These versatile muffins have a delicate orange essence, making them perfect for add-ins such as chocolate chips, berries, and raisins.
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.
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.
Let’s talk 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. I 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.
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.
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 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.
More orange recipes:
- 3/4 cup (150 g/5.3 oz.) granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon orange zest
- 1 3/4 cups (250 g/8.8 oz.) all-purpose flour, sifted
- 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 large eggs
- 1/3 cup (75 g) unsalted butter, melted and cooled, OR neutral oil such as canola
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) sour cream
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) whole milk
- 1/2 cup (120 ml) freshly squeezed and strained orange juice
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup add-in of your choice: dark or white chocolate chips , berries, raisins, nuts
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 1-2 tablespoons orange juice
Preheat oven to 190C/375F. Grease 12 muffin cups or line them with liner papers.
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.
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.
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.
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.
BeaJanuary 12, 2015 at 1:14 pm
They look delicious!
ShiranJanuary 12, 2015 at 3:24 pm
Thalia @ butter and briocheJanuary 12, 2015 at 3:46 pm
These muffins look so delicious and perfect.. and SO beautifully captured too Shiran, pinned!
ShiranJanuary 13, 2015 at 7:17 am
Thank you so much Thalia!
Kimberly | Chic & SugarJanuary 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!
ShiranJanuary 13, 2015 at 7:19 am
Thank you so much Kimberly! Your blog is beautiful as well!
Lokness @ The Missing LoknessJanuary 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. 😉
ShiranJanuary 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!
MarianaMarch 13, 2020 at 1:58 pm
Amazing recipe! You can put your imagination into it too and create something special from the base. Thanks ❤️
Adeline LeeJanuary 13, 2015 at 12:09 am
The muffins looked gorgeous. I like muffins moist and fluffy. Thks for this wonderful recipe.
ShiranJanuary 13, 2015 at 7:29 am
Thank you Adeline! I’m so glad you like them!
Adeline LeeJanuary 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.
ShiranJanuary 15, 2015 at 6:03 am
That’s so sweet of you Adeline! Thank you so much!
WinnieJanuary 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)
ShiranJanuary 19, 2015 at 4:23 am
I also prefer chocolate, sorry! 🙂 Thank Winnie!
DeeJune 16, 2020 at 1:41 pm
Hi Shiran, your muffins looks amazing and I am planning to make some this weekend. I have never baked cake/muffins before. I have a fan oven and just need to check would I still pre- heat the oven to 190 degrees. Can you please advise.
ShiranJune 17, 2020 at 3:28 am
Hi Dee. Preheating the oven at least 15-20 minutes prior baking is always necessary. When a cake is ready to bake, the oven should be hot at the right temperature.
DeeJune 18, 2020 at 1:00 pm
Thank you Shiran. Looking forward to make these muffins.
DEEJune 20, 2020 at 5:52 pm
Made them today and they tasted amazing. Thank you for the recipe.
Amanda @ Cookie Named DesireJanuary 25, 2015 at 11:49 pm
These muffins are perfection! And your photography is stunning! I’m so glad I stumbled upon your blog!
ShiranJanuary 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 🙂
Bianca NguyenJune 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 🙂
ShiranJune 8, 2015 at 9:11 am
Thank you Bianca! This is my favorite pan! You can find it here.
KerryJuly 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.
ShiranJuly 20, 2016 at 3:31 am
It sounds delicious with the strawberries! Thank you for your comment, Kerry 🙂
KerryAugust 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
ShiranAugust 25, 2016 at 4:44 am
I think that chocolate chips would be perfect! Thank you so much for your comment, Kerry!
JennySeptember 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! ??
ShiranSeptember 19, 2016 at 8:53 am
That’s so great to hear! Thank you so much, Jenny 🙂
AliceDecember 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
ShiranDecember 29, 2016 at 12:36 pm
Hi Alice, if you want to make lemon muffins, I highly recommend this amazing recipe!
foodieJanuary 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.
ShiranJanuary 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.
Sofia ShtepmanNovember 14, 2017 at 6:37 pm
Hi, Shiran. I really wanna try this recipe but I don’t have a whole milk.Is it possible to make them with a regular homogenized milk of 3.25%? Thanks.
SarahFebruary 2, 2018 at 9:01 pm
Just made them and this definitely will become my fav muffin recipe! Thank you xx
AmyFebruary 27, 2018 at 5:05 am
If I use orange juice from supermarket, should I reduce sugar?
Your muffins looks so delicious I would like to try making it this week!
ShiranFebruary 28, 2018 at 5:06 am
Hi Amy, it’s best to use fresh fruit, but you can replace it with 100% pure fruit juice, however, you won’t have orange zest, so you’ll miss some of the orange aroma and flavor.
Gitanjali MohanApril 10, 2018 at 10:28 am
Hi Shiran, These muffins look amazing. I have been looking for a simple and delicious muffin recipe and I believe my search has come to an end. I do have a small question though. Is it ok to leave out the add ins? If I do leave them out, do I need to change anything in the recipe? I am a rookie baker and I am pretty nervous about messing them up.
ShiranApril 11, 2018 at 7:15 am
Hi Gitanjali, there’s no need to change anything in the recipe if you leave them out.
WillaMay 14, 2018 at 10:07 pm
Can you not add white or chocolate chips or cranberries? I would not like to add these!
They look delicious!
ShiranMay 16, 2018 at 6:57 am
You don’t have to add any add-ins, but it’s delicious!
Linda KnittelJune 19, 2018 at 12:17 pm
Hi, Shiran! I have a question — I’d like to use mini-muffin pans for this recipe. How many do you think this recipe would yield, in mini-muffin size? Thank you! BTW….I’m baking these tomorrow night for our company’s blood drive on Thursday. Our theme this drive is “Sunshine”, and I thought these would be JUST PERFECT! 🙂
ShiranJune 20, 2018 at 9:20 am
Hi Linda! Mini muffin pans hold roughly 1/3 of the amount of standard muffin pans, so for example, instead of 12 muffins, you’ll get 36 muffins. It can be more or less, depending on your pan size.
sarahAugust 30, 2018 at 3:11 am
Hello shiran :), i have tried some of your recipes and they are amazing!!
A quick question, do you think it will be alright to use coconut oil since it’s smoke point is quite low (180 deg celsius) ?
Or can i change the temperature? will the coconut oil flavour be too overpowering ?
ShiranAugust 30, 2018 at 5:37 am
Thank you so much, Sarah! I haven’t tried it with coconut oil but it should work. I don’t think it would be too overpowering.
BecOctober 22, 2018 at 1:08 am
These were amazing!!! I just snuck one while they were finishing cooling. Bright, fluffy and just yummy! Thankyou!
I used butter and added extra zest. No added extra as I had no choc chips ?
ShadiaNovember 21, 2018 at 4:06 am
Beautiful muffins!! I wanna bake them soon! May I ask you if you have used the method of baking them on higher heat for some minutes first and then continue with the stated temperature? I want mine to be that high!!! Also, have u used linera on these? No problem with sticking? Thank you!!
ShiranNovember 21, 2018 at 9:42 am
Hi Shadia, I almost always use liners unless I use a silicone pan. You can use the other method for almost any muffin if you like the result more. I wouldn’t recommend the method for cupcakes or delicate muffins.
JanJanuary 5, 2019 at 3:12 pm
What change)s) would be necessary for me to make these muffins so they look as good as yours. Many times when baking I have to add flour, subtract sugar and adjust the temp.
markFebruary 13, 2019 at 3:59 am
OMFG THESE ARE GONNA BE GREAT FOR MY COOKING CLASS
kaylieApril 10, 2019 at 6:33 am
Just made these with choc chunks and they are so good, not too sweet. The orange really comes through too. Though I’ve always imagined muffins to have a more open top. This one seems more domed.
KeyJuly 7, 2020 at 1:14 pm
Looks delicious Can’t wait to try them thanks
Kavitaben TandelMay 2, 2019 at 10:57 am
That was absolutely delicious orange muffins have i ever tried.
ClaudiaMay 19, 2019 at 1:58 am
That was one of the most delicious muffins I’ve ever had I will definitely come back and look at more of these mesmerising recipes
colleen b kelbertNovember 30, 2019 at 9:38 am
looking forward to baking these; I work nights for a seniors center and part of my job is to bake muffins for their morning. Thank you for sharing!
CeliaNovember 30, 2019 at 4:33 pm
I just made these. I have a standard Muffin pan. It only yielded 9 muffins and not very big. Next time I will Double the Recipe. Thank you for the recipe. Quite tasty
PremaApril 16, 2020 at 6:55 pm
Made these today for breakfast with my preschooler as we shelter in place. They were delicious! I’ve had this recipe bookmarked for a while, and am so glad I finally got around to making them. Fifteen minutes were great , might even try fourteen next time for a smidge lighter on the muffin exterior. I subbed Greek yogurt for the sour cream, low fat milk for whole milk, used vegetable oil, and added in walnuts and chocolate chips. Such a delicate and delicious crumb! Thank you for a wonderful recipe, and I’m so excited to continue checking out your recipe collection!
CherylApril 24, 2020 at 3:02 am
I tried to make these muffins. It turned out beautiful. So amazing. My young kids love them too. Thanks so much.
SimraJune 1, 2020 at 2:16 am
Hi! I tried this recipe but my muffins didnt rise, the taste and all was great but it was a bit dense and didn’t rise. Can you please help me out? thanks
Debra SchroederNovember 8, 2020 at 1:08 pm
These tasty muffins are lighter than air and are more like cupcake consistency than a heavy muffin. I love orange so I made these with 3/4 cup of orange juice, and left out the milk, but used vanilla yogurt instead of sour cream as it was all I had. They are incredibly light and fluffy with a nice orange flavor. Thank you for this recipe!
samanta anistonNovember 15, 2020 at 12:51 pm
I tried this recipe… muffins turned out very well. Thanks for sharing.
AngyPangyDecember 27, 2020 at 12:02 pm
I made these and put a dot of cream cheese and leftover homemade cranberry sauce in the middle of the batter of each muffin before baking and they turned out sooo good. Also easily made them vegan by using non-dairy stuff and chia seeds instead of egg. Wonderful recipe!
TulsiJanuary 25, 2021 at 4:53 pm
I substituted 3/4 cup of the flour with protein powder. It was moist and fluffy – not too dry or dense. I think this is a perfect muffin recipe for me
MadeleineMarch 17, 2021 at 3:55 pm
I love these so much! This is the second of your muffin recipes I’ve made, and once again, it gave me the best-textured muffins I’ve ever had. How do you get that perfect, not-too-dense, cakey texture?
BarbaraApril 21, 2022 at 8:53 pm
I love making muffins for our morning tea. Just made these orange ones. They have become my favourite muffin!! Delicious flavour and texture. Used Greek yoghurt and added cranberries as my added fruit. A great find, thank you❤️
AndreaSeptember 18, 2022 at 2:23 pm
The sides of your muffins look so straight and perfect. I am wondering what kind of muffin tin you are using. Thank you!
Talia @ Pretty. Simple. Sweet.September 19, 2022 at 4:32 am
Hi Andrea, I use this silicon muffin pan 🙂
UjwalaOctober 6, 2022 at 12:41 am
Hi. Made the muffins yesterday. Superb subtle flavor and moist. I added dried cranberries and walnuts, a pinch of cinnamon. Canola oil instead of butter. And . Greek yoghurt instead of sour cream
The glaze made the first bite from the top extra sweet, so will leave that off next time
Thank you for the recipe. Amazing !
Debbie SerslandJanuary 10, 2023 at 6:28 pm
What did you put on top of the Orange Muffins? It looks like orange slices.
Talia @ Pretty. Simple. Sweet.January 12, 2023 at 2:26 am
Hi Debbie, the orange slices you see in the photos are candied oranges. I made them specifically for the photos just so there would be a nice garnish:) However, they also taste amazing with these muffins. You can even place a small slice on the top of the muffin batter before baking and then it bakes into the muffin!