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Sourdough Cranberry Orange Muffins

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These cranberry orange sourdough muffins are such a great way to use extra sourdough starter during the holidays. They are perfectly sweet from the addition of zesty orange, contrasted by tangy sourdough, and tart cranberries. These easy muffins are light and fresh but hit that sweet craving. 

There are three sourdough orange cranberry muffins that are stacked on top of each other. There is a halved orange next to these muffins and more muffins in a muffin tin in the background.

Why You Will Love These Sourdough Orange Cranberry Muffins

Muffins are such a classic breakfast baked good but they have so many variations (check out my pumpkin sourdough muffin or my vegan chocolate banana muffin recipes). Cranberries are such a unique berry that are underutilized in the kitchen.

Cranberries add a delightful tartness that perfectly contrasts sweeter flavors like orange or apple. I also used the cranberry orange flavor combination in my orange cranberry sourdough scone recipe and my cranberry orange sourdough biscotti (and these are some of my most popular recipes!)

Just like these other orange cranberry recipes, these muffins strike the perfect balance of flavors. They are finished with a sweet orange glaze that rounds out the flavors in these delicious muffins. These muffins are a great addition to your Christmas breakfast that the whole family will love. 

Special Equipment Needed for This Recipe

You likely have most of the equipment needed for this recipe: 

  • Mixing bowls
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Microplane
  • Whisk
  • Muffin tin
  • Cupcake liners
  • Colander (to rinse the cranberries)
  • Wire cooling rack

Ingredients and Substitutions

sourdough cranberry orange muffins ingredients in individual measuring cups and bowls.

Flour: This recipe uses regular all purpose flour. 

Salt

Baking Powder

Butter: Use unsalted butter or reduce the salt in the recipe by 1/2 teaspoon if using salted. 

Brown Sugar: Brown sugar adds extra flavor and moisture to these muffins. 

Sourdough Starter: This recipes works with active sourdough starter or unfed sourdough starter discard straight from the fridge. 

Vanilla Extract

Egg

Orange: You will use both the fresh orange juice and orange zest for this recipe. If you prefer, you can also substitute lemon in this recipe. 

Milk

Cranberries: I highly recommend using fresh cranberries for this recipe but you can use dry if that is all you have. If using dried cranberries, only use 1 cup of cranberries and soak them in water or orange juice for an hour before using them in this recipe. 

Powdered Sugar: For the orange glaze.

How to Make 

Step 1: Preheat Oven 

Preheat oven to 375F. 

Step 2: Whisk Together the Dry Ingredients

sourdough cranberry orange muffin dry ingredients in a small bowl being whisked with a fork.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, salt and baking powder. Set aside. 

Step 3: Cream the Butter and Sugar

sourdough cranberry orange muffins butter and brown sugar in a stand mixer with paddle attachment.

In the bowl of a stand mixer on medium speed, cream the butter and brown sugar until slightly light and fluffy. If you don’t have a stand mixer, you can also mix the muffin batter by hand or with a hand mixer in a large bowl. 

 

Step 4: Add the Remaining Wet Ingredients 

sourdough cranberry orange muffin wet ingredients in stand mixer bowl with paddle attachment.

Add all the remaining wet ingredients: sourdough starter, milk, orange juice, orange zest, vanilla, and egg. Mix on medium speed until fully combined. 

Step 5: Add the Dry Ingredients

sourdough cranberry orange muffin batter in stand mixer bowl with paddle attachment.

Slowly add the flour mixture and continue to mix on low speed. 

Step 6: Stir in the Cranberries

cranberries being mixed into orange cranberry sourdough muffins with rubber spatula.

Use a wooden spoon or wooden spatula to gently stir in the cranberries until they are just fully incorporated. 

Step 7: Fill Muffin Pan

hand spooning sourdough muffin batter into muffin tin lined with cupcake liners.

Use a spoon to divide the muffins across the twelve muffin cups lined with cupcake liners. The wells will be quite full but that is okay! They will bake up nicely with big fluffy tops. 

Step 9: Bake

baked sourdough cranberry orange muffins in muffin pan.

Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the muffins comes out clean. The muffins should be slightly golden brown on the tops and will have domed tops. Allow to cool completely before topping with the orange glaze.

Step 10: Make the Glaze

partially mixed orange glaze in small bowl being whisked.

In a small bowl, microwave the butter for about 10 seconds to melt it. Be careful not to microwave too long or it might explode. Add the orange juice and powdered sugar. Whisk together until smooth. 

Glaze the Muffins

a spoon pouring glaze over cranberry orange sourdough muffins on a wire rack.

Dip the tops of each muffin in the glaze and set on a wire rack with a sheet of parchment paper underneath to catch any dripping glaze. If you would rather spoon the glaze on the muffins you can. Allow the glaze to fully set before storing.

How to Make Ahead

You can bake the muffins ahead of time and freeze them in a freezer safe bag. When you are ready to serve, defrost completely then add the glaze. I would not freeze these with the glaze or they will end up quite messy. Be aware that the texture may be slightly off when they are frozen as the moisture can make the muffins softer. I also recommend consuming within one month. 

How to Store 

Store the muffins at room temperature on a plate covered with plastic wrap or in an airtight container or gallon freezer bag. Use within 3 days. For a longer shelf life, store in the refrigerator. 

broken open cranberry orange sourdough muffin revealing several cranberries in the center.

What to Serve With Sourdough Cranberry Orange Muffins

These muffins work great for brunch or breakfast and pair well with coffee, tea, or hot apple cider. They also go great with a side of fresh oranges and yogurt!

I hope you enjoyed these zesty orange sourdough cranberry muffins. If you love tangy cranberries, be sure to check out my other sourdough cranberry recipes:

​Orange Cranberry Sourdough Biscotti

Orange Cranberry Sourdough Scones

Be sure to check out some of the other sourdough discard recipes on our site as well:

Super Soft Sourdough Snickerdoodle Cookies

Soft and Chewy Ginger Molasses Sourdough Cookies

The Fudgiest Sourdough Discard Brownies

There are three sourdough orange cranberry muffins that are stacked on top of each other. There is a halved orange next to these muffins and more muffins in a muffin tin in the background.

Sourdough Cranberry Orange Muffins

These sourdough muffins are perfectly sweet from the zesty orange and tangy from the sourdough. The addition of fresh cranberries adds a delightful tart contrast to round out the festive flavors of these sourdough discard muffins. Don't forget the orange glaze!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Course Breakfast, brunch, Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 12 muffins
Calories 272 kcal

Ingredients
 
 

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ cup unsalted butter softened to room temperature
  • 1 cup brown sugar packed
  • ½ cup milk
  • ¼ cup orange juice freshly squeezed from the oranges you zested
  • ½ cup sourdough starter discard or active starter is fine
  • 1 egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • zest from 2 oranges about 2 tablespoons
  • 2 cups fresh cranberries rinsed and picked through

For the Orange Glaze

  • tablespoon orange juice
  • ½ tablespoon melted butter
  • ½ cup powdered sugar

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 375℉.
  • Line a 12 cup muffin tin with cupcake liners. Set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, salt and baking powder. Set aside.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter and brown sugar on medium speed.
  • Add the sourdough starter, milk, orange juice, vanilla, egg, and orange zest to the bowl and mix on medium speed until fully combine.
  • Add the dry ingredients to the stand mixer on low speed and mix until just combined.
  • Stir in the cranberries using a wooden spoon or rubber spatula.
  • Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin tin, dividing the batter equally among all 12 liners. The batter will come above the tops of the cups.
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  • Allow to cool completely before glazing.

For the Glaze

  • Melt the butter in a small microwave-safe mixing bowl for 10-15 seconds in the microwave.
  • Whisk in the orange juice and powdered sugar until smooth.
  • Dip the top of each muffin in the glaze and place on a wire rack with parchment paper underneath. The glaze may drip off a bit but will solidify once set.

Nutrition

Calories: 272kcalCarbohydrates: 45gProtein: 3gFat: 9gSaturated Fat: 5gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.5gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0.3gCholesterol: 36mgSodium: 249mgPotassium: 101mgFiber: 1gSugar: 25gVitamin A: 316IUVitamin C: 7mgCalcium: 59mgIron: 1mg
Keyword Sourdough, Sourdough Discard
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