These Gluten-Free Cranberry Sauce Muffins are the perfect way to use your leftover cranberry sauce from Thanksgiving or Christmas. They’re subtly spiced, with a moist and dense center, golden and crispy tops, and delicious flavor. They make for a lovely morning treat or an afternoon snack with coffee.
Who doesn’t have leftover cranberry sauce every holiday season?
Usually nobody, is the answer. 😉
I’m also always surprised that I have so much leftover Thanksgiving cranberry sauce. Every year, I don’t think there will be quite enough, so I make more at the last moment.
Here’s the deal, I think people do love cranberry sauce, but in small amounts. Like a couple of tablespoons per plate. It’s really to make a mostly savory plate, a little bit sweet.
The best part about having the cranberry sauce leftovers is that we can make these easy gluten-free cranberry sauce muffins.
Recipe Tips and Substitutions
- I love using my Spiced Cranberry Sauce leftovers, but you can use any cranberry sauce you’d like — even from a can. Please note that depending on the cranberry sauce you use, the baking times and the texture might vary.
- This recipe has been tested with a few different cranberry sauces — most of them were fairly thick, more or less like this one. If you use one with a excess juice, strain it first.
- Cranberry sauce with whole cranberries is best, so there are chunks of the fruit, and not just a pinkish muffin.
- This recipe includes cinnamon. If you use a spiced cranberry sauce, you can omit it.
- I use my favorite gluten-free flour (Cup4Cup) in this recipe — and in most of my gluten-free baked goods. It’s really fantastic, as it behaves the most like a regular all-purpose flour, of all of the varieties I’ve tried. If you use a different gluten-free flour, if it does not contain xanthan gum, add one teaspoon of it to the recipe.
- Do they have to be gluten-free? Nope, they’ll work just as well with regular all-purpose. Just add two tablespoons to the amount listed for the gluten-free flour. (Typically it’s an even switch, but when tested with this recipe, it was better this way.)
- I sprinkle a little Sugar in the Raw on top (or coarse sugar), for a little extra crunch. This is optional.
How long will they keep?
- Room temperature. You can keep them at room temperature if you know the muffins are going to be eaten the next day. The best way to preserve their freshness is to let them cool completely, and then put them in an airtight container. They will last longer this way (two to three days) if you place a dry paper towel below and on top of the muffins.
- Freezer. The muffins can be frozen for about three months. The easiest method is to place them in Ziploc freezer bags, in a single layer. Let them defrost at room temperature.
- Refrigerator. Refrigerating muffins is not ideal, as it can change their texture and dry them out.
So if you find yourself with a ton of leftover holiday cranberry sauce, as I will be, I suggest these sweet, delicious Gluten-Free Cranberry Sauce Muffins.
Enjoy every last crumb!
More recipes using leftover cranberry sauce:
More delicious muffins recipes:
- Buttermilk Apple Muffins
- Gluten-Free Pumpkin Muffins
- Blue Corn Blueberry Chocolate Muffins
- Cappuccino Muffins with Chocolate Chips
- Banana Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Muffins
Gluten-Free Cranberry Sauce Muffins
- 2½ cups plus 2 tablespoons Cup4Cup Gluten-Free Multi-Purpose Flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ⅔ cup plus 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil (or other neutral oil, like vegetable)
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup Cranberry Sauce
- 2 teaspoons coarse sugar or Sugar in the Raw (optional)
- Set the oven and prepare the pan(s). Preheat the oven to 400°F, adjust a rack to the top third of the oven. Use 16 paper muffin liners to line a standard-sized muffin pan (or pans). Alternately if your pans are non-stick, you can just lightly grease them with oil or butter (use a brush), or a non-stick spray.
- Combine dry ingredients. In a large mixing bowl, whisk the flour with the baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.
- Combine wet ingredients. In another large mixing bowl, use a whisk to blend the oil with the sugar. Once it's blended, whisk in the buttermilk and vanilla. Add the eggs and continue to whisk until it's very smooth.
- Combine wet with dry ingredients and add cranberry sauce. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients. Pour the wet ingredients into the well, and mix only until you no longer see dry spots. Mix the cranberry sauce well, so there aren't any large clumps. Then fold it into the batter. Mix just to combine. It's okay if the batter is somewhat streaked with it.
- Fill the pan(s). Fill the muffin pan(s) with the liners (or greased, non-stick) to the very top. Sprinkle each one with a little bit of the coarse sugar (or Sugar in the Raw). The muffins will rise a bit above the top rims, so whatever muffin pan you're using, use a brush or your finger to grease on top of the pan, around each top rim.
- Bake. Place in the preheated 400°F oven and bake until the tops are slightly golden and feel cooked through to the touch. (If you gently and lightly press your finger on top, it should feel a bit like a sponge.) The baking time is 20 to 25 minutes.
- Cool and serve. Let the muffins cool in the pan for at least 5 minutes. Then remove them and cool them on a baking rack for about at least another 10 minutes before serving.
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