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Extremely Orange, Orange Muffins


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Extremely Orange, Orange Muffins

Serves 6.

The extremely orange, orange muffin recipe was brought about by a personal obsession with a similar coffee house orange muffin that is no longer available, but still very much desired. This recipe came to be with the suggestions and input of the eGullet members, so I am proud to dedicate this recipe to the eGullet recipe file for all those that helped create it.

The full opus can be found here along with a final summary including more cooking tips found along the way;



  • 2 medium-size oranges
  • 3/4 c (6 oz) naturally flavored orange or orange-cream yogurt
  • 1/3 c sour cream, buttermilk or plain yogurt
  • 2 tsp orange extract
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp orange oil* or 1 package Kool-Aid® Orange Drink Mix
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 c sugar
  • 1-1/4 c unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 c cake flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 10 T cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes


  • 2 medium-size oranges
  • 1/2 c sugar
  • 1 T butter
  • 1/4 tsp orange oil* or the zest of one medium orange

*Orange oil can be found at specialty gourmet food stores or online.

Preheat oven to 350F and grease muffin tins with unsaturated oil.

If not using orange oil in the glaze, then zest one orange and reserve zest. Squeeze the juice of two oranges through a strainer/sieve over a small pot on the stove. Over medium-high heat, bring orange juice to a boil and continue to cook uncovered until reduced to 2 tablespoons, about 10 minutes. Set aside and let cool to room temperature.

Thinly peel third orange with a vegetable peeler (peeler works best using light pressure) or sharp knife. Try not to cut into the white pith of the orange. Place peels in a food processor.

Add the yogurt, sour cream, eggs, extracts and orange oil or Kool-Aid® into the food processor and pulse on/off for 40 seconds; set aside.

In a large bowl, add the sugar and zest of the fourth orange. With your fingers or a pastry cutter, work the zest into the sugar, allowing extraction and distribution of the oils into the sugar. You can do this step a day or two in advance to allow for better penetration of the oils.

Next, sift flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into the large bowl with the sugar mixture and stir to combine.

Add butter cubes to the flour mixture and with a pastry cutter or your finger tips, mash ingredients together until a fine cornmeal like texture occurs. Form a well in the center of the flour and add the liquid mixture. With no more than 14 or 15 strokes, fold the ingredients together. The mixture will appear lumpy with large sprays of flour.

Fill the prepared muffin tins 1/2 full using a large spoon to carefully place the batter into each tin. Do not pour the batter. Bake muffins for 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out with crumbs on it, but with no visible wet batter.

Meanwhile: Cut one of the remaining two oranges in half and extract the juice from the two halves through a strainer/sieve over a liquid measuring cup. If the orange juice does not equal 1/2 cup, use the juice from the second orange until the level is reached.

Make the glaze by combining the orange juice and sugar in a small pot on the stove over medium-high heat. Bring to boil, and then on low heat simmer for 5 minutes with a lid covering the pot to prevent sugar crystals. Remove from heat and stir in the butter. Cool slightly, and then stir in orange oil or reserved zest and the 2 tablespoons of orange reduction.

When muffins are finished baking, remove from the oven and immediately (in less than two minutes from the oven) take them out of the tins and place on a wire rack. When cool enough to handle, using a toothpick or skewer, poke several holes through the muffin tops into each of the muffins. Spoon glaze over muffin tops to saturate, allowing the liquid to sink down into the holes and any excess to drip back into the bowl, continue the same for the next muffin. Repeat this glazing once more, only this time spoon glaze over the bottom and sides of the muffin, letting the excess drip back into the bowl. Place on wire rack to cool completely.

Cook's Notes:

If you can not find naturally orange flavored yogurt, feel free to substitute sour cream, buttermilk or plain yogurt, but use instead 1 cup total or combination of any of the three to equal 1 cup, and omit the 1/3 cup of extra liquid. In doing so, you can also use 1 tsp baking soda instead of 1/2 tsp and omit the baking powder.

If you do not have a food processor, mince the orange peel and add to wet ingredients and mix by hand until well combined. The food processor is best because it allows the orange oils produced by the chopping of the peels to combine with the wet ingredients more thoroughly.

You can use a mixer such as a KitchenAid with a paddle attachment to combine the butter into the dry ingredients. Run on low after adding the butter until it resembles fine cornmeal like structure, about 5 to 7 minutes. Do not however attempt to mix the wet ingredients with the mixer. Remove the bowl and fold together by hand.

Tip: After removing muffins from the oven, use a crab fork to pry muffins free from the tins.

Extremely Orange, Orange Muffins recipe by Rodney Kesler. 2006-All rights reserved. No part of this recipe may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage or retrieval system, without written permission in writing from the author. Inquires should be addressed to rodneyck@pacbell.net.

Keywords: Bread, Cake, Food Processor, Breakfast, Brunch, Snack, Intermediate

( RG1765 )

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