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 off a cold, dreary winter morning! Plus, tips for giant bakery-style domed muffins baked in regular sized muffin pans.
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.
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?
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!
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!
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.
Frequently Asked Questions about Cranberry Orange Streusel Muffins
Either fresh or frozen cranberries can be used for these muffins. If using frozen, do not thaw first. While fresh or frozen cranberries provided better texture, dried cranberries (craisins) can be used as well. Reduce the total volume of added cranberries by 1/3.
Nuts make a great addition to either the batter or the streusel – pecans are my favorite, but walnuts or almonds are delicious, too.
Start the oven at high temperature, skip the muffin liners, and fill the muffin wells all the way to the top with batter.
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.
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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)
- Preheat oven to 425 °F. Spray a 12 cup muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray.
- 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.
- Divide the batter amongst the 12 muffin cups, filling nearly to the top.
- 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.
- 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.
- If using frozen cranberries, do not thaw before using. Mix the frozen cranberries straight into the batter.
- 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.
- 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