These light and fluffy muffins with a cheery compound butter are like a spot of sunshine on your plate … Orange Poppyseed Muffins with Orange Maple Butter.
Orange Poppyseed Muffins
In the wintry months of January and February, I go through bags and bags of fresh oranges. So naturally, my thoughts turned to how I could bring the flavour of orange to a muffin. Citrus and poppyseeds seem to be a classic pairing, and I’ve always admired the visual contrast and the crunch that those tiny black seeds bring to a recipe. I knew from the get-go I wanted to create an orange poppyseed muffin.
What I didn’t know was how challenging it would be to achieve a final result I was happy with. The first version I tried included bran, but it was simply too distracting, stealing the show from the poppyseeds. In the second version the kefir that I used instead of regular milk was too assertive, dulling the orange flavour, and without the bran the muffin was too dense. The third time was apparently the charm, although I didn’t realize my Goldilocks moment at first.
This time, I used regular milk instead of kefir, and substituted buckwheat flour for a quarter of the all-purpose. I added in more leavening power via some baking soda to give the muffins more lift. The result was a light and fluffy muffin. That was a surprise to me …. I’ve come up with many muffin recipes over the years, and they all have a certain heft and richness to them — not dense but substantial. I wasn’t sure I was happy with such a muffin lightweight. I pondered making yet another version, but then a brainwave struck …
Orange Maple Butter
I realized that I could make a complementary compound butter that would not only amp up the orange flavour, but also add more substance. So I quickly blended some room temperature butter with orange zest and a splash of maple syrup, and voila … the richness I was craving.
Not only are these muffins delicious to eat, but that lovely orange-speckled butter adds a touch of sunshine to this wholesome breakfast or snack.
Let’s Make Muffins!
These light and fluffy orange-flavoured muffins jazzed up with poppyseeds are delightful as they are, but the orange maple butter takes them to the next level and adds beautifully sunshiny colour.
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup buckwheat flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1 whole seedless orange, well scrubbed
- 1/2 cup granulated cane sugar
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup canola or grapeseed oil
- 3/4 cup milk
- 1 tbsp poppyseeds
- 1/4 cup butter, room temperature
- 1 tsp orange zest
- 2 tsp maple syrup
Preheat the oven to 400°F and place 12 paper liners in a muffin tray.
Measure the two flours, baking powder and baking soda into a small bowl, stir to combine and set aside.
Zest the orange, setting aside 1 teaspoon of it to be used in the compound butter. Peel the orange, removing as much of the pith as you can. Break the orange into sections and use a small food processor to roughly chop it. (Or, you could use a knife to roughly chop it in a shallow bowl so you retain the juices.)
Place the sugar, egg, oil and milk in a larger mixing bowl and mix or whisk until well incorporated and the sugar has begun to dissolve. Stir in the orange zest, chopped orange and poppyseeds.
Stir the flour mixture into the wet ingredients, until just well combined.
Evenly divide the batter among the 12 muffin cups and bake for 20 minutes, or until the muffins are risen and browned and a tester comes out clean. Cool in the tin for 5 minutes or so on a rack, then remove the muffins to the rack. You just may want to eat them warm!
While the muffins are baking, use a fork or small whisk to combine the room temperature butter, orange zest and maple syrup. Place in a small serving dish.
More Muffin Magic
If you’re in the mood for muffins, here are a few of my favourites from over years, starting with my all-time favourite muffins adapted from an Anne Lindsay recipe, Oat Bran Banana Muffins. For other flavour combinations, I offer blueberry and lemon as well as coconut mango. There’s a muffin for every taste!