These cranberry orange muffins are amazing gluten free and dairy free treats for fall and winter! They're full of warm spices, oranges, and tart cranberries. All topped with a drizzle of sweet orange icing!
Gluten-free & Dairy-free Cranberry Orange Muffins
Is there any better smell to wake up to than spiced muffins fresh out of the oven? I think not.
These cranberry orange muffins are gluten free and dairy free yet moist and fluffy. The muffin batter is full of warm, quintessential fall and winter spices, with pops of juicy tart cranberries and zingy orange zest. The combination of cranberries and orange is one of my favorites!
These are the perfect muffins to start your morning on cold days!
Key ingredients you need to make this recipe
- Gluten free all purpose flour blend: You can use the brand you like, but make sure it includes xanthan gum. I used Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour for this recipe.
- Spices: I use a combination of cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and Chinese five spice. If you can't find Chinese five spice in your local store, feel free to leave it out or substitute it for more cinnamon or cloves!
- Orange zest: Use any kind of orange you like! I've used both navel oranges and mandarin oranges, and both taste delicious! Just make sure to wash the orange first because it tends to be waxed.
- Vegan butter: I used vegan butter sticks (not butter spread in tubs), but if you can't find any where you live, you can use a neutral oil like refined coconut oil.
- Sugar: I use a combination of granulated sugar and brown sugar in this recipe. I like the depth in flavor and moisture that brown sugar adds to the muffins!
- Non-dairy milk: Use what you like! My go-to is unsweetened almond milk, but I also love cashew milk!
- Apple cider vinegar: You need apple cider vinegar to curdle the milk to make vegan buttermilk, which will react with the baking soda to make fluffy gluten free muffins! You can also use regular white vinegar if you like.
- Fresh cranberries: The star of the show! Make sure that when you open your bag of cranberries, you pick out any wrinkly ones. There's always at least 3.
Can I use frozen cranberries?
Yes! You can use frozen cranberries in these muffins, whether defrosted or not!
If you're adding them to the batter while the cranberries are still frozen, you'll need to bake the muffins for longer. If you're defrosting them first, just make sure you don't skip the step of coating the cranberries in flour first, so they don't all sink to the bottom of the muffins.
Can I skip the orange icing?
Absolutely! The muffins have sugar in them, but they're not overly sweet. I like the extra sweetness that the orange icing gives to balance the tartness of the cranberries, but if you're not a fan of sweet muffins, then by all means skip the icing!
If you want the added sweetness but you're not a fan of icing or glaze, or you just don't have powdered sugar on hand, you can sprinkle some extra granulated sugar on top of the muffins before putting them in the oven. This will give you extra sweetness, and a little crunch on the surface of the muffins.
How to store these cranberry orange muffins
To store the muffins, keep them in an airtight container on the counter for a couple of days, or they can be stored in the freezer for a month. Gluten free baked goods are always best eaten on the day they're made, but if you're storing them for another day, make sure you reheat them either in the microwave or in the oven so they regain their moisture and fluff!
More Delicious Muffin Recipes!
Cranberry Orange Muffins (Gluten free & Dairy free)
Cranberry Orange Muffins
- 2¼ cups (312g) gluten free all-purpose flour blend (See Notes for details)
- ½ teaspoon (3g) fine sea salt
- 1 teaspoon (6g) baking soda
- 1½ teaspoons (6g) baking powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
- ¼ teaspoon Chinese five spice
- 1 teaspoon orange zest
- ¾ cups (170g) vegan butter, softened
- ½ cup (100g) granulated sugar
- ½ cup (100g) brown sugar (light brown sugar can be used too)
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup (240g) non-dairy milk
- 1 tablespoon (15g) apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon (5g) vanilla extract
- 2 cups (200g) fresh cranberries
- 1 cup (125g) powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons (30g) orange juice
- 1 teaspoon orange zest
- In a small bowl, combine the non-dairy milk and apple cider vinegar. Set aside for 5 minutes to let it curdle.
- In a bowl, combine the gluten-free all-purpose flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, Chinese five spice, orange zest, and set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine the vegan butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar. Stir in the eggs one at a time. Add the milk and vinegar mixture, and vanilla extract. Stir until combined.
- In a small bowl, toss the cranberries in a couple spoonfuls of the flour mixture. Set aside.
- Add the rest of the flour mixture into the wet ingredients and stir until almost completely combined. Add the cranberries and fold the batter using a spatula until no clumps of flour remain. Cover the bowl and let it rest for 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 410°F/210°C and line a muffin pan with paper liners.
- Divide the batter evenly among the 12 muffin wells. Bake in the preheated oven for 7 minutes, then turn down the temperature to 374°F/190°C and bake for an additional 15 minutes. A toothpick inserted into the center of the muffin should come out with a few moist crumbs. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes before taking them out to a wire rack to cool completely
- In a small bowl, combine all of the ingredients for the orange icing. Drizzle as much or as little as you like on the cooled muffins.