These mini-muffins are a ray of sunshine! Spring foods, in my mind, should be bright, colorful, light, and healthy.
Not only are the mini-muffins bright and cheerful, they are absolutely delicious! Lemon poppyseed remains the most common combination, last year I shared lemon poppyseed muffins that are still one of my favorite go-to recipes, however I really enjoy the sweet addition of orange in this recipe. While lemon tends to have a tangy bite, the orange zest and juice perfumes the recipe with a mild sweetness. The muffins get a major moisture boost from fresh citrus juice and Greek yogurt. Is Greek yogurt not the best baking ingredient ever?! It magically allows the fat (usually butter or oil) in a recipe to be reduced while keeping a tender crumb and adding tons of moisture…perfection! Poppy seeds add a pretty speckled color and texture throughout the batter but have their own health benefits as well; they contain a surprisingly large amount of fiber and iron.
Usually I make regular sized muffins, but for some reason the mini muffin tin was calling my name the day I was testing this recipe. Mini foods are always cuter than their regular sized counterpoints…mini muffins, baby carrots, petite peas, clementines, I could go on and on. Using a mini muffin tin is a great option for built in portion control when you want a little something sweet without going overboard. This recipe yield about 44 mini-muffins; keep some on the counter for breakfast or snacks and freeze the rest for later!
It’s been a few weeks since I’ve made orange poppyseed muffins, and I think I’m ready for another batch!
- 1 c. sugar
- Zest and juice of 1 medium orange
- 1 c. Greek Yogurt (I usually use 2% milkfat)
- 2 large eggs
- 1 generous tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 stick butter, melted and cooled
- 2 c. all purpose flour (you could substitute half the flour for white whole wheat flour, if desired)
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 2 tbsp. poppy seeds
- non-stick cooking spray
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. No fancy stand mixer required for this recipe, just a big mixing bowl and a regular ‘ol whisk.
In mixing bowl combine the sugar and zest of 1 whole orange, a microplane zester is the perfect tool for removing the zest. When zesting (just made that a verb, ha!), take just the orange part on the surface and leave the bitter white portion underneath.
Use a whisk, or your fingers, to rub the orange zest into the sugar; this helps evenly distribute the intense orange flavor and makes the sugar fragrant.
Add the Greek yogurt to the sugar mixture followed by the orange juice, eggs, and vanilla extract; whisk well to combine.
Drizzle in the melted and cooled butter and mix well. Refrain from adding hot melted butter to the mixture, it can cause the eggs to scramble which is less than desirable for muffins!
Once the wet ingredients are well combined add the flour, baking powder, and baking soda; use a rubber spatula to gently fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients.
Lastly, add the poppy seeds and stir gently to evenly distribute them throughout the batter.
Such beautiful batter…the contrasting colors are amazing. Spray the mini-muffin tin liberally with non-stick cooking spray then use a small ice cream scoop or spoon to fill the muffin tin cavities 3/4 of the way.
Bake for 12-14 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow muffins to cool in the pan for 2 minutes then transfer to a cooling rack. I found a small spoon was helpful to easily remove the muffins from the tin. Since I only have one mini-muffin tin I had to bake in 2 batches; make sure to spray the mini-muffin tin with cooking spray before spooning the remaining batter into the cavities to prevent sticking.
Orange poppy seed muffins are a quick breakfast item to keep on hand and can be stored in sealed food storage containers at room temperature for 3-4 days.
Bright, light, beautiful, and most importantly delicious! Enjoy!