Orange poppy seed muffins are a revelation. They are light, fluffy and full of poppy seeds. A bit like an orange poppy seed syrup cake but without the syrup. They have the moistness of the cake, and to some extent the syrupy top, but they take absolutely no effort and are super easy to make. If you are put off by the notion of muffins, then changing the name to orange poppy seed cupcakes will do the trick. You’ll be sold!
I didn’t know I needed these muffins in my life until I cleared out the pantry shelves and found a jar of marmalade sitting at the back, left over from Christmas, a would-be orange glaze for the ham. That in itself wasn’t really the impetus, but knowledge stored away for another day.
The reason these muffins came about was because I was flicking through a much loved cookbook looking for something new to bake. As mentioned previously (see the blueberry crumble cake post), Commonsense Baking (Murdoch Books) is a book that needs to be republished with a new cover, one that encourages people to pick it up, because it contains great things but the photographs and cover leave a lot to be desired.
Anyway, lost in the pages of this book is this wonderful recipe for orange poppy seed muffins. All you need is a couple of bowls, a metal spoon, and 10 minutes to combine the ingredients. The recipe includes a tablespoon of orange zest, which I left out because I wasn’t going to buy an orange just for the zest. There is so much marmalade in these that I’m sure the omission of the zest really didn’t impact the flavour.
The one thing about them is that the mixture is really runny. I looked at it and questioned whether to add more flour. I didn’t, on the basis that everything in this book works out so well, so who am I to say it’s wrong. Also, there is so much mixture. That meant that when filling the muffin cases, the mixture was only around 1 – 1.5 cm from the top. But don’t despair. The muffins rose beautifully and came out amazingly light and fluffy.
This recipe makes 12 standard sized muffins. If you don’t need that many, just halve it. Otherwise there’s always the freezer. Enjoy!
- 310 grams self-raising flour
- 40 grams poppy seeds
- 80 grams caster sugar
- 125 grams unsalted butter
- 315 grams (1 cup) orange marmalade
- 250 ml milk
- 2 eggs
- 1 tablespoon finely grated orange zest (if used)
- Preheat the oven to 200 degrees celsius. Lightly grease or line with paper cases, a 12 hole muffin tin.
- Into a large bowl, place the flour, poppy seeds, and sugar and mix thoroughly with a balloon whisk, making sure the poppy seeds are evenly distributed throughout the flour. Make a well in the centre.
- Put the butter and 210 grams (2/3 cup) of the marmalade in a small saucepan and stir over low heat until the butter has melted, and the ingredients are combined.
- In a seperate bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs and orange zest (if using), and pour into the well. Add the butter and marmalade. Fold with a metal spoon until just combined. Do not overtax - the batter will be slightly lumpy.
- Divide the mixture evenly between the muffin cases. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until golden and a skewer inserted into the centre of a muffin comes out clean.
- In a small saucepan, heat the remaining ⅓ cup of marmalade,and 1 teaspoon of water over a low heat until it becomes liquified. Spoon the liquid over the warm muffins. (To make it easier, you might like to strain the orange peel from the liquid, but I found its pretty easy to push it aside as you go.)
- Leave the muffins to cool in the tin for a few minutes before transferring them to a wire rack.
- Serve warm or at room temperature.