In this post: A delicious way to use up leftover cranberry sauce from Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner. Cranberry Sauce Muffins make an excellent breakfast option.
These cranberry sauce muffins make an excellent breakfast or snack option. They taste divine when served warm with a pat of butter and a delicious warm holiday beverage. Learn how to make them for yourself with step-by-step instructions!
Table of Contents
Why You Should Make Cranberry Sauce Muffins
Honestly, who knows what to do with leftover cranberry sauce? For years, I had no idea how to avoid wasting cranberry sauce – aside from eating it by the spoonful. So, I dreaded making the sauce when I knew half of it would end up in the garbage. But now, this delicious cranberry sauce muffin recipe saves the leftover sauce from the trash bin! These days, I’m tempted to leave some cranberry sauce behind at the holidays just so I can make this recipe. And I’m sure you’ll feel the same once you taste these sweet, tangy cranberry sauce muffins!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
These cranberry sauce muffins:
- are quick and easy to make
- don’t require fancy equipment or hard-to-find ingredients
- can be adapted to comply with any dietary restrictions or allergies (see below for ideas!)
Cranberry Sauce Muffins Ingredients
- All-purpose flour: you can replace this with one-for-one gluten-free flour if you want to make the recipe gluten-free.
- White sugar: adds plenty of sweetness to complement the cranberry sauce.
- Baking powder: used to lighten the texture of baked goods.
- Sea salt: processed much less than table salt and retains trace minerals.
- Whole milk: the fat, protein, and creaminess of this milk are perfect for baked goods.
- Egg: create stability and structure; the “glue” of baked goods.
- Vegetable or canola oil: have little-to-no flavor, making them perfect for baking.
- Vanilla extract: enhances the flavors of the muffins.
- Cranberry sauce: can be homemade or store-bought. (It doesn’t even have to be leftovers from another meal!)
- Dried Cranberries (optional): fun additive as a topping for the muffins.
Cranberry Muffin Recipe Variations
These cranberry sauce muffins are already fantastic, but there are some variations you can try for fun:
- Apple: trade the cranberry sauce for apple sauce and replace the dried cranberries with dehydrated apple chunks.
- Chocolate almond: add chocolate chips (white chocolate will work best) and slivered almonds (on top after baking).
- Icing: after the muffins have cooled, add icing or a glaze on the top.
- Cinnamon raisin: replace the cranberry sauce with apple sauce, trade the dried cranberries for raisins, and add 1 teaspoon of cinnamon.
- Orange-cranberry: trade some (about half) of the liquid for orange juice and add some orange zest (1-2 tsp).
How to Make Cranberry Sauce Muffins
1 . Preheat the oven to 400F, line an 18-cup muffin tin with silicon cupcake liners or spray it generously with non-stick spray or olive oil.
2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt and whisk them well.
3. Add the milk, egg, oil, and vanilla extract to the wet ingredients. Mix the batter well with a wire whisk. Your batter should be nice and thick.
4. Add the cranberry sauce and gently fold it in.
5. Divide the batter among 18 muffin cups, filling about ¾ of each cup.
6. Sprinkle the chopped dried cranberries on top of each muffin (optional).
7. Bake at 400F for 20 minutes until the top is golden and a toothpick inserted in the middle of a muffin comes out clean.
8. Let the muffins cool in the muffin pan for 10 minutes and then finish cooling them on a wire rack.
9. Serve the cranberry sauce muffins warm with butter and/or more cranberry sauce.
- Pumpkin Spice Smoothie
- Basic Egg Muffins
- Make Ahead Smoothies
- Paleo Strawberry Chia Seed Pudding
- Banana Berry Smoothie
- Easy Microwave Scrambled Eggs
- Peachy Keen Peach Smoothie
And as I mentioned at the beginning of this post, these cranberry sauce muffins go SO WELL with holiday drinks! Check out these drinks:
- Let the cranberry sauce muffins set: leave them in the muffin tin for 5 minutes so they don’t fall apart when you move them to the cooling rack.
- Don’t over-mix the batter: mix just until there are no streaks of dry ingredients in the batter. Over-mixing your batter will leave your muffins dense.
- Don’t overfill the muffin cups: if you fill them past 3/4, they will spread and make a mess!
How long do the muffins keep?
The muffins will keep at room temperature for 3 days, in the fridge for 1 week, and in the freezer for 3 months.
Can you freeze these cranberry muffins?
Yes, these cranberry sauce muffins freeze wonderfully! Just put the cooled muffins in an airtight container or ziplock bag and place them in the freezer for up to 3 months. (But I doubt you’ll be able to resist eating them for that long!)
Can I make these just as cranberry muffins – not using cranberry sauce?
Absolutely! You can make this recipe with fresh or frozen cranberries (1-2 cups), an extra 1/4-1/2 cup of orange juice or milk, and a touch of extra sugar to make up for the sweetness of cranberry sauce. You experiment a bit with how much cranberries you want to add and how much sugar evens the flavor out!
What kind of cranberry sauce works for muffins?
Any kind you can think of! Homemade, store-bought, super-sweet, extra tart, the list goes on. This recipe is incredibly forgiving when it comes to this ingredient, so go ahead and add your favorite cranberry sauce!
How to Store Leftover Cranberry Sauce Muffins
How you store your leftover cranberry muffins depends entirely on how fast you are going to eat them. If you live alone, you’ll likely have enough to freeze some (unless of course, you can eat one and a half dozen muffins in 3 days). But if you live in a house of five adults like I do, the muffins will be gone within 24 hours! Whatever the case, this is how to store your cranberry sauce muffins:
- At room temperature: you can store the muffins in an airtight container or ziplock bag at room temperature for up to 3 days.
- In the refrigerator: store in an airtight container (I recommend avoiding a ziplock, in case the muffins get banged around) for up to 1 week.
- In the freezer: place the fully cooled muffins in an airtight container or ziplock bag for up to 3 months.
There are some ways you can make these cranberry sauce muffins free of:
- Gluten: replace the all-purpose flour with any one-for-one gluten-free flour (you can buy or make one). After this change, all of us gluten-free lovelies can eat this recipe!
- Dairy: replace whole milk with non-dairy milk. Now this recipe is dairy-free!
- Animal products: switch whole milk to plant-based milk and replace the egg with a generic egg replacer or a chia or flax egg. Congratulations, you’ve made the recipe vegan!
More Delicious Bread and Muffin Recipes
- Blueberry Oat Muffins
- Fresh Strawberry Muffin Recipe
- Gluten-Free Banana Bread
- Cranberry Banana Muffins
- Gluten-Free Pumpkin Muffins
- Apple Cinnamon Muffins (Gluten-Free)
- 2 cups of All Purpose Flour
- 1 cup of Sugar
- 1 tablespoon of Baking Powder
- ¼ teaspoon of Salt
- 1 cup of Whole Milk
- 1 Egg
- ¼ cup of Vegetable or Canola Oil
- 1 tablespoon of Vanilla Extract
- 1 cup of Cranberry Sauce, homemade or store-bought
- ¼ cup of Dried Cranberries, finely chopped (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 400F, line an 18-cup muffin tin with a silicon liner or spray it generously with non-stick spray or olive oil.
- In a large bowl combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt and mix well.
- Add the milk, egg, oil, and vanilla extract. Mix it well with a wire whisk. The batter will be thick.
- Add the cranberry sauce and gently fold it in.
- Divide the batter among 18 muffin cups, filling it about ¾ of the cup.
- Sprinkle the chopped dried cranberries on top of each muffin (optional)
- Bake at 400F for 20 minutes till the top is golden and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
- Let it cool in the pan for 10 minutes and then finish cooling them on a wire rack.
- They taste best when served warm with butter or more cranberry sauce.
Store the leftovers in the airtight container on the counter for 3 to 4 days, in the fridge for up to 15 days and in the freezer for about 1 to 2 months.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 18 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 148Total Fat: 2gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 12mgSodium: 123mgCarbohydrates: 31gFiber: 1gSugar: 18gProtein: 2g
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily via Nutrifox.