Sweet And Crumby

Baking, a Love Story

Leftover Cranberry Sauce Streusel Topped Muffins


I hate to be alone in the mornings. It’s boring. When I was a little girl, and wanted my brother to wake up and get crackin’ so that we could play a game or watch Saturday cartoons together, I would throw a couple of dog biscuits onto his bed and our two Cocker Spaniels would jump on top of him and run all over the bed looking for the treats. When he would emerge from his room, I would be sitting on the couch, pretending to look uninterested in his arrival, and  I would try not to smile. Unfortunately, I have the worst Poker face known to man. The worst.

Now that I am 42, things have not really changed that much. My kids and hubby like to sleep in, and I still wake up before the crack of dawn. My Golden Retriever, Sadie, is always more than happy to jump up with me, and usually that is plenty of company. She is a fantastic morning companion, watching my every move as I bake or start something for breakfast. She is also a big trouble maker and likes to squeak obnoxious toys, tromp up and down the stairs and bark at squirrels that run past our yard. This is very helpful in the “let’s wake up the family and get this show on the road” game without making me the bad guy. 🙂

But today, it was almost 10:00 am, and I had already made these cranberry sauce muffins, cooked up some bacon, scrambled some eggs with my daughter and made waffles. Yes, I am nuts…please stop pointing out the obvious.

In my opinion, it was time for my teenage son and his friend to get their butts out of bed so I could finally put breakfast away. Falling back to my old bad habits, I grabbed a few biscuits in my hand, quietly cracked the door just a smidgen open and randomly tossed the biscuits in. The two dogs (my pup and her cousin, Chloe, who was staying for the weekend) ran in, like shoppers on Black Friday grabbing the last cheap flat screen, and tackled the boys.

Mission accomplished. About five minutes later they labored out of bed and down the stairs and began to eat breakfast. My son looked suspiciously at me as I tried to appear innocent.

Oh…I had almost forgotten about the muffins…Here is an exact quote from my daughter, who is not a cranberry lover at heart, “I think these are the best muffins you have EVER made!” I know we have heard such a quote on this blog before, but these were  not your average muffins folks. Not only did they have a swirl of cranberry sauce through the center, but they also had a bit of coconut oil, coconut extract, some cardamom, and  a little buttermilk. They were muffin perfection: soft, sweet, a little tart and a touch crispy on top. And they used up most of my leftover cranberry sauce. What more could you ask for?

If you don’t have left-over cranberry sauce, you do have my permission to buy a can of the non-gelatinous stuff and use that. Or if you are a little crazy like me, then please feel free to make a fresh batch from scratch. I have included the recipe below. We crazies have to stick together. 😉

Cranberry Sauce Muffins

An S&C Original Recipe
Makes only about 7-8 muffins, depending on size so if you need more, double the recipe.
1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 t. salt
2 t. baking powder
1/4 t. cinnamon
1/4 t. cardamom
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 c. coconut oil (I melted mine in the microwave 20 seconds so it liquefied)
1 large egg
1/3 cup buttermilk
1/2 c. cranberry juice (or apple juice will work fine)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 t. coconut extract
3/4 cup fresh cranberry sauce (about 1-2 tablespoons per muffin)

Streusel Topping
1/4 c. flour
1/3 c. granulated sugar|
1/4 c. butter (chopped into small cubes)
1/4 t. cinnamon

To make the muffins: Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Line 6-8 muffin cups. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour through sugar.
In a separate, small mixing bowl, beat together coconut oil through coconut extract. Stir wet ingredients into dry ingredients and combine, but do not over-mix. Fill each muffin cup 1/2 full. Dollop one spoonful of the cranberry sauce on top of the each half-filled muffin cup. Top with 2 spoonfuls of batter.

Sprinkle streusel topping evenly among the muffins. Bake for 15-17 minutes or until barely firm to the touch and slightly golden.

Fresh Cranberry Sauce 
This only makes enough for the muffins so double if you are serving it along side a meal.
1/2 c. granulated sugar
2 c. fresh cranberries
1/2 c. water
1 T. brandy

To make the sauce: Stir water in a sugar together in a medium-sized pot until dissolved. Turn on stove to high heat and boil rapidly. When the water is boiling rapidly, add the cranberries and stir. Add the brandy and stir. Return to boiling and then reduce the heat to medium and gently boil for 3-4 minutes or until the skins pop, and at least half of the liquid has evaporated. Let cool before storing in the fridge to be used later. As the cranberry sauce sits, it solidifies more. I would use fairly cooled cranberry sauce in the muffin recipe above so make this recipe a good hour ahead of time.

38 thoughts on “Leftover Cranberry Sauce Streusel Topped Muffins

  1. Aaaaah I wake up at 5:30, sometimes 5 EVERY MORNING! Call it teenage crack but I reckon it will last forever – but I LOVE being alone downstairs with my cereal and book watching the sun rise 🙂
    Lets swap cereal for your muffins though 😉

    Choc Chip Uru

  2. What a great idea to wake up teenagers! Usually I have to set off nuclear explosions or start cooking bacon to get my teenagers to rise and shine but like the idea of getting licked to death by a golden retriever is even better. I love cranberries and this is a great idea for making some delicious muffins and those photos are just eye popping.

  3. Wow I would love to have freshly baked items for breakfast everyday.

  4. Sweet and crumbly muffins…A fantastic breakfast to wake up to,

  5. That was hilarious! Loved your secret ploy to wake up the kids 🙂

  6. What a great use of cranberry sauce. I love muffins.

  7. I’m going to go ahead and believe your daughter that these are the best muffins ever, because they sure look like it!

  8. On the weekends I’m usually the first up at our house. I start the coffee, feed the hungry cat and open the curtains. As plans for a voluptuous weekend breakfast percolate I wait for the sleepy heads to get up! At my house the “grown” kids usually warm their breakfast, as I have no patience to wait for them. I’m impressed by your bold move to wake the late sleepers! I always learn so much from fellow bloggers! LOL
    My cranberry sauce has evaporated but I will make more soon and your muffins are the perfect way to start a lazy holiday weekend, scrumptious!

  9. Yum, these do sound delicious. Too funny how you got the boys up.

  10. I have great trouble getting my husband to wake up for breakfast on the weekends..Now I know what to do, first get a dog and then use your plan! I think the kids will be more than happy with this plan!
    Th muffins look heavenly Geni! I wish we could get fresh cranberries here..we only get the dried ones

  11. this is genius! I love the idea of using it for muffins or even breads for that matter! Now if only I could stop myself from eating them all!

  12. Love this idea for leftover cranberry sauce! Although I would have to have a LOT of extra since I also like to eat it plain 🙂 I haven’t made muffins in so long…these are on my list.

  13. Woah these look amazing. I’m committed to making Christmas pudding cupcakes today but these might just win me over!

  14. I am totally a morning person also and just can’t understand when other people aren’t. To the point where I force them to wake up by being loud and obnoxious. 😛 These muffins are definitely the perfect way to use up some leftover cranberry sauce!!

  15. These look incredible! We don’t have any leftover cranberry sauce (I made mine from scratch, too!) but maybe I’ll have to make some more just so I can try these muffins.

  16. These muffins look awesome Geni, too bad I do not have any cranberry sauce left…otherwise, I would be making these…well, this is an excuse to make some 🙂
    Hope you are enjoying your week!

  17. Yup, you’re much more productive before 10 a.m. than I am. Weekends, I’m lucky if I even eat breakfast. By the time I wake up, shower, etc. it’s usually lunchtime haha. These muffins sound delicious though! I can’t even imagine how amazing your house must have smelled.

  18. hahaha… your sons sound like my brother. If only my mom allowed us to have a dog. Then that might have been my modus operandi every morning. And I am planning to make cranberry sauce for our New Year’s Eve turkey leg dinner. With some leftovers for a recipe just like this.

  19. The BEST muffins ever — wow, that is high praise. I find kids don’t give those comments lightly! I’m the same as you — up really early and getting things done, while my husband and girls sleeps in. Unfortunately I don’t have a Sadie to keep me company. We dearly miss our golden retreiver — they are the best dogs, aren’t they? BTW, I love your blog!

  20. These do look like the best muffins ever! I would love these. Unfortunately since I’m constantly behind in my reading, my cranberry sauce has now all been spoken for. That said, I’m one of those crazies that would make a new batch….and one of those crazies that stocks up on bags of cranberries before the holidays. So I’m all set. 😉 And your stories remind me of my dog from when I was little. Even though I hated waking up – I loved how she would wake me up! I wonder now if someone put her up to that. 😉

  21. I’m a morning person as well, but love the quiet time! Even as a child, if I got up first, I’d be very quiet just to enjoy the moment!! I’m not surprised in the least bit though that you’d be the little trickster to wake up your brother like that!! And if I did that to my son, I think he’d flip out! Though once he smelled all the food, I’d be forgiven! You’re definitely a busy morning women!! That’s some hardy breakfast, how those boys are spoiled!! The muffins do sound amazing and a perfect breakfast treat for some friends coming in for the holidays. I found some cranberry sauce in a jar at Trader Joes that isn’t all canned jelly like that I will use for this. I can always count on you for great baking ideas!

  22. hahaha that is the best way I’ve ever heard of to wake someone up. I’ll have to remember that for when I have kids. 🙂

  23. Ooooh, love this! And I also love the idea of a little brandy in your cranberry sauce. 😉

  24. WOW those muffins look fantastic! What an awesome idea to turn cranberry sauce into muffins 🙂 And I love that you used coconut oil in these, my new fav baking ingredient!

  25. Great idea to use up leftover cranberry sauce. I love baking early in the morning, great way to get the kids out of bed, your are too young to have teenagers, I’m just a few years younger and have a ways til my kids are teenagers!

  26. This is a fantastic idea!!! They look so yummy!

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  29. I just wanted the recipe, not all that slush about your private life first.
    So sugary American!

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