Cranberry Orange Streusel Muffins

Tart cranberries and oranges pair perfectly with a sweet crumbly streusel topping in these giant, domed Cranberry Orange Streusel Muffins.  The best way to start a cold, dreary winter morning!  Plus, tips for giant bakery-style domed muffins baked in regular sized muffin pans.

streusel topped muffins surrounded by orange slices and whole cranberries.

Let’s talk about muffins for a minute.  Is there anything better on a lazy morning than a muffin (presumably with a big cup of coffee, if you’re a coffee drinker)? 

I’m going to go with… no.

And while I have quite a few muffin recipes on here, most are a little more summery.  Zucchini muffins.  Blueberry muffins (dense and thick like poundcake or fluffy and sugar topped).  Cherry chocolate chunk with fresh summer cherries.

Plus seasonless classics, like chocolate chocolate chip muffins or banana bread muffins.

But what I really wanted, what with all the absurdly cold and snow weather we’ve been having, was a winter muffin.  Like these cranberry orange streusel muffins.

It’s hard to find a better winter flavor combination than cranberry and orange.  Tart cranberries paired with bright winter citrus is delicious.

And because we’re fighting those dreary January snowy cold weather blues, I made these muffins giant-sized.  And covered them in a sweet streusel topping.  Because really, we need all the help we can this time of year, right?

muffin tin filled with freshly baked cranberry orange muffins.

Ingredients and Substiutuions

  • Vegetable Oil or other neutral-flavored oil, like grapeseed
  • Sugar
  • Eggs
  • Buttermilk: If you don’t have buttermilk, add one teaspoon of lemon juice to 1/2 cup of whole milk, mix, and let it sit for 5 minutes before adding to the batter. To keep these muffins dairy-free, use a high-protein non-dairy milk, like pea milk, and mix with the lemon juice as described.
  • Oranges: You’ll need both the juice and the zest.
  • Vanilla Extract
  • All-Purpose Flour: To keep these cranberry orange muffins gluten-free, use a 1:1 gluten-free baking mix that contains xanthan gum.
  • Baking Powder
  • Salt
  • Cinnamon
  • Cranberries: Fresh or frozen will work in these muffins.
  • Butter: For dairy-free streusel, use frozen coconut oil in place of the butter.
side view of muffins showing the streusel topping and the giant domed top.

The Secret to Domed Muffins

These cranberry orange streusel muffins look jumbo thanks to the giant, crumbly tops.  But they’re actually baked in plain old regular-sized muffin tins. 

So how did we get them so tall and big?  It’s time for my favorite subject… kitchen chemistry!

Kitchen Chemistry

For domed muffin tops, start baking the muffins at a higher temperature for the first five minutes.  This initial high heat temperature releases more steam, helping to boost the height of the muffins.  The outside edges of the muffins start to set while the middle is still raw batter, which will continue to rise as the muffin bakes inward.

Just don’t forget to turn your oven down after the first 5 minutes – otherwise, the tops of the muffins will burn!

muffins with sugary topping in a six well muffin tin.

Fill Muffin Tins the Whole Way

Also super important (but less scientific) tips to bake supersized muffins using a regular muffin tin?

Fill your muffins all the way to the top! These aren’t cupcakes which need a flat top for frosting.

And while you’re at it, skip the paper liners, which bind to the batter and hold the muffins down. Grease the muffin tins and bake right in the wells.

To ensure these release nicely from the pan, spray a little nonstick cooking spray on the very top of the pan.  Let the muffins cool for 10 minutes, then run a small, sharp knife under the domed edge to release.

side view of freshly baked cranberry orange muffins with a streusel topping.
  • Muffin Tin: Despite their lofty size, these muffins use a standard-size metal muffin tin.
  • Mixing Bowl: My favorite set of microwave and dishwasher-safe mixing bowls.
  • Microplane Zester: A microplane grater like this is the best way to zest citrus, allowing better control to only zest the peel and not the bitter pith.
  • Ice Cream Scoop: An ice cream scoop is the easiest and least messy way to transfer the batter into the muffin tin.
  • Pastry Cutter: Use a pastry cutter to easily cut the butter into the flour to make the streusel.
domed top of a muffin cut off to reveal large cranberries inside the baked muffin.

Frequently Asked Questions about Cranberry Orange Streusel Muffins

Can you use frozen or dried cranberries to make cranberry muffins?

Either fresh or frozen cranberries can be used for these muffins. If using frozen, do not thaw first. While fresh or frozen cranberries provide better texture, dried cranberries (craisins) can be used as well. Reduce the total volume of added cranberries by 1/3.

What else can be added to this muffins?

Nuts make a great addition to either the batter or the streusel – pecans are my favorite, but walnuts or almonds are delicious, too.

How do you get big domes on muffins?

Start the oven at high temperature, skip the muffin liners, and fill the muffin wells all the way to the top with batter.

Can these muffins be frozen?

Wrap each muffin in aluminum foil and store in an airtight bag in the freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature before eating.

More Cranberry Recipes

Cranberry Orange Streusel Muffins: tart cranberries and oranges pair perfectly with a sweet crumbly streusel topping in these giant, domed muffins. The best way to start off a cold, dreary winter morning! {Bunsen Burner Bakery} #muffins #streusel #cranberryorange

Cranberry Orange Streusel Muffins

Yield: 12 muffins
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes

Tart cranberries and oranges pair perfectly with a sweet crumbly streusel topping in these giant, domed cranberry orange streusel muffins. 


For the Muffins:

  • 1/2 cup (99 grams) vegetable oil
  • 1 cup (198 grams) granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (113.5 grams) buttermilk, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup (57 grams) freshly squeezed orange juice
  • zest of 2 oranges (~4 tablespoons)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups (300 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 4 teaspoons (16 grams) baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 cups (148 grams) cranberries, fresh or frozen

For the Streusel Topping:

  • 1/2 cup (99 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup (30 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 4 tablespoons (56.5 grams) cold butter, cut into half-inch size pieces
  • zest from 1 orange (~2 tablespoons)


  1. Preheat oven to 425 °F.  Spray a 12 cup muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. Make the muffin batter. In a large bowl, whisk together the vegetable oil, sugar, eggs, buttermilk, orange juice, orange zest, and vanilla.  Slowly add in the flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon.  Mix until just combined and no dry streaks of flour remain.  Fold in the cranberries.
  3. Divide the batter amongst the 12 muffin cups, filling nearly to the top.
  4. Make the streusel topping. Combine the sugar, flour, butter and orange zest in a small bowl. Using a pastry blender or fork, cut the butter into the dry ingredients until the streusel has the texture of clumpy, wet sand.  Sprinkle the streusel evenly over the tops of the 12 muffins.
  5. Bake the muffins. Bake at 425°F for 5 minutes, then reduce the oven temp to 375°F (do not open the oven door) and bake for another 13-15 minutes.  Cool muffins in the muffin tin for 10 minutes, then remove muffins and cool on a wire rack for an additional 30 minutes.


  1. If using frozen cranberries, do not thaw before using. Mix the frozen cranberries straight into the batter.
  2. Dried cranberries can be used, but fresh or frozen are recommended for the best taste and texture. If using dried cranberries, reduce to 1 cup.
  3. Muffins can be stored at room temperature for up to 5 days, or wrapped in foil and stored in a zip-top bag in the freezer for up to 3 months.

A Bunsen Burner Bakery Original Protocol

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1 muffin
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 331Total Fat: 13.2gCarbohydrates: 49.6gProtein: 4.37g

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Cranberry Orange Streusel Muffins: tart cranberries (fresh or frozen!) and oranges pair perfectly with a sweet crumbly streusel topping for these easy domed muffins.  All the tips you need for moist bakery style muffins at home!