These soft and fluffy Cranberry Muffins are packed with tangy cranberries and bits of sweet white chocolate. They’re super simple to make and can be ready to enjoy in just 30 minutes!
Fresh Cranberry Muffins
These cranberry muffins are so soft and fluffy, and each is bite packed with an array of flavors, from warm notes of vanilla and surprise pops of tangy cranberry, to sweet bits of white chocolate.
Today’s batter is adapted from my popular basic muffin recipe. I use this in many of my recipes, like my chocolate chip muffins, because, well, it works! It consistently produces a light, tender, soft crumb that complements just about any filling (and it took me months upon months to develop it, so I don’t feel bad making it pull its weight around here). It’s the perfect vehicle for tart fresh cranberries and mellow, slightly caramelized white chocolate
The flavor of these muffins is sweet and tart, with juicy tart cranberries that are almost a pleasant shock against the sweet muffin crumb and white chocolate. Sugar on top gives that sugared cranberry effect, which is the perfect frosty crown to these festive muffins.
Why you’ll love my recipe:
- No mixer required.
- Fast–just 15 minutes of prep before baking!
- Uses my favorite technique for tall muffin tops.
- Yields incredibly soft, fluffy, and flavorful cranberry muffins!
What You Need
Mostly basic ingredients, let’s talk about a few of them:
- Cranberries. We’re using fresh cranberries here for the most flavorful results. Frozen cranberries will work too; just add them into the batter (no need to thaw first!).
- Egg + egg white. Just like my strawberry muffins, adding an extra egg white makes these cranberry muffins nice and fluffy.
- Buttermilk. Buttermilk adds moisture and flavor to our muffins. While I highly recommend using the real thing for best results, my buttermilk substitute will work in a pinch.
- Cornstarch. Cornstarch adds to the soft, tender texture of these cranberry muffins. One day I might just do a standalone post on the wonders of this seemingly simple ingredient and the magic it works in recipes, would that interest you?
- White chocolate. You can use either chocolate chips or a chopped chocolate bar. I recommend using a higher quality chocolate for the best, tastiest results, as many white chocolate chips contain various ingredients that are a bit less than desirable. Sure, it helps the chips keep their shape, but we lose more than I’d like in flavor by going that route.
SAM’S TIP: Your white chocolate chips/chunks may look a bit golden after baking–this isn’t just normal, it’s what we want! This simply means the chocolate caramelized in the oven, which honestly makes the flavor even better.
Remember, this is just an overview of the ingredients I used and why. For the full recipe please scroll down to the bottom of the post!
How to Make Cranberry Muffins
- Whisk together the butter, oil, sugar, egg, egg white, and vanilla, then stir in the buttermilk.
- Combine the dry ingredients in a separate bowl, then gradually add them to the wet ingredients and stir until about 50% combined. We want to avoid over-mixing the batter (as that would cause dense, dry muffins), so we’ll add our add-ins at this point.
- Add the cranberries and chocolate and finish stirring until fully combined.
- Divide the batter into your prepared pan and bake for 8 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature and bake for 7-8 more minutes. This is a tried-and-true method for creating light, fluffy muffins, more on that below!
- Let the muffins cool in the pan for 10 minutes before removing to a cooling rack to cool completely. I use a butter knife to gently pry them out of the pan.
SAM’S TIP: Removing your cranberry muffins from the pan shortly after baking helps prevent soggy muffin liners. Speaking of, if you’re looking for that bakery effect you can always make your own parchment paper muffin liners!
Frequently Asked Questions
You can, but it’s not my favorite substitution. Dried cranberries are sweeter and much less tart than fresh. It’s not an even substitution either; you’ll need fewer dried cranberries than you would fresh or frozen (see the recipe notes below for a more exact amount).
Adding some orange zest and a tiny splash of orange juice to the batter should do the trick. I’d say you’d need zest from 1-2 oranges to get the flavor you’re looking for!
As with my banana muffin recipe, we’re using two oven temperatures today to create tall, bakery-style muffin tops. Starting with a higher temperature causes the muffins to rise nicely, and then we’ll drop the temperature so the interior can cook evenly. If we stayed at the high temperature the whole time, the centers would dry out instead of being soft and fluffy.
If you love these cranberry muffins, you should try my cranberry bundt cake!
Let’s bake together! I’ll be walking you through all the steps in my written recipe below! If you try this recipe, be sure to tag me on Instagram, and you can also find me on YouTube and Facebook
- ¼ cup (57 g) unsalted butter melted and cooled (4 Tablespoons)
- ¼ cup (60 ml) vegetable or canola oil
- 1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar
- 1 large egg + 1 large egg white room temperature preferred
- 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- ⅓ cup (118 ml) buttermilk room temperature preferred
- 1 ¾ cup (218 g) all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 ½ cups (155 g) fresh cranberries
- 1 cup (170 g) white chocolate chips or 6 oz white chocolate bar chopped
- Additional granulated sugar for topping, optional
- Preheat oven to 425F (215C) and line a muffin tin with paper liners. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together butter, oil, sugar, egg, egg white, and vanilla extract until thoroughly combined.¼ cup (57 g) unsalted butter, ¼ cup (60 ml) vegetable or canola oil, 1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar, 1 large egg + 1 large egg white, 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- Whisk in buttermilk.⅓ cup (118 ml) buttermilk
- In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, cornstarch, and salt.1 ¾ cup (218 g) all-purpose flour, 2 teaspoons baking powder, 2 teaspoons cornstarch, ½ teaspoon salt
- Gently, using a spatula, fold dry ingredients into wet until about 50% combined. Then, add cranberries and white chocolate and continue to gently stir until completely combined.1 ½ cups (155 g) fresh cranberries, 1 cup (170 g) white chocolate chips or 6 oz white chocolate bar
- Evenly divide batter into prepared muffin tin (you can fill them to the top) and sprinkle tops with additional granulated sugar, if desired. For a taller rise, let muffins sit in the tin for 10-30 minutes before baking.Additional granulated sugar
- Transfer muffins to center rack of oven and bake for 8 minutes on 425F (215C). Once 8 minutes has elapsed, do not open door, but reduce oven temperature to 350F (175C) and bake another 10-12 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with moist crumbs.
- Allow muffins to cool in tin for 10 minutes before carefully removing to a cooling rack to cool completely. Enjoy!
CranberriesFresh cranberries are best, rinse and dry them and pick out any bad berries before using.
Frozen berries will also work, I add them to the batter frozen (without thawing first).
Dried cranberries could also work, we recommend ¾-1 cup dried cranberries (some readers have soaked the dried berries in hot water to plump them up before using).
StoringStore in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days.
Nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered an estimate only. Actual nutritional content will vary based upon brands used, measuring methods, cooking method, portion sizes, and more.
I originally published this recipe in 2015. I’ve updated it to make the muffins softer and fluffier and the method easier to follow.
I’ve been making these for years using your original recipe…they’re fabulous! I’m curious though – the new recipe calls for 1 cup buttermilk, but the metric listing (118ml) is only the equivalent of a half cup. The old recipe called for 3/4 cup, so I’m wondering which measurement is correct after your edits? 50/50 odds are never in my favor and I’m a stickler about weighing ingredients! 🤣 Thanks for all the amazing recipes!
Hi Mary! Thank you for catching that and I apologize for the confusion! The metric measurement is correct and you will only need 1/2c of buttermilk or 118ml. I will make sure to update it. 🙂
These cranberry muffins were absolutely delightful! They are moist, lightly sweetened, and as light as air. We love how the cranberries burst with every bite. Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful dessert! We plan to make them again for Christmas breakfast.
Emily @ Sugar Spun Run
We are so happy you think so, Gem ❤️ Enjoy!
I made these and found them to be better the next day, after the glaze soaked in. Very moist and so delicious! Thanks for sharing!
Emily @ Sugar Spun Run
Great to hear! We’re so happy you liked them. Enjoy 😊
I am struggling to find frozen cranberries. Is there anything else that can be substituted? I’m thinking probably not since cranberries are kind of tart and the white chocolate probably helps to sweeten up that tartness. Just wondering what your thoughts are.
Emily @ Sugar Spun Run
Hi Jen! You can substitute 3/4 dried cranberries in place of the frozen. We hope you love them! 🙂
Hi..I’m going to try these muffins later as I was given a load of shaved white chocolate and always have frozen cranberries on hand…can I get away with one egg only,no white??
Also I saw cornstarch comments…why do you ad that to other recipes? Thanks.
Emily @ Sugar Spun Run
Hi Wendy. We haven’t tried this, but your muffins likely won’t be as fluffy or rise the same without that extra egg white. We suggest using it. Cornstarch is our favorite “secret” ingredient in baked goods. It adds structure and fluffiness without drying things out, which would happen if you used more flour instead. This recipe is one of our older ones, and we may include corn starch in the updated version when that comes out!
Hi. I found your recipe and didn’t have any fresh or frozen cranberries but I did have dried. I soaked the dried ones in hot water to plump them up and to my delight the muffins baked up lovely. These are now my husbands favorite muffins. I would like to make them with fresh cranberries and I will when I buy some. Thank you for this recipe.Delicious!!
That is so awesome! I’m so glad you enjoyed them so much, Moira! 🙂
Hi Sam! I was wondering if I could substitute the cranberries for raspberries and all the ingredients and measurements still work well together? Thanks in advance!
Yes, that will work, no other modifications needed! Enjoy!
Love all your recipes, this one and the bagels especially!!! 😍💖
Could I make these as jumbo muffins? With a longer bake time?
Hi Imre! That will work just fine. They will definitely need to bake a little bit longer. I would imagine the bake time would be very similar to my Bakery style chocolate chip muffins. 🙂
Thank you!!! They turned out amazing🤩 23 minutes did the trick.
Wonderful, I’m so glad to hear it! Thanks for letting me know how they turned out! 🙂
So amazing as are all the recipes. Hard to stop eating at 1. Fluffy, moist and delicious! Thank you!!!
Thank you so much, Kim! I am so glad you enjoyed the muffins so much! 🙂
I’m curious why no corn starch? Just wondering why it is sometimes used (i.e. blueberry muffins) and not other times.
It sometimes depends on the recipe. This muffin recipe was developed 5 years ago, though, before I unlocked the secret of cornstarch in baking. I’m happy with this recipe as it is written, but if I update it and re-publish I may end up working some cornstarch into the batter.
Hi there! Can I use fresh cranberries instead of frozen ones?
Sugar Spun Run
Hi, Rachel! Yes, that will be fine. I hope that you enjoy the muffins! 🙂
Can you use dryed cranberries instead of frozen ones?
Sugar Spun Run
Hello, Brandy! You can substitute with dried cranberries, however, I don’t recommend it. The juices from the cranberries really add a lot of flavor to the muffins. I hope that you enjoy the cranberry white chocolate muffins. 🙂
Is there baking soda missing in this recipe? Thank you.
Nope, you will not need baking soda.
I think I did something wrong. The edges and bottom burned, but the chips didn’t melt on the inside. It also came out kind of dense. 😭
I tried the double chocolate chip and those were just wonderful.
Hi Brittany! The chocolate chips shouldn’t melt inside the cupcakes. In regards to the edges and bottom being burned, is your oven temperature accurate? It sounds like the temperature may have been a little higher than it should causing the edges to crisp up a little bit. I hope this helps. 🙂
Can these be made with dried cranberries instead?
Hi, Kira. That would work just fine. 🙂