Fluffy and flavorful, these orange muffins pack a ton of orange zest and fresh juice. Olive oil and kefir keep these muffins very moist.
Oranges: Navel, cara cara or blood oranges will work here. If your oranges are large two should do, if you are using blood (usually smaller) you may need four. Also, if using blood the muffins will be pink-ish! Don’t sub with lemon as the acidity levels of orange and lemon juice are different and can affect the recipe.
Sugar: Granulated sugar. You may be able to reduce the sugar by ¼ cup but bear in mind they may be less tender.
Olive oil: Use a good quality as the taste will come through in the muffin. If you prefer something flavorless opt for canola or grapeseed oil.
Flour: All-purpose here, but I do like to remove some and add a little bit of almond flour too. Skip it if you don’t have it on hand. If you desire to make these whole wheat use white whole wheat.
Kefir: Kefir is a cultured, fermented milk drink. I use Lifeway Kefir’s plain (whole or low-fat). Lifeway also carry an orange flavored bottle and a vanilla kefir which would add some sweetness to the muffin. If you can’t find it, sub with buttermilk.
Note that this batter should sit for at least an hour or even overnight before baking.
First thing we’ll do is zest the oranges over the sugar and rub it with our fingers. This helps release the zest’s oils so the muffin will be more flavorful.
Sugar & eggs will be beaten together until light and creamy. In addition to the baking soda reacting with the acids in the recipe, this step is going to add air into the batter so that the muffins become really fluffy.
Oil drizzled in: do this slowly to allow the oil to emulsify into the eggs. Also, you don’t want to remove all the air out of the sugar & eggs that you’ve just beaten in.
Add the dry ingredients, the juice and kefir and beat to just combine. Then the batter will sit at room temperature or overnight. This step gets the ingredients to blend well so the taste will be more rich, but also hydrates the flour.
The dome! I know you want the dome. It’s my favorite part too! To get it we need to employ a few tricks:
When I first baked these I used softened butter which I creamed with the sugar. The muffins were great – you can do this if you prefer. But they were a tad drier and definitely dried out more the next day.
Oil-based cakes, as you may know, keep for longer and tend to be more moist. This is because oil is liquid at room temperature. An oil based cake or muffin makes a loftier cake with an even crumb, so that’s my preference here.
Yes I think that would work. In a loaf pan the batter will take much longer to bake, set the oven to 350 and give it an hour, checking with a skewer for doneness. If you wanted to turn this recipe into a cake bake at 325 and divide into two 6 or 8 inch cake pans.
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