16 April 2012

{orange & honey} sunny muffins

I'm queen of the muffins!  Errr...okay, maybe not queen then.  Afterall I'm no Alison Holst or Allyson Gofton.  So let me try that again - I'm a fan of homemade muffins.  There.  Much better.

Muffins were the first type of baking that I could do right from the start without mucking it up.  I'm still a pretty amateurish baker and since beating my first batter with the wooden spoon, my baking repertoire has not increased as much as I would've liked to.  But muffins I can do.  You'll notice that muffins have featured a few times on my blog - would have been more if I bothered to take photos and blog every single time I churn some muffins out.

Although muffins are a regular fixture at home, I don't often buy muffins or order them at a cafe.  A lot of places serve these humongous Texas-sized muffins that seem to give you a false sense that it's great value for money - afterall you get these volcanic eruption like concoctions that seem to be brimming with whatever it is.  Bite into one and you'll often noticed that there's all but 4 blueberries, no taste of real butter and the overly sweet taste of white chocolate flavouring with no chocolate in sight.  Right?  So homemade muffins have got to be better!  They're so easy and quick to make and depending on what flavours/type you want, the ingredients are so affordable.

Also, have you noticed that muffins don't make much of an appearance on blogs?  Anyway, I have.  Wonder if it's because it's quite 'juvenile' as far as baking goes.  I suppose it may not make a food blogger come across much as a foodie if he/she blogs about baking muffins.  Hmm... Yes, it would be major wows if I was able to present to my readers fancy red velvet cupcakes with Italian buttercream frosting topped with sprinkles of jewel-coloured sugar.  Don't think I haven't thought about baking some of those!  But seeing that the success/failure ratio with my baking is often weighed favourably to the latter...

I present to you, my Orange and Honey Muffins. Aka Sunny Muffins! (stop sniggering!!)

And yes, I'm juvenile. Sometimes.

These have been nicknamed by moi 'Sunny Muffins' as a sort of fist shake towards the miserable summer we had this year.  A sort of I'll-show-you.  Now that we're in the middle of autumn with more sunny and warm days that we had over summer, I wanted to capture (in desperation) the feel of summer in my next batch of muffins.  These orange ones I decided, would do just that.

So.  Do you bake muffins at home much?  Would you admit to baking them then? ;-p

Sunny Muffins
I think maybe this is an Alison Holst recipe - I've got a lemon version of this scribbled on my recipe notebook from way back but no name.  I've sub'd the lemons to oranges and added honey for this batch.

2 cups flour
4 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup granulated raw sugar (original recipe just uses white granulated)
2 oranges, from which you need:
i) grated orange rind,
ii) 3/4 cup orange juice (if not enough top up with milk)
75g butter
1/4 cup honey (I used Blue Borage because that's what was in the pantry)
1 egg

  1. Preheat oven at 200C.  And prepare your muffin tin - I line mine with cupcake/muffin papers.
  2. Melt the butter and honey together, and let cool.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, sugar and orange rind together well.
  4. Beat egg and orange juice together.
  5. Make a well in the middle of the flour mixture and add all your wet ingredients to the flour.  Stir to mix until dry ingredients are just wet, do not over mix.  Your batter should look a little lumpy and not smooth.
  6. Fill your muffin tin up 3/4 of the way - drop spoonfuls of the batter into your muffin tin.
  7. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until the muffins are light golden and cooked through.

This happens to also be my contribution to April's Sweet New Zealand, hosted by the super-baker Frances of Bake Club.


  1. Orange & honey....yum! Agree re cafe muffins always huge & so disappointing, homemade definitely the way to go :)

    1. Yeah...stodgy icky bready things they are often! :-)

  2. Great entry for Sweet NZ, and never enough good muffins in the world. Funny, I am actually preparing my next post and I don't know if to call it cupcakes or muffins or both... and when I muffin becomes a cupcake (are decorations and pretty cupcake cases just enough??).


    1. Thanks Alessandra! I wondered that myself...when does a muffin become a cupcake?! I suppose visually you could pass many muffins as cupcakes once iced and decorated and in pretty cases. But one thing I noticed is the method difference - most cupcake batters are creamed (like normal cake batter). Most muffin batter are lumpy, very light on the mixing and can do without the creaming (just melt the butter & mix with rest of the wet ingredients). Yes? I do like a good cupcake though! Look forward to seeing what you concoct up! :-)

  3. These look so good. Can't wait to try.

    1. Thanks Bridget! Super easy to make...and if you don't eat them soon after they're out of the oven, I find that warming them for 5-10 secs in the microwave works a treat. Or warm in the oven if you want nice sweet orangey crusty bits on the outside! :-)

  4. Sunny muffins are just what we need with this freezing cold weather!! I will definitely try your fab recipe hon - they sound amazing. I love making muffins but because they seem to need eating within a day or so we end up scoffing more than we should!! My fave recipe at the moment is a Donna Hay one that is made in one bowl and goes against the 'muffin rules'. Lazy, easy and right up my street!

    Have a fab week, stay warm.

    1. I know what you mean about too many muffins Leah! I've started to freeze some once they cool down - advice from Nigella Lawson. Seems to work...as long as someone remembers that there are frozen muffins in the freezer! Ooo...one bowl muffins. I'm intrigued. Must go google it now! Cheers! :-)

  5. Delicious! And actually, I have rather strong views about muffins. They are a legitimate and important baking product! And I definitely bake them and wholeheartedly admit to it... I never want to be that kind of food blogger that forgets their muffin-making roots! good on you shirleen x. These look so lovely ;)

    1. Thanks Jemma - a number of us out there! Who would'be known?! :-0

  6. I was looking for some orange flavored muffin recipe that uses honey as its sweetener. So glad I found your recipe! I tried another one last night and failed so badly. I am an ok cakes I'd say. But I don't like to decorate my baked goods. I personally dislike buttercream and in this tropical weather, fresh cream barely stands a chance. Something basic like this is what I make practically every time. :-)

    My muffins just came out of the oven. Looking gorgeous!

    1. That comment above was from me. I input my name but don't know why it didn't appear! Lol

    2. Oh I'm so glad your muffins came out well Jayne! Agree that fresh cream won't last in the heat over there - not unless its eaten right away. But if you get the icing sugar and butter ratio right, your buttercream will keep in the fridge for a bit. Just store 'em in a tub and only decorate your the muffins/cupcakes/etc with it when you're about to eat them instead of decorating all of the baked goods. You'll need to take what you need out of the fridge to soften up a little though! Also, cream cheese creamed with a little icing sugar, lemon and rind of one lemon should keep longer than fresh cream too. :-)


Thanks for leaving me your comments - I love getting them! And I promise I'll reply to all of them. Cheers! :-) x.