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Leftover Cranberry Sauce Oat Breakfast Muffins

Wondering what to make of leftover cranberry sauce? Look no further, because these leftover cranberry sauce oat breakfast muffins are the only thing you need! Moist and spiced from the best cranberry sauce, filling with the oats and whole wheat flour, and to-die-for pecan streusel - these are the ultimate breakfast muffins!


Cranberry sauce breakfast muffins on a muffin tin. Cranberry sauce in the background.


So I'm expecting you've made my orange cranberry sauce for Thanksgiving this year, because it is really the best. It's spiced with orange and orange liqueur and it really makes the whole difference!


That is what makes these breakfast muffins so delicious. And the pecan streusel, because we always need streusel or crumb topping right? Given my history of muffins and cakes, I am starting to see a pattern; chocolate pear cake, blueberry muffins, pumpkin white chocolate muffins, rhubarb muffins and caramel apple pie cake all have some kind of crumb or streusel topping. I know, sounds like I've got a streusel issue.


One cranberry sauce breakfast muffins open in half.


How to Store Cranberry Sauce Breakfast Muffins?


Because of the crumb topping, I actually prefer to store them on the counter uncovered. The crumb topping and the muffin liners serve as a kind of barrier, making the insides still pretty moist the second day and the crumb topping stays crispy. They get a little more stale each day, but are pretty good for about 3 days.


You can of course keep them in a covered cookie box to keep them moist, but muffins with crumb topping tend to become rather sticky this way and the crumb topping no longer crispy. All Recipes has a tip on this, and it's to place paper towels below and above the muffins in a box, and then put the lid on. I have however tried this with little success so I'm sticking to my uncovered method.


I would also freeze the once I'm not eating today and tomorrow. Once the breakfast muffins have completely cooled, place them in a freezer friendly bag. Freezes pretty well for at least 3 months.


Cranberry Sauce Breakfast Muffins with crumb toppin in a muffin tin.


Can I make these just as cranberry muffins - not using cranberry sauce?


Yes. You can use both fresh and frozen cranberries in this recipe, just do not thaw the cranberries if you choose frozen. I would alter the recipe using 1 ½ cups cranberries instead of the cranberry sauce, add the zest of 2 small-ish oranges and a little more liquid.


You can choose orange juice or more milk, about ¼ cup. And please add a tablespoon of orange liqueur (for example cointreau) - such a magnificent flavor with cranberries! I would also add a touch brown sugar to compensate for the sweet cranberry sauce, about ⅓ cup or 65g.


To summarize:

  • 1 ½ cups fresh or frozen cranberries
  • zest of 2 small oranges + 1 tablespoon orange liqueur
  • more liquid; orange juice or milk - additional ¼ cup
  • more sugar; ⅓ cup (65g) brown sugar


That may sound like many alterations, but it's not difficult at all! And totally worth it if you don't have cranberry sauce.


Three cranberry sauce oat breakfast muffins on a wooden plate.


Got other Thanksgiving leftovers you don't know what to make of?


You have come to the right place! I have made an entire post about 7 different ways to use Thanksgiving leftovers, including these cranberry sauce breakfast muffins. My mission was to make different recipes so that you wouldn't even notice they are leftovers, because leftovers are usually so boring.


  • Leftover turkey is def best in Moroccan stew with lentils and spinach.
  • Stuffings, green beans and brussels sprouts etc. are perfect in breakfast egg cups.
  • Turkey gravy is perfect to use as broth in cauliflower soup (or any kind of soup)!
  • This cheddar herb sweet potato mash and creamy parmesan pumpkin pasta make the perfect and EASY shepherd's pie.
  • You will probably have leftover stale bread after the stuffing - perfect for croutons!
  • Aaand the cranberry sauce is perfect either in these breakfast muffins or in cranberry sauce coconut whipped cream trifle.


As you may have noticed, all these recipes are pretty different - BUT they are all mega delish. I urge you to try at least some of them. All these ideas are available in my 7 Thanksgiving Leftovers blog posts, linked to right under this heading.


I truly hope you'll give the cranberry sauce oat breakfast muffins a try, because they really are special. I've never tried this spice combination in a muffin before and I was amazed at how GOOD it is. I'm not joking when I say I'm going to make cranberry sauce just in order to make a huge batch of these breakfast muffins.


And it's just a bonus that they are filling and can count as breakfast and not only dessert! Enjoy with a warm cup of mulled wine or maybe an orange hot chocolate. Find the complete directions in the recipe card below this post.


A muffin tin with cranberry sauce breakfast muffins, one standing on top of the tin.


Did you like these cranberry sauce breakfast muffins? Here's more breakfast ideas for you!



I’d love to hear your thoughts. Comment below or tag me @thegingerwithspice on Instagram. And don’t forget to Pin it for later! To make sure you’re never missing another recipe, please feel free to subscribe to my newsletter. As a thanks you will receive a free e-cookbook Travels Through the Seasons, with many delicious recipes from around the world that suit different seasons of the year. 


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📖 Recipe

Cranberry sauce breakfast muffins on a muffin tin. Cranberry sauce in the background.

Cranberry Sauce Oat Breakfast Muffins

Yield: 16 muffins
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes

Wondering what to make of leftover cranberry sauce? Look no further, because these leftover cranberry sauce oat breakfast muffins are the only thing you need! Moist and spiced from the best cranberry sauce, filling with the oats and whole wheat flour, and to-die-for pecan streusel - these are the ultimate breakfast muffins!


Cranberry Sauce Oat Breakfast Muffins

  • 1 cup rolled oats, 90g
  • 1 cup flour, 125g*
  • ½ cup whole wheat flour, 65g
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ⅓ cup softened butter, 75g
  • ½ cup brown sugar, 100g
  • ½ cup milk, 125ml
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 ⅓ cups cranberry sauce** 300ml

Pecan Streusel

  • 3 ½ tablespoon cold, cubed butter, 50g
  • ⅓ cup flour, 60g
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar, 50g
  • 1.7 oz semi-finely chopped pecans, 50g
  • 2 tablespoon rolled oats


  1. Preheat oven to 200C (400F). Line muffin tins with 16 muffin liners.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients: flour, whole wheat flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients. First cream the butter and brown sugar together with a handheld or stand mixer. Then add in the milk, egg and vanilla extract. Stir to combine.
  4. Add the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and loosely combine with a wooden spoon or spatula.
  5. Add in the cranberry sauce and carefully mix until just combined.
  6. Divide the batter among approx. 16 muffin liners. Fill ¾ of the way up.
  7. In a small bowl, make the pecan streusel. Add all the ingredients, and using two forks or your hands, mix the streusel until the butter is in pea sized pieces. Sprinkle generously on top of each muffin.
  8. Bake for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.
  9. To keep the crumb topping crisp, I like to let them stay in a dry place - uncovered - for about 3 days. The liners and the crumb topping seal the muffin, making it still moist, although best the first day. Freeze well for at least 3 months.


* To ensure quality results each time, I always recommend using a kitchen scale and weigh ingredients. Especially important for baked goods.

** All kinds of cranberry sauce may work, but their spices may result in a different flavor profile. Recipe for my homemade orange cranberry sauce can be found here: 

This recipe is part of my Thanksgiving leftovers series, where I'm using Thanksgiving leftovers to create entirely different recipes. The full post of those is here:

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 16 Serving Size: 1 muffin
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 199Total Fat: 9.2gSaturated Fat: 4.2gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 26mgSodium: 106mgCarbohydrates: 26.2gFiber: 2.6gSugar: 8.7gProtein: 3.8g

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or tag @thegingerwithspice on Instagram, I'd love to see!

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Saturday 11th of March 2023

Just made these. Didn’t have a scale to measure ingredients as was suggested. These are delicious! It was fun to crumble up the streusel in my fingers. Used all purpose flour only and used a small (227 g) cranberry sauce tin. Recipe made 12 muffins. Thanks for sharing this recipe with us. I’ll make it again for sure!

Stine Mari | Ginger with Spice

Saturday 18th of March 2023

Hi Annie. Thank you so much for your review and kind words! You had me excited for cranberry season now!

Dorothy Benz

Monday 29th of November 2021

Is there enough batter for a loaf pan or a Bundt pan? If so, any thoughts on temp or time to bake?

Stine Mari | Ginger with Spice

Tuesday 30th of November 2021

Hello Dorothy, I haven't tried this but for 16 muffins you should be able to add the batter to a 9x5 inch loaf pan or 10 inch bundt pan. I would try the loaf pan first, just make sure the batter is about halfway up the pan, at least no more than 2/3 filled. I would also reduce the temperature to bake it long and slow. Try 350F (175C) for 40 minutes, up to an hour. Check for doneness with a toothpick or a wooden skewer, if it comes out clean when you put it into the cake, it is done. If it gets dark before it is done, loosely cover with aluminium foil. Hope this helps!

Sarah N.

Wednesday 2nd of December 2020

Turned out perfect even at altitude! And delicious!

Stine Mari | Ginger with Spice

Thursday 3rd of December 2020

That's great to know! Thank you! I've been meaning to add a line of how best to eat it the following days: Re-heat in an 300F (150C) oven for about 10 minutes just to warm up. :) And keep the lined muffins in the muffin tin, loosely covered with aluminum foil when storing.

Jenni LeBaron

Monday 11th of November 2019

These cranberry sauce breakfast muffins are so delicious! I can't wait to enjoy a batch of these with a big glass of eggnog for the holidays!

Stine Mari | Ginger with Spice

Monday 18th of November 2019

Oooh can't wait to make eggnog! Enjoy the Holidays, Jenni, and thank you for the kind words!


Monday 11th of November 2019

I couldn't wait until Thanksgiving, so I had to make a batch of these muffins. They're so tasty and totally have me in the Thanksgiving spirit! These would be great for Thanksgiving breakfast as well. Thanks for sharing!

Stine Mari | Ginger with Spice

Monday 18th of November 2019

Great idea with the Thanksgiving breakfast! I have some leftover cranberries in the fridge and I'm not sorry to say I'm making cranberry sauce just to make muffins. :) I'm glad you liked them!

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