Cranberry Orange Muffin Tops

I have always wanted to try baking scones, but every time I ended up with a dozen of muffins. And probably because I made too much muffins, my first batch of “scones” turned out to be truly muffin tops. Fortunately, what everyone would agree here is that the best part of a muffin is the muffin top. right?

My dough was somewhere between muffin batter and scone dough, sticky but not manageable. I could not handle or shape it…so I simply drop the dough on to the baking sheet and spread it out a little bit. The result is a 9-inch round muffin top, which is so light and fragile that I couldn’t even pick it up in whole. I have to cut them into wide strips and they became this weirdest shaped muffin tops in the world. 

Anyway, these muffin tops are wordless, wearing a perfect golden brown fluffy crust, and very citrusy! (I zested a whole orange.)

Recipe for Cranberry Orange Muffin Top

– adapted from Epicurious


  • 1/4 cup 2% milk
  • juice of half lemon
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into bits
  • 1/2 dried cranberry
  • Zest of one navy orange



1. Preheat oven 400 F.

2. In a small bowl, whisk 1/4 cup milk, squeeze juice of half of a lemon, an egg yolk, and vanilla. Note: combining lemon juice e and milk here is to make buttermilk. Set the  liquid mix aside.

3. In a another larger bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and orange zest. Add little bits of cold butter. Now, I used my fingers to blend the butter with the dry mix, and break the butter flour bits  into coarse meal. Then, stir in dry cranberries.

4. Pour the liquid mix in 2. into the flour and butter mixture. Use a fork or spatula to gently mix all together. The mixture should be sticky and not manageable. It should be able to stand by its own, but could not hold a spoon.

5. Use a spatula to transfer the dough onto a slightly greased baking sheet, spread out in round shape/ or whatever shape you could do. At the end, it should be roughly 9 inch round and 1/4 inch thick.

6. Bake the muffin top in the middle of the oven for 15 to 17 minutes, until it slightly rise and looks puffy, and just turns golden brown on the surface. 

notes: The possible reason why scone turned into muffin top is that I used the same measure of buttermilk instead of heavy cream as the original recipe calls for. However, I do see other blogger’s recipes used buttermilk. I didn’t think it could make a big difference. Next time, I would exactly follow the recipe and not substitute ingredients as I wish.



  1. Yi

    looks so yummy! I want to learn non-dairy dessert.


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