Delicious tangy cranberries are baked into sweet Vegan Cranberry Orange Muffins! Every fluffy bite is filled with bursting cranberries, a hint of orange, and a divine streusel topping. This festive treat is such a breeze to whip up and is sure to become a new favorite!
Enjoy fresh or frozen cranberries this fall with these lovely eggless muffins. The orange flavor adds a citrus element that goes incredibly well with the tart cranberries.
These vegan muffins are so quick and easy to whip up, too! I like to make them when I start to see fresh cranberries pile up at my local grocery store in the fall. Although, you can make them any time of year with frozen cranberries.
Everyone will love this perfectly moist muffin for breakfast, brunch, or snack time. Watch them fly as you place them on the counter when you’re hosting for the holidays.
You can also make them ahead of time and pop them in the freezer for breakfast on the go. They make for such a great way to start your day.
I find these comforting muffins perfect for curbing a sweet tooth during those colder months. They are heavenly with the optional crumble topping just like my Vegan Raspberry Muffins. It adds a nice layer of crunchy sweetness.
You can also leave out the orange flavor by subbing the juice with 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar to make cranberry muffins.
Store them on the counter, refrigerator, or freezer. All it takes is a few seconds in the microwave and they are good to go! Of course, you can also enjoy them cold or at room temperature.
These dairy-free muffins travel well as a quick breakfast, camping snack, or school lunchbox treat.
Make sure to check out a few of my other fall brunch favorites! Pumpkin Banana Bread, Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread, and Apple Turnovers.
Ingredients and Substitutions
- Plant Milk - Any full-fat plant based milk such as soy, oat, or almond works.
- Orange - The juice and zest from 1 large orange adds a delicious citrus element to complement the cranberries. The juice also works as an acid to curdle the milk, thus making a vegan buttermilk. You can use 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar or lemon juice in place of the orange juice.
- Oil - I like to use canola oil to create a soft, tender, and moist texture. Another light-tasting oil will work too.
- Vanilla - Pure vanilla extract adds a comforting, warm flavor while balancing out the naturally tart bite from the berries.
- Flour - All-purpose flour or a 1-to-1 gluten-free replacement makes for light and fluffy muffins.
- Sugar - I like vegan cane sugar here but any granular variety such as brown sugar would work just as well.
- Baking Powder - Just a bit of fresh baking powder helps the muffins rise in the oven.
- Cinnamon - Such a delicious fall flavor to sprinkle in! Feel free to add nutmeg, ginger, cloves, and any other favorites.
- Salt - Simple table salt has a magical way of enhancing the other ingredients.
- Cranberries - Use fresh or frozen cranberries. There’s also a bit of room if you want to add more to the batter.
- Nuts - I think pecans or any other nuts are phenomenal here.
How to Make Orange Cranberry Muffins
Here are some quick visual steps. The full recipe with exact measurements can be found on the recipe card below.
Make the optional streusel topping by mixing together the flour, brown sugar, and cinnamon in a small bowl. Then, cut the softened butter into this mixture until it’s a fine crumble texture. Stir in the chopped pecans and place the bowl in the refrigerator for now.
Position an oven rack in the middle of the oven and then preheat it to 375°F. Next, add liners to a muffin pan or grease it with vegan butter.
Zest the entire orange first and then squeeze it’s juice into a small bowl. You can add store-bought orange juice for this as well.
Combine the wet ingredients in a large bowl. Make sure to shake the plant milk before adding it. It’s okay if it looks curdled because that means the orange juice and plant-based milk are forming a vegan version of buttermilk. This will help the muffins rise as well as create a nice, tender bite to them.
Next, mix the dry ingredients in a separate bowl.
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry-ingredient bowl and gently mix them until they’re mostly combined. Try not to overmix as this can cause the final product to be a bit tough and chewy.
Gently fold the cranberries, orange zest, and optional pecans in.
Divide the batter across the pockets in the muffin tin.
Press in some crumble topping with the back of a metal spoon if you’re adding this.
Bake the muffins for 20-25 minutes until they are a light golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean from one of them.
Make homemade cranberry sauce with any remaining berries. Simply simmer them in a pot with brown sugar, orange juice, and cinnamon. It’s ready when the cranberries have all burst.
Storage & Reheating
Store the muffins in a sealed container on the counter for 2 days, in the refrigerator for 5 days, or frozen for 3 months. Let them come to room temperature or heat them in the microwave for a few seconds before enjoying them.
More Vegan Brunch Recipes
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Vegan Cranberry Orange Muffins
- 1 cup full-fat plant-based milk, soy, oat, almond, etc.
- ¼ cup orange juice, juiced from 1 large orange
- ⅓ cup canola oil
- 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup cane sugar
- 2 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 ½ cup cranberries, fresh or frozen
- ⅓ cup chopped pecans (optional)
- 1 tablespoon orange zest, from 1 large orange
Streusel Topping (optional)
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 3 tablespoon brown sugar
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- 3 tablespoon vegan butter, salted, softened
- 2 tablespoon finely chopped pecans
- (Optional Step) Make the streusel topping by mixing together the flour, brown sugar, and cinnamon in a small bowl. Cut the softened butter into this mixture until it’s a fine crumble texture. Stir in the chopped pecans. Place the bowl in the refrigerator for now.
- Position an oven rack in the middle of the oven and preheat it to 375°F. Add liners to a muffin pan or grease it with vegan butter. Zest a large orange and then squeeze its juice into a small bowl.
- Combine the wet ingredients in a large bowl. Shake the plant milk before pouring it. It’s okay if the mixture looks curdled because that means the orange juice and plant-based milk are forming a vegan version of buttermilk.
- Mix the dry ingredients in a separate bowl. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry-ingredient bowl and gently mix them until they’re mostly combined.
- Gently fold the cranberries, orange zest, and optional pecans in. Divide the batter across the pockets in the muffin tin. Press in some streusel topping with the back of a metal spoon, if you’re adding this.
- Bake the muffins for 20-25 minutes until they are a light golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean from one of them.
The nutrition information is estimated and can vary depending on brands and measurements used.
I made this, did not come out. I noticed there were no eggs or replacement eggs in recipe - not sure if that was the problem. It just came out a blob in each muffin cup. Taste is good, will still eat.
Hi Patti, I'm so sorry to hear this! The plant milk and orange juice create a vegan buttermilk, which is an excellent egg replacer. If your plant milk is a full-fat version, rather than "lite" and if you used the full amount of orange juice, it should have worked. It helps to give the milk a good shake before pouring it. Another possibility is that the baking powder can be finicky if it isn't fresh.