Vegan Orange Cranberry Muffins

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(from 19 reviews)
Vegan Orange Cranberry Muffins

I have used a lot of dried cranberries while baking but am picky about the fresh ones. So far I have tried only one recipe using fresh cranberries. It is this cranberry bars recipe from the Joy of Baking website. Although it did come out well and tasted good, somehow I did not develop a liking for this beautiful red fruit. I think part of the reason is my quirky food likings. I usually don't like sweet and sour or sweet and spicy together. A dish has to be either fully sweet or fully spicy. So its obvious that I do not like the combination of tart cranberries and sweet in baked goods. Anyhow I decided to give it a shot once again this cranberry season.

Lately I have been seeing a lot of Indianized cranberry recipes. Cranberry rice, cranberry pickle, cranberry dal, etc. just to mention a few. So I decided to try at least that if at all not baking with cranberries. Recently I also got hooked to the Taste of Home website. I have got a baking book published by that magazine and am a fan for those recipes. I have had a 100% success rate with those recipes. I don't know what stopped me from visiting their website all these days. A couple of days back I borrowed a Taste of Home Cookies book from the library. It has 623 recipes and I was so tempted to get one for myself. That's when I decided to check out their website to see if they have free recipes online and I was overjoyed to find the same. I looked for some cranberry recipes in there and bookmarked this cranberry muffins recipe. It was a simple straight forward recipe and the egg substitution was easy too. I decided to use flax seed meal as the egg substitute like I used for the vegan cranberry quick bread recipe and it turned out great.

For the past couple of months I have been incorporating a lot of whole grains and whole grain flours while baking. So I decided to used plain all purpose flour this time. Partly the reason being, my phobia for cranberries. Since I was not sure if I would like cranberries I didn't want to use whole wheat flour and mess it up further. Surprisingly these cranberry muffins did not fail me. It tasted pretty good with mild sweetness, occasional tartness from the cranberries here and there and a nice crunch from the pecans. I would definitely try this recipe again but would increase the quantity of sugar a little bit.


Vegan Orange Cranberry Muffins Recipe

Prep TimeCook TimeMakes
15 Mins20 MinsA dozen cranberry muffins.
Vegan Orange Cranberry Muffins
4.9 from 19 reviews
Flavorful orange and cranberry muffins studded with pieces of pecans. These muffins are vegan and low fat too but this does not affect the taste. Flax seed powder is used as an egg substitute in this recipe.
Dry Ingredients:
  • 2 cups All Purpose Flour
  • 3/4th to 1 cup Brown Sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Baking Powder
  • 1 cup Chopped Pecans
Wet Ingredients:
  • 1/3 cup Canola Oil
  • 2/3 cup Orange Juice (Freshly Squeezed)
  • 1 flax egg (How to make flax egg?)
  • from 1 orange Orange Zest
  • 1 cup Coarsely Chopped Fresh Cranberries
  1. Preheat the oven at 375F/190C for 15 minutes. Grease or line a muffin tin with paper liners.
  2. In a large bowl mix together the dry ingredients and keep it aside.
  3. In a blender/food processor blend together the flax seed powder and water until its nice and frothy.
  4. Measure orange juice in a liquid measuring mug, add water until you reach 1 cup measure in the mug. To this also add the oil, flax seed mixture, orange zest and stir together well.
  5. Pour the liquid ingredients to the flour mixture and mix until just moistened. Fold in the cranberries too. Do not overmix.
  6. Spoon in the batter in the greased muffin tins. Bake for about 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  7. Move the muffin tin to a cooling rack and let it cool for just 5 minutes. Then remove the muffins from the pan and cool it completely on a wire rack.
My Notes:
  1. The quantity of sugar mentioned in the original recipe was 3/4th cup and I used the same, but felt that the muffins could have been a little more sweet. So you can increase the quantity to 1 cup.
  2. I always prefer freshly squeezed orange juice in baking recipes. I have found out in my experience that the store bought orange juice is slightly bitter and the bitterness reflects in the baked goods too.
  3. If you wish to use frozen cranberries, do not thaw it. Use it directly from the freezer otherwise the berries will start bleeding turning the batter red.
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  1. Rinkal Haria

    Apart from flax seeds what else can we use and how much?

    • Madhuram

      1/4 cup of applesauce or yogurt will also work.

  2. Karen

    These muffins are very yummy! My very discriminating vegan son loved them. Used organic sugar and grape seed oil instead.

    • Madhuram

      Thank you very much for the feedback 🙂

  3. Amy

    I made these for Thanksgiving morning and was very pleased! They are moist, fluffy and bursting with flavor. When I make these again, I will make a few alterations:
    1. Allow more time for prep – took about 30 minutes because of chopping, juicing and zesting.
    2. Use less sugar (I used about one cup of organic sugar, not brown sugar) because I like a less sweet muffin.
    3. Allow more time to cook – it took about 22 minutes to get them browned on the top.
    4. Use a muffin-top only pan – because the top of the muffin is my favorite!

    I did alter the recipe a little: used regular sugar, triple-filtered coconut oil vs. canola, and after chopping the fresh berries I dried them and sprinkled them with flour so they wouldn’t color the batter.

    • Madhuram

      Thank you for the detailed feedback Amy.

  4. Roxanne

    I NEVER leave comments on recipes I find online… but this one is too good that I just have too! So simple to make, yet so good! I couldn’t stop eating them so I’ll have to make more haha! Cheers!

    • Madhuram

      That’s great Roxanne. Thank you very much for your feedback.

  5. Theresa

    Even though canola oil was listed in the “wet ingredients,” there was no mention in the “procedure” of when to add it. I’m a very step-by-step baker so I almost left it out. I realized just before baking that I had omitted the oil so I added it and stirred the batter again. The muffins are baking now so I don’t know how this will affect the outcome. Keeping my fingers crossed! Thanks for the recipe.

    • Madhuram

      I guess it comes under the liquid ingredients in point 5. Will be more clear here onwards. 🙂

  6. Ambika

    These are probably the most moist, delicious muffins I’ve ever made and they’re always my go-to vegan dessert. I did make a few changes though. I didn’t have flax seeds so I simply didn’t use them, and I used sweetened dried cranberries because that was all I had on hand (so I cut the sugar to 1/2 cup.

    I was pleasantly surprised that the muffins turned out amazing even without flax seeds. If anyone is wondering whether they can skip that ingredient if they don’t have any, the answer is yes.

    I also added white chocolate chunks to these once and it was crazy delicious. Of course, that makes them no longer vegan. They’re also pretty yummy with walnuts instead of pecans, or with dried, shredded unsweetened coconut.

    • Madhuram

      It’s great to know that it works well without the flax seed too. Maybe the other liquid ingredients in the recipe was enough to moist and hold the muffins together.

  7. Suzy

    I had fresh cranberries that needed to be used and thought this recipe sounded great, and only 15 min in prep! Well, it may be 15 min in prep if you have a house gnome zesting and juicing oranges for you. It was about 45 min until I had these in the oven, and I’m no stranger to a kitchen. I have no complaints otherwise but it drives me batty when prep time is understated.

  8. Abigail

    Great Recipe! I made these with store-bought orange juice, tangerine zest and a touch of lemon zest because the tangerine zest made it too sweet. I also switched the flax seed to chia seed and the pecans to 1/2 a cup of sliced almonds. Delicious Perfection! Thanks for the recipe – looking forward to trying more recipes from this site.

    • Madhuram

      Thanks Abigail. Great to know that it works with chia seeds too.

  9. NS

    Hi Madhuram,

    Thank you so much for this recipe. I made some minor changes/mistakes to the recipe and my muffins fell after taking out of the oven. They were rising up nicely and I could see the dome as I was getting them out of the oven. But they fell within minutes after that.

    1. I added a little over 1/3 Cup of frozen blueberries (did not thaw) instead of cranberries.
    2. I thought it was 2 TBSP of flaxseed powder(instead of 2 tsp in your post).
    3. I kept the pans inside the oven while it was getting preheated (5 min to go) but baked it for full time as mentioned.

    Could you please guide me as to what might have gone wrong with this.

    Thanks in advance!

    • Madhuram

      I missed this comment NS. Sorry about it. The 3rd was the only mistake according to me. You should not keep the pans in the oven while it is preheating.

  10. helene

    could I make this without nuts? will I have to change the proportions if I omit nuts?


    • Madhuram

      Yes, you can make it without nuts and don’t have change anything else.

  11. Karen

    I would love to make these muffins for a group of 15 but my time is quite limited. I was wondering if I could make the batter the night before and put them in the oven the following morning?
    Thank you for your time 🙂

    • Madhuram

      I think it should work Karen.

  12. Kay

    I baked these today and they are great! The only change I made was to use dried whole cranberries. I let them sit accidentally in the liquid ingredients for about 30 minutes and they plumped up. I was afraid that dried cranberries would be too dry but I think the soaking helped to prevent that. I’ve tried several of these muffin recipes and they have all been incredibly good! Thanks and post more.

    • Madhuram

      You’re welcome Kay. I’m happy to know that you have tried a couple of muffins recipes and liked them all.

  13. The Harried Hamptons

    I didn’t use flaxseed, nor eggs so lets see what happens. A note regarding the flaxseed would have been helpful 🙁

  14. Jinal Thacker


    I have a couple of questions.
    Why do we need flax seed powder?
    Can I use the regular sugar instead of brown sugar?


    • Madhuram

      Flax seed powder is the substitute for the eggs in the original recipe. Yes, you can use regular sugar.

      • Jinal Thacker

        In blueberry muffins recipe, apple cider vinegar was used to replace eggs. Can I use it with this recipe in stead of flax seed powder?

        • Madhuram

          Yes you can try that too Jinal.

  15. Laura

    Tried this recipe. I omitted the pecans and used fresh frozen cranberries. They turned out very well.

    • Madhuram

      Thanks Laura.

  16. Srividya

    Are you supposed to add salt to this recipe? I thought that was required if one used baking powder? I am just guessing. I am not much of a baker but like to try out different recipes. I love your website. Have it bookmarked! Thank you so much.

    • Madhuram

      I think about 1/4 teaspoon of salt should be fine.

  17. Siri

    Dear Madhuram,
    Fantastic recipes and an easy to manuever website! Been a regular here, mostly to ogle 🙂
    I tried this one out yesterday and it turned out soggy at the bottom at the end of 24 minutes in the oven. When I did the toothpick test nothing stuck. But when I brought it out it wasnt solidified at the bottom. 30 mins outside and it was. What I did differently was that I halved the measurements to bake only 6 muffins since I wasnt sure how the sourness of the cranberry would turn out. Would you be able to tell me what could have gone wrong?

    • Madhuram

      Thanks Siri. Regarding the recipe, halving the recipe should not be a problem as long as you didn’t forget to halve the liquid ingredients too. The muffins should not take more than 20-22 minutes to bake. Did you preheat the oven/enough? I’m guessing that the oven was not hot enough. My another guess is that maybe you didn’t toss the fruit with little flour before adding it to the batter, so all the cranberries settled at the bottom of the muffins making it soggy. I know that I didn’t mention it in the recipe about tossing the fruit with flour because I myself did’nt know it then. But my muffins did turn out good even without doing it.

      • Siri

        I did halve the liquid ingredients as well, very carefully 🙂
        And no, my cranberry bits did not stick to the bottom even though I did not flour-toss it. The oven was preheated till it was up to that temperature (I am not sure what you mean by enough but I wait for the 350F to be reached i.e. light indicator goes off). Could be the oven but not very sure of that because my banana/nut/plain vanilla muffins come out alright.

        • Madhuram

          I don’t have a preheat option in my oven, so I usually heat it for about 15 minutes and that’s what I meant my heating enough. I really don’t know what could have gone wrong, Siri.

  18. cleanspirit

    Will any kind of juice do instead of orange juice? I have pineapple juice… I’m going to try that.

    • Madhuram

      Cranberry and orange is the usual combination. But if you want to try pineapple, give it a shot and let us know how it turns out because I have not tried it myself.

  19. Joyce

    Hi Is it possible to bake this muffin without using the flax seed powder? Thanks for sharing

    • Madhuram

      Try replacing the flax seed powder and water with 1/2 cup yogurt or buttermilk.

  20. Sheila

    I am very thankful to have found this recipe! I had trouble juicing my oranges and gave up on getting the required amount of juice. I peeled several oranges and put the segments into a blender with a little water. A very frothy, pulpy juice emerged. I used this as a replacement for the water and orange juice in the recipe. I also omitted the flax seed.

    I had dried cranberies that I chopped up and added to the batter. I was skeptical about the batter raising during baking without eggs or egg replacer, but they were beautiful. The taste was awesome and was even better the next day.

    Thank you for this website and my son with egg allergies thanks you! I will be back to try more recipes.

    • Madhuram

      You’re welcome Sheila. You got it right even without the flaxseed meal? That’s great to know.

  21. steven

    Hello Madhu

    I tried with one small avocado. the cake came out little dense and little sticky but taste is good. I used all purpose Bob’s Redmills Gluten Free. The ingredients Garbazo beans flour, potato starch, tapioca flour,white sorgum flour and fava bean flour. Do you think little dense and little sticky from Flour or because I don’t use Oil?

    Thank you

    • Madhuram

      It could be both, Steven. I have tried neither so I’m not able to tell the exact reason.

  22. steven

    Hello Madhu

    Can i use 9 inch springform pan ? I don’t have muffin tin. I would like to try with avocado instead oil. I will let you know.

    Thank you

    • Madhuram

      You can try it steven, I guess the baking time will be a little more though. Maybe 20-30 minutes. So keep an eye on it.

  23. Megan

    I used 1 cup of the fresh orange juice, added a teaspoon of pure vanilla extract and omitted the oil. Absolutely amazing muffins! Best vegan muffin I’ve ever had, best muffin i’ve had period!

    • Madhuram

      Thank you very much Megan. Please rate the recipe.

  24. Punam

    I tried this receipe 3 times. The first time it was good. The second time it was great. My co-workers loved it. I questioned the sweetness, but they all said it was a perfect breakfast muffin with coffee. The third time I tried it with lemon instead of orange. Epic fail. I’ll stick to the original recipe.

    • Madhuram

      You’re welcome Punam. Thanks for letting us know that using lemons did not turn out good.

  25. manu

    I tried this reciepe with whole wheat flour
    and fresh cranberries and almonds. it came very good my kids
    love it. I was wondering what could we use instead of
    baking powder. is it possible to bake without it?
    what did people do when there was no baking powder in early days
    or they did not bake at that time?

    • Stacy

      Baking powder is a complete mixture that provides both the acid and the alkali needed to produce CO2. This gas is needed for leavining in the batter. Results obtained with baking powder are more reliable than those obtained by use of separate acid and alkali in a recipe. When baking powder is used to supplement the leavening provided by air and steam in fat containing batters, or doughs, the leavening is far greater. You don’t need it for reciepes that use self rising flour because it is already in there. Yeast breads rely on yeast for leavening. I belive baking powder has been around for over a hundred years. Check me on that.