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Fresh vegan cranberry orange chickpea flour muffins, made without eggs, dairy or grains and sweetened with maple syrup! They are perfect for fall and winter mornings.
cranberry orange chickpea flour muffins stacked upon each other, all atop a white napkin

Classic Cranberry Orange Muffins, Made Vegan & Grain-Free

Following banana bread, cranberry-orange bread is the quick bread I have made most often over the years. The combination of  tart, ruby berries and fresh orange is one of my favorites in the fall and winter months.

The recipe I relied on for years is irresistible, but it’s also more cake than bread. It has almost equal amounts of all-purpose flour and sugar and 1/2 cup of melted butter, and that’s before adding the powdered sugar-butter-orange zest glaze.

I’m the last person to knock cake for breakfast, but I decided it was time to create a version that better reflects the way I eat these days. These muffins are all that, and more!

close up of a cranberry orange chickpea flour muffin on a wire cooling rack, with more muffins in the background
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Healthy Benefits of Cranberry Orange Chickpea Flour Muffins

Made with chickpea flour, these satisfying muffins are:

  • Grain-Free
  • Vegan (egg-free & dairy-free}
  • Gluten-Free
  • Refined Sugar-Free
  • Low in Fat

Additionally, they are fast and easy to prepare–an essential component of healthy recipes, IMHO.

Stock up on Fresh Cranberries, Freeze for Later 

Stock up on fresh cranberries while you can (and while they are sale) so that you can make this recipe all fall and winter long! I also love tossing cranberries in smoothies for bright fruit flavor without the sugar.

If you freeze the berries, be sure to let them thaw before adding to this, or any, batter. I chop the cranberries, but very roughly (they are mostly in halves and quarters). I do this to prevent too  much color-bleeding into the batter, but you can certainly chop them finer if you prefer.

sliced fresh cranberries on a wooden cutting board

Make the Muffins in 1 Bowl

The last thing that anyone needs, especially during the holidays, is a fussy recipe; this is anything but that. In one bowl, whisk the dry ingredients, then the wet, and last, stir in the cranberries. Then it’s into paper-lined muffin cups for a quick bake. Easy!

overhead shot of unbaked cranberry orange muffins in a muffin tin

Do Not Overfill the Muffin Cups

Be sure to divide the batter between all 12 muffin cups.

Without the benefit of eggs, the chickpea flour batter needs the structure that the muffin cup walls provide. If overfilled, the muffins will rise while they bake, then fall as they cool, resulting in concave centers. For the same reason, this batter will only work in muffin tins (mini muffin tins work perfectly), or in mini loaf pans that are only filled about 1/3 to 1-/2 way full.

The muffins will peak just above the cups.

Maple syrup, in a joint effort with unsweetened applesauce and a bit of fresh orange juice, is all the sweetness these humble muffins need. Eating one will render you energized and satisfied instead of sugar-buzzed.

close up of a cranberry orange muffin, with more muffins and a red oven mitt close by

One final tip: cool the muffins completely before trying to remove the paper liners. If an earlier attempt is made, the muffins will stick to the paper in a most tenacious way!

Happy holiday baking, everyone!

an unwrapped cranberry orange muffin atop a white muffin liner

More Scrumptious Chickpea Flour Muffins & Breads to Try:

Vegan Cranberry-Orange Chickpea Flour Muffins (Grain-Free)

Vegan Cranberry-Orange Chickpea Flour Muffins (Grain-Free)

Yield: 12 muffins
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 24 minutes
Total Time: 34 minutes

Fresh cranberry-orange muffins, made with chickpea flour and sweetened with maple syrup! They are naturally grain-free, vegan, and perfect for fall and winter mornings.

Ingredients

  • 1 and 1/2 cups (180 g) chickpea flour (sifted if lumpy)
  • 2 and 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/3 cup (75 mL) pure maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons (30 mL) vegetable oil of choice (I used avocado oil)
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated orange zest
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 and 1/4 cups (125 g) fresh or frozen (thawed) cranberries, coarsely chopped

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F (180C) . Line all 12 cups of a standard size muffin tin with paper or foil liners.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the chickpea flour, baking powder and salt. Add theapplesauce, syrup, oil, zest, juice, and vanilla, stirring until blended and smooth. Gently stir in the cranberries.
  3. Divide batter evenly between prepared muffin cups.
  4. Bake in the preheated oven for 20-24 minutes until golden brown at edges and centers feel firm to the touch. Cool in pan on a cooling rack for 5 minutes, then remove muffins to rack to cool completely.

Notes

Storage: Store the completely cooled muffins in an airtight container at room temperature for 2 days, the refrigerator for 1 week or the freezer for up to 6 months.

Nutrition Information
Yield 12 Serving Size 1 muffin
Amount Per Serving Calories 99Total Fat 3.1gSaturated Fat 1.8gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 0gCholesterol 0mgSodium 146.5mgCarbohydrates 15.5gFiber 1.9gSugar 8.1gProtein 2.7g

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About Camilla

I'm Camilla, food writer, author, runner, and spin instructor. PowerHungry® is where I share my easy, minimalist, plant-based recipes, designed for living a healthy, delicious, empowered life.

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9 Comments

    1. Hi Michelle,

      No baking soda in the recipe, but there is baking powder. It sounds like you might have missed adding it?

    1. Oh no, I am sorry the recipe did not work for you, Joan. The recipe has 2 and 1/4 teaspoons of baking powder. It sounds like, perhaps, you did not add it in?

  1. Just wondering if you can substitute the chickpea flour for another flour or is there a reason to use it in the recipe.

    1. Hi Vicki,
      Yes, chickpea flour works in two ways at once, as an egg replacement and as a flour replacement. You can always experiment with another flour, but I cannot predict how it will work since this was formulated to specifically work with chickpea flour.