Cranberry lemon muffins are the breakfast food to transition your family from summer to fall. Soft lemony muffins envelope pockets of tart cranberries that pop in your mouth.
As the leaves start to change color and the temperature drops, the bright, crisp flavors in these muffins will be comforting and inviting. The combination of bright, bold red cranberries and rich sweet aromas of the muffins are hard to resist.
Cranberry lemon muffins blend soft and light flavors with bright, tart ones. It’s best paired with a similarly robust but simple drink, like strong lemon tea, or black coffee.
Young palettes might appreciate a glass of milk to cut through the tartness of the berries. Easy to make, moist, and adaptable, you’ll want to put this recipe into your rotation of breakfast bakes.
What You Need to Make Cranberry Lemon Muffins
Cranberry lemon muffins require mostly pantry staples (sugar, baking powder, baking soda, oil, AP flour, salt, eggs) but get a big boost of moisture from the addition of Greek yogurt, lemon juice, and cranberries.
You can use fresh or frozen cranberries. Do not use dried cranberries. If using frozen cranberries, use them straight from the freezer. Do not thaw them. You might find that your muffins take a few extra minutes to bake if using frozen.
You can also use 1%, 2% whole or nonfat plain Greek yogurt. The higher the fat content, the richer the final product will be.
- All-purpose flour
- Large eggs
- Baking powder
- Baking soda
- Neutral oil, like canola oil
- Granulated sugar
- Plain Greek yogurt
- Cranberries, fresh or frozen
- Kosher salt
Cranberry lemon muffins require a muffin tin and liners, a bowl, whisk, a micro-planer, juicer, and a spatula. This is a one-bowl recipe, so it comes together quickly and has very little clean up.
Because this recipe only uses oil and no butter, there is no need to cream butter or dirty extra dishes. Plus, the oil helps the muffins stay moist for longer if you don’t eat them all right away.
How To Make Cranberry Lemon Muffins
Zest and juice 1 lemon.
Place oil and sugar in a bowl and whisk until light and smooth. Add the yogurt, eggs, lemon juice and lemon zest and whisk until smooth.
Add in flour, baking soda, salt, and baking powder and mix until just combined. Add cranberries and mix until evenly distributed.
Preheat your oven to 375ºF. Fill each muffin tin 2/3 of the way to the top with batter.
Bake for 16-18 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan for several minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling. Serve.
How long can these muffins be stored?
If you have any leftover muffins, you can store them well-wrapped in the refrigerator for up to five days. These muffins also freeze very well and can be reheated in the microwave or thawed on the counter. If you thaw them, try cutting them in half and toasting them under the broiler. Serve them with a little butter for a tasty treat.
What else can I add to these muffins?
The lemony tartness of these muffins means you can adapt them in different ways. For a hearty muffin, add sliced almonds to the batter. You can also swap out the lemon for orange juice and zest. This produces a sweeter bake. For a more decadent treat, you can add a glaze of powdered sugar and lemon juice to add a little extra zip and sweetness to the tops of the muffins.
I overbaked my muffins! What can I do?
No one wants to serve underbaked muffins, but overbaked ones can be just as bad. You can try to save overbaked, dry muffins by pouring a lemon sugar syrup over each muffin and allowing it to soak in. Poke the tops of the muffins with a toothpick and then drizzle over a lemon simple syrup. They will be a little stickier but will taste a lot better.
Cranberry Lemon Muffins
- 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
- 2 large eggs
- ½ tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ¼ cup neutral oil like canola oil
- ⅔ cup sugar
- ½ cup plain Greek yogurt
- 1 cup cranberries fresh or frozen but not dried
- 1 lemon zest and juice
- ¼ tsp salt
- Preheat your oven to 375ºF.Line and grease 12 slots in a standard-sized muffin tin.
- Zest and juice one lemon.
- Place ¼ cup oil, 2/3 cup granulated sugar, and the juice and zest of 1 lemon in a bowl and whisk until smooth.
- Add in one egg and ½ cup of yogurt and whisk until incorporated.
- Add 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon baking powder, a 1/4 teaspoon salt and mix until just combined.
- Fold in 1 cup of cranberries.
- Fill each muffin tin 2/3 of the way up with batter.
- Place muffins in the preheated oven for 16-18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
- Allow to cool in the pan for several minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling. Enjoy!
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Arielle is a food and drink photographer based in Washington, D.C. She was previously a social science researcher before she fell in love with photography.