These delicious muffins are flavoured with vanilla and cinnamon and a tart cranberry sauce swirl. Baked in the air fryer, these tasty muffins use leftover cranberry sauce and simple pantry ingredients. They are quick and easy. Perfect for breakfast or mid-afternoon snack with a cup of tea.
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I love muffins. I also love cranberry sauce and I always seem to have leftovers from Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner.
There are plenty of great ways to use leftover cranberry sauce, but one of my favourites is to swirl it into some muffin batter and make muffins.
The cranberry sauce helps keep add some moisture to the muffins while adding a delicious tart, berry swirl.
These muffins are “baked” in the air fryer and come out with a nice crisp muffin top while cooking in about half the time it takes in a conventional oven.
And if you don’t like cranberry, or happen to have any leftover cranberry sauce, this recipe works equally well with leftover pie filling, such as raspberry, blueberry or cherry.
Why We Love This Recipe
Simple Ingredients – This recipe uses basic pantry ingredients so it won’t send you running to the store for anything fancy or obscure.
Quick cook time – Muffins in the air fyer cook in about half the time as in a conventional oven, which is nice when you don’t have a lot of time.
Great way to use leftovers – These muffins only need ⅓ of a cup of cranberry sauce, which makes them a great way to use up that little bit of leftover from Thanksgiving or Christmas. But if you don’t have cranberry sauce, you can change the flavour and use leftover blueberry, cherry, or apple pie filling instead.
These cranberry sauce muffins are made with basic pantry ingredients that are common in most muffin recipes.
The dry ingredients in this muffin recipe are:
- All purpose flour
- Baking powder
The wet ingredients requires are:
- Vegetable oil
- Vanilla extract
- Granulated sugar
You will also need:
- Cranberry sauce
The ingredient that makes this recipe special is the cranberry sauce. You can use any leftover cranberry sauce you have on hand or you can use canned cranberry sauce if you prefer. Just make sure you are not choosing cranberry jelly, which has a different texture and will not produce the same results.
Begin by mixing the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and sugar. Then whisk the egg, oil and milk in a small bowl or measuring cup.
Add the milk mixture to the flour mixture and stir to combine then add the cranberry sauce and swirl it into the batter.
You don’t want to fully mix the cranberry sauce into the batter, you are looking for marble like swirls.
Pro Tip – When mixing the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients be sure to mix just until everything is incorporated. Over-mixing will create tough, dry muffins.
Scoop the batter into silicone muffin cups so the batter is just to the top of the cup.
Place the muffins into the air fryer basket leaving room for air circulation. How many you can fit will depend on the size of your air fryer basket as well as the shape of your muffin cups.
If you have an air fryer that will fit a metal muffin tin you can use that, just be sure to line the tin with paper muffin cups or spray with non-stick spray to keep the muffins from sticking.
Set the air fryer to 340°F and cook the muffins for 12-15 minutes until they are risen, golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out almost clean.
Pro Tip – You are looking for the toothpick to be almost clean. By that we mean that it should not be wet or sticky, but a few crumbs are ok. This will ensure the muffin is done, but not dry.
Carefully remove the muffins from the air fryer and move to a cooling rack.
If you couldn’t fit all the muffins in the first batch, add the second batch to the air fryer and cook. You will want to check the muffins a minute or two earlier than the first batch as the air fryer will be starting from a pre-heated cycle.
Additions & Substitutions
This muffin recipe is great because it can be adapted in so many ways.
While we love using leftover cranberry sauce for this recipe, it is easy to swap that out for leftover pie filling instead. Some of our favourites are cherry or blueberry pie filling, but any pie filling should work.
In addition, you can toss in a few whole cranberries, blueberries, or raspberries.
If you like orange, try adding some fresh orange zest to the batter, or a teaspoon of orange extract.
Tips for Baking in an Air Fryer
When it comes to baking in an air fryer there are a few things you should keep in mind.
The first thing to remember is that all air fryers are different. Some will cook quicker than others depending on size, wattage, and the type of air fryer it is.
Smaller air fryers will cook quicker than larger air fryers and the top of your muffins, or whatever else you are baking, will brown quicker if there is less space between the baked item and the element. So you will want to keep an eye on things, especially the first few times, until you get to know how yours cooks.
The other thing is that some air fryers circulate more air, which will also cause foods to cook and bake quicker.
If you notice that your air fryer usually cooks quicker than a recipe indicates you can try lowering the temperature by 10-20°F, you may have to increase the time a minute or two, but the lower temperature will allow your food to cook more evenly before burning.
The third thing to know is that if you are cooking multiple batches, then the second and third batch will generally cook a bit quicker than the first. This is because the air fryer is thoroughly heated and air has been circulating. Make sure you check subsequent batches a minute or two earlier than the first to be sure they are not over cooking.
All of our recipes, unless otherwise indicated, have been tested with the Cosori 5.8 qt air fryer.
Yes, you can. You can store them in an airtight container or ziplock bag and they should keep well for several months.
If you don’t have an air fryer you can bake these in the oven. You will need to set the oven to 375°F and they will take 25-30 minutes.
More Air Fryer Baking Recipes
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Air Fryer Cranberry Sauce Muffins
- 1 ½ Cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ Cup granulated sugar
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 large egg
- ⅓ Cup vegetable oil
- ½ Cup milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ⅓ Cup cranberry sauce
- In a large bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, sugar, cinnamon and salt.
- In a small bowl or measuring cup, whisk the egg, milk, vanilla and oil until well blended then add to the dry ingredients and stir just until mixed.
- Add the cranberry sauce and gently stir to swirl the cranberry sauce into the batter. You do not want to fully mix it in, it should look marbled and swirled.
- Scoop the batter into 8 silicone muffin cups just so the batter reaches the top of the cup. Depending on the size of your muffin cups you may need 9 muffin cups.
- Place the muffins into the air fryer basket leaving room between them for air circulation. How many you can fit in the basket will depend on the size of the basket and the shape of the muffin cup.
- Insert the basket into the air fryer. Set the fryer to 340°F and cook the muffins for 12-15 minutes until risen, golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out almost clean. (a couple of crumbs stuck to the toothpick is what you are after)
- Carefully remove the muffins from the air fryer and move them to a cooling rack.
- Repeat with remaining muffins that did not fit in the first batch. Check these muffins for doneness 1-2 minutes earlier than the first batch as they may cook a bit quicker.
Nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered estimates. Actual nutritional content will vary with brands used, measuring methods, portion sizes and more.Click here to join our Facebook group : Air Fryer & Instant Pot Recipes and Cooking Tips
Saturday 1st of January 2022
I am always looking for ways to use up extras cranberry sauce. I often spread it on plain muffins but never thought to use them IN muffins! Great idea and I love that they are made in the air fryer!