Home / Food / Bakery Style Buttermilk Cranberry Muffins

Bakery Style Buttermilk Cranberry Muffins

Muffins have always been a staple in my family whenever we decide to go camping or go an extended trip of some kind. Growing up in a family with three boys, I image it was quite a daunting task for my mother to keep us well fed when we ventured into the woods with my father. My mother would always bake these delicious muffins to take along, flavoured with whatever happened to be in season. They are the perfect snack, trudging through the woods or while drinking some hot tea in front of a fire for breakfast. Since my wife and I are away on a little trip to Halifax this week, I though that these Buttermilk Cranberry Muffins would be the perfect snack to bring along for the car ride.

Bakery Style Cranberry Muffins

When baking muffins there are a few tips and tricks that will make your life easier and produce tastier muffins. For one, try and avoid using muffin pan liners.

Yes, they are convenient and are great for storing or selling muffins but they also have the tendency to make the bottom of the muffins go soggy and reduce the amount your muffins will rise in the pan. Instead liberally butter the inside of the muffin pan to produce a crisp bottom and prevent the muffins from sticking.

properly greased muffin pans will help these buttermilk cranberry muffins rise properly

Second I always use buttermilk in my muffin batters. Buttermilk will produce a lighter, moister muffin and the sourness will balance well with sweet fruit flavours for an even tastier treat. If a recipe calls for milk or some other liquid I usually substitute half of it with buttermilk.

Third, it is important to no matter how much you want to speed things along never use an electric mixer. Muffin batters need to be mixed the old-fashioned way, by hand with a wooden spoon or spurdle.

Over mixing the batter will create a hard and dense end product due to the gluten strands being developed (much like in bread or pizza dough) creating a tougher chewier dough.

That being said don’t be afraid to properly mix the batter. If it looks dry and lumpy and not at all like batter,  mix it a little longer to get it to come together. Maybe add a splash of water to it.

Buttermilk Cranberry Muffins - Mixing batter and adding fruit.

Finally always top your muffins with some kind of Streusel or other garnish.  It can be as simple as butter,  brown sugar and flour mixed together or some loose oats or chocolate chips. Garnishes will add that extra pop to make your muffins stand out from the rest.

Buttermilk & Cranberry Muffin Recipe

If you have never made muffins at home before, don’t fret! Baking bakery style muffins at home is easy!

All muffin recipes follow the same method (steps) and these buttermilk cranberry muffins are no different. Before you begin mixing ingredients, get out your muffin pan and grease it really well with softened butter or oil, and pre-heat your oven to 350F. Then, begin by mixing all of your dry ingredients in a bowl and sift them with a mesh strainer or sifter if you have one.

sifting flour for the buttermilk cranberry muffins

Sifting the dry ingredients will ensure that all the parts are mixed evenly and there are no lumps of flour or baking powder. In a separate bowl mix your liquids (this includes the butter, which should be melted), and stir them together.

Related:  Creamy Parsnip Soup With Hazelnut and Pear

Add the liquid mixed ingredients to the dry ingredients, and using a wooden spoon or spurdle mix them together until they reach one even consistency. After the dry and liquid ingredients have been mixed gently fold in the frozen cranberries (or other fruit, chocolate chips etc.), until they are just evenly dispersed.

Make bakery-style cranberry muffins at home! easy to make & the perfect breakfast!

Using a portion scoop to keep the cranberry muffins the same size (and ensure even cooking), scoop the buttermilk cranberry muffin batter into the pans, filling them to about 3/4 full.

Top the muffins with the streusel or other garnish and bake in the pre-heated oven for 20-25 minutes. Don’t be tempted to open the oven door to peek at the muffins until at least 80% through the baking time, as this can cause the muffins to “fall” or collapse. In the last 5 or 8 minutes of baking you can open the door and turn the pans around to evenly brown the muffins on top.

Buttermilk Cranberry Muffins

Remove the pan of freahly baked cranberry muffins from the oven, and once slightly cooled remove the fresh muffins from the pan. Cool them on a wire rack to prevent the bottoms getting soggy! These cranberry muffins are best served the day of, but will keep for up to 3 days at room temperature if covered and a week in the fridge. You can also freeze these muffins by individually wrapping them and then freezing in a large ziploc bag.

Let me know how these buttermilk cranberry muffins turn out for you, or if you decided to flavour them with other fruit or chocolate! Make sure to follow me on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, to catch next week’s blog post and get inspired with new and exciting food ideas on Pinterest!

Bake these delicious bakery-style cranberry muffins at home! Fluffy, moist and full of fresh fruit, these muffins are a hit in any family!

Buttermilk Cranberry Muffins

Markus Mueller
These Buttermilk Cranberry Muffins make the perfect snack to take on a hike or other family excursion.
4.86 from 7 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 45 mins
Course Baking
Cuisine Canadian
Servings 12 Large Muffins
Calories 3697.6 kcal


Dry Ingredients

  • 3 1/2 cups All Purpose Flour
  • 5 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 3/4 tsp salt

Wet Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup melted un-salted butter
  • 1 3/4 cups buttermilk
  • 4 whole eggs


  • 2 cups frozen cranberries or other fruit nuts or chocolate chips


  • Pre-heat your oven to 375F and grease a 12 x muffin pan with softened butter. Sift together all the measured dry ingredients.
  • Melt the 1/3 cup of butter and remeasure to ensure proper amount.
  • Mix all the wet ingredients together (including butter).
  • Mix together the wet and dry ingredients, making sure not to over mix the batter. Fold in the frozen cranberries.
  • Garnish with streusel or other appropriate garnish such as nuts or chocolate chips.
  • Bake the buttermilk cranberry muffins at 375F for 20 - 25 minutes or until golden brown on top.
Keyword best cranberry muffins, buttermilk muffins, cranberry muffins with fresh cranberries

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  1. 5 stars
    Lovely large flavorful muffins. I added a crispy streusel-type topping with sugar, oats, cinnamon.

  2. Just getting ready to make these was reading Katie’s comment perhaps she used a dark pan
    I have learned {the hard way lol} to lower my heat 25 degrees when using a dark pan..
    Well off I go to try this recipe sounds lovely !

  3. Hi I was wondering why you used frozen and not fresh cranberries. I’d like to make this recipe and have fresh cranberries. Do I need to change any part of recipe? Thank you so much. Recipe sounds delicious.

    • Hi B, thanks for your question. Yes you can use fresh cranberries. I used frozen because there where no fresh cranberries available at the time when I made the recipe(they where not in season) and frozen was the next best option. Using frozen also illustrates that you can use any frozen berry such as blueberry, raspberry, or strawberry as a substitute in the recipe which is something many people already have in the freezer, especially year round.
      Happy baking!

  4. I just finished making half of the recipe. I wanted to try making them gluten-free. They are amazing, considering I have never made or tried anything gluten-free. I like to bake for friends and family and the gluten-free way is growing! Doing much research for g/f flour, I decided to try ‘Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-free 1 to1 Baking Flour’. You just use it 1 to1 measuring. I researched many recipes and as soon as I saw that you, Mr. Mueller, are a chef, I knew I had a winning combo, wow, I was warmly surprised! Because the batter is so thick, I just scooped in the amount in each REGULAR muffin tins, then pressed in 5 cranberries or 5 large blueberries and covered the batter over them. I made the streusel you suggested and baked them in 375 for 22 minutes. Now, the big test comes when my friends try them! Thank you for sharing a great recipe!

    • Hey Kathe, Thank you very much for your feedback! I’m glad to hear you loved the muffins despite changing the recipe! I should make a gluten-free muffin recipe though…..(future post perhaps!?) Feel free to tag us on social media @earthfoodandfire with any pictures of the muffins. We love to see others make our recipes!

  5. 5 stars
    Made these yesterday – turned out perfectly! Thanks for the terrific recipe!

  6. 4 stars
    I’m not sure what happened, but they are completely burnt. I baked 2 trays of muffins at 375° and after 20 min the tops looked perfect but the bottoms were burnt to a crisp. Maybe because the muffin trays were not jumbo sized? I cut the bottoms off and they are still delicious, but not as aesthetic!

    • Hey Katie, I won’t be able to help right off either…do you have a little more information?

      What size muffin tin did you use? (ie:. mini muffin pan etc…I only ever use a regular muffin pan)

      Where the muffins on the bottom middle or top rack in the oven?

      Is it a conventional or convection oven?

      Did you use Fahrenheit or Celsius?

      At 375F a muffin batter should not burn to a crisp in 20 minutes, unless your oven isn’t heating properly or the bottom of the pan was right up against the heating element.

  7. 5 stars
    Thanks for taking time to answer my question. Made the muffins today and it’s awesome! I cut down the sugar to 3/4 cup and added a tsp of cinnamon, zest of one orange, a small handful of 70% dark choclolate (it’s all I had left), and I used light butter and unsweetened almond milk. also added half a cup of dried cranberries. based on the cronometer calorie calculator, with all my tweaking, it turned out to be 3104.5kcal. I made 17 medium sized muffins so it turned out to be around 182.6Cal each. (if my calculation is correct). hope I didn’t offend you for altering it a bit. We all enjoyed it, and would be making it again! Thanks again and all the best ? – Jazmin Green, Auckland New Zealand

  8. Jazmin Green

    Would love to try this as i’m getting a bit tired of our usual blueberry and raspberry muffins. i just need to clarify one thing though, did i read the kcal correct? its 2662.4? is that for the whole recipe or per muffin? how is kcal different from normal calories? thanks

    • I’ve actually just rerun the ingredients through https://cronometer.com/#foods to recheck the calorie count and it is coming up with 3679.6 kcal as the calorie count for the whole recipe.

      That puts it at 308 calories per muffin (12 jumbo muffins per recipe). You could easily cut the number of calories by reducing the amount of sugar used by 1/3 as well as using regular milk instead of buttermilk. It’s good to note that over half of the calories come from the flour, which goes to show you that baked goods should be eaten as a treat, and not considered a health food!

      In regards to the kcal:
      The “calorie” we refer to in food is actually kilocalorie. One (1) kilocalorie is the same as one (1) Calorie(upper case C). A kilocalorie is the amount of heat required to raise the temperature of 1 kilogram of water one degree Celsius.

      Hope you like the recipe!

      Chef Markus

  9. Stephanie Land

    5 stars
    So this made 12 jumbo muffins for me and had to bake for 35 minutes. I just sprinkled the tops with white sugar because I didn’t feel like fiddling with struesel and I only use whole wheat flour in baking so that changes the flavor of things. Still giving this 5 stars because it turned out wonderful and I love that it uses actual cranberries instead of craisins. I think I may try adding cinnamon/nutmeg/ginger and cloves to a total of 1 1/2 teaspoon but that is because I need to work with the heavier flavor of the whole wheat and not because the original recipe was in any way lacking. Thank you so much for posting!

    • The muffins are wonderfully large aren’t they!? So glad this worked so well for you even with whole wheat flour, which as you said is heavier and harder to rise (especially in quick breads). Adding those spices to the mix would add a great zing, I want to try that myself! If you have a picture of the muffins tag me on Instagram or Facebook! @earthfoodandfire

    • Hi, I just made a batch of these muffins using dried cranberries and chopped milk chocolate. I think I overmixed the batter so it turned out a little dense. I really like the flavour though. I will try to make it again using fresh cranberries and not over mix the batter

      • Hey, you are correct in saying that over mixing will make the muffins denser. I would also suggest soaking the dried fruit in warm water before using in the recipe in order to keep them soft and plump during baking. Let me know how round 2 goes!

  10. 5 stars
    Made them two hours ago..turned out two dozen scrumptious muffins, will be a forever recipe!! Thank you

  11. 5 stars
    Made these this morning with streusel topping from the spruce. They came out great. The only thing I would add is that for me it was enough batter for 18 muffins. Thanks!

    • That’s great to hear Lisa! More muffins is never a bad thing though right!? What size was your muffin tin? If you have any pictures, tag us on social media (@earthfoodandfire) I love seeing pictures of my recipes in action!

  12. These look SOOOO good. I love streusel muffins, though I’ve only ever used blueberries. I keep saying that I need to do more with cranberries, and this seems like a heck of a place to start.

  13. So funny, I’ve never thought to use liners for muffins, only cupcakes. I can’t get enough cranberries lately, and these muffins look so moist and delicious. Thanks for sharing.

  14. Thank you for the tip about using muffin liners! Hmm… the things that I still don’t know! And yes, agreed… buttermilk in baked goods is always a good thing…. that I know! These look fabulous!

  15. Okay, confession time. I have never not used the paper muffin tin liners! I would probably need to buy new pans before I try this, but what a great excuse to update some of my baking ware!

    Looks delicious and I love cooking with fresh cranberries!

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