Fluffy Orange Muffins bursting with citrus flavor from fresh orange juice and zest. Made with whole grain flour and yogurt for a healthier spin.
Allow me to elaborate on exactly how this orange muffin recipe was conceived.
I just can't get enough of my Lemon Blueberry Muffins lately. But when I got a boatload of oranges in my CSA box a couple weeks ago, I knew there was a new challenge I couldn't turn down. The fluffiest orange muffins in all the land scented with vanilla and packed with all the fresh citrus goodness were born!
These are the kind of muffins you want to nosh on while you sip your morning coffee, perhaps while taking a leisurely stroll outside in the early sunshine with someone you love. Ahhh...does that not sound like THE most stupendous situation right now?
Let's make it happen!
How to make orange muffins
I love how easy these muffins come together in one bowl with a few pantry staples. And would ya look at that gorgeous height! I learned from Sally the baking pro that giving these muffins an initial blast of high heat and then reducing the temperature helps create those beautifully domed muffins.
- Mix dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, sugar, salt in a large mixing bowl.
- Mix wet ingredients (yogurt, orange juice, zest, oil, eggs, and vanilla) in a medium bowl.
- Fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Mix just until no flour clumps remain.
- Spoon batter into muffin tin and bake!
Key ingredients and substitutions
- Whole wheat pastry flour: Because it’s so fluffy! You could also use white whole wheat flour, purpose flour, half and half, or a 1:1 gluten-free all purpose flour.
- Organic cane sugar: I used ⅔ for classic muffin goodness, and I think they have the perfect sweetness level.
- Baking powder: A full tablespoon for plenty of rise.
- Fine sea salt: To round out and balance the flavor. I like sea salt better than iodized table salt for improved flavor, but regular salt will work, too.
- Yogurt: Instead of sour cream for moisture and tang to complement the orange. I used Silk soy non-dairy yogurt, but any plain or vanilla yogurt will work great. I recommend 2% fat or whole milk yogurt for a richer muff.
- Orange juice and zest: Orange flavor coming in strong! I used the zest of two whole oranges to really amp up the flavor. An orange glaze made with orange juice and powdered sugar would also be lovely on top!
- Milk: I used unsweetened vanilla almond milk, but any milk (cow’s, oat, soy, etc) will do to help loosen up the batter a bit.
- Oil: I used avocado oil for neutral flavor, but melted coconut will work as well. Olive oil could even be nice here to complement the citrus flavor!
- Eggs: Important for rise and additional richness.
- Vanilla extract: Because what's a muffin without vanilla?!
Can I substitute another flour?
The question of the century! Whole wheat pastry flour is my go-to for light and fluffy baked goods that still pack that fiber and antioxidant punch from whole grains. You could certainly use all purpose flour here and they would be just as good.
I haven’t tried this muffin recipe with gluten-free flour, but I’d suggest an all purpose gluten free baking flour that has built in leavening agents and xanthan gum to combat the denseness. Do not sub coconut, oat or almond flour here!
Do I have to use fresh orange juice?
I do recommend fresh orange juice and orange zest for the most genuine orange flavor. In a pinch, you can substitute half a cup of store-bought orange juice.
Add in ideas
There are plenty of scrumptious odds and ends you could add to these to make them even more fun.
- Fresh cranberries: I'd suggest blitzing them in the food processor for a few seconds first so they're chopped. Note muffins will be much more tart. Dried cranberries or cherries would also be delish.
- Poppy seeds: Such a classic combo!
- Chopped pecans: Hello, texture. Heart eyes,
- Semi sweet chocolate chips: Because who doesn't love orange and chocolate?
- Shredded coconut: Morning glory muffins, anyone?
Helpful muffin making tools
The best news is...no mixer required!
- This sturdy USA made muffin tin is my favorite. There won’t be a crumb left behind! This one is fab if you want a lid for transporting.
- These silicone baking cups are a LIFE SAVOR. They make clean up a breeze. No more scrubbing the muffin tin!
- A microplane zester to get all that fabulous orange zest.
- These cooling racks are a must!
- Muffin scoop for perfect portioning, every time.
- Genius two-sided measuring spoons that stay together in the drawer and take up less space.
Store muffins in a tightly covered container at room temperature for up to two days, or in the refrigerator for up to five days.
Can you freeze muffins?
Yes! I recommend freezing them on a lined baking sheet or plate and then once frozen, pop them into a freezer baggie. To reheat, microwave straight from the freezer until warm and enjoy! Muffins will last up to 3 months in the freezer.
More tasty muffin recipes
- Healthy Chocolate Muffins
- Blueberry Banana Muffins
- Healthy Zucchini Muffins
- Chocolate Banana Muffins
- Fluffy Pumpkin Muffins
Tall and fluffy Orange Muffins bursting with citrus flavor from fresh orange juice and zest. Made with whole grain flour and yogurt for super delicious and healthier spin on morning muffins! Recipe yields 10 muffins. Delicious topped with my Cream Cheese Frosting!
- 1 ¾ cups whole wheat pastry flour (can sub all-purpose)
- ⅔ cup organic cane sugar
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- ½ tsp fine sea salt
- zest of 2 medium oranges (1 tbsp or more)
- heaping ½ cup plain yogurt*
- ½ cup orange juice
- ⅓ cup avocado oil, melted coconut oil, or olive oil
- 2 large eggs, ideally at room temperature
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit and grease a muffin tin with cooking spray.
- In a large mixing bowl, stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
- In a medium bowl or liquid measuring cup, whisk together yogurt, oil, orange juice, vanilla, and eggs. Stir in orange zest.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, stirring with a wooden spoon just until combined. Lumps are ok!
- Spoon batter evenly into 10 muffin cups. Sprinkle each muffin with ¼ tsp of sugar for a crunchy exterior, if desired. Bake for 8 minutes at 425°F and then reduce the heat to 350°F (keeping muffins in oven) and bake for another 10 minutes, or until a fork comes out clean. Cool muffins in tin for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool. You may need to run a knife along the edge of the muffin tin to help loosen them out.
STORAGE: Store muffins in a tightly covered container at room temperature for up to 2 days, or in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Freeze muffins for up to 3 months.
*YOGURT: I recommend 2% or whole yogurt for a richer, more moist muffin. Regular, Greek, and non-dairy all work.
VEGAN OPTION: You can replace the eggs with flax eggs (2 tbsp ground flaxseed + 6 tbsp warm water mixed together in a small bowl) but I would recommend increasing the oil to ½ cup to make up for the fat lost.
GLUTEN FREE OPTION: You can sub an all purpose gluten free flour.
Keywords: orange muffins, healthy orange muffins