Orange Cranberry Swirl Muffins

Every Thanksgiving I make too much cranberry sauce. Usually it goes home with my mom, but this year she didn’t take a to-go box and we were left with almost 2 cups. Rather than use it in a sweet/savory dish, I took the easy route and baked some of it into muffins. These have big crowns and swirls of cranberry throughout. I like muffins with big rims, so I piled the muffin batter into the cups. For shorter muffins, fill just to the top and make 9.

Orange Cranberry Swirl Muffins



Orange Cranberry Swirl Muffins
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Muffins made with leftover cranberry sauce
Recipe type: Breakfast
Serves: 6
  • 1 1/2 cups flour (6.8 oz)
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 scant cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons orange zest, loosely packed
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 cup sour cream, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (or so -- doesn't have to be precise) leftover cranberry sauce
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Spray 6 (or 9) muffin cups with flour-added cooking spray.
  2. Mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; Set aside. In a large or medium size mixing bowl, mix the sugar and orange zest together with your fingers or a spoon until the sugar turns orange. Add the softened butter and beat with a hand held mixer until mixed, then add egg and vanilla and beat until fluffy.
  3. With a mixing spoon or a heavy duty scraper (I do all my mixing with a spatula scraper), stir in half of the flour mixture. Stir until almost blended then stir in the orange juice and remaining flour mixture. Stir until flour is mixed in then mix in the sour cream, being careful not to overbeat the muffin batter.
  4. Spoon just enough muffin batter into each cup to cover the bottom (about 2 tablespoons – slightly less if you’re making 9). Spoon a rounded teaspoon of cranberry sauce over muffin batter. Add a second layer of muffin batter and a second layer of cranberry sauce. Top muffins with a final layer of batter – it will be stiff and come up over the top of the muffin pan. Drizzle a little cranberry sauce over top, but try to keep it from getting on the pan where it will stick. Bake at 375 for 22 minutes-24 minutes. Let cool in pan for about 5 minutes, then carefully remove from pan.

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  1. Greek Girl from Queens says

    Next time I have some leftover cranberries or cranberry sauce, I’m definitely going to bake up a batch of these beauties. What I did have on hand, though, were a couple of oranges, one very ripe banana, ground almonds and dessicated coconut…with the hubby asking for a sweet, I came up with a batch of what I’ve decided to nickname ‘tropical muffins.’ They were tasty, but I think I’d have liked the cranberry and orange combination more. Hope you had a lovely Thanksgiving.

  2. says

    The muffins are very pretty. It looks like the crumb is pretty delicate. 🙂 I wonder how the cranberry sauce would be in little cheesecake cups.

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