Dark Chocolate Cranberry Orange Muffins


I’m pretty sure I just created my new favorite muffin: tart cranberries and dark chocolate with orange. I’m in love. I can’t decide if these are more suited for breakfast or dessert. I sprinkled powdered sugar on them for dessert, but my husband, who insists on dessert at all hours of the day, eats these for breakfast.

I love this time of year because I love fresh cranberries. I’ve been eating them pureed into a smoothie with an orange, a scraped vanilla bean, and a splash of water to bring it all together. I never knew you could eat them raw until recently. Cranberries and oranges were made for each other. And what isn’t improved with a little dark chocolate?


I adapted this recipe from my small-batch blueberry muffins recipe, but I decided to use the entire egg instead of just the egg white.  I like the color that you get from using the entire egg.

Speaking of parts of eggs….I have a new section on my site that I’m excited to share with you!  Since my dessert recipes are scaled down, frequently I call for  just an egg yolk or egg white.  And how annoying is it to have part of a leftover egg? (I know, Mom.  This is for you).  I went through my entire recipe collection and compiled a list of recipes that will help you use up a leftover egg yolk or egg white.

Recipes to use an extra egg yolk

Recipes to use an extra egg white

These are just two of the new categories in my recipe index, so don’t worry about losing those links.  Click on my RECIPE INDEX and you’ll see a new list of subcategories that includes egg yolk /egg white recipes.  Note that it doesn’t mean that the recipe only calls for an egg yolk—sometimes, like in the case of my mini lemon layer cake, the recipes uses whole eggs plus an egg yolk.

Let me know if y’all have any questions about the new recipe index and categories, or if I made a mistake somewhere along the way.  Thanks, friends!  Happy baking!


4.8 from 6 reviews
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This recipe makes 4 muffins.
Serves: 2
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • ¼ teaspoon fresh orange zest
  • ¼ cup + ⅓ cup all-purpose flour
  • heaping ½ teaspoon of baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • ¼ cup buttermilk, at room temperature
  • ½ cup fresh cranberries
  • ¼ cup dark chocolate chips
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 and line 4 muffin cups with liners.
  2. In a small bowl, stir together the butter and sugar very well. Add the egg and orange zest, and stir until it's incorporated.
  3. Next, sprinkle the flour, baking powder and salt on top. Stir a few times, then add the buttermilk. Stir just until combined, do not over mix. Finally, stir in the cranberries and dark chocolate chips.
  4. Divide batter between 4 cupcake liners and bake for 18-20 minutes, or until the tops spring back and a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  5. Let cool for 5 minutes before serving.





  1. says

    I have to admit I like the way your husband thinks…dessert should be a part of every single meal :-) So dessert like muffins for breakfast sounds awesome! And dark chocolate just makes everything that much better!!! Yum!!!

  2. Julie says

    Oh, yum! I hadn’t had raw cranberries until I was an adult and had raw cranberry relish–I think at my in-laws (when you’ve been married as long as we have, you sort of forget). It was cranberries chopped up with some orange peel in it and a bit of sugar (I think). It had that tart/sweet thing going on. Took me a few bites to decide that I liked it, but it’s really good. I would like one of these for breakfast and dessert. :)

  3. says

    Breakfast…dessert…snack…these things are suitable for LIFE! I love how thorough you are when it comes to eggs and how I know how plenty of recipes for using my whites and yolks. These will definitely come in handy come Christmas when my family’s baking up a storm! These muffins look amaaaaazing!

  4. says

    These look gorgeous! I have just about 1/2 cup of cranberries left after making an apple cranberry cake last week. Now I know what I’ll be using those cranberries for. Thanks for the inspiration!

    And also, I totally appreciate the egg yolk/ egg white only index! I recently made angel food cupcakes + marshmallow frosting. Even though I only made 16 cupcakes, I have 10 egg yolks leftover. Lots of yolks that need to be put to good use!

  5. says

    Christina, I’ve always liked the combo of cranberry and orange… and chocolate and orange.. Your muffin creation is a match made in heaven! Thanks for the egg yolk/egg white categories, too — waste not, want not! Off to check them out… :)

  6. says

    I LOVE the leftover egg parts list! I use the whites and yolks for different things all the time, but I’ll definitely be bookmarking this page for that alone.

    And the fresh cranberries? YES. And the dessert all day? Well, Mr. DFT – YES :)

  7. says

    I was thinking about baking something with chocolate and orange next then I went on your blog and saw this recipe. These muffins looks delicious and so pretty! I know what I’m making next! :)

  8. Antonia says

    These are amazing. I quintupled the recipe to make them for my students before Thanksgiving. I was a bit worried about the raw cranberries as hadn’t cooked with them before – I halved the big ones and put in a bit of agave nectar on the mix but realize I was being overly cautious after I tasted the finished product – would have been fine without as the sour is the key (the agave didn’t hurt them though). The buttermilk made them so fluffy! I almost never bake and never comment on recipes, but this was so good and easy to make I had to!!!

  9. Jenny says

    Hey, I found this recipe a month ago and love them! I love the orange zest. I buy cranberries when there in season and freeze them for baking year round. The muffin part of this is perfect! Moist, fluffy, the best muffin I’ve had in a long time! So thank you for making not only my new favorite muffin, but making it so there are no leftovers! I made them in paper liners and the first time they spilled over so the second time I made 6 and they worked out perfect. My new oven is odd so cooking time was the same. I usually have to put butter on my muffins but these don’t need it, so they help cut down on my butter intake :)
    Thanks for doing all the work to scale down and test all these recipes. I’ve made Dr.pepper cake, one bowl chocolate cake and the creamsicle cake so far. All were good! Tomorrow I’m making the tin roof cheese cake, just hunting for a 5″ spring form pan.

  10. Lily says

    Hi there – love the recipe – BUT does it work with dried cranberries?? Im from Australia and have never seen freshies here……….. :)

  11. Elana says

    Hi Christina,

    I love your blog and often try out your recipes. I made these muffins for the weekend and LOVED them. How many times should I multiply the recipe for a full batch of muffins, and are there any modifications? Also, do you think this would work in a full-size loaf pan? Thank you so much!



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