If I had to describe my perfect morning, it would go something like this: I’m in my favorite satin nightshirt, holding a mug of piping hot coffee as I stand out on the balcony of a gorgeous apartment overlooking the Seine. The sun is shining high over the beautiful river, causing it to glimmer and sparkle in the light. The heavenly scent of freshly baked viennoiserie from the boulangerie down below is wafting up through the air, confirming all is right in the world. It’s a luxurious morning full of simple pleasures. While the apartment on the Seine is still a dream, there’s no reason I can’t find other ways to indulge and make my mornings special. One way of doing this is by whipping up these breakfast marmalade muffins.
I think marmalade is an ingredient that’s often underused in baking. You always hear about other jams and preserves being used in sweet breads and desserts, but never quite marmalade. This could just be my personal experience, but when I saw this recipe for breakfast marmalade muffins in one of my cookbooks, I couldn’t help but be intrigued in a way that I normally wouldn’t have been had they been blueberry or banana muffins. According to my sister, the reason marmalade is so underused is because it’s the devil. She once attempted her hand at homemade marmalade and instead ended up with bitter orange slices that had crystallized into a giant rock mass. I assured her it was just a faulty recipe and that marmalade was actually really delicious. I personally love the zesty nature of it; I think that balances out the load of sweetness that you often get with jams and preserves. Whether you decide to make your own marmalade or use a quality, store-bought one, you will positively love these muffins.
These breakfast marmalade muffins are sweet, buttery, and full of orange flavor. I dare say they’re my new favorite muffin. I also think they’re really beautiful for a brunch spread because they’re a bit unexpected and yet completely compatible with most brunch foods. And while the word marmalade has nothing to do with the taste of these muffins, I just love the word. It sounds so luxurious to me, and that in itself makes it a suitable choice for my preferred kind of morning.
Breakfast Marmalade Muffins
- 2 c all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt 2 tbsp granulated white sugar
- 1 tablespoon grated orange zest
- 2/3 c freshly squeezed orange juice
- 1/2 cup + 1 tbsp unsalted butter 1 stick, divided and melted
- 2 large eggs beaten
- 1/2 c marmalade shredded consistency
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp imitation butter flavoring
- 1/4 c brown sugar
- small pinch of ground nutmeg
Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line 8 muffin tins with paper cupcake/muffin liners. In a large bowl, combine the marmalade, grated orange zest, orange juice, vanilla extract, butter flavoring, melted 1/2 cup of butter, and the beaten eggs together using a rubber spatula.
Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and granulated sugar into a separate bowl, then whisk them all together. Gently fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients just until it's all combined and the flour is no longer apparent.
Scoop the batter into the prepared muffin tins, filling the paper cups all the way to the top. In a small bowl, combine the remaining melted tablespoon of butter with the brown sugar and nutmeg. Lightly sprinkle the tops of the muffins with this mixture before baking the muffins at 425°F for 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to 375°F, without opening the oven door, and continue letting the muffins bake for another 15 minutes.
Insert a toothpick in the center to test for readiness; the toothpick should come out clean. Let the muffins rest in their pan for about 10 minutes before removing and serving.