Gluten-free cranberry orange muffins are the perfect holiday treat. The muffins are moist, fluffy, and filled with zesty orange and sweet but tart cranberry flavor. You won’t find a better Christmas Day breakfast than these tasty muffins.
What Makes These Gluten-Free Cranberry Orange Muffins Different
Usually, gluten-free cranberry orange muffins are made with fresh or dried cranberries. However, this recipe for cranberry orange muffins is made with sugar-free cranberry jam. The cranberry jam is swirled into the muffin batter. I like using cranberry jam because I am not biting down on large pieces of cranberries. Plus, the swirl creates a beautiful red streak that contrasts beautifully with the golden muffins.
- Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour
- Baking Powder
- Monk Fruit Sweetener
- Orange Zest
- Orange Juice
- Vegetable Oil
- Vanilla Extract
- Sugar-Free Cranberry Jam
How To Make Gluten-Free Cranberry Orange Muffins
Mix the gluten-free all-purpose flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl until combined.
Mix the monk fruit sugar and orange zest in a large bowl for 1 minute until combined.
Next, add the orange juice, eggs, milk, vegetable oil, and vanilla extract to the monk fruit sweetener and mix until combined.
Mix the gluten-free flour mixture into the wet ingredients. Mix until combined.
Cover the cranberry orange muffin batter with plastic wrap. Let it sit for 30 minutes.
Next, set your oven to 400 °F. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with silicone muffin liners or paper liners. Coat the liners with nonstick spray and set the pan aside.
Remove the plastic wrap from the muffin batter. Add 2 tablespoons of muffin batter to each muffin liner.
Add a teaspoon of cranberry jam to each muffin and swirl it into the batter with a butter knife.
Add the remaining muffin batter on top of the cranberry jam.
Top with another teaspoon of cranberry jam. Swirl the jam into the batter with a butter knife.
Bake the cranberry orange muffins for 18-22 minutes until golden brown, use and a toothpick inserted into a muffin comes out clean.
Let the cranberry orange muffins cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Remove the cranberry orange muffins from the pan and place them on a cooling rack to cool. If you are using silicone muffin liners, remove the muffins from the liners to prevent the muffin bottoms from getting soggy before placing them on a cooling rack to cool.
Tips For Making Cranberry Orange Muffins
Zest the orange carefully. When zesting the orange, only zest the orange portion of the rind. Do not zest the white part or the cranberry orange muffins will have a bitter flavor.
Let the muffin batter rest. Let the muffin batter rest for at least 30 minutes at room temperature. You can also let the muffin batter rest in the fridge overnight. Letting the batter rest allows the gluten-free flour to hydrate, giving the muffins a better texture.
Use quality muffin liners. Gluten-free muffins are tricky. They can stick to the liners even if you spray them with nonstick cooking spray. This is why I suggest using silicone muffin liners. The muffins will pop right out.
Gluten-free cranberry muffins are delicious, but there are many ways you can enhance their flavor. Here are your options:
- Dried or Fresh Cranberries: Instead of using cranberry jam, mix in 3/4 cup dried cranberries or 1 cup of fresh chopped cranberries. Be sure to toss the cranberries with gluten-free flour to prevent the cranberries from sinking to the bottom of the muffins.
- Nuts: Add 1/3 cup of toasted pecans, walnuts, or almonds to the cranberry orange muffin batter. The nuts will add some texture and a robust nutty flavor.
- Glaze: Make a simple glaze with 1 cup of powdered sugar substitute, 3 tablespoons of milk, and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract. The glaze will enhance the sweetness of the muffins.
- Chocolate Chips: Chocolate chips will make these muffins more indulgent. You can mix in a 1/3 cup of white chocolate chips, dark chocolate chips, or milk chocolate chips to the muffin batter to give the muffins a chocolaty twist.
- Lemon Zest & Juice: If you do not like oranges, use fresh lemon juice and zest instead. The fresh lemon zest and juice will add a bright citrus flavor.
Gluten-free cranberry orange muffins taste best when they are served fresh. However, if you have leftovers, you can store the cranberry orange muffins in an airtight container at room temperature for 2-3 days.
You can also freeze the gluten-free cranberry muffins. Simply wrap each muffin individually with plastic wrap. Place the cranberry orange muffins in a ziplock bag. Freeze them for up to 1 month.
To reheat the gluten-free cranberry orange muffins, nuke them in the microwave for 20-30 seconds. If you are reheating frozen muffins, let them sit on the countertop for a few hours until they are thawed, then nuke them in the microwave.