Cranberry Oatmeal Muffins are bursting with fresh cranberries, sweet orange and dark chocolate. They’re hearty, wholesome, and dairy-free, and make the perfect addition to your holiday brunch or breakfast!
This recipe was originally published in November 2017 and has been updated with new text and photos. The recipe remains the same.
Have you been able to get your hands on any fresh cranberries yet? They usually start popping up in grocery stores around here in late September, but become more plentiful as the holiday season gets closer.
I have a slight obsession with fresh cranberries and usually freeze a few large bags during the fall so I have enough for baking and cooking throughout the year. That’s the thing about cranberries. They’re just as great frozen as they are fresh.
Here are a few of my go-to cranberry recipes:
Details on a few ingredients to make these cranberry orange muffins
- Fresh cranberries: A full cup adds a pop of colour and tart flavour. If you don’t have fresh cranberries, you can use frozen or dried cranberries.
- Steel-cut oats: For muffins with a nutty texture, you’ll want to go with steel-cut oats. They need to soak for a few hours (or even overnight), so if you’re short on time, just use rolled oats and soak them for 30-60 minutes.
- Nut milk: If you don’t have unsweetened almond or cashew milk, feel free to use cow’s milk. (Just note that the recipe will no longer be dairy-free).
- Orange (juice and zest): For maximum flavour, go for freshly squeezed orange juice. To get 3 tablespoons of juice and 1 tablespoon of zest for this recipe, you’ll need about half a large orange.
- Whole wheat flour: These muffins are made with whole wheat flour to keep them on the healthier side. If you prefer all-purpose white flour, you can make a 1:1 substitution.
- Dark chocolate: I usually go for dairy-free dark chocolate chunks or chips, but you can use whatever chocolate chips you like if you don’t need this recipe to be dairy-free.
How to make cranberry muffins from scratch
- Soak the oats and milk overnight, or for at least 5-6 hours.
- Whisk together the egg and oil. Add in the orange juice and zest, along with the oat mixture. Stir until combined.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.
- Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture and stir until combined. Fold in the cranberries and chocolate chunks.
- Divide the muffin batter into a greased muffin pan and bake on 425F for 15-17 minutes.
Frequently asked questions
Can you make these cranberry muffins with frozen cranberries? Yes, you can add frozen cranberries right to the muffin batter. No need to defrost them or adjust the bake time.
Can you make cranberry muffins with dried cranberries? Absolutely. Just keep in mind that the muffins will be a little sweeter and less tart. Dried cranberries are usually sweetened, but their flavour and chewy texture really work with the orange and dark chocolate in these muffins.
How do you store these muffins? They should be stored in an airtight container at room temperature.
How long will they last? If stored properly, they will stay fresh for 2-3 days.
Can you freeze cranberry muffins? Yes. Just arrange the muffins in a single layer in an airtight container and store them in the freezer for up to 3 months. Defrost at room temperature before eating.
Additional tips and recipe substitutions
- To zest your orange, just use a zester or the small holes on a box grater. Also, refrigerate your orange before zesting. The cold will keep the peel firm and it will be easier to zest.
- If you don’t have oranges, try using fresh lemon as a substitute.
- I find darker coloured bakeware tends to brown baked goods more quickly than lighter coloured. I normally use a dark muffin pan, so if you’re using a lighter coloured pan, you may need to increase the bake time by a few minutes. Check for doneness with a toothpick.
Other oatmeal muffin recipes you might enjoy
If you make these cranberry oatmeal muffins, I would love to hear what you think in the comments below!
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Cranberry Oatmeal Muffins
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 15 minutes
- Total Time: 6 hours
- Yield: 12 muffins
- Category: Breakfast
- Method: Bake
- Cuisine: American
Cranberry Oatmeal Muffins are bursting with fresh cranberries, sweet orange and dark chocolate. They’re hearty, wholesome and dairy-free, and make the perfect addition to your holiday brunch or breakfast!
- 1 cup steel-cut oats
- 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
- 1 large egg
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
- 1 tablespoon orange zest
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1/4 cup coconut sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup fresh cranberries
- 1/2 cup dark chocolate chunks (dairy-free)
- In a small bowl, add the oats and milk. Stir to combine. Cover and refrigerate overnight, or for at least 5-6 hours.
- Once the oats are soaked, preheat the oven to 425F and grease a 12-cup muffin pan.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the egg and oil. Add in the orange juice and zest, along with the oat mixture, and stir until combined.
- In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.
- Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture and stir until combined. Do not over mix. Fold in the cranberries and chocolate chunks.
- Using a cookie scoop, divide the muffin batter into the prepared muffin pan. Bake for 15-17 minutes, or until a tooth pick inserted into a muffin comes out clean.
- Let the muffins rest in the pan for 5 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
- Store in an airtight container at room temperature and enjoy within 2-3 days, or freeze for up to 3 months.
- The total recipe time includes time for the oats to soak.
- Steel-cut oats need to soak overnight, or for at least 5-6 hours. If you’re short on time, you can use rolled oats and soak them for 30-60 minutes.
- If you don’t have unsweetened almond or cashew milk, you can use cow’s milk. (Just note that the recipe will no longer be dairy-free).
- To get 3 tablespoons of orange juice and 1 tablespoon of zest, you’ll need about half a large orange.
- If you don’t have fresh cranberries, you can use frozen or dried cranberries.
- Be sure to check out the detailed sections above the recipe card for additional advice and suggestions for making this recipe.
Keywords: cranberry orange muffins, cranberry muffins
Can you use maple syrup or honey instead of coconut sugar?
I haven’t tested this recipe with maple syrup or honey so I can’t say for certain how it would turn out. If you don’t have coconut sugar, you can substitute brown sugar.
Can I use other types of oil like canola pls? I don’t have virgin olive oil but I would like to try this recipe. Thanks.
Yes, you can use canola oil for this recipe!
Made these this morning, they were delicious! I love that there are steel cut oats in them. And I love the sweet and tart together. Thanks for the great recipe!
Hi Jenny! Thanks so much. I’m happy you enjoyed the muffins!
Hi. I only have quick oats on hand. Can I used them instead and if yes do I need to make other changes? Thanks !
Hi Jenn! Quick oats will work as a substitute. Just note that you will only need to soak them for 30 minutes or so, and the muffin texture will be a little different compared to muffins made with steel cut oats. Hope that helps. Let me know how it goes if you make them!
I have all the ingredients, but I have soy milk. Can I use that or should I go for the nut milk? Thanks 🙂
Hi Gina. I haven’t made these muffins with soy milk, but I think it should be fine as a substitute. It shouldn’t affect the texture of the muffins but it may change the taste. If you try it, please leave a comment to let others know how it worked out. Thanks!
These are so scrumptious! I haven’t seen fresh cranberries around here- so glad I can use frozen cranberries!
Thanks Terri! You can use dried cranberries too!
These bring back childhood memories, we used to have cranberry orange muffins often. I cannot wait fo make these again, they are delicious and our whole family loves them.
Glad they bring back childhood memories! Thanks Kristen!
Yvonne Langen says
These cranberry oatmeal muffins are the best way to use up those leftover cranberries from Thanksgiving. Love that bit of chocolate that balances out the tart cranberries perfectly.
Thanks Yvonne! I have leftover cranberries too that will be going into another batch of these!
I love the flavour combo in these muffins…not to mention that they are healthy enough for breakfast! Thanks for a delicious new muffin recipe.
Thanks Vanessa! Hope you get to try them some time!
Leanne, these muffins look so delicious! I adore the use of better-for-you, fresh ingredients and the addition of steel cut oats. I’m definitely going to give these a try.
Thanks Justine! I hope you enjoy them!