Cranberry Whole Wheat Muffins

Hi Friends!

I made you some muffins.

Cranberry Whole Wheat Muffins

Packed with whole grains, these Whole Wheat Cranberry Muffins make a great on-the-go breakfast!

But first, let’s have a little chat about cranberries shall we?
*This post is sponsored by The Cranberry Institute*

Fresh cranberries are far and away one of my favorite parts of fall. I’m one of those crazy ladies that stocks up when they go on sale for $1 a bag and I’m not afraid to buy 10 bags to keep in my freezer and use throughout the year!

Cranberries are super versatile. I use them in both savory and sweet dishes.

Milwaukee Nov. 8, 2006. (Photo Andy Manis)

PLUS they have tons of health benefits. Here are a few:

  • They’re nutrient dense. Cranberries provide vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients without providing an excess of calories (1 cup of raw cranberries has about 50 calories). They’re also naturally fat-free and contain very little sodium.
  • They contain  the flavonoid, proanthocyanidin (PAC) that help prevent UTIs. The PACs in cranberries help prevent the adhesion of certain harmful bacteria, including E. coli, associated with urinary tract infections (UTIs).2,3
  • They’re good for your heart!  Whole cranberries are a good source of dietary fiber and all cranberry products contain flavonoids and polyphenolics that offer a wide range of potential heart health benefits including defense against atherosclerosis and anti-inflammatory properties.15,16
  • They can help protect against ulcers. Cranberries may prevent adhesion of the bacteria H. pylori to the lining of the stomach which can help reduce the risk of stomach ulcers.
  • They may help prevent cancer. Research suggest that PACs from cranberries may have anticancer and anti-angiogenic properties, while cranberry juice may help inhibit the growth of cancer cell lines.27,28  Scientists continue to investigate this area of research.


If you’re not a fan of fresh cranberries, have no fear! Dried cranberries are another great option. Here’s why:

  •  MyPlate suggests trying dried fruits, including dried cranberries, as a snack because they are easy-to-carry and store well.
  • Dried cranberries are  a good source of fiber – 10% of the Daily Value – with 2.3 grams per serving (40 gram serving).
  • The amount of sugar in dried cranberries is equal to that of other dried fruits.  Dried cranberries are sweetened because unlike other berries, cranberries are naturally low in sugar and high in acidity so they require sweetening to be palatable. Sweetening helps balance out their natural tartness. 
  • They can be easily added to oatmeal, rice and grain side dishes, meat entrées, casseroles, salads and more!

 *Note, you can also look for reduced sugar dried cranberries which is what I buy!

So, now that you know a little bit more about how amazing cranberries are for you….let’s move on to how you should use them!

Packed with whole grains, these Whole Wheat Cranberry Muffins make a great on-the-go breakfast!

Here’s an easy way to incorporate fresh cranberries into diet as a grab & go breakfast or snacks:

Serves 12

Cranberry Whole Wheat Muffins

The perfect muffin for grab and go Fall breakfast!

Rating: 3.5 from 2 reviews1

10Prep Time

15Cook Time

25Total Time

Save Recipe
Cranberry Whole Wheat Muffins


2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon orange zest (grated orange peel)
1/4 teaspoon salt
11/4 cup milk
5 tablespoons melted butter
1 egg
1 cup fresh or frozen, thawed cranberries, halved
1 cup chopped, toasted pecans


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin pan with paper liners.
  2. In a medium bowl combine flours, sugar, baking power, ginger, orange zest, and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a medium mixing bowl whisk together milk, melted butter, and egg. Stir in cranberries and nuts.
  4. Add wet ingredients to dry and stir just until blended. Do not over mix.
  5. Divide batter evenly among muffin cups. Sprinkle granulated sugar on top of muffins, if desired.
  6. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes or until lightly browned.

Like I mentioned in the notes above, I make these using all white whole wheat flour and replace some of the butter with applesauce.
These muffins are also easily customizable. I used lemon zest instead of orange zest and almonds instead of pecans.

 Let’s chat!
Are you a cranberry fan? What’s your favorite cranberry recipe?


PS.  It’s this guy’s birthday today :)


Happy birthday hubby! I love you!!




2. Howell A. Cranberry Proanthocyanidins and the Maintenance of Urinary Tract Health. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr 2002; 42(S): 273-278.
3. Gupta K, Chou M, Howell A, Wobbe C, Grady R, Stapleton A. Cranberry products inhibit adherence of p-fimbriated Escherichia coli to primary cultured bladder and vaginal epithelial cells. J Urol 2007; 177(6): 2357-2360
8. Foxman B, Barlow R, D’Arcy H, Gillespie B, Sobel JD. Urinary tract infection: self-reported incidence and associated costs. Ann Epidemiol 2000 Nov; 10(8): 509-15.
15. McKay DL, Blumbery JB.  Cranberries (Vaccinium macrocarpon) and Cardiovascular Disease Risk Factors. Nutrition Reviews 2007; 65: 490-502.
16. Shabrova EV., et al. Insights into the molecular mechanisms of the anti-atherogenic actions of flavonoids in normal and obese mice.  PLoS One 2011;6(10):e24634. 
22.  Kivimaki AS, et al.  Lingonberry, cranberry and blackcurrent juices affect mRNA expressions of inflammatory and atherothrombotic markers of SHR in a long-term treatment.  J Funct Food 2012; 4:496-503. 
27.  Kim KK, et al. Anti-angiogenic activity of cranberry proanthocyanidins and cytotoxic properties in ovarian cancer cells. Int J Oncol 2012;40(1):227-235. 
28.  Vu KD, et al. Effect of different cranberry extracts and juices during cranberry juice processing on the antiproliferative activity against two colon cancer cell lines. Food Chem 2012; 132(2):959-967. 
About Lindsay

Lindsay Livingston is a Registered Dietitian and new mom from Columbus, Ohio. On her blog, she shares simple, healthy recipes, nutrition tips, workouts and snapshots of her life. Follow her on Twitter @LeanGrnBeanBlog and Instagram @TheLeanGreenBean and be sure to subscribe via RSS or email so you never miss a post!


  1. I love cranberries– and use them often in my salads but these muffins look delicious!
    Elena recently posted..Take Control with the Care4Today Mobile App

  2. It’s my birthday too! Well, actually I don’t know if you’re talking about the 30th or the 1st but mines the first;)
    These look really delicious! I always forget about baking with cranberries around Fall. I’m not too sure why – I guess it’s because pumpkin tends to overpower them, but I’m all for trying out new things!
    Lisa recently posted..Autumn Musts

  3. I just picked up a bag of fresh cranberries and have been adding them to my morning breakfast porridge with orange zest/slices of orange. Love the tart flavour they add!
    Danielle @ Labelsarefortincans recently posted..Highlights of the Week: packages in the mail and exciting meetings

  4. i do love cranberries! i usually just add them to oatmeal or trail mixes, but these muffins look awesome!!
    Linz @ Itz Linz recently posted..24 Life Lessons

  5. These look delicious! I forget about cranberries until Thanksgiving comes around so I am glad you reminded me how much I like them! I would like to try to dry my own – I need to figure out how – have you tried that?

  6. I do love cranberries as well and these look really good. I remember I made cranberry muffins a while back but I might have to try my hand at these too!
    HollieisFueledByLOLZ recently posted..Whirlwind Month

  7. Happy birthday to your husband! I don’t think I’ve ever worked with fresh cranberries…I do like dried ones though. This seems like a good place to start my foray into the fresh ones 😉
    Sam @ Better With Sprinkles recently posted..Mexican Showdown: Chipotle and Qdoba.

  8. Yeah for fresh cranberries!
    Carissa recently posted..Running on the Noland Trail

  9. Happy birthday to your hubs! These muffins look great!
    Madeline @ Food Fitness and Family recently posted..Meal Planning with Technology

  10. Yummm love these! I am going to have to get in the kitchen soon! Cranberries are delicious – I usually buy the frozen fruit for my smoothies with cranberries in them because I think they add such a delicious flavor!
    Sara @ LovingOnTheRun recently posted..My Stress Fracture Recovery Supplement and Vitamin Regiment

  11. For these muffins, you have won my eternal love. Seriously. These look amazing and can’t wait to make them!
    Nicole @ not before my tea recently posted..Foodie Pen Pal Reveal and the boobies

    Krysten Siba Bishop (@darwinianfail) recently posted..So Why a Marathon?

  13. Happy bday to the hubby!!!

    Those look amazing but of course muffins in general do! :) I like to add in a couple berries if I have them at home – cranberries are a bit tart for me so a little sweetness for me is nice! :)
    Jody – Fit at 55 recently posted..Gratitude Monday & This is All

  14. Happy birthday to your hubs – I hope you two have fun celebrating! AND I hope that he got one of these muffins for breakfast 😉 I love cranberry anything and these look great for fall!
    Becky @ Olives n Wine recently posted..#4 Treat Yourself Tuesday {TYT}

  15. These look awesome! I should attempt them gluten free and grain free:)

  16. Love that tablecloth behind your muffins…so cute!
    I love cranberries ! You must try Baked Salmon with dill and cranberries…So good :)
    Mandie Marie @ The Fruitful Turtle recently posted..Crockpot Mondays 3…Banana Brown Betty

  17. Lindsay, these muffins look so good. Cranberry, orange zest, and pecans…Mmmm! Just pinned them to my healthy meals board.
    Megan @ The DelightFULL Dash recently posted..Yes I Can! DIY Memory Box

  18. Mmmmm, we had Thanksgiving early this year, so I have half a bag of frozen cranberries kicking around the freezer. Thanks for the inspiration!
    Lisa recently posted..Monday Meal Planning

  19. Love cranberries! Such a winter food for me that I get excited about. Once November hits, I’ll have homemade cranberry sauce on the stove and cookies in the oven!
    Taylor @ recently posted..A Spoonful Of Sugar Helps Your Weight Go Down?

  20. Perfect timing! I just found a bag of cranberries in the back of the freezer (from last winter). I’d love to try making these muffins.
    Dana @ Conscious Kitchen Blog recently posted..Tomatillo & Pork Chili

  21. I will take cranberry over raisins any other day..Apricots comes very close :)

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  22. I am a big fan of dried cranberries! I put them in almost any type of bread I make, pancakes, oatmeal, salads, yogurt, cereal and now I need to try these muffins! I also loved that mentioned applesauce as a substitution, most people haven’t started using it but when they see recipes where people have actually used it, they will use it too! (:

  23. Ooooh, these muffins look wonderful! Who knew that cranberries are so healthy for you. That’s awesome!

    Happy Birthday to your hubby!!
    Holly @ EatGreatBEGreat recently posted..Guest Posting for I am Meg And So Can You

  24. Yes, I love cranberries — my fav recipe is an old family holiday recipe for a slaw or salsa, don’t know what you’d call it. Basically, throw fresh cranberries, a whole orange (with the peel on) and a little lime juice in the food processor and pulse till chunky . I think my mom used to put tons of sugar in it, but it’s fine without — or sometimes if too tart, I add some Stevia
    Jennifer F recently posted..2Fer | Countdown Spice Rub & 4-3-2-1 Workout

  25. I’ve not seen fresh or frozen cranberries here in Australia but we do have the dried cranberries so I might give them a go with those instead :)

    I’ve always wondered if dried cranberries were not great for you because they are sweetened so it is great to know it is no more than other dried fruit.
    Jan @ Sprouts n Squats recently posted..Trial Tuesday #21

  26. I love fresh homemade cranberry sauce and then adding the leftovers to my oatmeal…YUMMY! I also like adding dried cranberries to salads. These muffins look perfect for fall and would be so yummy topped with honey or nut butter.
    She Rocks Fitness recently posted..Designer Whey BIG GIVEAWAY

  27. These look delicious!
    Matt @ The Athlete’s Plate recently posted..Paleo Banana-Walnut Bread

  28. I just realized that even though I love cranberries, I don’t use it in anything. Guess i’m going to start with muffins.

  29. These look delicious!! I especially love the addition of the toasted pecans!
    Ari @ Ari’s Menu recently posted..Peanut Butter Cup Macarons

  30. Ohh, these look amazing, Lindsay, and I love that you used FRESH cranberries! I love that pop of tart juiciness that you get when you cook them! Love dried cranberries too! I use them all the time in my oats and pancakes. Where do you find your reduced-sugar ones?
    Heather @ Kiss My Broccoli recently posted..“Tofana” Porridge

  31. I’m going to make these right now. I go a bit nuts buying cranberries when thwy go on sale too. Thanks for the recipe and Happy Birthday to your guy.

    I love dried cranberries- but only without sugar so I make my own. I just love the tang- perfect snack with some raw nuts.

  32. Laurel Hicks says:

    Is there enough liquid in this recipe…I made these and they seem awfully dense. I did use almond milk instead of regular milk. But I didn’t think that would matter as I’ve done that in other recipes.

  33. Mackenzie says:

    I made this recipe and, yes, the muffins do come out very dense. Next time I might try a liquid sweetener instead of the granulated sugar and see what difference that makes!

  34. These were AWESOME! I made them tonight for breakfast this morning. My 3 yr old helped. Didn’t have any orange. And used 1 cup whole wheat and 1 3/4 cup all purpose flour. Turned out great. So happy to find a RELIABLE bloger w/ a whole cranberry recipe as a bag o berries had been sitting in my freezer from when I bought a bunch on sale during the holidays!

  35. Candace says:

    My daughter has Type 1 diabetes and we have to have the nutritional information. How would I get that?


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  3. […] Cranberry Whole Wheat Muffins – Lindsay @ The Lean Green Bean Not only are these easy to whip up, Lindsay’s post is a great read on the nutrition benefits of the all-American cranberry. […]

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  4. […] with figuring out what to do with them. Naturally, my mind gravitated towards baked goods! I found a recipe for whole wheat muffins online, but made a few small […]

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  5. […] Cranberry Whole Wheat Muffins from Lindsay at The Lean Green Bean […]

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  6. […] Whole Wheat Cranberry Orange Muffins    adapted from here […]

  7. […] Cranberries are not only delicious when they’re fresh, they’re low in calories. Fresh whole cranberries add snap to salads, breads, and muffins. Here is a great whole wheat, cranberry muffin recipe! […]

  8. […] Cranberry Whole Wheat Muffins – Lindsay @ The Lean Green Bean Not only are these easy to whip up, Lindsay’s post is a great read on the nutrition benefits of the all-American cranberry. […]

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