What Are Orange Muffins?

Mark Wollacott

Muffins that are made with orange rind, orange juice or orange marmalade are called orange muffins. The orange ingredients in the muffins rarely stands alone and might be paired with ingredients such as cranberries, bananas or chocolate. Orange muffins are often eaten in conjunction with drinks such as coffee. As a result, coffee shops often sell orange muffins. They also can be found at bakeries or made at home.

Orange rind, one of the ingredients in orange muffins.
Orange rind, one of the ingredients in orange muffins.

After the orange rind or juice is added to the orange muffins, the color changes to an orange tinge. This is normal; the coloring on the muffin caps and inside the muffins will be orange. Some bakers believe that the look is just as important as the taste in cuisine, so they often make sure that these muffins are orange in hue. This typically is less important for people who are baking orange muffins at home.


The main ingredient in the many orange muffins is the orange rind, which is extracted from the peel of the orange. After the orange is peeled, the white layer inside the peel is scraped away. The leftover outer shell is called the rind. Cooks use this method to obtain orange rinds and save the flesh of the orange for other recipes. Other cooks will substitute orange juice or orange marmalade for orange rind in their muffin recipes.

Cranberries added to orange muffins add a sweet taste and counteract the natural sugars of the orange rind or juice. The dietary benefits of cranberries contribute a healthy twist to cranberry orange muffins. People who are concerned about the health aspects of their snacks or treats will often add cranberries when making orange muffins.

Bananas and chocolate help balance the taste of the orange, adding a soft texture to the orange's harsher taste. Bananas have a subtly sweet taste, so they naturally soak the acidic flavor from the muffin and contribute more natural sugars to the taste, as does chocolate. Chocolate is often added for diners who have a sweet tooth or for children. Some chocolate orange muffins contain an orange marmalade jam inside them rather than having the orange taste provided by the muffin mixture itself.

Marmalade is commonly added to the center of other types of orange muffins as well, in order to add sweetness to the taste. The marmalade adds moisture to the muffin itself; it's more difficult to overcook a marmalade-stuffed muffin. The natural liquids in the marmalade bake into the surrounding ingredients, creating a moister center. Bakers might also mix marmalade into the recipe, either in combination with orange juice or in its stead.

Cara cara oranges.
Cara cara oranges.

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