Essence of Orange Muffins

Most of my recipes are either passed down from my Mom/family, or I have stumbled upon them randomly on the internet.

Upon realizing this last week, I decided it was time to dive into my stack of somewhat neglected cookbooks.

I settled on this one particular cookbook my Mom got me for my birthday last year.

It is called The Pastry Queen, by Rebecca Rather. The book is filled with recipes from her Rather Sweet Bakery Cafe, located in Texas.

The book is filled with everything from heavy chocolate cake to light airy muffins to hearty breakfast egg bakes.

I decided since I had made a cake with 3 sticks of butter the day before…I should try something a bit lighter.

Essence of orange muffins.

Although there is still a fair amount of butter, eggs, sour cream and sugar in these…they feel super light and literally melt in your mouth.

You make a simple batter either by hand or with a mixer and cover with zesty orange glaze.

Eating these muffins while warm is an absolute MUST.

If you can’t eat them straight from the oven, you must reheat them before consumption!

A recipe that requires fresh squeezed orange juice has to be somewhat healthy, right?

You may notice there is no orange zest in that batter…

I forgot to put it in 😦

But realized it after I put the first pan in the oven and threw some in to the remaining batter.

These muffins do not rise much, therefore you can fill the muffin tins nearly to the top (I wanted more muffins, so didn’t fill them as high).

A simple glaze of fresh squeezed orange juice, orange zest, vanilla extract and sugar.

There is such a light hint of orange in these muffins (hence the name), and they really are so light and fluffy.

I know I almost always include a quirky picture or story somewhere within my posts, but I am struggling to think of anything today.

Today’s one of those days where my brain seems to be stuck in “still waking up” mode.

I will share a random thing that happened to me yesterday…something I seriously wasn’t planning on telling anyone, but it’s all I got. Sorry.

So in this town of Chicago, it tends to be windy more often than not.

Maybe it was an extra windy day yesterday, or someone who collects plastic bags, like, dropped a bunch of their collection around the city…I don’t know…

What I do know, is that there were plastic bags blowing all around the streets.


Which could bring only one thing to mind…

Katy Perry.

“Do you ever feel like a plastic bag, drifting through the wind, wanting to start again”…

Ah yes, thank you Ms. Perry for your wise words.

Baby, you’re a firework!

Now, I can’t say whether or not I am a fan of Katy Perry…But I know every word to all of her songs.

And Mikey knows every word to teenage dream, thanks to this guy, Keenan. (If that sentence makes no sense to you, click the name Keenan and watch the entire clip. You will thank me).

So upon having had “Firework” stuck in my head all afternoon…I feel it was only obvious that I got into my car later and found that 3 of my presets were playing a Katy Perry songs.

Girl is on fire right now.

I bet the next time you see a plastic bag blow by you will start singing some K Perry.

(Also, try to grab that bag and recycle it).

Recipe: Essence of Orange Muffins


1 Cup Milk

1/2 Cup Freshly Squeezed Orange Juice

1/2 Cup Sour Cream

2 Large Eggs

1 Cup (2 sticks) Unsalted Butter, melted and slightly cooled

3 1/2 Cups All Purpose Flour

1 Cup Sugar

1 1/2 Tablespoons Baking Powder

1/2 Teaspoon Salt

Zest of 1 Orange, preferably organic

Orange Glaze:

1/4 Cup Freshly squeezed Orange Juice

1 1/2 Cups Powdered Sugar

1 Teaspoon Grated Orange Zest, preferably organic


Preheat oven to 350 Degrees.

Line muffin tins with muffin cups or spray with non-stick spray.

Mix together milk, orange juice, sour cream, eggs and butter in a stand mixer, or by hand with a whisk.

Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl.

Add dry ingredients to milk mixture and mix until the flour is just incorporated.

Gently fold in orange zest.

Spoon the batter just to the top of prepared muffin tins and bake for about 25 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Cool for about 5 minutes, transfer to a cooling rack and glaze.

While the muffins are baking, make the glaze.

To make the glaze, combine the orange juice, powdered sugar and zest in a medium bowl.

Spread the glaze over the top of each muffin and serve warm!

If you can’t eat these muffins right away, I suggest you re-heat them in the microwave before serving/eating!

Makes about 16 muffins.

This recipe is from The Pastry Queen cookbook. My mom got me this cookbook and it is filled with amazing “texas hill country” recipes.


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