Blood Orange Poppy Seed Muffins


I’ve decided that there’s a property peculiar to baked goods with blood oranges in them: it’s all about the second bite. Just like the Blood Orange Muffins I’ve made before, the first bite is a little confusing to the palate, but the second one rolls in all the flavor and goodness the muffin has to offer. It’s an odd, very specific phenomenon.

Blood oranges are a lot of fun to bake with, in addition to being so tasty. They just look so weird! With this recipe, I got to get more tactile than usual, which I always enjoy. I started out with the blood orange zest, and then used my (thoroughly washed) fingers to mix it into the sugar. I used cane sugar instead of white.

blood orange zest

zest with sugar

Separately, the dry ingredients came together: whole wheat white flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. The basics.

dry ingredients

I moved to the stand mixer next, to beat the butter in with the yogurt, eggs, vanilla, and orange-sugar. Normally I wouldn’t use a half cup of butter to make muffins, but this recipe claimed to yield 12 full size muffins plus 24 minis. I was excited about that! I was also happy to finally get a chance to use my mini muffin cups. Alas, it was not to be. More on that later.

Things started looking more interesting (and creepy) when I in added the juice from the blood oranges.

adding juice

mixing in the juice

I’m going to miss blood oranges when they go out of season.

I was looking at a rather lumpy, unappealing mixture and hoped that the flour would even things out. I added it in incrementally, beating on low speed. So I went from this gross mess…

gross mess

…to a happier batter mixture that no longer unnerved me.

batter improving

Phew. For the final step before baking, I folded in the poppy seeds.

adding poppy seeds

I started scooping the batter into muffin cups. Halfway through, I knew there was no chance I’d be getting 24 mini muffins out of what I had. I finished with the larger muffin tin, and poured the rest into a mini loaf pan.

batter in muffin tin

batter in mini loaf pan

And that’s all there was. Of course that meant a significant change in Weight Watchers points and all that, but it didn’t change the lovely taste of the batter one iota.

I baked for around 18 minutes, as I recall, but don’t hold me to it; this is one of those times when I waited too long between baking and blogging to remember everything. I should probably start taking notes. And the mini loaf took an extra 5-6 minutes or so. Anyway, they came out looking pretty good.

muffins in pan, baked

muffins on rack

mini loaf

These turned out great. Texture was dense but fluffy, the blood orange flavor kicks in after the first bite, and the poppy seeds add the perfect crunch.  People at work loved these. Tangy and crunchy is an unusual but delectable combination.

muffins in window


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