Leftover Cranberry Sauce Muffins

Every single year, without exception, whether or not we have company for Thanksgiving, I end up with tons of leftover cranberry sauce. I just can’t throw it out or say no when it’s given to me. I. LOVE. CRANBERRY SAUCE. But I can only take so much of it in yogurt, or in sandwiches with turkey, or with leftover turkey, and that’s about the extent to which I’ve found I can use leftover cranberry sauce. So I decided to combine this unusual abundance with my uncanny knack for muffin-crafting and here we are.

These are great for several reasons. First, they have lots of oats, which are known for their lactogenic (lactation support) properties, as well as healthy protein and fibre. They also have a refined-sugar-free option, which is lovely for after a food-heavy holiday like Thanksgiving or Christmas. Or really, any time, because we all eat so much refined sugar and I know I welcome recipes that are cognizant of that. Lastly, they aren’t complicated. AND THEY USE LEFTOVER CRANBERRY SAUCE. Like, a lot of it. So I’m going to shut up now and give you my recipe. You’re welcome on both counts.

Leftover Cranberry Sauce Muffins

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Line or grease a 12-muffin tin (is that the technical name for it? A muffin tin for twelve muffins? A twelver? Shit, I don’t know!)

Dry Ingredients

  • 3/4 cups spelt flour (I like the fuller flavour of spelt)
  • 3/4 whole wheat flour (really, just use whatever you want; I like keeping it whole and unprocessed because sometimes I am a hippie and also I like to get fibre in to keep regular, but if that’s not your schtick, you do you)
  • 1 cup whole rolled oats
  • 1 T baking powder (seems like a ton, but don’t worry, that’s supposed to be a tablespoon)
  • 1/2 t baking soda (more reasonable)
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1/2 t cinnamon

Wet Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup brown sugar (yes, add it to the wet ingredients, then if your sugar is a little dry and lumpy, you won’t get gross clumps of it in your muffins) OR
    • OR pit 8 dates and soak in very hot water for a little bit, then puree with a little water to get the desired consistency and use in place of sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups leftover cranberry sauce (told you it uses a significant amount!)
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk (but you can use regular milk or non-dairy if you must and use 1/2 tablespoon vinegar or lemon juice to 1/2 cup of liquid to simulate soured milk)
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil (I usually use grapeseed or avocado – grab whatever you have on hand)
  • 1 egg
  • zest of 1/2 an orange


  • You’ve probable made muffins before, you’re not a dummy.
  • Add wet to dry until *just* combined and make sure not to combine until the oven is ready, otherwise the leavening agents will peak too soon and your muffins will suck.
  • Pour into muffin tin.
  • Bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean.
  • Cool in the tin for 5 minutes, then remove to a cooling rack.
  • Sink into your couch with a cup of tea and a plate with one cut in half and butter liberally slathered all over each side.
  • Yum yum yummy yummy yummmmm.