These bakery style orange muffins are bursting with citrus flavor! These moist muffins use fresh orange juice and orange zest for big orange flavor.
They will quickly become a favorite in your house for breakfast or a snack option on the go! Bake these with our lemon muffins for a double citrus explosion!
Why these are the best orange muffins
- Packed with orange flavor (fresh orange juice and orange zest!)
- Made with everyday ingredients & prepped in 10 minutes
- Moist, soft muffins with tender crumb
- Tall and domed muffin tops (bakery style!)
- all purpose flour: flour is necessary to build structure
- granulated sugar: adds sweetness and flavor
- baking powder and baking soda: helps to leaven and lift the batter
- salt: just a pinch to balance the sweetness and enhances the other flavors
- eggs: binds the batter together by providing structure
- buttermilk: adds fat, moisture and flavor
- vegetable oil: adds fat and moisture
- orange zest and orange juice: the star of orange muffins
How to make orange muffins
- In a mixing bowl combine all the dry ingredients.
- In a larger mixing bowl combine all the wet ingredients.
- Gradually mix in the dry ingredients, mixing just until combined.
- Cover the bowl with a towel and allow the batter to rest for 15 minutes. Preheat the oven to 425ºF.
- Fill the liners to the top with batter. Yes – to the top!
- Sprinkle with sanding sugar.
- Bake for 7 minutes at 425ºF, then keeping the muffins in the oven, turn the temperature down to 350ºF and bake for 13-16 minutes.
How to properly measure flour
- Fluff the flour with a whisk
- Use a spoon to scoop the flour into your measuring cup
- Use a butter knife to level off the flour in the measuring cup
Sticking the measuring cup straight into the bag of flour will result in too much flour to be packed into the cup, which can result in dry muffins.
Gluten free orange muffins
I have made this recipe multiple times with King Arthur’s Gluten Free Measure for Measure Flour with great success. You can also try another brand of gluten free all purpose flour. Be sure to measure the flour properly.
Total time required
- 10 minutes to prep the batter
- 15 minute rest (this helps produce domed tops!)
- Bake for 7 minutes at 425ºF
- Bake for 13-16 minutes at 350ºF
- 20-30 minutes to cool
How to make bakery muffins with domed tops
Bakery muffins are known for their high domed tops. I used a few techniques to help “lift” these orange muffins so they would have domed tops.
1. THE REST PERIOD
Let the batter rest for 15 minutes after it’s mixed and before you scoop it into the muffin pan. During the resting period, starch molecules in the flour are absorbing the liquid in the batter, causing them to swell and giving the batter a thicker consistency (ref the kitchen whisper).
2. BAKE AT HIGH TEMPERATURE INITIALLY
Bake the muffins at a high temperate (425ºF) for 7 minutes then lower to 375ºF. Starting the muffins off at a higher temperature causes the batter to rise rapidly, producing a domed shaped.
3. FILL THEM TO THE TOP
Fill your muffin liners to the top with batter. Yes, this goes against everything you’ve heard but it’s important in helping the muffin gain that height.
★ Expert tips for making muffins
- Measure the flour using the spoon and level method.
- For best results, make these orange muffins with buttermilk. This recipe has not been tested with whole milk, skim milk or a milk alternative.
- Allow the batter to rest for 15 minutes.
- Top the muffins with sanding sugar for a true bakery style muffin.
- Bake at a higher temperature initially to cause the muffins to rise quickly.
Add a orange glaze
- 1 & 1/3 cup powdered sugar
- 3 tbsp orange juice
Mix the two ingredients together with a spoon. You can dip the tops of the muffins into the glaze or use a spoon to spread the glaze over them.
You may need more orange juice or powdered sugar, it just depends on how thin or thick you like your glaze.
- 3 cups all purpose flour, measured properly
- 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
- 3 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 large eggs
- ¾ cup buttermilk
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- zest of 3 oranges
- ¼ cup fresh squeezed orange juice
- 1 ⅓ cup powdered sugar
- 3 tbsp fresh squeezed orange juice
- In a mixing bowl combine the flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir with a spoon to combine and set aside.
- In a larger mixing bowl combine the eggs, buttermilk, vegetable oil, orange zest and orange juice. Stir to combine with a spatula for 30 seconds.
- Gradually mix in the dry ingredients, mixing by hand just until combined. The batter will be very thick!
- Cover the bowl with a towel and allow the batter to rest for 15 minutes. During this time, preheat the oven to 425ºF.
- Line a muffin pan with 12 muffin liners. Fill the liners to the top with batter. Yes – to the top! You might think there is no way to fit all the batter in 12 liners, but keep dividing the batter among the cups and fill the liners FULL! Use a butter knife to smooth the tops of the muffins if lumpy.
- Top the muffins with sanding sugar if desired.
- Bake for 7 minutes at 425ºF, then keeping the muffins in the oven, turn the temperature down to 350ºF and bake for 13-16 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow the muffins to cool in the pan.
- Mix the powdered sugar and orange juice together with a spoon. You may possibly need more orange juice, it just depends on how thin or thick you like your glaze. You can dip the tops of the muffins into the glaze or use a spoon to spread the glaze over them.
- Measure the flour using the spoon and level method.
- I’ve made these muffins with both regular and gluten free flour with awesome results on multiple occasions. I recommend King Arthur’s Gluten Free Measure for Measure Flour. Use it as a one for one substitute for regular flour.
- For orange blueberry muffins add 2 cups of fresh or frozen blueberries to the batter.
- For orange poppy seed muffins add 2 tablespoons of poppy seeds to the batter.