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Winning Cranberry Muffins

Our town is the hub of all the area's large cranberry bogs, which are beautiful year-round. I've had this particular recipe for quite a while and have modified it over the years. These muffins are my husband's favorite, and my friends like them, too. It's a typical, hearty New England muffin! —Dorothy Bateman, Carver, Massachusetts
  • Total Time
    Prep/Total Time: 30 min.
  • Makes
    12 standard or 6 jumbo muffins


  • 1 cup fresh cranberries, quartered
  • 8 tablespoons sugar, divided
  • 1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest, optional
  • Cinnamon sugar


  • Sprinkle cranberries with 2 tablespoons sugar; set aside. Sift remaining sugar, flour, baking powder and salt into large bowl.
  • In another bowl, beat egg, milk and oil. Make a hole in center of dry ingredients; pour in liquid ingredients. Stir just until moistened. Add berries and, if desired, lemon zest. Fill 12 greased standard or 6 greased jumbo muffin cups. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.
  • Bake at 400° for 18 minutes for standard-size muffins or for 22 minutes for jumbo muffins.
Test Kitchen Tips
  • Love cranberries? Learn how to make the best cranberry pie.
  • Nutrition Facts
    1 each: 171 calories, 7g fat (1g saturated fat), 20mg cholesterol, 146mg sodium, 24g carbohydrate (10g sugars, 1g fiber), 3g protein.

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    • Joy
      Mar 15, 2021

      These turned out amazing with a few small tweaks: Instead of milk, I used 1/2 cup cream and 1/2 cup sour cream (sour cream in cakes makes them sooo moist), and I added a tbsp of brown sugar and a splash of almond extract to the mix. Instead of sugar on top, I made a crumb topping (butter, brown sugar, flour, vanilla) and they turned out fantastic! Thank you!!

    • Janie
      Dec 6, 2020

      Delicious! Needed to find a way to cook fresh cranberries left over from Thanksgiving. I am not a baker and get frustrated easily with too many ingredients. The only variations I made were to use 1/4 cup heavy cream and 1/2 cup no fat milk (didn’t have any whole milk) and added 1/4 cup chopped pecans, again left over from Thanksgiving. Enjoyed with soft scrambled eggs and ham instead of toast and jam. Came out moist and just enough sweet. Might add orange zest along with the lemon zest next time.

    • Cecilia
      Jun 28, 2020

      Use 2% and vegetable oil 1/4 cup of crushed pineapple with 1/4 of chopped walnuts. Yummy. I used dry cranberries too. Delicious

    • Jill
      Jun 12, 2020

      These muffins are absolutely fabulous ( and I have my own food business and cook for a living ) . Use dried cranberries . Soak in juice ( I used white sangria wine cooler actually but any fruit cooler or juice will do ) and drain. Turned out to be about one cup and one quarter of reconstituted cranberries. Add the 7 tbsp of sugar to be base and a few drops of cinnamon oil ( which I swear by ). Topping was sugar mixed with 3 or so drops of cinnamon oil to about 1/3 cup of sugar . Just a bit on each one , didn't use the whole thing. My own farm fresh large egg from my chickens and greased the muffin tins with shortening. Add closer to 1/2 tsp salt or 2/3 . Bake until lovely and browned . They are moist , sweet and absolutely delicious. Don't overmix the dough obviously , barely stir it with a fork together as all muffin dough and bake in a hot quick oven. This is going to be a keeper for me. Serve hot with butter . Bottoms are brown and crispy , very moist inside with a beautiful crisp topping. Your family will love you forever.

    • dsnydeb
      Mar 23, 2020

      so, pls tell me what i did wrong? i followed the directions, didn't overmix and they came out very dense, almost no rise to them. i went back to check on the ingredients and mine are correct. so disappointed.

    • jackeeee
      Mar 12, 2020

      My Wife made these yesterday. Dry, flavorless, neither butter nor cream cheese would stick to the muffin! Reminds me of "store bought."

    • Emily
      Feb 19, 2020

      I made this to the recipe and they turned out fluffy and moist, just perfect. I used virgin olive oil and 2% milk, no adjustment to the quantities. I only halved the cranberries, too. Perfect.

    • Amanda
      Jan 18, 2020

      After reading a bunch of the reviews and tasting the batter before I baked them, I 1 I made some adjustments. I added an extra 3T of brown sugar and 2t of vanilla extract. They turned out really good, but they would've been quite bland without it.

    • Brian
      Dec 21, 2019

      Tried these out. I have a jumbo muffin pan. Dividing equally gave me regular sized muffins. They do taste heavily of flour. Hearty is not how i would describe them. Good moisture though, considering the thickness of the batter.

    • Candace
      Dec 18, 2019

      These muffins were terrible. I made them the first time and they were so heavy and flavorless that I thought I had done something wrong so I made another batch and they turned out exactly the same. You could actually taste the flour