Citrus Charmers: Orange & Poppy Seed Muffins

We’ve waxed lyrical about our love of dessert. Cakes, ice cream sandwiches, buttery puddings, we adore them all, and we’re always in search of another delight to widen our sweet repertoire. For our latest round of baking inspiration we turned to summer’s most prolific fruit: the humble orange. As bright as a summer day and serving up a tasty (and healthy) shot of vitamin C, it’s no surprise that it’s one of the world’s most popular fruits. We’ve shredded, juiced and candied our oranges, mixed them with a sprinkling of poppy seeds and baked them to muffin-shaped perfection. Top tip, you can prepare and store your candied orange peel for up to three weeks. Our challenge to you: we bet you can’t stop eating at one.


What you’ll need

Makes 12 muffins

For the muffins
  • 150g butter
  • 160g sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 180g plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 50ml orange juice
  • Finely grated zest of 1 large orange
  • 50g poppy seeds
For the syrup
  • 100g caster sugar
  • juice of 1 large orange  
For the drizzle icing 
  • 200g icing sugar
  • Juice from 1 large orange
For the candied orange peel
  • Zest of 3 large oranges (shred long strips with zester)
  • 350ml water
  • 225g caster sugar

How it’s made
  1. Start by making the candied orange peel. Use a zester to shred long, thin strips of orange peel.
  2. Place the strips in a saucepan, cover with cold water, and bring to a boil slowly over a medium heat. Drain and repeat two more times with fresh water.
  3. Place sugar in a clean saucepan with 350 ml of water and stir until they are combined. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until sugar has dissolved, (approximately 4 minutes).
  4. Add the orange peel to the boiling syrup, reduce the heat and simmer until the strips are translucent, (approximately 12 minutes).
  5. Remove from heat and let the orange strips cool in the syrup for at least 1 hour. Remove from syrup when ready to use.
  6. While the candied orange is infusing, start to make your muffins. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4. Using a whisk (hand or electric whisk), cream the caster sugar and butter until they’re fully combined, light and fluffy.
  7. Add 1 egg at a time, mixing well with a whisk after each addition.
  8. In a separate bowl, use a spoon to mix the plain flower and baking powder until they’re fully combined and then fold this into the main mixture (be careful not to overwork the mixture).
  9. Using a spoon, fold in the orange zest, juice and poppy seeds.
  10. Spoon into paper casings and bake on the middle of the oven until golden brown and cooked through (approximately 25 minutes). Test they’re ready by pushing a wooden skewer through the centre of your muffin. When the skewer comes out clean they’re done.
  11. Approximately 5 minutes before your cakes are finished start to make your syrup. Heat the sugar and orange juice in a small pan until the sugar has dissolved.
  12. Remove your cooked muffins from the over and prick several times with a skewer. Spoon a generous amount of syrup over each.
  13. Place the muffins on a rack and allow to cool fully. Once cool, mix the icing sugar and orange juice to make the drizzle, adding one tablespoon of juice at a time to create a consistency that’s runny, but not too liquid.
  14. Drizzle the icing over your cakes, top with the candied peel et voilà! They’re ready to serve.


Continue the bakeathon with your pick of these sweet goodies.