Gluten-Free Cranberry Orange Muffins (Vegan)

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Orange zest sprinkled over a stack of vegan gluten-free cranberry orange muffins

Picture this: It’s Thanksgiving morning, the pies are prepped, the holiday guests are still sleeping, and you have just enough time to whip up a batch of fresh muffins and enjoy a warm cup of [insert your favorite morning beverage] before the cooking marathon begins. Sounds dreamy, yeah?

These vegan, gluten-free cranberry orange muffins are IT, friends! They’re tender, zesty, and perfectly sweet with just the right balance of tart cranberries. Made in 1 bowl, they’re the ultimate treat for a bustling holiday morning or lazy weekend! Let us show you how it’s done!

Potato starch, fresh orange, frozen cranberries, maple syrup, almond flour, dairy-free milk, oat flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, orange zest, avocado oil, vanilla, and flax meal

How to Make Cranberry Orange Muffins

These 1-bowl beauties start with flaxseed meal for structure plus dairy-free milk and avocado oil for the wet ingredients. While maple syrup adds natural sweetness, vanilla adds flavor, and orange zest and juice bring big citrus vibes!

Wet and dry ingredients in a glass bowl

For the dry ingredients, a combination of almond flour, oat flour, and potato starch create a thick, fluffy batter that holds up beautifully to the juiciness of the cranberries. No soggy muffins here, please and thank you!

The remaining muffin essentials — baking powder, baking soda, and salt — ensure rise and add flavor!

Whisking the muffin batter in a glass bowl

Lastly, we stir in fresh cranberries for pops of brightness. Hello color, flavor, and nutrition! Frozen cranberries also work great and are more easily accessible year-round.

Using a rubber spatula to fold frozen cranberries into batter

After dividing the batter, the muffins bake until golden brown and fluffy. Unlike some gluten-free baked goods, they only need to cool for a short time before enjoying. Big YES to muffins on demand!

Top down shot of freshly baked vegan gluten-free cranberry orange muffins in a muffin tin

We hope you LOVE these vegan gluten-free cranberry orange muffins! They’re:

Sweet
Tender
Zesty
Bursting with cranberries
& Perfect for fall & winter!

Enjoy them as a sweet holiday breakfast, grab-and-go snack, or healthier dessert!

Leftover cranberries? Check out these recipes next: Pear & Cranberry Champagne Cocktails, Orange Cranberry Crisp, Easy Orange Cranberry Sauce, Cranberry Pumpkin Steel Cut Oats, and Pumpkin Baked Oatmeal.

More Gluten-Free Muffin Recipes

If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo @minimalistbaker on Instagram. Cheers, friends!

Stack of cranberry orange muffins

Gluten-Free Cranberry Orange Muffins (Vegan)

Tender, zesty, sweet, and tart cranberry orange muffins! Vegan, gluten-free, and the ultimate seasonal treat on a holiday morning. Just 1 bowl required!
Author Minimalist Baker
Print
Close up shot of two cranberry orange muffins on a plate
4.80 from 15 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 12 (Muffins)
Course Breakfast, Snack
Cuisine Gluten-Free, Vegan
Freezer Friendly 1 month
Does it keep? 3-4 Days

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ Tbsp orange zest (1 medium orange yields ~1 ½ Tbsp zest)
  • 2 Tbsp flaxseed meal (ground flax seeds)
  • 1/3 cup orange juice
  • 2/3 cup maple syrup
  • 2 Tbsp avocado oil (or other neutral oil)
  • 2 Tbsp plain unsweetened dairy-free milk (we used almond)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1 cup oat flour* (certified gluten-free as needed)
  • 3/4 cup potato starch (NOT potato flour)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1 ½ cup fresh or frozen whole cranberries

Instructions

  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F (176 C) and line a standard-size muffin tray with 12 paper muffin cups (adjust if altering the default number of servings). Set aside.
  • In a medium mixing bowl combine the orange zest and flaxseed meal and whisk together. Next add the orange juice, maple syrup, avocado oil, dairy-free milk, and vanilla. Whisk well, until there is no separation between the oil and other wet ingredients. Add the almond flour, oat flour, potato starch, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Whisk thoroughly to fully combine and break up any flour clumps. Lastly, fold in the cranberries, making sure to distribute them evenly throughout the batter.
  • Divide the batter evenly between the muffin tins and bake for 30-35 minutes. When cooked, the tops will be golden and spring back when touched. Let the muffins cool in the pan for at least 10 minutes before removing and letting cool for at least 15 more on a cooling rack. Then they can be enjoyed warm or at room temperature!
  • Store in an airtight container at room temperature for 1-2 days, in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days, or in the freezer for up to 1 month.

Video

Notes

*If oat-free, we find sorghum flour usually subs well 1:1 for oat flour, though we haven’t tested it in this recipe and can’t guarantee the result.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate.

Nutrition (1 of 12 servings)

Serving: 1 muffin Calories: 174 Carbohydrates: 23.3 g Protein: 3.7 g Fat: 8.1 g Saturated Fat: 0.7 g Polyunsaturated Fat: 4.9 g Monounsaturated Fat: 1.9 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 200 mg Potassium: 178 mg Fiber: 2.8 g Sugar: 12.4 g Vitamin A: 25 IU Vitamin C: 6.1 mg Calcium: 78 mg Iron: 0.9 mg

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  1. Marie Biddix says

    We have been making these pretty consistently, but using blueberries and they are so good! We have swapped tangerines, mandarins, just whatever orange we have on hand. We also top with raw sugar and cinnamon prior to baking. SO GOOD! Thank you again! I am considering trying lemon instead of orange, one of my most favorite combinations. Maybe next time! :)

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Amazing! Thanks so much for the lovely review and for sharing your modifications, Marie! Lemon blueberry sounds delicious!

  2. Stephanie says

    What are other neutral oils that could be used? We don’t cook with oil so we’ll probably just borrow some from our family for this recipe! Really looking forward to trying it.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Stephanie! Melted refined coconut oil is neutral in flavor! You could also try grapeseed oil.

  3. Maggie says

    Oh my, just the smell coming off the batter was a sensory delight. Finally got to make these after eyeing this recipe for weeks (and weeks) – amazing. I added a few walnuts, and probably baked them a little too long – so they came out just slightly drier than I’d like, but still, sooooo good, the tops nice and crunchy, the inside, tender. Thank you for this fantastic recipe – I will be making it again and again. Mmmmmm.

  4. Andie says

    Made these with sorghum flour, as I am allergic to oats. They were delicious! I would recommend baking a little less when using sorghum, or the texture gets really crumbly. But great flavor, beautiful muffin top and a definite make again in our house!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Jess, we think this recipe needs a binder like flax or chia eggs. You could try using a 2 real eggs if you eat them or even psyllium husk eggs!

  5. Jana says

    These are AMAZING! Smelled so good while making them and the finished product lived up to expectations. Thanks Minimalist Baker!

  6. Telma says

    Hi Dana, I’m very interested in doing this recipe. We don’t actually have cranberries where I live (Portugal), neither fresh nor frozen, so what would you recommend I use instead? Raspberries, due to the acidity? Or would blueberries or blackberries work? Neither are in season, but I can find them frozen.
    Thank you!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Telma, we haven’t tried it but we think raspberries or blueberries would work, and should be tasty!

  7. Julie Ann Rivers-Cochran says

    Excellent recipe! Great for a snack – I’ve made them a few times now, using mini-muffin tins. Bakes a little quicker that way. Delicious!

  8. Brenda says

    I am obsessed with this recipe. Since I discovered it, I have made them 3-4 times in just a few weeks. It’s simple. It’s clean and the muffins are absolutely delicious. The flavor and the texture are heavenly. I highly recommend it.

  9. Annmarie Allen says

    Hi! Is flaxeed meal something I should buy ground or can I pulse whole flaxseeds in the processor to make the meal? Thank you! Looking forward to making these with leftover cranberries from Thanksgiving!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Annmarie, we’re not sure if they will grind fully in a food processor, but a spice grinder or powerful blender work well. You can also buy pre-ground. Hope that helps!

  10. The Vegan Goddess says

    Five stars and two thumbs up! These are amazing!

    I made this with freshly squeezed orange juice so that took a little extra time but was worth it.

    The flavor combination of oranges and cranberries is heavenly!

  11. Jen says

    Can you use coconut flour? I have a bag I want to use up and trying to find something good to make them! Also cranberries left over.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Jen! We don’t think this recipe would work well with coconut flour because it is so absorbent! However, we have a bunch of recipes here that use coconut flour! Hope this helps. xo

  12. Alle says

    These are amazing!!! I was a little low on oat flour (.25 cup low), so I upped the Almond flour by .25 cup. The flavor is so good! I thought that might be a lot of maple syrup, but with the tartness of the frozen cranberries, the flavor was nicely balanced.

  13. Jennie says

    I’d love to make this and have everything except the potato starch. My question is, if I want to replace it with a different flour should I also replace the oat flour with that same flour? (I have oat flour).

    Also, I have your GF mix at home as well as spelt,WW Pastry, and all purpose. Which one of these do you think would be the best substitute for the potato starch?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Jennie, if you don’t need these muffins to be gluten-free, we think all-purpose flour would be a great substitute! Alternatively you could try using the GF mix. We would keep the almond flour and oat flour. Hope this helps!

  14. Elizabeth says

    Made for thanksgiving morning – perfectly timed recipe release! Absolutely loved while watching parade and prepping thanksgiving dinner. Cut the maple syrup in half bc that’s how I roll and added a little more orange juice and extra splash of almond milk to make up for moisture loss. Delicious with some vegan butter and a drizzle of maple syrup on top. Oh! I also added a dash of cinnamon. Thanks for another wonderful recipe! Perfect texture.

  15. Diane says

    Thank you for this yummy recipe. I followed it as written and was sooo surprised at how fluffy these muffins are! Made them this morning for my Thanksgiving treat!
    Blessings

  16. Rebecca Davis says

    I made this recipe this morning and the flavor is great but they were on the dry side. Do you think if I reduced the potato starch to 1/2 cup, that might help with that? Thank you for your time and help!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Rebecca! That would help with the dryness, however we suggest spooning the flours into the measuring cups and leveling them off before adding them to the recipe to avoid over packing them with flour. We’re so glad you enjoyed the flavor!

    • Diane says

      Sooo, when I wrote in, I had JUST eaten a warm muffin that had recently come out of the muffin. Since then I noticed that my muffins are “crumbly”. They still have an amazing taste…just fall apart as I eat it🤔😟. Wanted to share that also…..saw that someone else commented on hers being dry. Am wondering how I will tweak them….just LOVE using fresh organic cranberries! Thanks for the recipes you share….am truly thankful for them!
      Btw, I have learned to spoon the flours into the measuring cups…..so that was not my issue with the crumbling…..thx!👍🏼

      • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

        Thanks for sharing, Diane! A bit more oat flour could possibly help if they are crumbly. When using fresh cranberries (instead of frozen) the batter tends to be a bit thinner!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Maryellen, we haven’t tried it but we think you could substitute a gluten-free flour blend for the oat flour and potato starch. We still suggest keeping the almond flour for texture and flavor!

  17. Lindsae Klein says

    Do you think it would work ok to cut back on the maple syrup a bit and use extra OJ, as long as I kept the overall measurements the same?

  18. Theresa says

    Thanks for the recipe! I’m keeping a lookout for baking recipes for my husband. He is allergic to eggs, dairy…and nuts. Is there a particular substitution you might recommend for the almond flour? Could I just use regular multipurpose in its place, do you think? He’s not sensitive to gluten. Thanks again!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Theresa, we haven’t tested it with all-purpose flour, but it might work in place of all the flours listed. We suggest starting with slightly less flour and referencing the photos above for the correct batter texture. Let us know if you try it!

  19. Helen says

    Is there any nut free substitute for the almond flour? I know the answer is often no, but I thought it would be worth asking.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Helen, if you can have other nuts, cashew flour or tiger nut flour would be the best replacements for almond flour. Hope this helps!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Megan! We haven’t tried this recipe with other starches but think arrowroot or cornstarch would be the next best choice!

  20. Lynn says

    Oh yum, looks amazing! And just what I’m looking for!

    But I am *not* GF… would I just use regular wheat flour for the almond and oat flour? What about the potato starch, please? And thank you!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Lynn, we haven’t tested it with all-purpose flour and can’t guarantee results! However, it might work in place of the oat flour and potato starch! We do think the almond flour might be necessary for the texture to be light and fluffy. Let us know if you try it!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Alisha, we haven’t tried it and can’t guarantee results but we think it could work! We suggest starting with less to try to get the consistency of the batter as close to the consistency of the photos above!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Heidi, the almond flour is pretty key for fluffiness in this recipe. More oat flour might work, but they will end up with a gummier texture. If you can have cashews, cashew flour or tiger nut flour would work great!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Megan, we haven’t tested it that way and can’t guarantee results, but it might work in place of the oat flour and potato starch! However the almond flour is necessary for the texture to be light and fluffy. Let us know if you try it!

  21. Sydney says

    Hi, could I substitute a gluten free flour blend I get from the store for the oat and potatoes starch?

    Or not gluten free with whole wheat pastry flour?

    These sound perfect for breakfast after thanksgiving!!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Sydney, we haven’t tested it that way and can’t guarantee results, but either might work in place of the oat flour and potato starch! However we do think the almond flour is necessary. Let us know if you try it!

      • Susana says

        Hi. If NOT gluten free, how much whole wheat flour do you think is necessary? Would baking times/temperature change? Thanks!

        • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

          Hi Susana, we haven’t tried this one with all-purpose flour, but we think it might be able to replace the potato starch and oat flour. We do suggest keeping the almond flour the same because it adds such a nice light, fluffy texture! The oven temperature will stay the same but they might bake up a little bit quicker. Let us know if you try it!