These Cranberry Orange Pistachio Muffins are full of great flavours, colours, and textures. Festive, but also great for any time of the year!
Recently, I went on a bit Biscotti making binge. I mean, to the point where - with 6 recipes posted - I only have HALF of them up, so far!
Anyway, one of those recipes was Cranberry Orange Pistachio Biscotti, which was influenced by one of my seasonal muffin recipes.
I was surprised to see that I hadn't posted - or photographed - that recipe to date, so when my husband requested those muffins for his breakfasts this week, I quickly agreed.
Gotta love the circle there... The biscotti that was inspired by the muffin ended up triggering a craving and inspiring this post!
As I mentioned in the biscotti recipe, we LOVE cranberries and oranges as a flavour combo.
I have a few candy recipes:
I’ve always made my cranberry sauce with orange (sub OJ for the water, add zest!), but I also make Orange Ginger Cranberry Sauce sometimes.
Finally, there’s the Cranberry Clementine Wine, which is the *best* holiday wine!
Cranberry Orange Pistachio Muffins
These muffins take that flavour combination and elevate it with the flavour and crunch from the pistachios. Also, the hit of green makes it extra festive!
While most of our cramberry/orange recipes use dried cranberries, this one uses fresh (or frozen, more on that in a minute!) cranberries.
My husband isn't big on raisins in baked goods, and cranberries falls close enough to not bother.
Also, he really likes the little bursts of flavour from having actual fresh cranberries in there - and the orange is a perfect accent for that.
Using Frozen Cranberries in Muffins
Feel free to use frozen cranberries in this recipe. We do probably half the time, including this time, in the photos.
I recommend using frozen cranberries, rather than letting them thaw before use. They cook up during the baking, so no worries there.
The big thing is that using frozen cranberries makes for a "cleaner" looking muffin - discrete sections of red where the cranberries are, amongst a cream-coloured muffin.
If you use cranberries that have thawed, the berries will have broken down in the process, and you'll end up with pink muffins.
Not a bad thing in general, just not what we were looking for, personally!
Sugar Crusted Muffins
While it's totally optional, we were feeling festive and added a sugar crust to the top of these muffins, this time.
Not only does this add a little hit of extra sweetness - a nice contrast to the sour from the berries and orange - it makes for a pretty muffin, and adds a nice crunch to the top.
We didn't have "proper" options on hand, so we just used regular granulated sugar.
Usually, I'll use a more coarse sugar, such as Sugar in the Raw, as that makes for a prettier topping than regular granulated sugar does.
Another option is to use "Sparkling" Sugar - usually found by the cake decorating supplies. Try Wilton White Sparkling Sugar, Chef's Select White Sugar Crystals, King Arthur Flour What Sparkling Sugar, or The Spice Lab's Extra Coarse Sugar.
How to Make Cranberry Orange Pistachio Muffins
Full recipe follows - end of this post - but here's the pictorial walk-through:
Preheat oven to 375 F. Line 12 muffin cups with liners, or spray with baking spray. Zest and juice your orange, chop the pistachios.
In a large bowl, combine flour, sugars, baking powder, salt, and orange zest. Make a well in center of flour mixture; set aside.
In another bowl, combine eggs, OJ, milk, melted butter, and vanilla. Add mixture all at once to the flour mixture. Stir just until moistened (batter should be lumpy.) Add cranberries and pistachios, stir just enough to distribute well.
Divide batter between 12 prepared muffin cups, filling each to almost full. If you'd like, sprinkle some sugar over the top of each muffin.
Bake in a 375 degree F oven for 22 to 25 minutes or until golden and a wooden toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean.
Cool in muffin cups for 5 minutes.
Remove from muffin cups; serve warm.
More Muffin Recipes!
Are you a fellow fan of muffins? I have some more marvelous muffin recipes for you!
Apple Blueberry Muffins
Banana Nut Muffins
Breakfast Corn Muffins
Cardamom Pear Streusel Muffins
Carrot Cake Muffins
Cream Cheese Stuffed "Everything" Muffins
Healthier Apple Oatmeal Muffins
Maple Pumpkin Spiced Muffins
Nutmeg Coffee Cake Muffins
Orange Almond and Date Muffins
Peach Cobbler Muffins
Pina Colada Muffins
Stuffed Banana Nutella Muffins
Sweet Potato Muffins
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Cranberry Orange Pistachio Muffins
- Muffin Tin
- Cupcake Liners
- 2-¼ cups All-purpose flour
- ½ cup Brown sugar
- ½ cup White sugar
- 2 teaspoon Baking powder
- ½ teaspoon Salt
- Zest of 1 orange
- 2 Large eggs lightly beaten
- ½ cup Orange juice
- ¾ cup Milk
- ½ cup Butter melted and cooled
- 1 tsp. Vanilla extract
- 1 ½ cups fresh or frozen cranberries
- 1 cup Chopped Pistachios
- Sugar for sprinkling optional
- Preheat oven to 375 F. Line 12 muffin cups with liners, or spray with baking spray.
- In a large bowl, combine flour, sugars, baking powder, salt, and orange zest. Make a well in center of flour mixture; set aside.
- In another bowl, combine eggs, OJ, milk, melted butter, and vanilla. Add mixture all at once to the flour mixture. Stir just until moistened (batter should be lumpy.) Add cranberries and pistachios, stir just enough to distribute well.
- Divide batter between 12 prepared muffin cups, filling each to almost full. If you'd like, sprinkle some sugar over the top of each muffin.
- Bake in a 375 degree F oven for 22 to 25 minutes or until golden and a wooden toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean.
- Cool in muffin cups on a wire rack for 5 minutes.
- Remove from muffin cups; serve warm.