Every winter I get super excited when I see blood oranges in the produce section. If I see them, I have to buy a few. They look like regular oranges with a little red blush on the skin, but when you open them up, they’re a gorgeous crimson. I prefer them because they’re sweeter than regular oranges and typically just contain one or two seeds. I like to add them to fruit salad, squeeze some of the juice into hibiscus tea, or add them to baked goods, like my citrus tea cookies, or . . .
these blood orange muffins!
I don’t do a lot of baking because baked goods typically contain a lot of sugar and oil, but lately I’ve been craving muffins. I decided to make some semi-healthful muffins with the essence of blood oranges. I looked at an orange muffin recipe from a blog called Pretty. Simple. Sweet., adapted it to make it vegan and gluten-free, and used coconut sugar and blood orange juice instead of cane sugar and regular orange juice. I also added a little almond extract for extra flavor. The result was exactly what I wanted!
I topped some of my blood orange muffins with orange slices and sprinkled them with powdered sugar to make them pretty. I knew my husband, who is picky and doesn’t like the texture of fruit, wouldn’t like oranges on his, so I made a quick glaze out of powdered sugar and a splash of orange juice for the rest of the muffins. The glazed muffins were definitely less nutritious, but they were delicious — more like a dessert than a breakfast!
Feel free to customize your muffins by adding walnuts, chocolate chips, or dried cranberries. I think my next batch will contain walnuts (more nutrients!).
- ¾ cup coconut sugar
- 1 T. orange zest
- 1¾ cup GF all-purpose flour (I use Bob's Red Mill)
- 2½ tsp. baking powder
- ¼ tsp. sea salt
- 2 flax eggs (2 T. milled flax + 6 T. warm water, allowed to sit 5 min.)
- ⅓ cup melted Earth Balance, coconut oil, or vegetable oil*
- ½ cup freshly squeezed blood orange juice**
- ¼ cup plain, nondairy yogurt (I use Kite Hill unsweetened plain yogurt)
- ¼ cup almond milk
- ½ tsp. vanilla extract
- ¼ tsp. almond extract
- Optional add-ins: ¾ cup chopped walnuts, chocolate chips, dried fruit, etc.
- Optional toppings: sliced oranges, powdered sugar, orange glaze***
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and grease or line a 12-welled muffin tin.
- In a large mixing bowl, stir together the coconut sugar and orange zest. Add the flour, baking powder, and salt.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flax eggs, melted Earth Balance or oil, orange juice, yogurt, milk, and extracts.
- Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour wet into dry. Using a spatula or wooden spoon, fold the dry ingredients into the wet until just combined. Do not over mix.
- Divide the batter among the 12 wells, filling each to the top. Bake 17-20 mins until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the muffins comes out clean.
- Allow muffins to cool in the muffin tin 10 mins, then transfer to a cooling rack for another 10-15 mins. Top with sliced oranges, sprinkle with powdered sugar, or drizzle with an orange glaze.* Serve warm.
** If blood oranges are not in season, regular oranges will work in this recipe.
*** To make a quick glaze, simply add 1 T. orange juice to ½ cup powdered sugar and stir vigorously. Add more OJ for a thinner consistency, if desired.
Keep muffins in an air-tight container up to four days (if they last that long!).
I recommend reheating the muffins in the microwave about 10 seconds before serving, if not serving them right after baking.
These blood orange muffins are so simple and pretty! They would make a fun Valentine’s Day breakfast for your family, especially if you cut the orange slices into little hearts. ♥ My family loved them!
If you want to get really fancy with these (and have the time!), you could try caramelizing the sugared oranges with a crème brûlée torch. The caramelization will add more depth of flavor and give the oranges a slightly charred appearance. And, duh, it’s fun to torch things!
I hope your Valentine’s Day is full of love and muffins!