Cranberry Sauce Muffins for the Morning Of or Morning After


Wonderful sweet-tart cranberry sauce infuses these easy, whole grain, dairy-free muffins with delicious flavor and the perfect amount of moisture. I discovered a recipe for cranberry sauce muffins just before the holidays, many years ago, on Serious Eats. And I snatched up all of the leftover Thanksgiving cranberry sauce from the family meal just so I could make it!

Cranberry Sauce Muffins Recipe for the Morning After (Dairy-free and Whole Grain)

Festive Cranberry Sauce Muffins Made Dairy-Free & Wholesome

I did end up making a few modifications, including adapting the recipe to be dairy-free and purely whole wheat. The end result was flavorful and still perfectly tender.

You can use store-bought or homemade cranberry sauce to make these dairy-free cranberry sauce muffins. In fact, you can buy a can just to make these boisterous baked goods on any old day – it doesn’t have to be from leftovers! We’ve even made these as festive muffins to enjoy on Thanksgiving morning.

Eat Dairy Free - Your Essential Cookbook for Everyday Meals, Snacks, and SweetsI’ve never met a can of cranberry sauce that contained dairy. But you never know, one could exist! Always check the label for ingredients and contact the company about their manufacturing processes if potential cross-contamination is a concern.

Homemade cranberry sauce is also quite easy, and it allows you to infuse more flavors. For example, you can enjoy Pineapple Cranberry muffins, Cranberry Orange muffins, or Cranberry Spice muffins.

Cranberry Sauce Muffins Recipe for the Morning After (Dairy-free and Whole Grain)

Special Diet Notes: Cranberry Sauce Muffins

By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, nut-free, peanut-free, soy-free, and vegetarian.

For vegan cranberry sauce muffins, use one of my egg substitute options. This recipe is quite forgiving for egg-free needs.

4.4 from 5 reviews
Cranberry Sauce Muffins
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Sometimes I like to add a little finely chopped crystallized ginger into the batter or sprinkle it on top before baking.
Recipe type: Breakfast
Serves: 14 muffins
  • 1½ cups whole wheat pastry flour, white wheat flour, or all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup rolled or quick oats
  • ½ cup firmly-packed brown sugar (can sub coconut sugar for less sweet)
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ to ½ teaspoon ground ginger or cinnamon
  • 1½ cups leftover cranberry sauce (roughly a 14-ounce can)
  • ½ cup unsweetened dairy-free milk beverage
  • ¼ cup oil (your favorite one for baking)
  • 1 egg or your favorite egg substitute (for vegan)
  1. Preheat your oven oven to 400°F and grease or line 14 muffin cups with cupcake liners.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, oats, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spice.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the cranberry sauce, milk beverage, oil, and egg until well combined.
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, and stir until just combined. A few lumps remaining are okay; do not overmix.
  5. Divide the batter between your prepared muffin cups.
  6. Bake for 20 to 22 minutes, or until they take on a light brown hue and a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin (strategically dodging any remaining whole cranberries) comes out clean.

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About Author

Alisa is the founder of, Food Editor for Allergic Living magazine, and author of the best-selling dairy-free book, Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living, and the new cookbook, Eat Dairy Free: Your Essential Cookbook for Everyday Meals, Snacks, and Sweets. Alisa is also a professional recipe creator and product ambassador for the natural food industry.


  1. DELICIOUS!!! just made these muffins, and they are absolutely the BEST recipe I have ever used online. I followed the recipe to the “T” They are perfect,! I added walnuts and baked the full 22 minutes. Thank you for sharing

  2. Carolyn Fisher on

    I substituted applesauce for oil which I often do with great success. Only other difference is I added mandarin oranges and dash of orange cpeel. Still more of an oatmeal taste than fruit even after I made a glaze of 3 tbsp OJ and 1 cup conf. Sugar. I usually buy a mix and make the same changes and they’re incredible but thought I’d try this. I figured scratch would be even better but not in this case. G

    • You added a lot of wet moisture (mandarins and applesauce) to a recipe that was already a moist-style muffin, from the high amount of cranberry sauce. Your modifications would not work well. If you wanted fat free (which I never recommend for muffins), then it probably would have worked better to omit the oil rather than adding another wet ingredient. Oil bakes up lighter and isn’t a heavy wet ingredient like applesauce, cranberry sauce, and mandarins. If you make the recipe as written, it does work well.

  3. I’ve just discovered your site and have been looking at some amazing recipes. However, I have yet to find a single one that has nutritional and caloric information. Perhaps there is a tab somewhere that shares this information? Without this, how are we to judge whether something is as “wholesome” as it is labeled?

    Thanks, Kathy

    • Hi Kathy, I guess wholesome can be defined differently! I define wholesome as a food made with healthy ingredients. I must be honest that I’ve always been an ingredient reader, not a nutrition facts reader. We have about 3000 recipes on this website, and I’m unable to add nutrition facts for all of them – it’s a very tedious process. We don’t have any special automation in place, it’s all manual! I wish I could help you with this. When I do have the nutrition facts readily available for a recipe, I do include them.

  4. These worked out great for cranberry sauce leftovers! I didn’t have 1.5 cups, so I did 1 cup cranberry sauce and 0.5 cup of shredded carrot. Used grapeseed oil and cinnamon. My toddler ate it up, thankfully. I’ll try it with coconut sugar next time. Thanks for the recipe!

  5. Today I decided to try a recipe of something a little more healthy than what my family( of growing boys) may typically expect from a muffin. My Props to Alisa Fleming!
    I did also make a few modifications, to accommodate what I had on hand.
    I used a mix of both the recommended spices, ginger and cinnamon. I also used one of her egg subs ( THANK YOU FOR POSTING). Turns out the snack size applesauce is the perfect amount. I also used a can of jellied cranberry sauce and coconut milk.
    These both look and smell like a “cheat” muffin. Purposely had a small meal to have room to taste one of these.
    I assume my using applesauce for egg is the reason mine didn’t rise. Also the apple ocerpowers the jellies cranberry sauce I used. Still turned out great regardless. Maybe nextime I will use raspberries!! Yum!!
    Thanks again!!

    • Hi Angie, I’m so glad you enjoyed the recipe! They still should have risen, but it does help to add a little baking powder (about 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon per egg at low altitude) when using a heavier egg substitute, like applesauce. I think raspberries would be delicious!

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