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Cranberry Bliss Muffins

These Cranberry Bliss Muffins are inspired by those delicious Cranberry Bliss Bars at Starbucks. They are sweet homemade muffins that combine the perfect combo of cranberry, orange and white chocolate!

SWEET MUFFINS WITH A POP OF CRANBERRIES

If you’re looking for a delicious and easy-to-make muffin recipe that’s a perfect addition to any breakfast or brunch spread (or even dessert!), try making these Cranberry Bliss Muffins! Combining the tartness of cranberries and the sweetness of white chocolate, then topped with a rich and creamy glaze, these muffins are sure to be a hit no matter where they’re served. These festive muffins are great for the holidays, but simple enough to whip up so you can enjoy them all year round!

Two Cranberry Bliss Muffins in a pile.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:

Can I use craisins instead of cranberries?

Sure, you can use them instead. But, I think you’ll really be losing a bit of flavor and delicious texture in these muffins.

Can I use more glaze?

Of course! Feel free to double the recipe and you can add way more than just a little drizzle of glaze to each muffin. You could even dip the top of each muffin into the glaze to cover the whole top.

Why didn’t the topping fully set?

That’s normal. This glaze actually isn’t supposed to fully set, it will certainly get stiff but won’t be a hard set like cookie frosting.

How do I measure cream cheese?

For this recipe, you will need 2 ounces of cream cheese. When you open up the packaging of cream cheese, you will see hashmarks on the silver packaging covering the cream cheese. Each block of cream cheese is 8 ounces. On that packaging, you will see marks for each ounce of cream cheese in the block. Just go to the 2 ounce mark and cut.

How do I store Cranberry Bliss Muffins?

These muffins should be refrigerated since we used cream cheese in the glaze. They’ll last up to a week in the refrigerator in a container, but they actually taste best when they’re at room temperature. So you can let them sit at room temperature until the chill is gone or you can pop them in the microwave before serving again. Your other option is to skip the glaze so they can be stored at room temperature. They are still fabulous without the glaze.

Can you freeze Cranberry Bliss Muffins?

Yes! These muffins will last 3 months in a freezer safe container.

A line of a few homemade Cranberry Bliss Muffins on a plate.

INGREDIENTS NEEDED: (SEE RECIPE CARD BELOW FOR THE FULL RECIPE)

  • all-purpose flour – you could also use cake flour if you have it. I don’t usually sift the flour but it is important that you measure it properly or you’ll end up with too much flour which will make your muffins dry. Do not measure from the flour bag. Pour it into a large bowl and stir. Then dip your measuring cup into the flour (do not pack it in) then take the flat end of a butter knife then scoop off the excess.
  • baking powder – it is important you make sure your baking powder is fresh and still active. If it is old or no longer fresh, your muffins will not rise properly.
  • light brown sugar – unlike flour, you want to pack light brown sugar into your measuring cup.
  • eggs – if you have time, allow the eggs to come to room temperature. This helps them to incorporate into the batter easier and produces tender, lighter muffins.
  • sour cream – you could also use plain Greek yogurt. This gives these homemade muffins incredible moistness and tenderness – don’t skip it.
  • orange zest and fresh orange juice – it needs to be a fresh orange here. When peeling orange zest, it is important you do not include the pith (the white part) as this is very bitter.
  • milk – I usually use whole milk. It has enough fat in it to add wonderful moistness to the batter.
  • vanilla extract –
  • fresh cranberries – you could use frozen but you will need to make sure they are dried so the excess moisture doesn’t thin out the muffin batter.
  • white chocolate chips– you’ll be using these in the muffins and the icing.
  • coarse sugar – optional but really gives the muffins a nice crunch and a tad more sweetness. You can swap this out for white sugar if needed or just leave it out all together.
  • cream cheese – make sure it is fully softened to room temperature or you’ll end up with a lumpy glaze.
  • powdered sugar – like flour, some folks like to sift it to remove any hard bits. I usually do not do this but that is up to you.
Flour, baking powder, salt, vegetable oil, brown sugar, eggs, sour cream, orange zest, orange juice, milk, vanilla extract, cranberries, chocolate chips, and sugar.

HOW TO MAKE CRANBERRY BLISS MUFFINS

Preheat the oven to 425°F. Prepare the muffin tin by either placing paper liners in a 12-count muffin tin or using baking spray to coat the cups. Set it aside. In a medium-sized bowl, mix together the dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, and salt. Set this bowl aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the oil and brown sugar until they are well combined.

collage of two photos: a mixing bowl of flour, baking powder, and salt; brown sugar and oil in a separate bowl.

Add the eggs to the large bowl and whisk until the mixture becomes smooth. Now, add the sour cream to the large bowl and whisk until everything is smooth.

collage of two photos: eggs, oil, and brown sugar in a bowl; sour cream added to bowl with brown sugar mixture.

Add the orange zest, orange juice, milk, and vanilla extract to the large bowl. Whisk until the mixture is smooth. Gradually add the flour mixture from the medium-sized bowl into the large bowl with the wet ingredients. Stir everything together until there are no dry spots left.

collage of two photos: orange zest, orange juice, milk, and vanilla extract added to large bowl with brown sugar mix; flour added into bowl.

Gently fold in the cranberries and white chocolate chips into the large bowl mixture. Divide the muffin batter evenly among the muffin cups that you prepared earlier.

collage of two photos: cranberries and white chocolate chips added to batter; muffin batter spooned into muffin tin.

If you want a little extra sweetness and crunch, sprinkle some coarse sugar on top of each muffin. Place the muffin tin in the preheated oven at 425°F for 5 minutes. Then, reduce the temperature to 350°F and continue baking for another 16-18 minutes until the muffins turn golden brown. Check for doneness by inserting a toothpick into the center of a muffin; it should come out mostly clean.

Allow the muffins to cool in the muffin tin for 5 minutes. Then, carefully remove them from the tin and let them cool completely on a wire rack.

collage of three photos: coarse sugar on top of muffin batter; fully baked muffins in muffin tin, muffins removed from the muffin tin and on to a cooling rack.

While the muffins are cooling, prepare the glaze. In a medium-sized bowl, mix together the cream cheese and white chocolate. Gradually add powdered sugar to the mixture, stirring until it becomes thick and smooth.

collage of two photos: cream cheese and melted milk chocolate in a bowl; pouring powdered sugar into cream cheese mixture in bowl.

Add milk to the glaze and stir until it reaches your desired drizzling consistency. If it’s too thick, add a little more milk. Finally, drizzle the glaze on top of the cooled muffins.

collage of two photos: fully mixed cream cheese glaze in a bowl; a fork drizzling glaze on top of all the baked muffins.

Enjoy!

A hand holding a Cranberry Bliss muffin that is missing a bite.

CRAVING MORE RECIPES?

Close up looking at a few Cranberry Bliss Muffins.

Cranberry Bliss Muffins

These Cranberry Bliss Muffins are inspired by those delicious Cranberry Bliss Bars at Starbucks. They are sweet homemade muffins that combine the perfect combo of cranberry, orange and white chocolate!
5 from 6 votes
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 23 minutes
Total Time: 38 minutes
Servings: 12 servings

Ingredients

For the muffins:

  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • ¾ cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 2 large eggs (room temperature)
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 1 Tablespoon orange zest
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh squeezed orange juice
  • 1 Tablespoon milk
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 ¼ cups cranberries
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1 Tablespoon coarse sugar (optional)

For the glaze:

  • 2 ounces cream cheese softened to room temperature
  • 2 Tablespoons melted white chocolate
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon milk

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 425°F. Prepare the muffin tin by either placing paper liners in a 12-count muffin tin or using baking spray to coat the cups. Set it aside.
  • In a medium-sized bowl, mix together the dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, and salt. Set this bowl aside.
    A mixing bowl of flour, baking powder, and salt.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the oil and brown sugar until they are well combined.
    Brown sugar and oil in a bowl.
  • Add the eggs to the large bowl and whisk until the mixture becomes smooth.
    Eggs, oil, and brown sugar in a bowl.
  • Now, add the sour cream to the large bowl and whisk until everything is smooth.
    Sour cream, eggs, oil, and brown sugar in a bowl.
  • Add the orange zest, orange juice, milk, and vanilla extract to the large bowl. Whisk until the mixture is smooth.
    Orange zest, orange juice, milk, and vanilla extract with more wet ingredients.
  • Gradually add the flour mixture from the medium-sized bowl into the large bowl with the wet ingredients. Stir everything together until there are no dry spots left.
    Flour mixture being added to the wet mixture for muffin batter.
  • Gently fold in the cranberries and white chocolate chips into the large bowl mixture.
    Cranberries and white chocolate chips in muffin batter.
  • Divide the muffin batter evenly among the muffin cups that you prepared earlier.
    Muffin batter in muffin liners in a tin.
  • If you want a little extra sweetness and crunch, sprinkle some coarse sugar on top of each muffin.
    Coarse sugar on top of muffin batter.
  • Place the muffin tin in the preheated oven at 425°F for 5 minutes. Then, reduce the temperature to 350°F and continue baking for another 16-18 minutes until the muffins turn golden brown. Check for doneness by inserting a toothpick into the center of a muffin; it should come out mostly clean.
    Baked cranberry muffins.
  • Allow the muffins to cool in the muffin tin for 5 minutes. Then, carefully remove them from the tin and let them cool completely on a wire rack.
    A bunch of muffins on a wire rack.
  • While the muffins are cooling, prepare the glaze. In a medium-sized bowl, mix together the cream cheese and melted white chocolate chips.
    Cream cheese and white chocolate in a bowl.
  • Gradually add powdered sugar to the mixture, stirring until it becomes thick and smooth.
    Powdered sugar being added to white chocolate and cream cheese.
  • Add milk to the glaze and stir until it reaches your desired drizzling consistency. If it’s too thick, add a little more milk.
    Cream cheese, white chocolate, milk, powdered sugar glaze.
  • Finally, drizzle the glaze on top of the cooled muffins.
    drizzling cream cheese glaze on top of muffins.
  • Then enjoy!
    A hand holding a Cranberry Bliss muffin that is missing a bite.

Notes

  • Please refer to my FAQ’s (Frequently Asked Questions) and ingredient list above for other substitutions or for the answers to the most common questions.
Course: Breakfast, Brunch, Dessert
Cuisine: American

Nutrition

Calories: 364kcal | Carbohydrates: 45g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 19g | Sodium: 244mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 31g

Nutritional Disclaimer

“The Country Cook” is not a dietician or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through whichever online nutritional calculator you prefer. Calories and other nutritional values can vary quite a bit depending on which brands were used.

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2 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I made these only in cake pan form as I did not have time to do muffins. They were fabulous!! Just cooked it a while longer.