Leftover Cranberry Sauce Muffins

I’m going to do it.  I’m just going to come right out and shame my mother in front to of the whole blogosphere.

See, on Thanksgiving, my mom prefers the nasty cranberry jelly from the can.  We grew up with the condiment on our Thanksgiving table.

When Allan cooked our first Thanksgiving meal with my family, he made cranberry sauce from scratch.  My mom tried it and could stomach it.  She missed her perfectly cylinder-shaped cranberry sauce.  Every Thanksgiving since then, my mom has brought her own cranberry sauce in the can.

That, my friends, is a true story.

This year when my mom and I were discussing the Thanksgiving menu over the phone, I told her that Allan would be making his own cranberry sauce and I asked her if she would be bringing the can again.

“Of course, because I like it.”

“Mom, you know that stuff is horrible and bad for you right?  Have you ever read the ingredients?  I bet there aren’t even real cranberries in it.”

“Wait.  I’ll read it to you,” she replied as she searched for the can in her pantry.  “Here we go,” she said as she proceeds to read the label.  “Oh wow.  The first ingredient is corn syrup.”

“See, mom.  I told you that stuff is horrible.  You should eat cranberry sauce with real cranberries.”

“But I don’t like the taste.  It’s too tart.”

“That’s because you’re tasting real cranberries and there’s no corn syrup masking the flavor.”

“You’re probably right.  All right I’ll try Allan’s but tell him to not go crazy with the ginger and I’m bringing my own can again.”

I relayed the order to Iron Chef Allan and just as we promised, Allan made a more palatable, no ginger added cranberry sauce for my mom.

This was the first year she didn’t bring the can.  I was so proud of her and even more so when she ate some real cranberry sauce.

However, we had TONS of cranberry sauce leftover.

So, I had this brilliant idea to use the leftover cranberry sauce in muffins.  My kids love muffins and the cranberry sauce would definitely not be left sitting in my fridge.

They came out incredible!   These Leftover Cranberry Sauce Muffins are by no means low-fat, but after eating 2000 calories in one sitting the day before, I don’t think a few more fat grams (actually 13 grams) would matter.

Leftover Cranberry Sauce Muffins

Ok, so maybe it does matter.  You could try substituting the eggs with a couple of egg whites, applesauce or plain non-fat yogurt to lighten up the recipe, but I can’t guarantee the results, because these little fluffy fattening muffins were delicious.  They are a new day after Thanksgiving tradition for us along this the Day-After Turkey Soup.

By the way, this is the last week I’m sharing uses for leftover Thanksgiving food.  Promise.

Leftover Cranberry Sauce Muffins

Leftover Cranberry Sauce Muffins

3 ½ cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 stick unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
3 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup sour cream
2 cups cranberry sauce

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Lightly grease a muffin pan or line with paper liners.

In a medium sized bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Set aside.

In a standing electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each one.  Add vanilla and sour cream and mix until well incorporated.

On a low setting, add dry ingredients in three parts until batter is smooth.

Remove bowl from mixer.  Gently fold in cranberry sauce.

Using a small ladle, fill muffin cups about 2/3 full.  Bake for 18-24 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Remove from oven and cool in pan for five minutes.  After five minutes, remove muffins from pan and continue cooling on a rack.

Thanks for joining our weekly Friday Food Fight! Can’t wait to see what everyone is flinging this week! 

Don’t forgot to toss your cookies here!

*Also submitted at*

Sweet Tooth Friday

Denise Mestanza-Taylor+


  1. Ali says:

    The muffins look amazing! Not going to lie, I’m just like your mom lol I can’t do “real” cranberry sauce and love the canned one!

  2. Christie O. says:

    ooooh these look amazing!!! I was totally laughing at your mom because I am the same way, I NEED THE CAN! I am a chronic ingredients reader and I will admit I’ve never (on purpose) read the ingredients and never will – hahaha! Totally pinned this recipe and sharing!

  3. Diane Balch (@DianeBalch) says:

    Michele… such a wonderful story about your mom. It is hard to believe that we survived some of things that were popular from our youth: I think my mom still likes hamburger helper and rice-a-roni. Good for her for trying something new. Love your muffins.

  4. Michelle says:

    My grandpa was the same way–cranberry sauce in the shape of a can on a plate every year.
    Using your leftovers in muffins is such a creative (and yummy) idea!
    Thank you for the party.

  5. Nicole says:

    Yum they do look good. I’m pinning these too. A new way to use cranberry. “do you know there’s corn syrup in their?” lol 😀 I’ll never use the can again too.

  6. chris says:

    Very nice…I will do this after Christmas…..i’m making cranberry, pear brie..In your moms defense..coming from the same family….this is the first year I stepped off the canned cranberry and made mine from scratch..lol sine habits die a long slow death….

    • Denise says:

      Hi Rebecca. It sounds like you needed a bit more liquid in your batter. Yes, you may want to possibly reduce the flour by a 1/4 cup. Thanks so much for visiting and trying the recipe! Happy Holidays!

  7. Sherry says:

    My mom always made homemade cranberry sauce but I was never a fan, but have carried on the tradition. Always have leftovers so looking for recipes to use them so they don’t go to waste. Made your muffins & what a delicious way to use them. They are also husband approved!! Thanks.

    • Denise says:

      So glad you enjoyed them! These are always a hit in our house and we love lots of leftover cranberry sauce after Thanksgiving just so we can make them. In fact, my 11 year old made a batch by herself this holiday and they came out perfect. Definitely a foolproof recipe! Thanks for stopping by and sharing your feedback!

    • Denise says:

      Yes, you can freeze these. I would double seal them in a ziploc bag and then store them no only about 3 months. Enjoy!

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