Warm, spicy, and loaded up with orange flavor, these Spiced Orange Muffins are the perfect way to enjoy citrus season. Orange juice, orange zest, there’s never too much orange for these muffins!
Butter vs Oil
I feel like I saw a commercial one time comparing butter and oil, but in it oil was made out to be the awful, villainous food. It was probably a butter commercial and I can’t remember any details besides the oil literally looked like tar.
With that introduction in mind, oil actually has a really great place in your pantry and in these muffins. Butter versus oil is a huge debate that I see whenever I’m looking up how to make my muffins, cookies, cakes, etc more light and airy. It might be surprising but flavorless oil adds a ton of moisture into baked goods.
One way that I look at this is comparing the two in their cooled forms. Obviously, when butter is warm its a liquid like oil, but when it cools down, it firms up. Oil stays the same consistency in different temperatures. So when you think about this in the form of cupcakes, or muffins, when the muffins cool down the oil can still retain the moisture that butter would have lost. Therefore, when you use oil in baked goods, you can end up with softer, more moist muffins, cupcakes, or whatever it is you’re making!
Not to mention, depending on the type of flavorless oil you use, there can be slightly more health benefits than butter.
This isn’t to say I’ll never bake with butter. Far from it actually! Butter adds a richness and butter flavor that is irreplaceable in baking. But depending on what your taste is, oil might be a better option.
Citrus Season is Here
It’s Citrus Season! In case you didn’t know, citrus season is from November to March!
I always get that confused because, to me, it makes more sense for summer to be citrus season, when the sun is out, lemonade is fresh, and all the other delicious fruits and vegetables!
But, it’s actually during the winter seasons!
The reason why citrus is better in the winter months is due to the fruit growing best in milder weather. They grow in temperature regions which means the fall through spring is cooler without freezing over altogether!
I kind of like it though, because you get a little burst of sunshine during the winter! Not to mention, I only decorate my Christmas tree with dried oranges. I love the color of the oranges with the warm glowy lights.
- Brown Sugar
- Greek Yogurt
- Baking Powder
- Orange zest
- Ground Clove
- Orange juice
- Turbinado Sugar
They couldn’t be Spiced Orange Muffins without the main ingredients being the spices and the orange!
For the orange juice, you can use the juice from the orange, freshly squeezed, or you can use some from the store. Both work totally fine and I’ve even used both. Just be careful that store-bought orange juice doesn’t have too much sugar added in. I think it’s a little easier using store-bought orange juice, depending on the size of your oranges, it might take a few to get to half a cup!
As for the spices, they’re really my favorite part here. The cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove go together so nicely without being overpowering. They had such a warm earthiness that I adore with the strong flavor of the orange. I like to use freshly grated nutmeg because I think it enhances the flavor. This is totally optional! Ground nutmeg works just fine!
Tips and Tricks
I like to add a generous pinch of sugar on top of the muffins to get a nice crunchy topping when they’re baked. This is an optional step that you can leave out if you’re trying to cut back on sweetness!
In order to get the domed shape, I like to leave an empty space between the muffins in the muffin pan. This helps the air circulate around the muffins better to create a more even bake time and that class bakery-style domed muffins.
These Spiced Orange Muffins have to be one of my all-time favorite muffins, which really shocked me because I’m typically a lemon poppyseed kind of girl.
The orange with the spices reminds me of a mulled wine situation without the wine part! Who doesn’t love that!?!
Spiced Orange Muffins
- 1/2 cup Oil
- 3/4 cup Sugar
- 1/4 cup Brown Sugar
- 1 cup Greek Yogurt
- 2 Eggs
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla
- 2 cups Flour
- 1/4 teaspoon Salt
- 2 teaspoons Baking Powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons Orange zest
- 2 teaspoons Cinnamon
- A pinch of Nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon Ground Clove
- 1/2 cup Orange juice
- Turbinado Sugar garnish
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- Add oil to a bowl, then stir in sugar and brown sugar.
- Add in eggs, vanilla, and Greek yogurt. Stir together.
- After everything is mixed, stir in orange juice.
- Add in clove, nutmeg, cinnamon, flour, salt, and baking powder. Mix everything together.
- Scoop into pre-lined cupcake molds.
- Sprinkle the top of each muffin with the turbinado sugar.
- Put the muffins into the oven. Bake for about 5-7 minutes. Then lower heat down to 350 degrees and bake for another 20 minutes, or until a toothpick is inserted and comes out clean.
- Once cooled slightly, slather with butter and enjoy!!