Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a muffin pan with 18 paper liners.
Place orange juice and corn starch in a small pot, and whisk well. Add cranberries and maple syrup. Simmer over medium heat, mixing well, until the cranberries' skin just pop (but are still big, whole berries) and turn into a thick syrup-like mix. Remove from heat.
Meanwhile, in a large bowl mix the dry ingredients together. In a smaller bowl (or measuring cup), mix the wet ingredients and orange zest. Pour wet over dry and mix well.
Add the cranberry syrup mixture to the batter and fold in gently, being careful not to smoosh the berries.
Fill each muffin paper pretty close to the top, dividing the batter between 18 muffin liners..
Optional: I like to sprinkle these with a little bit of decorative sugar before baking to make them extra sparkly! You can use sparkling sugar sprinkles, or even turbinado sugar. Whatever you have on hand....or skip it! They'll still taste great!
Place in the oven and bake for 18-20 minutes at 400 degrees. Allow to cool and serve.