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cross section of a cranberry orange mini muffin

Cranberry Orange Mini Muffins

Rebecca Eisenberg
These adorable cranberry orange mini muffins each have one whole cranberry in the center and are topped with an orange infused pink sanding sugar. They're super cute and fun all year round, but are an especially good treat for Valentine's Day!
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Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Resting time 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 35 mins
Course Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 24 mini muffins


  • 113 grams all purpose flour
  • 70 grams sugar
  • teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 grams diamond crystal kosher salt (½ tsp, use ¼ teaspoon of any other salt brand)
  • zest of ½ an orange
  • 57 grams unsalted butter (melted)
  • 57 grams buttermilk (room temperature)
  • 1 large egg (room temperature)
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla
  • 24 cranberries

lemon sugar topping

  • zest of ½ an orange
  • 48 grams pink sanding sugar


  • Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a mini muffin tin with muffin liners.
  • Meanwhile, whisk dry ingredients, including orange zest, together in a bowl. Set aside.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together room temperature buttermilk, egg, and vanilla. Slowly drizzle in melted butter, whisking well until thoroughly combined.
  • Pour liquid ingredients into dry ingredients and gently fold together with a spatula just until combined. Do not over mix.
  • Cover muffin batter and let rest 30-60 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, rub pink sanding sugar and orange zest together in a bowl to use for muffin topping. The pink sugar can sometimes stain your fingers — wear gloves if you're concerned about this!
  • Use a 2 teaspoon scoop to portion muffin batter into lined mini muffin tin. Press a single cranberry deep into the center of each muffin, then use a toothpick to push (or twirl) the batter over the blueberries to hide them. Top each muffin with ¼-½ teaspoon orange sugar.
  • Bake for 13-15 minutes at 400°F. The muffins will not brown on top, but a toothpick inserted should come out clean (as long as you don't piece a cranberry).
  • Let cool in muffin tin 5-10 minutes, then remove to a rack to finish cooling completely.


  • To quickly get eggs to room temperature, submerge them in hot tap water for 5-10 minutes. 
  • It's very important that the buttermilk and egg are at room temperature before you whisk in the melted butter. If the melted butter goes into cold buttermilk and cold egg, the butter will solidify and won't mix in smoothly.


Tried this recipe?Leave a comment and let me how it was!