Orange-cranberry muffins are the perfect balance of sweet and tangy with a bright burst of citrus. Gluten free, clean eat, and ovo-vegetarian friendly recipe makes the perfect sweet treat or even a quick grab-and-go breakfast option.
To make this recipe we’re going to need sugar-free dried cranberries, blanched almond flour, eggs, maple syrup, coconut oil, baking powder, salt, nutmeg, vanilla extract, orange extract and orange zest.
In a large bowl, we’ll combine the almond flour, baking powder, salt, nutmeg, orange zest, and dried cranberries. Mix all the ingredients together, being sure to coat the cranberries thoroughly with the almond flour. This helps them to not sink to the bottom of the muffin batter.
I should add that while the addition of orange zest to the muffin batter is actually optional, I think it’s the perfect amplification of the citrus flavor.
In another bowl, we’ll mix together the wet ingredients: eggs, maple syrup, melted (but cooled) coconut oil, vanilla extract, and orange extract.
With both the dry ingredients mixed and the wet ingredients mixed, combine the two, being sure to not over mix.
The batter shouldn’t be runny and should be thick enough to scoop into your muffin tin molds.
Grease your mini muffin tin with coconut oil, or line with paper liners, and scoop even portions of the batter into each muffin cup. Once done, we’ll pop the tray into the preheated oven and bake our muffins up.
Once the muffins are baked and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, we’ll let them cool for a few minutes before removing them from the tin. If you haven’t used paper muffin liners a good trick is to loosely grab the tops using three fingers and gently wiggle them from side to side until you feel them come loose.
Nothing really beats a basket of freshly baked muffins, and while they are perfect just as they are, we can kick things up a notch by whipping up a batch of cream cheese glaze.
The glaze is perhaps one of the easiest things to make. Cream cheese, maple syrup, vanilla and orange extract and salt makes up the base of it. A pinch of orange zest can also be added though I recommend using the orange zest sparingly here since it can impart a slightly bitter taste to the glaze if too much is used.
Regarding the cream cheese, the type you use does matter. Most of us are familiar with the cream cheese that comes in those block like shapes and has a very dense texture to it. Truth is, the ingredients added to it that makes it that firm are what are not clean eat ingredients. However, you can find cream cheese spreads that are on the much softer side and whose ingredient list contains more natural and clean ingredients. The ingredients you want to look for should be: Buttermilk, Cream, Skim, Whey Protein Concentrate, Salt, Citrus Fibers, Cheese Culture.
With or without the glaze, these muffins are a decadent treat and one that graces our kitchen frequently. Even better, they are seasonally perfect for Thanksgiving or Christmas time and will be something your friends and family will love. Regardless of when you make them, I hope you enjoy these muffins as much as we do. ❤️
Orange Cranberry Mini Muffins
For the Muffins:
For the Muffins:
- Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Line or grease the insides of a mini muffin tin with paper liners or coconut oil. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the almond flour, salt, nutmeg (if using)and baking soda.
- Add in the dried cranberries and orange zest (if using) and toss to coat them with the almond flour. This is essential in preventing them from sinking to the bottom of the batter when we go to bake our muffins.
- In a separate bowl, melt the coconut oil and allow it to cool before adding the maple syrup, eggs, vanilla extract, and orange extract. Whisk until all ingredients are combined into a smooth and homogeneous mixture.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until combined. Do not over mix.
- Using a tablespoon measure, divide the batter evenly into the prepared muffin tin. (The batter should fill each divet, these muffins don't get much rise to them)
- Bake for 12-14 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
- Remove from the oven and let cool and set for 5-10 minutes before removing them from the tin and serving.
- Store in an airtight container for up to a week in the refrigerator.
For the Cream Cheese Glaze:
- Add all ingredients for the frosting (cream cheese, maple syrup, orange and vanilla extract, salt, and orange zest) into a bowl and mix together until well combined. Note that this frosting tends to be on the looser side.
- The use of the orange extract can be measured and used to taste. I've found that I enjoy a stronger citrus flavor so I opt for using a tablespoon. For a milder citrus flavor, 1/2 tablespoon will be just right.
- If you find your batter is a bit too wet add in a few more tablespoons of almond flour. This might happen depending on things like the size of your eggs or the climate in which you're baking. The batter should not be runny.
- The calculated nutritional values for this recipe do not include the cream cheese glaze.