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When the mornings turns cooler, there’s nothing cozier than a warm, bakery-style muffin. This cranberry orange muffin recipe combines two of the best flavors of the season – cranberry and orange – in Panera’s jumbo size, so it’ll keep both hands warm!
These super moist, bakery style muffins are made with fresh orange juice and zest and bursting with fresh cranberries. Now you don’t need to make a Panera run, just make these fan favorites at home!
What’s in this Panera Orange Cranberry Muffin Recipe
Here are the simple ingredients you’ll need to make this easy muffin recipe:
- All-purpose flour. For a gluten free option, choose a good 1:1 gluten free flour blend.
- Fresh cranberries. Easily found in grocery stores in the fall and winter months, you can find them in the frozen food section in the off season.
- Oranges. We’ll be using both the orange juice and the orange zest to make these cranberry muffins.
- Vegetable oil
- Vanilla extract
- Baking powder
- Baking soda
How to Make these Cranberry Orange Muffins
You’ll need two bowls to make these muffins: one large mixing bowl and one medium-sized bowl. Here’s what to do:
Combine the Dry Ingredients
In the large mixing bowl, put all of your dry ingredients: the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Whisk them all together.
Combine the Wet Ingredients
In the medium-sized bowl, put all of your wet ingredients: the buttermilk, vegetable oil, sugar, eggs, orange juice and orange zest.
Combine the Wet and Dry Ingredients
Then, simply combine the bowls! Mix the wet ingredients into the flour mixture, being careful not to overmix.
Finally, fold those juicy cranberries in to the muffin batter. You’ll want to use a wooden spoon for this part.
Pour the Muffin Batter into a Muffin Tin
You’ll get about 6 bakery-style muffins and 12 standard muffins.
Get Ready to Bake!
And the finishing touch, if you want really authentic Panera muffins, is to sprinkle raw sugar on top of the muffins before you bake them. They’ll create a sweet, crusty “lid” that’s to die for!
See the recipe card below for full instructions.
Can you substitute dried cranberries for fresh cranberries?
Panera’s original cranberry orange muffins utilize fresh cranberries to achieve their burst of tartness and vibrant color. If you want real deal Panera muffins, you should use fresh, tart cranberries. A backup option would be to use frozen cranberries, which can usually be found at your local grocery store.
However, dried cranberries are more readily available year round, making them a more convenient choice. If you decide to use dried cranberries in this recipe, be sure to soak them in water or orange juice (for even more orange flavor) to rehydrate them a little before using them.
How to Serve these Cranberry Orange Muffins
Take a moment to savor what you’ve baked with these easy serving suggestions:
- With Coffee or Tea: Pair your muffin with a hot cup of coffee or a refreshing citrusy tea for a perfect morning treat.
- Fruit Salad: Serve your muffin with a side of fresh fruit salad to create a wholesome breakfast.
- Yogurt Parfait: Combine a muffin with a yogurt parfait, layering yogurt, granola, and fresh berries for a nutritious and delicious meal.
Variations on this Panera Cranberry Orange Muffin Recipe
Here are some fun ways to experiment with these festive cranberry orange muffins:
- Get a Little Nuts: Add a yummy crunch to your muffins by incorporating chopped walnuts, pecans, or almonds. The nuts add texture and complement the fruity flavors beautifully.
- Gluten Free Option: Swap all-purpose flour out for a 1:1 gluten free flour blend. Keep an eye on the baking times and increase 5-10 minutes as necessary.
- Glaze It: Drizzle your muffins with a simple glaze made from orange juice and powdered sugar for an extra burst of citrus sweetness. This glaze can take your muffins to the next level of scrumptiousness.
How to Store Cranberry Orange Muffins
Muffins are some of the easiest baked goods to store. You can store these cranberry orange muffins in any of these ways:
Room Temperature: Muffins can be kept at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 2-3 days.
Refrigeration: If you want to keep your muffins fresh for a longer time, store them in the refrigerator for up to a week. Ensure they are in an airtight container or large freezer bag in which has had as much air removed as possible.
Freezing: For extended storage, wrap each muffin individually in plastic wrap and place them in a sealed freezer bag. They can be frozen for up to three months.
How to Reheat these Cranberry Orange Muffins
When you’re ready to enjoy these muffins again, let them thaw at room temperature or in the refrigerator, then warm them in the oven for a few minutes for a fresh-baked taste.
If you can’t wait for them to thaw, pop them in the microwave for 20 seconds or so, and then transfer them to a warm oven for 1-2 minutes.
When you make this Panera orange cranberry muffin recipe, I’d love to hear about it! Drop a star rating or leave a comment below. Enjoy!
For more muffin recipes, try these:
- Bakery Style Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins
- Healthy Banana Nut Muffins
- Apple Butter Cranberry Muffins with Streusel Topping
For more bakery-style recipes, try these:
- Cinnamon Scones with Maple Glaze (Egg Free Recipe)
- Best Ever Cowboy Coffee Cake with Buttermilk
- Chocolate Chip Banana Bread
Best Panera-Style Cranberry Orange Muffins Recipe
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 2 eggs
- 2 oranges
- 1 1/2 cups cranberries
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- turbinado sugar for sprinkling on top
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a jumbo muffin tin with paper liners or coat with nonstick cooking spray.
- Zest both oranges. Squeeze 1 tablespoon of juice from an orange. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.
- In a separate bowl, combine the buttermilk, sugar, eggs, oil, orange juice, orange zest and vanilla.
- Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until just combined. Fold in the cranberries. Fill the muffin tin 3/4 of the way full with batter. Sprinkle turbinado sugar over the tops of the muffins.
- Bake 25 minutes until tops are golden brown, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean. Cool to room temperature in the muffin tin.