These Cranberry Cream Cheese Muffins are enhanced with fresh orange zest and cranberries in a moist little bundle.
Believe it or not, this year was the first time that I had ever made fresh cranberry sauce for Thanksgiving to go along with our turkey.
I had never tried turkey with cranberry sauce, but once I did I was totally blown away by how delicious the combination actually was. Since I had leftover fresh cranberries in my house I decided I would make some muffins to use them up. I added in a bunch of orange zest, just like I did in my cranberry sauce and they turned out so amazing!
Cranberry Cream Cheese Muffins Recipe:
- The base of the muffins starts with butter and cream cheese. The cream cheese really helps to make these muffins stay extra moist, with a deliciously creamy texture that lasts for days.
- When mixing the muffin batter I found it easiest to use my stand mixer with the paddle attachment, but a hand mixer would also work well.
- Make sure to beat the cream cheese, butter and sugar mixer until light and fluffy to ensure the best texture for these muffins.
Fresh or Frozen Cranberries?
- You can use either fresh or frozen cranberries for these muffins, but I would steer away from trying to use dried cranberries as I don’t think they would work well with this recipe.
- If you’re not a fan of cranberries try using fresh or frozen raspberries, or blueberries instead!
My favorite part about these Cranberry Cream Cheese Muffins is the way the cranberries break down after being baked and are soft and almost burst in your mouth. They are slightly tart which balances out perfectly with the creamy base of the muffins and the sweet powdered sugar icing on top.
I think you’re really going to like these tender little muffins!
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Cranberry Cream Cheese Muffins
For the Muffins:
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 8 oz cream cheese, softened
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp almond extract
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 cups fresh, or frozen cranberries
- 2 tsp orange zest
For the Icing:
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 2 tbsp cold milk
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease or line a muffin tin with paper cups, then set aside.
- Cream the butter, cream cheese and sugar in the bowl of your stand mixer, using the paddle attachment, until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well between each one. Beat in the vanilla and almond extracts.
- Meanwhile combine the flour, baking powder and salt in a separate bowl and whisk to combine. Stir in the dry ingredients to the wet ones, just until moistened (do not over mix).
- Fold in the cranberries and orange zest, then divide the batter among the muffin cups, filling about 3/4 full.
- Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until lightly golden brown and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Let cool for 5 minutes in the pan before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Combine the icing ingredients in a bowl and whisk until smooth. Drizzle over the cooled muffins. Keep muffins stored in an airtight container. Enjoy!
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Nice and fluffy. Love these muffins.
If I don’t have or like almond extract would you recommend increasing the vanilla or just leaving it out. Do you actually taste the almond?
I have been making these muffins since 2018. At Thanksgiving, I make my own spicy cranberry chutney and I have leftovers because I always make way to much. The chutney has orange and lime zest/juice in it so I use the chutney instead of cranberries. I also substitute self rising flour instead of the all purpose, salt, and baking soda. They come out fantastic every time!
Thank you for this recipe!
That sounds amazing!! Thanks for sharing your tips Kathy!
Hi question do I need unsalted butter or salted butter for this recipe
Unsalted would work for this recipe.
Really yummy! I halved the recipe and they turned out great. The only issue I had was that the bottoms burned ever so slightly – I think because of the juice from the cranberries (I used frozen). I love the almond extract in them as well.
So glad you enjoyed them Emma!
Absolutely delectable! So fresh tasting and extremely light. Will make these over and over. Thank you for the recipe.
I made a double batch of these Cranberry Orange Muffins for our church treats yesterday –> WOW!!! They were a definite HIT!!! Everyone loved them, AND wanted the recipe!!! Great recipe to hang onto!!!
Awesome!! So glad you enjoyed the recipe Rachel!
Can these be done in a loaf pan? Looks delicious
Definitely! Just make sure to bake until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. 🙂
I’m planning on making these for a fundraiser we’re doing for a breakfast. This says it yields 24. Is that cupcake sized muffins or larger ?
They are 24 cupcake size muffins! 🙂