up, I doubt you could have kept me away from the tree long enough to brush my teeth, let alone sit at the table eating a fancy breakfast.

After I became a grown up with *marginally* better impulse control, Christmas morning was always about rushing out of the house to another family member’s for the gift exchange.

I guess families who open gifts on Christmas Eve have all the time in the world to lounge around eating french toast and eggs Benedict on Christmas morning.

But that’s just not us! If you find yourself in the same situation, I have a solution for you. And it’s in the form of these fresh cranberry orange muffins with a cream cheese glaze.

Fresh cranberry orange muffins in a muffin pan

You can bake them up the night (or days) before, and eat them with one hand while you unwrap (or hold the camera) with the other. Or eat them on the go while you head off to grandma’s house.

This recipe makes 12 large, sturdy, bakery-style muffins. You could use this batter to create endless flavor combinations. But try this fresh cranberry orange take for a festive combination for the holidays.

Overhead view of fresh cranberry orange muffins, drizzled with cream cheese glaze

Fresh cranberries are so underrated in my opinion. They’re pretty tart, so I wouldn’t eat them raw by the bucketful. That is, unless they’re sugared like on this fabulous gingerbread cake. But they are juicy and tangy and great in baked goods.

The cream cheese glaze is “optional” in the theoretical sense of the word, but the sweetness is a nice contrast to the tangy cranberries.

Side view of fresh cranberry orange muffins in muffin pan, drizzled with cream cheese glaze

This year, we’ll be spending the day at my sister-in-law’s house unwrapping gifts in the morning, followed by a lunch of sandwiches-on-white-bread-with-the-crusts-cut-off. The sandwiches are a Christmas Day tradition in Phil’s family ;).

Christmas day is, without a doubt, one of my favorite days of the year. I’m curious, what does your Christmas morning routine look like?

Fresh cranberry orange muffin with a cream cheese drizzle, torn in half and on a plate.

Fresh Cranberry Orange Muffins with a Cream Cheese Glaze

Fresh cranberry orange yogurt muffins are a perfect festive make-ahead breakfast for busy Christmas mornings (or any other busy day)!
5 from 2 votes
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Course: Breakfast/Brunch
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 22 minutes
Total Time: 37 minutes
Servings: 12 muffins
Calories: 406kcal
Author: Ann Otis



  • 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons (140 grams) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons finely grated orange zest
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries

Cream Cheese Glaze

  • 3 ounces cream cheese
  • 3/4 cup confectioner's sugar
  • 3 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2-3 tablespoons milk


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 12 cup standard muffin pan or line it with paper muffin wrappers.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
  • In a medium bowl, combine eggs, egg yolk, sugar, melted butter, milk, yogurt, vanilla, and orange zest.
  • Add the egg mixture to the dry ingredients and mix with a rubber spatula until just combined. Fold in the cranberries until evenly distributed. Batter will be lumpy, but that's ok.
  • Fill the muffin cups all the way to the top, almost overflowing. Bake in the preheated oven for 22-25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Drizzle with cream cheese glaze if desired.

Cream Cheese Glaze

  • Mix cream cheese, confectioner's sugar, butter and vanilla until smooth. Add milk to thin it out, until you reach a drizzling consistency.


You can prepare the batter a day ahead and store in the refrigerated until ready to bake.


Calories: 406kcal | Carbohydrates: 60g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 69mg | Sodium: 292mg | Potassium: 266mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 32g | Vitamin A: 530IU | Vitamin C: 2.3mg | Calcium: 129mg | Iron: 1.9mg
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  1. I could not help but smile when I read your post… Christmas morning is crazy busy for me too! Although I love the idea of a leisurely brunch. Either way, I am pinning these muffins because they look so, so good. Thanks for sharing ♥ Happy Holidays 🙂

    1. Thanks Maria! I aim to make a leisurely Christmas Day brunch happen one of these days! Wishing you a wonderful holiday 🙂

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