Orange Muffins

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These wonderful orange muffins are tender, moist and bursting with bright orange flavor. A great on-the-go breakfasts ready in less than 30 minutes!

Anyone else love oranges as much as I do?

Top view of a few orange muffins topped with pearl sugar and arranged over a light blue plate.

I’ve shared a few delicious muffin recipes last year, from raspberry muffins to super simple muffins made with yogurt or ricotta. But there’s no such thing as too many muffins, right?

And since oranges are in season, fresh, and economical, I knew I had to make the most delightful orange muffins just on time for the weekend.

They are a breeze to make, versatile, and keep moist for days. I’ve baked three batches in the last two weeks, and still don’t seem to get tired of them. 

The recipe uses buttermilk for a softer crumb, and orange juice and zest for the perfect amount of orange goodness. The sweet orange glaze is optional, but it adds a little extra sweet orange flavor that is truly delicious.

Soft, perfectly sweet, and bursting with orange flavor, these muffins truly make a wonderful start of the day.

Safe to say, I’m in love.

What are you waiting for? Grab your mixing bowl, it’s time to whip up a batch of fresh orange muffins to enjoy this weekend. You deserve them!

List of the ingredients

  • All-pourpose flour
  • Sugar
  • Eggs
  • Buttermilk
  • Vegetable oil
  • Oranges
  • Vanilla extract
  • Salt
  • Baking powder + baking soda
Top view of the ingredients to make orange muffins arranged over a white background.

How to make orange muffins

(Note: this is a quick description, the full recipe is at the bottom of the page)

  • Combine the dry ingredients in one bowl.
  • Add the wet ingredients to a second bowl.
  • Whisk the wet ingredients until smooth.
  • Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir just until combined. A few lumps are fine, do not overmix.
Top view of a glass bowl full of the batter to make orange muffins.
  • Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cases.
  • Bake for about 15 minutes.
  • Optional glaze: Mix confectioner’s sugar and orange juice to make the glaze.
  • Drizzle over the baked muffins and sprinkle with pearl sugar (optional). Enjoy!
Two images showing a muffin tin with muffins before baking and a jug pouring glaze over a freshly baked orange muffin.

Recipe notes

Orange muffin ingredients & substitutions

Oranges: To maximise the orange flavor, the recipe uses juice and zest of two oranges. You can amp up the final taste even more with some orange extract if you wish.

Buttermilk: It adds moisture, and a subtle tangines, but it’s also used to activate the baking soda for extra lift power. You can use plain yogurt instead of buttermilk, or you can substitute with milk and vinegar by mixing 1 cup of milk and 1 Tbsp of white vinegar.

Eggs: You need only 2 eggs to get the right texture and structure. The eggs need to be at room temperature and not fridge-cold.

Sugar: regular granulated sugar (or caster sugar if you are in the UK), superfine, or brown sugar work just fine.

Oil: this is what keeps the crumb really moist along with the yogurt. it’s also flavourless and easy to stir into the batter. Vegetable oil, light olive oil, rice bran oil or canola oil work well.

Baking powder + baking soda: I recommend using both leavening agents to create a significant rise against all of the wet ingredients.

Salt: It enhances the overall flavor, don’t skip it.

Glaze: It’s made with a touch of orange juice and confectioner’s sugar. It adds extra flavor and coat the muffins with a thin layer of crispy sugar. I”vve also topped these orange muffins with pearl sugar. Both are totally optional, but I love the extra hint of sweetness and crunch and sparkle on top.

Close-up of an orange muffins with pearl sugar over a white background.

Pro tips

  • Measuring is crucial! Whether you choose to measure in cups using the “spoon & level” method (check notes in the recipe card) or use a kitchen scale to measure by weight, make sure to measure both dry and wet ingredients properly.
  • Do not overmix the batter – The muffin batter is not supposed to be smooth, a few lumps are perfectly fine. Overmixing batter can lead to dense muffins instead of fluffy.
  • Do not overbake: Keep an eye on your muffins and test for doneness with a toothpick. Once the toothpick comes out clean with just a few crumbs attached, it’s time to remove them from the oven.

How to store & freeze orange muffins

  • To store: Although freshly baked muffins are the best, these orange muffins keep well for 3-4 days in an airtight container on the countertop.
  • To freeze: Let the muffins to cool completely then put them in an airtight container and freeze for up to 3 months. You can thaw them at room temperature, or heat up in the microwave in 30 second intervals.
Close-up of a half orange muffin showing a soft crumb and moist interior.

Muffins & easy cake recipes you’ll love!

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Orange Muffins

These wonderful orange muffins are tender, moist and bursting with bright orange flavor and drizzled with an easy orange glaze. A great on-the-go breakfasts ready in less than 30 minutes
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Total Time25 minutes
Course: muffins
Cuisine: American
Keyword: orange muffins
Servings: 12
Calories: 207kcal
Author: Katia

Ingredients

  • 2 ¼ cup (312 grams) All-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup (150 grams) sugar (granulate, caster, or brown are fine)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup (120 ml) vegetable oil
  • ½ cup (120 ml) buttermilk
  • ½ cup (120 ml) orange juice (from 2 large oranges)
  • 2-3 tablespoons orange zest (from 2 large oranges)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Orange glaze (optional)

  • ⅔ cup confectioner's sugar
  • 1 ½ – 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • 3 tablespoons pearl sugar (optional)

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 200°C/390°F. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners.
  • Zest and juice the oranges: Using a microplane or a grater, zest the oranges and squeeze their juice out. Set aside.
  • Dry ingredients: In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  • Wet ingredients: In a separate bowl, whisk buttermilk, oil, eggs, orange juice, vanilla and orange zest.
  • Combine: Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture. Stir gently until just combine – some flour lumps in the batter are fine. Do not overmix.
  • Bake: Evenly divide batter into the muffin liners. Bake for 5 minutes, then turn oven down to 180°C/350° and keep baking for a further 9-10 minutes. Insert a skewer into a muffin, if comes out clean the muffins are ready. Do not overcook them.
  • Remove muffins from the muffin tin immediately onto a cooling rack.
  • Make the glaze: In a small bowl, combine confectioner's sugar and orange juice (keep in mind the glaze is quite thin with this ratio). Whisk until smooth. Add more confectioner's sugar to thicken if desired. Drizzle glaze over cooled muffins. Enjoy!

Notes

Spoon & level method: spoon the flour into the measuring cup (do not press it) than use the back of a knife to level off the top of the cup. Don’t scoop the flour out of the bag with your measuring cup because you could end up with more flour than you need (aka stiff batter and dry muffins!).
Storage instructions: They keep well for 3-4 days in an airtight container on the countertop. To freeze: Let the muffins to cool completely then put them in an airtight container and freeze for up to 3 months. 
Nutrition facts: the nutrition values are for one serving and they are based on an online nutrition calculator (the optional glaze is not included). It’s an estimate only and it should not be considered as a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice. Please see my disclosure policies.

Nutrition

Calories: 207kcal | Carbohydrates: 24g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 28mg | Sodium: 235mg | Potassium: 100mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 115IU | Vitamin C: 14mg | Calcium: 70mg | Iron: 1mg

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