Orange-Cranberry Muffins

December 17, 2012 in Categories: , by

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Cranberry Orange Muffins-053 copyThe inspiration for these muffins came from a coffee cake that my mom used to make every year during the holidays.  Slices of orange-y yellow cake with bright red cranberries were always so beautiful on any Christmas baking plate.  My mom used to also make loaves of this bread and wrap in beautiful paper to give to neighbors. It’s just one of those flavors that makes me feel like it’s Christmas.

This simple holiday treat turned out to be a very challenging recipe to adapt to paleo ingredients.  And I really wanted to make something that tasted like my mom’s orange-cranberry bread (which meant I wasn’t willing to give up any of the components of her recipe that contribute to that perfect combination of orange, cranberry and almond).

A whole lot of experimentation with this recipe as a coffee cake ended up with many failures (they either tasted great but were too crumbly to slice or they sliced well but didn’t taste great and a couple of variations were too crumbly and also tasted terrible!).  The move to muffin form saved this recipe.  These muffins are sweet but have a wonderful tart zing (yes, that’s the technical term).

If you want to eat these muffins warm (which is pretty wonderful), use paper or silicone muffin cup liners in your muffin pan.  If you are patient enough to let them cool completely before removing from the pan, a well-greased muffin pan will suffice (I suggest greasing with palm shortening, but coconut oil works relatively well too).

Prep time: 10-15 minutes

Cook time: 30-35 minutes

Serves: 12


  1. Preheat oven to 350F.  Prepare a muffin pan by either greasing very well or by lining with paper liners or silicone muffin cup liners.  (you could also use a silicone muffin pan)
  2. In a small bowl, combine coconut flour, almond flour, salt, baking soda, and cream of tartar.
  3. In a large bowl, combine eggs, melted coconut oil, orange zest, orange juice concentrate, and sugar in a bowl.  Mix well.
  4. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and stir to combine.
  5. Fold in cranberries and almonds.  Spoon into prepared muffin pan.
  6. Bake for 30-35 minutes.  If not using muffin cups, cool completely in pan before removing.



Yay!! I was just thinking I needed to find a recipe for cranberry-orange SOMETHING! Evaporated cane juice? Is honey out of the question?
Thank you, Christine

I couldn’t get the texture to work with honey. There was just too much liquid and then it needed too much coconut flour which was gross. 🙁 Any granulated sugar should work though, if you have turbinado or date sugar etc.

I made something similar the other day and have a tip: instead of juice + zest, simply mix a whole (organic) orange and use that! It sounds as if it would taste bitter, but it turns out great, you should try it.

I live in the UK and can’t get frozen juice…any ideas for substitution on evaporated cane juice and frozen concentrate juice?


Is there a substitute for the coconut flour? Since there is coconut flour in many of your recipes, and I can’t eat coconut, I feel frustrated, Because they all look so yummy!

Sadly, I tried these with just almond flour and it really watered down the taste. I’m not sure what else you could use in place of coconut flour (it’s a pretty unique ingredient). Sorry!

These are so great! I loved em and will definitely make them again maybe with some minor adjustments. Did you tweak the sugar amounts at all? It seemed like a lot of sugar. Also, they’re nice and moist as they are, but I may lower the oil just a tad next time. The bottoms of my muffin cups had some pooled oil so I maybe lowering will help a bit. The flavor combination is so tasty. I’m going to start pushing these on my non gf and non paleo friends. 🙂

These use about half the amount of sugar that my mom’s original recipe called for. Because I was aiming for a treat, I didn’t lower the sugar anymore, but I would if I was going to make these on a more regular basis (I usually find with granulated sugar in muffins that you can change the amount without any other adjustment).

They were delicious! I used less sugar and could go even less! All that OJ concentrate is pretty sweet in itself. Awesome texture. Keeper!! 🙂

I made these and they turned out great! Although I did use regular sugar, can’t seem to spend that much money on the higher quality sugars just yet…

But I am in the market for a new muffin pan and searched your site and can not find what you recommend. I have never used a silicone pan, are there advantages for those? Or would just a high quality non-stick pan be good? I see that USA makes one without PFOA’s in it.

Thanks for all that you do, and answering all of my questions!

“Paleo”?? Kind of stretch to use that moniker on your site. Hack. Frozen OJ concentrate and granulated sugar?? You’ve got to be kidding.

Bryan, Paleo isn’t a religion. If you have the ability to allow certain foods in your diet every once in awhile, you should open up your mind to them. Live a little. Stop being so sensitive and narrow minded.

Anyone try a nut-free version? I might try a mix of tapioca or plantain flours. I know it took a lot to perfect this one recipe so I appreciate it, despite asking for substitutions ; )
Ps. Love the show!

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