These Gluten Free Cranberry Orange Muffins are everything you want in Christmas morning muffins - moist, fruity and sweet. They are made with coconut flour, paleo friendly and clean eating.
These gluten free cranberry orange muffins were developed as part of the recipe testing process for my eBook Coconut Flour Muffins, Pancakes & Mug Cakes. They didn’t make the book - not for lack of flavor or deliciousness, but because I changed course and ended up with too many muffin recipes.
I can't think of a better time than Christmas week to share these healthy cranberry muffins with you. It's because in my mind orange and cranberry muffins are deeply connected with Christmas morning.
At first, I actually wanted to call these Christmas morning muffins. But then I realized that the associated flavors could be different for everyone.
My first encounter with orange cranberry muffins goes back some 15 year probably. I was still living in Germany with my family and this may have been one of the first North American recipes I ever made.
If food blogs excited back then, I didn't know about them. But there were large recipe databases and one in particular allowed you to search recipes by ingredients you had on hand.
This is how I came across a 'Christmas Morning Muffin' recipe. The English title stood out on a German website.
Also, cranberries aren't as common a baking ingredients in Germany - at least they weren't 15 years ago. But we had a huge bag of dried cranberries in the pantry. I think, someone brought them along from visiting relatives in Canada, but we didn't really know how to use them.
Enter: this cranberry muffin recipe. Aside from cranberries, the recipes also called for orange juice and orange zest.
Soon, these were my favorite muffins to make and I made them often - not just Christmas morning. And this is how for me the orange and cranberry combination was ingrained as Christmas morning flavors.
How to make Gluten Free Cranberry Orange Muffins
Flash forward to many years later, where I live in Canada, am married and really got into healthier eating after having my baby girl. One of my healthy food specialties are coconut flour muffins (it all started with these paleo pumpkin muffins).
Of course, I had to work on a coconut flour version of those Christmas morning cranberry muffins, that I was so obsessed with years and years ago.
Like most of my coconut flour muffins, these paleo cranberry muffins start with a base of coconut flour with tapioca starch (for a lighter texture). For that spiced Christmas aroma, I am adding cinnamon and nutmeg.
Also as usual, there is a good amount of eggs and coconut oil to hydrate the very hygroscopic (absorbent) coconut flour. I didn't want to throw off the liquid to dry ratio too much with the orange juice in this recipe. So instead of the usual liquid sweetener, I used granulated coconut sugar (can be replaced with unrefined demerara sugar).
Can I Substitute Fresh for Dried Cranberries?
I made these dried cranberry muffins, because 15 years ago that was the only kind of cranberries I had available. So with time I came to like their chewiness in the muffins.
However, you can totally make these cranberry muffins with fresh cranberries as well. While I left the dried cranberries whole, for fresh cranberry muffins I would chop the cranberries coarsely. Then measure out 1 cup of them.
How to store Coconut Flour Muffins?
As mentioned before, coconut flour absorbs a lot of liquid. This coconut flour recipe for cranberry muffins uses eggs, coconut oil, coconut milk and orange juice to provide that liquid.
By leaving the coconut flour muffins on the counter, some of that liquid would evaporate and the muffins dry out. So, in order to keep these healthy orange cranberry muffins moist they should be stored airtight.
They will keep a few days at room temperature and up to a week refrigerated. These gluten free orange cranberry muffins also freeze quite well inside an airtight container. That way, they will keep probably 1-2 months.
If you love baking with coconut flour as much as me, be sure to check out my eBook right here for many more delicious gluten free + paleo recipes.
Gluten Free Cranberry Orange Muffins - paleo + clean eating
- ½ cup coconut flour
- ¼ cup tapioca flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 4 eggs
- ½ cup coconut oil melted
- ½ cup coconut sugar
- ¼ cup coconut milk
- ⅓ cup orange juice freshly squeezed
- ½ tablespoon orange zest
- 1 cup dried cranberries can be substituted with chopped fresh or frozen + thawed cranberries
- In a bowl, whisk together coconut and tapioca flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. In a separate bowl beat eggs, coconut oil, coconut sugar, coconut milk, orange juice and zest until combined.
- Add wet to dry mixture and stir until evenly incorporated. (Alternatively, you can also combine all ingredients in a blender.)
- Stir in cranberries by hand. Fill batter into prepared pan.
- Bake muffins for 15-18 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Allow muffins to cool in pan for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container up to a week in the fridge.
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Flat gluten-free muffins can result from various factors, such as improper leavening, too much moisture, or inadequate binding. Ensure accurate measurements and use ingredients like xanthan gum or baking powder to create lift.
Gluten-free muffins are typically made with alternative flours like coconut flour, almond flour, or a gluten-free flour blend. They often include eggs or other binding agents and can be sweetened with natural sugars like honey or maple syrup.
The sugar content in cranberry orange muffins can vary depending on the recipe. Generally, they contain sweeteners like coconut sugar or honey. For a healthier option, recipes may use natural sweeteners in moderation.
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