It’s the time of year when cranberries start popping up everywhere. Their vibrant color and tangy flavor certainly make them a favorite for holiday baking. I knew I wanted to add a cranberry/orange dessert to the blog this season, but couldn’t decide between cake or muffins…. so I didn’t decide! Here’s my recipe for Orange Cranberry Cake or Muffins.
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What’s in My Orange Cranberry Cake 0r Muffins?
All the usual good stuff that cakes and muffins include: flour, butter, eggs, vanilla, sugar etc…but this recipe is also bursting with bright pink, flavorful cranberries and fresh, frangrant orange zest!
How About That Glaze?
I leave the muffins as is but top the cake with blanched sliced almonds before drizzling a simple glaze made from orange juice, powdered sugar and orange zest.
HOW TO ZEST AN ORANGE:
I use a microplane to zest citrus, scraping just until the white is exposed and then moving onto a new area. There is nothing like the fresh scent of freshly grated citrus, and it adds so much flavor to baked goods.
MAKE THESE MUFFINS GLUTEN FREE AND JUST AS GOOD!
If you are fine eating gluten, have at it! But if you are one of my gluten free followers, I have two wonderful suggestions to make this cake gluten free but just as good: King Arthur’s Measure for Measure Gluten Free Flour is fabulous and found in most grocery stores. Jovial Gluten Free Pastry Flour is also wonderful and the grains in this flour are soaked for easy digestion!
Need More Holiday Recipes?
Check out my post “Everything you Need for a Holiday Feast”
The Recipe: Orange Cranberry Muffins
Orange and cranberry make the perfect combo for the holidays! Choose to make a single 8-9" cake or 12 muffins.
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt or kosher salt
- 1/2 cup room temp butter, plus more for wiping pans
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- zest of two oranges
- 1 teaspoon vanilla paste or extract (I love paste!)
- 2 large eggs, room temp
- 3/4 cup milk (or almond milk)
- 2 cups fresh (or frozen) cranberries
- 1/4 cup blanched sliced almonds (for cake only)
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon orange zest
- 2-3 tablespoons orange juice
Place flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl, whisk, set aside.
In a mixing bowl blend butter and sugar until well combined. Add, orange zest, vanilla, and eggs, blend well. Alternate adding milk and dry ingredients until well combined and batter is smooth
Fold cranberries in by hand. Pour into prepared cake pan or muffin tin. If making the cake, sprinkle batter with almonds.
Bake muffins for 23-25 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Bake cake for 30-35 minutes. Allow to cool, then glaze!
Place powdered sugar in a bowl. Add zest and then add orange juice 1 tablespoon at a time until glaze is just barely pourable. Don't make it too runny or it will all run off the muffins. You want it to be the consistency of honey . Spoon over cooled cake or muffins.