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2 cranberry sauce muffins stacked in pan with coffee cups on table

Cranberry Sauce Muffins

  • Author: Mansee Muzumdar
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 12 1x
  • Category: Baked Goods
  • Method: Oven


Need a recipe for leftover cranberry sauce? Try muffins! A swirl of leftover Thanksgiving cranberry sauce into cranberry orange or cranberry lemon muffins is SUCH a treat! You can make this batter the night before and bake them off in the morning for easy, fresh cranberry sauce muffins - the perfect post-Thanksgiving breakfast!


  • 1 1/2 cups (300 grams) sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons orange or lemon zest
  • 1 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons) butter, melted
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup (4 ounces) milk (any kind)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 cups (240 grams) flour
  • 1 cup (~8 ounces) leftover cranberry sauce


  1. Preheat oven to 425. Line muffin tin and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl add 1 1/2 cups (300 grams) sugar and 1 1/2 teaspoons orange or lemon zest. Use your fingers to combine so the zest gets distributed throughout the sugar.
  3. Add 12 tablespoons melted butter and whisk to combine. Add 2 eggs, 1/2 cup (4 ounces) milk  and 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla and whisk for 2-3 minutes until everything is really well combined and lightened in color. 
  4. Add 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Whisk for a full 2 minutes to ensure everything is combined and mix throughout. You're doing this to avoid having to mix all the dry ingredients in a separate bowl.
  5. Add 2 cups (240 grams) flour and fold in until just combined. Add 1 cup leftover cranberry sauce and use the tip of a butter knife to swirl throughout the batter. You want it to be streaky so don't worry about combining it fully. If desired, you can cover and keep the batter in the fridge overnight at this point. 
  6. Scoop batter into lined muffin tin, filling each to the top. Place in oven and bake for 5 minutes, then reduce heat to 350 and bake for an additional 12-15 minutes or until tops are golden brown and a toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean.
  7. Cool for at least 15 minutes before serving. If desired, drizzle muffins with glaze (see notes below).


  • To make glaze, whisk together 1/2 cup powdered sugar and 2-3 tablespoons orange or lemon juice. Add a little more sugar or juice, as needed, until you get a thick sauce that can be easily drizzled on top of muffins.