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Healthy Cranberry Orange Muffins

  • Author: Erin
  • Total Time: 48 mins
  • Yield: 12 muffins 1x


An ideal healthier muffin to enjoy throughout the holiday and winter months.  These muffins have lots of fiber and whole grains, dotted with the flavors of orange and fresh cranberries.


  • 1 3/4 cups fresh cranberries, rinsed
  • 1/2 cup (heaping) unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 white sugar
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup nonfat plain yogurt (can use vanilla)
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 TBS orange zest
  • 1 3/4 cup whole wheat flour, spooned and leveled
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 TBS fresh squeezed orange juice
  • 3 TBS milk (any kind)


  1. Spray a standard 12-cup muffin tin with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. Cut all of the cranberries in half and set aside about 36 halves for topping the muffins later.
  3. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the applesauce, white sugar, and brown sugar until well combined.
  4. Add the eggs, yogurt, and vanilla extract.  Whisk well until smooth and fully mixed.  Stir in the orange zest.
  5. In a separate bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt.
  6. Add the dry ingredients to the wet in 3 additions, mixing gently after each one.  Add the milk and orange juice and mix until just a few flour streaks remain.
  7. Gently fold in the cranberries, being careful not to overmix the batter.
  8. Allow the batter to rest for about 15 minutes - this will give the whole wheat flour a chance to hydrate and will help your muffins be more tender.
  9. While the batter is resting, preheat oven to 425F.
  10. Distribute the batter evenly among the 12 muffin cups.  Bake for 5 minutes at 425F, and then lower the oven temperature to 350F.  Bake for a further 12-15 minutes (check early and often - ovens vary) until muffins are done and a toothpick inserted into the center of one comes out with a few moist crumbs.  Be careful not to overbake!
  11. Allow muffins to cool 2-3 minutes in the pan, and then transfer them to a cooling rack to finish cooling.
  12. Serve warm or at room temperature with a smear of butter and/or a drizzle of honey.  Store leftovers in an airtight container in a cool place away from sunlight.


Recommended Equipment

To ensure tender muffins, resting the batter is an essential step.  Also, make sure you do not overmix the batter and that you do not overbake the muffins.

You can replace the sugars with an alternative cup-for-cup measure sugar substitute.

Make sure to read the blog post for other tips and suggestions!

  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 18 mins + resting
  • Category: Muffins
  • Method: Oven


  • Serving Size: 1 muffin
  • Calories: 144
  • Sugar: 14.3g
  • Sodium: 224mg
  • Fat: 1.3g
  • Saturated Fat: 0.4g
  • Carbohydrates: 28.9
  • Fiber: 3.2g
  • Protein: 4g
  • Cholesterol: 32mg

Keywords: muffins, healthy swaps, whole wheat

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