These Mandarin-Orange Cranberry Muffins are a juicy, refreshingly fruity and not-too-sweet treat with a crunchy streusel topping.
Starting in January, these appeared at our local Starbucks coffee shops here in Thailand. I was a little surprised at first, because I usually I associate the combination of orange and cranberry with Christmas time.
However, their Christmas special was a cranberry white chocolate muffin that I unfortunately never got to taste.
I didn't want to let the opportunity for this season's special pass up, so I tried one of these mandarin-orange cranberry muffins shortly after they appeared in the display for the first time.
These Muffins are Delicious
Once I tasted the first bite of this muffin, I could see though, why it was not their Christmas special. This muffin is incredibly refreshing and juicy. The warm comforts of cinnamon and allspice - typical for Christmas baking - are completely absent.
The cranberries and mandarin-orange juice and zest give this muffin a really fresh and slightly tart flavor. There is only a little sweetness and a nice crunch from the streusel topping.
This muffin uses mandarin-orange juice and zest, and the flavor and color are a little different from actual oranges - still citrus-y but a little sweeter. You can totally use orange juice and zest as replacement, but here in Thailand, it is actually hard to find big, orange-colored oranges.
There are many varieties of mandarin-oranges. I mostly like to eat the tiny Chinese ones. However, the variety they use to make orange juice here is actually green from the outside. The inside is orange and they sell it as orange juice - to me it tastes like mandarin juice though.
Enjoy the Recipe!
I got used to it now, but I remember my surprise when I ordered orange juice for the first time here and received mandarin juice instead.
You can see little dark specks in the picture with the bite taken out. This is the grated zest of green mandarin-oranges.
In recent years, a favorite muffin recipe of my family has been Christmas Morning Muffins. They have cranberries and orange juice - and are probably the reason I first thought this should be a Christmas muffin. But we have actually eaten it during all times of the year.
Below, I adapted our favorite family recipe to use mandarin-oranges, leaving out cinnamon and allspice and adding a crunchy streusel topping.
Mandarin-Orange Cranberry Muffins Recipe
- 1-½ cups cranberries dried or fresh
- ¾ cup granulated sugar divided
- 2-¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 2-½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon grated mandarin-orange zest
- ⅞ cup mandarin-orange juice
- ¾ stick 0.4 cups butter, melted
- ¾ cup chopped nuts optional
- 2 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1.5 tablespoon butter
- Preheat oven to 375 F. Coarsely chop cranberries and mix with ¼ cup sugar. Set aside.
- Place streusel ingredients into a small bowl and combine with you fingers until mixture is crumbly.
- Line a muffin tray. In a bowl combine flour, ½ cup sugar, baking powder and soda, salt and vanilla.
- In another bowl beat the egg and add mandarin-orange zest, juice and melted butter.
- Add dry mixture to wet ingredients and stir until just combined. Mix in cranberries and optional nuts.
- Fill 12 muffin liners with the batter, sprinkle streusel crumbles on top and bake for 15-20 minutes until muffins are golden brown.
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The sugar content in a cranberry orange muffin can vary depending on the recipe and the amount of sugar used. Typically, cranberry orange muffins have a moderate amount of sugar to balance the tartness of the cranberries and the citrus flavor of the oranges.
The calorie count in an orange cranberry muffin can vary based on the ingredients and portion size. Generally, a standard-sized orange cranberry muffin may contain around 200 to 300 calories, but the precise calorie count may differ depending on the specific recipe used.
The calorie content in a Krusteaz cranberry orange muffin can be found on the packaging or on the Krusteaz website. Typically, pre-packaged muffins may have varying calorie counts depending on the specific brand and the ingredients used in the mix. It is advisable to refer to the nutritional information provided by the manufacturer for accurate calorie details.