Fruit Desserts/ Muffins & Quick Breads

Orange Muffins

January 12, 2015

These versatile muffins have a delicate orange essence, making them perfect for add-ins such as chocolate chips, berries, and raisins.

These versatile muffins have a delicate orange essence, making them perfect for add-ins | prettysimplesweet.com

Lately I’ve gotten quite a few questions about my photography. For the longest time, I was frustrated with the quality of my pictures. I’d look at the beautiful photos other people took, and had no idea how to create the same atmosphere on my own. I read about a lot of techniques in books and on the internet, but it was all still hard to implement. It took me hours to shoot and edit, and was a true love-hate relationship.

Time after time, though, love won, and once I started to understand what I was actually doing, photography became one of my biggest passions. I write down all the little tricks and tips I learn along the way so that one day I can share all of them with you. For now, the best advice I can give you – even though I know it’s annoying to hear – is that practice really is the key, and there are no shortcuts. Try looking at photos you love, then try to recreate them. Try shooting near different windows in your home and at different times of the day to find the best lighting. During this experience, you’ll also develop your own niche and style.

These versatile muffins have a delicate orange essence, making them perfect for add-ins | prettysimplesweet.com
Since I feel that by now I know the basics of food photography, I wanted to go to the next level and take a short photography workshop. I’ve been hesitant for a while, not sure of when the time would be right, but last week I finally decided to go for it. Secretly, just meeting with a bunch of other food bloggers and photographers excites me just as much as the class itself, but I’ll talk more about that when I actually start the workshop.

Moving on to these orange muffins. The reason I love muffins so much is that they are easy and quick to make, and are a perfect pair to my morning (and afternoon and evening) coffee. We use the muffin method for this recipe, which means mixing dry ingredients in one bowl, wet ingredients in another bowl, then combining the two together. Easy! It’s important to mix the batter as little as possible – just until all the ingredients are combined. That way, the muffins will have a tender crumb, and a soft, bread-like (but not dense) texture.

These versatile muffins have a delicate orange essence, making them perfect for add-ins | prettysimplesweet.com

When fresh, these muffins have a subtle orange taste. After a few hours or overnight, the flavor will be stronger. Because the orange flavor is only in the background, there are various wonderful add-ins that go well here such as chocolate chips, blueberries, fresh or dried cranberries, raspberries, raisins, or nuts.

Some substitutions you can make: The sour cream can be replaced with an equal amount of plain yogurt. Instead of both the sour cream and milk, you can use 1/2 cup buttermilk. If you want a stronger orange flavor, you can increase the orange juice and reduce the other dairies accordingly. While I prefer the flavor of butter in here, you can definitely use oil instead, which will make the muffins even more moist and fluffy. I’ve also found that when using oil over butter, the muffins stay fresh for a day longer.

Sometimes I top the muffins with a white sugary glaze, which adds some additional orange flavor. Although I didn’t add it this time, it’s mentioned in the recipe, and I highly recommend it. It’s one of those things that make a great thing even better.

These versatile muffins have a delicate orange essence, making them perfect for add-ins | prettysimplesweet.com

Orange Muffins
Yields: 12 standard-sized muffins
 
These versatile muffins have a delicate orange essence, making them perfect for add-ins such as chocolate chips, berries, and raisins.
Ingredients
  • ¾ cup (150g/5.3 oz.) granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 1¾ cups (250g/8.8 oz.) all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 2½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • ⅓ cup (75g) unsalted butter, melted and cooled, OR neutral oil such as canola
  • ¼ cup (60ml) sour cream
  • ¼ cup (60ml) whole milk
  • ½ cup (120ml) freshly squeezed and strained orange juice
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup add-in of your choice: dark or white chocolate chips, berries, raisins, nuts
Orange Drizzle Topping (optional):
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • 1-2 tablespoons orange juice
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 190C/375F. Grease 12 muffin cups or line them with liner papers.
  2. In a large bowl, toss together sugar and orange zest. Add flour, baking powder, and salt, and mix to combine. In another medium bowl, whisk eggs with melted butter, sour cream, milk, orange juice, and vanilla extract until well combined. Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour the wet ingredients into it, then stir with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula just until combined. Do not over mix. Fold in add-ins.
  3. Divide batter evenly between muffin cups (almost all the way to the top). Bake for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the muffin comes out clean. Allow to cool for 10 minutes, then remove muffins from the tin and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  4. To make the orange drizzle topping: In a small bowl, sift powdered sugar. Add orange juice, a bit at a time, and whisk until you get a thick yet pourable consistency. Once muffins have cooled, pour glaze over the tops using a tablespoon, letting it drizzle down the sides.
  5. Muffins are best the same day they are made, but can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for an additional day. Muffins can be frozen for up to 2 months.

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28 Comments

  • Reply
    Bea
    January 12, 2015 at 1:14 pm

    They look delicious!

    • Reply
      Shiran
      January 12, 2015 at 3:24 pm

      Thanks Bea!

  • Reply
    Thalia @ butter and brioche
    January 12, 2015 at 3:46 pm

    These muffins look so delicious and perfect.. and SO beautifully captured too Shiran, pinned!

    • Reply
      Shiran
      January 13, 2015 at 7:17 am

      Thank you so much Thalia!

  • Reply
    Kimberly | Chic & Sugar
    January 12, 2015 at 4:32 pm

    Your photography is beautiful! I also prefer oil over butter for muffins and it’s a good tip to not overmix! Thank you for sharing this beautiful recipe. Pinned!

    • Reply
      Shiran
      January 13, 2015 at 7:19 am

      Thank you so much Kimberly! Your blog is beautiful as well!

  • Reply
    Lokness @ The Missing Lokness
    January 12, 2015 at 6:23 pm

    These look absolutely beautiful! There is a diner that makes amazing orange muffins. I am always on a look out for delicious orange muffins. These would be perfect! I can’t wait to try them. 😉

    • Reply
      Shiran
      January 13, 2015 at 7:28 am

      Thanks Lokness! There is a bakery near my house that also makes amazing orange muffins! I should beg them for the recipe!

  • Reply
    Adeline Lee
    January 13, 2015 at 12:09 am

    The muffins looked gorgeous. I like muffins moist and fluffy. Thks for this wonderful recipe.

    • Reply
      Shiran
      January 13, 2015 at 7:29 am

      Thank you Adeline! I’m so glad you like them!

      • Reply
        Adeline Lee
        January 13, 2015 at 8:02 am

        I tried many recipes but didn’t get the texture I want. Either dry n dense or moist n dense. So glad to chance upon your blog and found this gem.

        • Reply
          Shiran
          January 15, 2015 at 6:03 am

          That’s so sweet of you Adeline! Thank you so much!

  • Reply
    Winnie
    January 18, 2015 at 2:00 pm

    יאוווו כמה שהם ניראים יפים, והתמונות מהממות!!
    ממש עשית לי חשק להכין אותם עם פירות בפנים.
    (החצי שלי לא אוהבת את השילוב של תפוזים ושוקולד)

    • Reply
      Shiran
      January 19, 2015 at 4:23 am

      I also prefer chocolate, sorry! 🙂 Thank Winnie!

  • Reply
    Amanda @ Cookie Named Desire
    January 25, 2015 at 11:49 pm

    These muffins are perfection! And your photography is stunning! I’m so glad I stumbled upon your blog!

    • Reply
      Shiran
      January 26, 2015 at 3:43 am

      Thank you so much Amanda! Your recipes look so delicious, too! I’ve just pinned a few of them 🙂

  • Reply
    Bianca Nguyen
    June 7, 2015 at 4:41 pm

    Hi! these look gorgeous! I was wondering what kind of muffin pan do you use? I love how the sides are so vertical and not slanted 🙂

    • Reply
      Shiran
      June 8, 2015 at 9:11 am

      Thank you Bianca! This is my favorite pan! You can find it here.

  • Reply
    Kerry
    July 19, 2016 at 10:35 pm

    Made these today and i will make them again. I went the oil route and added a cup of frozen chopped strawberries. I used a large orange and had lots of extra zest so I just tossed it in, about 3 tbsp. Also omitted the vanilla, i ran out. Excellent. I am going to freeze whatever is left for my husband’s lunchbox.

    • Reply
      Shiran
      July 20, 2016 at 3:31 am

      It sounds delicious with the strawberries! Thank you for your comment, Kerry 🙂

  • Reply
    Kerry
    August 24, 2016 at 7:38 pm

    This is my go-to recipe now, and I make muffins a lot for my sweetheart’s lunchbox. I add a cup of whatever fruit i have on hand, freezing it first. I am considering using choc chips sometime, hope that works out. My only alternation is I use all the zest from the orange, such lovely flavour. Thanks for the recipe! xo

    • Reply
      Shiran
      August 25, 2016 at 4:44 am

      I think that chocolate chips would be perfect! Thank you so much for your comment, Kerry!

  • Reply
    Jenny
    September 15, 2016 at 8:06 pm

    Was looking for an orange muffin recipe, and I chose this one. Glad I did, the muffins came out perfect! And oh my gosh, so yummy. I just made them mini muffins and added crushed peanuts. Thank you for sharing! ??

    • Reply
      Shiran
      September 19, 2016 at 8:53 am

      That’s so great to hear! Thank you so much, Jenny 🙂

  • Reply
    Alice
    December 29, 2016 at 8:21 am

    Hi I am wondering if I could use fresh lemon juice in place of the orange juice. How do you think this would work out? Thank you for your help. Please reply back when you can thsnk you. Have yourself a Happy New Year

    • Reply
      Shiran
      December 29, 2016 at 12:36 pm

      Hi Alice, if you want to make lemon muffins, I highly recommend this amazing recipe!

  • Reply
    foodie
    January 4, 2017 at 11:50 am

    I am glad i tried this recipe…they were lovely, soft and moist !! I added oil rather than butter……….thanks, for the lovely recipe.
    But i wish i could get more tangy flavour similar to orange drinks, pls suggest what should be added to get it.

    • Reply
      Shiran
      January 9, 2017 at 6:00 am

      I’m glad you like it 🙂 For a stronger orange flavor I usually use more zest and juice, you can check out my orange almond cake recipe. You can use 100% pure squeezed orange juice if you prefer that flavor.

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