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Cranberry Orange Muffins

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After the busy holiday season I like to make these Cranberry Orange Muffins. Oranges are in season and I always have leftover cranberries in the freezer so this is a January recipe highlighting that classic combination.

Originally this was a coffeecake recipe with a crunchy-sugary streusel topping. It is elegant enough for a Christmas brunch but just as welcome at a January work meeting. However, remaking this recipe gluten free presented a few challenges. Creating the structure of a cake is more difficult than that of an individual muffin…so for now this recipe is for Cranberry Orange Muffins.

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Structure in Gluten Free Baking

No gluten free flour mix can do all the things that wheat flour does in baking. As a home cook you simply need to get in the kitchen and try. Many recipes call for a flour blend of some type and I have tried a few. I have had good success remaking my old muffin and quick bread recipes using this homemade gluten free flour mix.

The addition of xanthan gum is one way to add structure to baked goods. As a general guideline add ¼ teaspoon of xanthan gum for each cup of flour in your recipe. This also helps prevent baked goods from drying out so quickly. In this recipe adding xanthan gum wasn’t enough to keep a whole cake together so I abandoned that idea and went straight to this muffin version.

I have an arsenal of recipes I do not want to part with. Sure there are lots of gluten free recipes I could try, but I’m learning it isn’t that difficult to rework some of my old favourites.

From Everyday to Gourmet – Cranberry Orange Muffins

I enjoy muffins for breakfast and snacks so I sometimes make these without the sugary streusel. But when I’m sharing muffins with friends and I want a little more pizzazz I take the time and effort to make the streusel topping. Then I put them in a pretty basket and take a little gourmet treat to share with colleagues.

Get The Tools – Bakeware

Many people struggle with baking. Every oven is different and even standard baking pans vary a bit. Then there is the oven temperature and many more factors that challenge us everyday home cooks.

My advice is to buy quality bakeware since it will likely last you for more years than you can imagine. Then it’s up to you to make notes about how long a particular recipe takes to bake in your pan and your oven. These are so many choices for baking pans that I would love to try but there is absolutely nothing wrong with all the metal pans I have. I prefer regular size muffins for everyday snacks and the mini size for a nicer presentation and to share with friends. Here are a few choices:

Are you reworking some old recipes? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below.

More Muffin Recipes

Basic Banana Muffins

Gluten free Banana Muffins just out of the oven.
Gluten Free Banana Muffins -photo credit Jim Little

Morning Glory Muffins

A rack of gluten free Morning Glory Muffins fresh from the oven
Morning Glory Muffins -photo credit Jim Little

Cornmeal Raspberry Muffins

A tray of fresh Cornmeal Raspberry Muffins right out of the oven.
Cornmeal Raspberry Muffins -photo credit Jim Little

Pumpkin Ginger Muffins

A basket of Gluten Free Pumpkin Ginger Muffins beside orange mini pumpkins
Pumpkin Ginger Muffins -photo credit Jim Little

Rhubarb Streusel Muffins

A baking rack with gluten free rhubarb streusel muffins
Rhubarb Streusel Muffins -photo credit Jim Little


½ cup brown sugar
2 Tbsp brown rice flour, sweet rice flour or GF flour mix
2 Tbsp melted butter
½ cup chopped walnuts
1 Tbsp grated orange rind
¼ tsp cinnamon
2 cups GF flour mix (I use my GF flour mix)
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp orange zest
1½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
½ tsp xanthan gum
½ tsp cinnamon
2 Tbsp melted butter
¾ cup orange juice
¼ cup hot water
1 egg
2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries, chopped


Preheat oven to 375°F. Line muffin tins with paper liners.
Combine streusel ingredients together in a bowl and stir with a fork until evenly mixed. Set aside.
Mix dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Set aside.
Mix wet ingredients in a 2-cup measuring cup. Pour over dry ingredients and stir until combined.
Fold in chopped cranberries.
Using a scoop fill muffin tins about ¾ full.
Top each muffin with a spoonful of streusel.
Bake in preheated oven for 25-30 minutes.
Let cool for 2 minutes then transfer to a baking rack and cool completely.


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