posted in Breakfast & Brunch

Cranberry Cheesecake Muffins

My favorite part of Thanksgiving has always been the side dishes.  Growing up, I loved my Mom’s stuffing and her Orange Delight Jell-O Ring.  But strangely enough I’ve always been enamored with relish trays.  I adore those little tidbits like sweet pickles and cocktail onions.  And when I was little we sneakily capped our fingertips with olives and ate them one by one.   Our family ate the gelatinous blob of cranberry sauce from the can (and happened to enjoy every bit of it).  These days I make cranberry sauce homemade, but I know there are plenty of folks out there who don’t mind the canned.  I’ve got a good recipe for you to use after Thanksgiving… just in case you accidentally have some of that cranberry sauce left over:  Cranberry Cheesecake Muffins

These lovely little muffins use up some chunky cranberry sauce (homemade or canned) and some fresh cranberries (optional) too.

I’ve built in a cheesecake surprise in the middle!

A fresh cranberry or two placed on top makes them pretty, along with a sprinkle of chunky sugar.  Did you notice the Cookie Monster pajamas?  We picked them up at Target, and my son is loving them!

So for Thanksgiving morning… or the day after turkey day, whip these up for a festive breakfast treat!  And now that you know about them ahead of time, you can plan ahead and hide away some of your cranberry sauce.  If you’ve got any condiment lovers like me in your house though, you’d better hide it deep within your refrigerator.

Yield: 22 to 24 muffins

Prep Time: 30 min

Cook Time: 25 min

Cranberry Cheesecake Muffins

Delicious way to use up leftover cranberry sauce.


2 1/2 cups Gold Medal® All-Purpose Flour
3/4 cup granulated white sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup whole-berry cranberry sauce (canned or homemade)
1/2 cup canola or vegetable oil
1 large egg
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk

8-ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

chunky, sparkling sugar (or regular sugar)
a handful of fresh cranberries


1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line 2 standard-sized muffin tins with cupcake papers.

2. Prepare the muffins: In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

3. In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to combine the cranberry sauce, oil, egg, zest and vanilla. Add the flour to the wet mixture alternately with the buttermilk in three parts, starting and ending with the flour. Mix only until the flour is fully incorporated.

4. Prepare the filling: In a medium bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the cream cheese until light and creamy. Mix in the powdered sugar, then mix in the egg and vanilla.

5. Assemble the muffins: Use an ice cream scoop or 1/4 cup measuring cup to fill each muffin cup halfway with batter. Spoon about 1 tablespoon of the filling into the center of the batter of each muffin. Spoon more batter on top of the filling. It's okay to fill the muffin cups almost to the top as they will not rise greatly. Sprinkle the tops of the muffins with sugar and then dot each muffin with one or two fresh cranberries.

6. Bake 25 to 30 minutes, or until the muffins are baked through (not soft and squishy in the middle).


Disclosure:  I’m working with Gold Medal Flour to create seasonal recipes for the next few months.  This is one of those goodies.  All opinions shared are my own.

24 Responses to “Cranberry Cheesecake Muffins”

  1. postedNov 19, 2012 7:24 AM

    This is such a great idea! I never know what to do with leftovers like that but these muffins sound so tasty.

  2. postedNov 19, 2012 9:26 AM

    I love this idea… I totally made a lot of cranberry sauce and can’t wait to try these.

  3. postedNov 19, 2012 9:43 AM

    These look so tasty! Yum!

  4. postedNov 19, 2012 10:53 AM

    Looks and sounds fantastic! I’m a huge fan of the side dishes too. Happy Thanksgiving!

  5. postedNov 19, 2012 11:42 AM

    What a wonderful way to use up leftovers! I always have cranberry sauce left after the big day so this here is just perfect!

  6. postedNov 19, 2012 12:49 PM

    These look so festive!

  7. postedNov 19, 2012 1:03 PM

    What a PERFECT Thanksgiving morning hello! I love these!

  8. postedNov 19, 2012 1:26 PM

    Love these, Lori! And I spot the Cookie Monster PJ’s :) My mom gives us pajamas every year for Christmas, so I think I’ll be putting in a special request this year!

  9. postedNov 19, 2012 10:49 PM
    Christian Rene Friborg

    I can just imagine the cheesy goodness once you give this cupcake a bite.

  10. postedNov 20, 2012 1:03 AM

    The sparkling sugar really IS sparkling on these!

  11. postedNov 20, 2012 4:01 AM
    Maria in NJ

    they look good, but I wanted to see what one looked like cut open…just a suggestion…hey guess what the DH got me for CHRISTmas?? yep the Kate Spade bag!!! I was doing a search one day and it popped up on her site… I could not believe it, I thought that they would be looooong gone, snagged it for $129!!!! I am sooo excited!

  12. postedNov 20, 2012 4:55 AM

    Love using left overs and homemade cranberry sauce is the perfect sweetness to dress up any recipe. I have a few up my sleeve for after Thanksgiving as well. I love the PJ’s too cute!

  13. postedNov 20, 2012 5:32 AM

    delicious– can’t wait to make them!

  14. postedNov 20, 2012 5:48 AM

    What a great muffin to wake up to on Thanksgiving or any day!! Love the recipe! Must bookmark this one!

  15. postedNov 20, 2012 9:05 AM

    Love this! I am sure there will be lots of leftovers, so this is perfect :)

  16. postedNov 20, 2012 12:26 PM

    This looks amazing! I just made homemade buckeyes for a Thanksgiving snack!

  17. postedNov 20, 2012 12:30 PM

    These looks so good!! Perfect for turkey day!

  18. postedNov 21, 2012 1:39 PM

    These look amazing and so Festive. I never thought of doing this but any baked goods with cheesecake in the center is something I would definitely try. Happy Thanksgiving!

  19. postedNov 24, 2012 6:48 PM
    Lisa Cornely

    Absolutely delicious use of leftover homemade cranberry sauce. Moist flavorful muffins that were just sweet enough. Thanks for another keeper Lori.

  20. postedDec 3, 2012 4:58 PM
    Tracy Paul

    Wow, what a great recipe. I can’t wait to try it. Hope there are still cans of sauce left in the store + bags of fresh cranberry.

  21. postedJan 9, 2013 1:53 PM

    oh these look delish and they are so pretty! I must try them.

  22. postedMay 10, 2014 12:05 PM

    If I’m planning to serve them the day after I make them, do they need to be refrigerated? Thanks!!

    • May 11th, 2014 @ 7:40 PM

      No, they do not. Just keep them in a covered container.

  23. postedMay 12, 2014 8:05 PM

    I made this recipe and it was delicious! I used the can whole berries, which I put a little extra in each muffin and a little extra on top too. Also a bit more cream cheese in the middle. Just added a little more cream cheese and powdered usage. Very, very good!! Everyone enjoyed theme!

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