Orange Chai Muffins

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There's truly nothing better than fresh baked muffins in the oven during the fall, especially when they have orange and chai spices wafting through the kitchen. Muffins are truly an easy grab and go breakfast, a snack, and everything in between. What I love about this particular version is that they are gluten free and made with a paleo flour blend, made moist with a creamed butter method, and packed with orange zest and fresh squeezed orange juice. These orange chai muffins are literally fall in a muffin tin and I will have these made on repeat 24/7.

What can I say? I love baking muffins. My first go at making muffins turned out terrible: dry, crumbly, and just very weird tasting. From then on, I was determined to get them right. Now that I have my base, I know how to play around with different flavor profiles, and have recently started to incorporate butter versus oil. Both of them are the fat content that gives the muffins the moist factor, but they work entirely differently.

Butter vs. Oil: What's the deal?

When using butter in a muffin recipe, it helps to coat the proteins within the mixture and provides an overall richness of the texture. Butter has a high fat content (approximately 70% fat solubles) and when creamed with sugar, it helps to create air and aids in developing a more delicate crumb after they bake. When using oil, which I normally use, is pure fat and can add more moisture in the muffin. In my experience, adding too much oil can cause muffins to fall apart after they bake if they are too dense or heavy from the oils, so it is super important to measure out the oil precisely.

Fat Substitutes:

  • Sour cream: I LOVE adding sour cream to recipes, but don't do so as often as I'd like (may need to change that!). I love the flavor profile sour cream adds to any bake. It's also a great substitute for oil or butter, but will obviously be a dairy component.
  • Yogurt: Yogurt is a wonderful sub for butter or oil, although I don't use it often, I do think that the thicker the yogurt, the better consistency the batter will be. In my experience, runny or liquid-like yogurt does not yield the results I desire when making a muffin. The beauty of perspective when making your recipes!

Back to these delicious orange chai muffins, they're kind of perfect. They won't rise as much due to the lack of gluten in them, but the paleo flour adds a very delicate crumb and texture, along with the butter. Any time I can bake with citrus is a win in my book. I absolutely love lemon and orange flavors, and am currently prepping to make scones with these flavors too. Adding in warming spices such as nutmeg, clove, and cinnamon compliment the orange well, plus what's not to love about chai-inspired spices? These muffins hold up very well in the freezer too, so that's always a plus. With every bite of these orange chai muffins, you get a flavor burst of orange, warm spices, delicious buttery texture, and when paired with coffee you've got the best breakfast. I promise you'll be making these all season, and beyond!

Orange Chai Muffins

Welcome in the crisp weather by making these ultra flavorful orange chai muffins, perfect for warming up in the fall breeze. Made with an almond and coconut flour blend, these orange chai muffins include fresh squeezed orange juice and zest and classic fall spices, leaving you feel all the basic fall feels.

Author:
Morgan

Ingredients

  • 250g paleo flour
  • 1 tbsp Cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp Clove
  • 1 tbsp Nutmeg
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 150g sugar
  • 6oz butter, room temp
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup half and half
  • Zest of orange
  • 1 tbsp squeezed orange juice

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375º.
  2. Cream butter and sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy, approximately 3 minutes.
  3. Crack in the egg and whisk to combine.
  4. With the mixer on, add in the half and half in an even stream and continue to mix until it’s fully combined and turn off the mixer. 
  5. Last, add in the orange juice and zest. Whisk to combine.
  6. Discard the dirty mixer attachment and the electric mixer.  To the dry ingredients, pour in the wet and mix with a hand whisk. Only whisk until the batter comes together and then stop.  The batter should be thick but appear and feel airy. 
  7. Spray a muffin tin and cooking spray, and using a scoop, scoop some batter into the tin evenly.  Bake 375° for 25m, you can test with a toothpick: insert into four of the muffins and if it comes out clean or with minimal crumbs, the muffins are fully baked. 
  8. LET COOL 35 MINUTES before serving or plating.

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