I had leftover applesauce from Hanukkah, and it (unfortunately) wasn’t the nice homemade stuff. It was basic, store-bought, unsweetened applesauce. And because I prefer savoury latkes with sourcream and chives, there was most of a jar left over. I decided to hunt for recipes to bake with applesauce. When I saw a bag of fresh cranberries on sale, I added that to my search.

Cranberries floating in pond

Cranberry pond in Richmond during Vancouver 2010 Olympics

I discovered a lot of oatmeal blueberry muffin recipes, but very few cranberry oatmeal muffin recipes. Or if I did, they called for dried cranberries (which are inevitably sweetened) or non-household ingredients (at least for me) like buttermilk. Or if they were cranberry-orange muffins, they didn’t have oats and applesauce. I know I could have made substitutions for buttermilk, or gone without oats, but I didn’t want to.

I couldn’t find exactly what I wanted, but I managed to find some two base inspiration recipes: TastyKitchen’s Cranberry Applesauce Muffins with Pecans and Oatmeal Berry Muffins from Two Peas & Their Pod. So I amalgamated those two to create cranberry-orange muffins with oats and applesauce.

Cranberry-Orange muffins with oats and applesauce


  • 1 cup fresh cranberries, chopped
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • Optional: 1 Tablespoon granulated sugar (for cranberries)
  • 1-¼ cup Applesauce
  • ¼ cups vegetable oil (canola, grapeseed, sunflower, etc. not olive)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup of quick oats
  • 1-¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon* (I might omit this next time, it competes with the orange zest)
  • ½ teaspoons salt (I accidentally forgot this)
  • Zest of 1 navel orange, grated


Preheat oven to 350ºF.

Chop berries and coat with granulated white sugar (optional). Set aside. If your berries are small-ish (like pea-sized) you probably don’t need to chop them. Mine were massive, like grape-sized, so I cut them in half.

In separate small bowl, combine applesauce, oil, egg, and vanilla.

In a large mixing bowl, combine oats, flour, brown sugar, baking soda, cinnamon*, and salt. Add wet mixture to the dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Fold in the cranberries and orange zest.

Prepare muffin tray (12 cups) — either with muffin liners or non-stick cooking spray. Spoon muffin mixture evenly into the muffin tins. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Cool before removing from the pan.

* Next time I will omit the cinnamon. I find it competes with the orange zest. The cinnamon was from the inspiration recipes, neither of which included orange zest.

Cranberry-Orange muffins with oats and applesauce