Moist & Tender Citrus-Cardamom Spice Muffins

Who doesn’t love a batch of warm spicy muffins in the morning with a steaming hot cup of coffee? These quick muffins loaded with flavors like cardamom, ginger, tangy zest and citrus juice will fill your home with that cozy “fresh from the oven” aroma. Serve for breakfast or as the perfect anytime snack.

There’s nothing like warm muffins for breakfast

These muffins were inspired while I was on a recent visit to our home in Montana and I wanted to bake a treat for a good friend. Not wanting to show up with the same ole blueberry muffins, I decided to up the spice profile by adding fresh ginger and loads of cardamom. When in doubt add ginger-ginger always delivers!

Then I opted for adding some juice AND zest from citrus- It’s winter and everyone in the Northwest is trying to find ways to get in as much Vitamin C and Vitamin D as possible. Being me- I just can’t throw in plain old naval orange juice. I had a few blood oranges and gorgeous CARA CARA oranges I brought fom Florida with me- so why not zest and juice them and throw them in the batter. This did not disappoint.

Blood Orange and Cardamom muffins  ingredients
Lots of ginger brightens the flavor profile of these simple muffins

Citrus and cardamom Muffins- Recipe makes 12 muffins

  • 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour- I always sift my flour first

  • 2 tsp ground cardamom

  • 1 tsp ground ginger

  • 2 tsp baking powder

  • 1/2 tsp baking soda

  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt

  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar

  • 2-3 TBSP grated citrus zest- I used zest from CARA CARA oranges

  • 2 large eggs

  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

  • 1/2 cup canola or unflavored vegetable oil

  • 1/2 cup milk

  • 1/4 cup blood orange juice

  • 2 TBSP orange juice- like from a CARA CARA orange

  • 1 TBSP freshly grated peeled ginger

  • optional- 3 TBSP sanding sugar for the tops

I use Blood Orange and CARA CARA oranges to sweeten the batter

METHOD- Prep time 15 minutes Baking time 20 minutes

  • Pre heat oven to 350 degrees.
  • In a medium bowl, measure out and combine the 2 1/4 cups flour, 2 tsp cardamom, 1 tsp ginger,2 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp baking soda, 1/2 tsp salt. Mix using a wire whisk until well combined and any lumps are broken up.
  • Combine citrus zest and 3/4 cups sugar until well mixed- it will look like wet sand. If you do this by hand, your fingers will smell fantastic.
  • Mix in a separate bowl the zested sugar, 2 eggs, 1/2 cup oil, 1/2 cup milk, juices, 1/2 tsp vanilla and 1 TBSP FRESH ginger. Whisk well until frothy.
  • Add the wet ingredients into the dry slowly using a rubber scraper to combine. Do not over mix. Fold the batter until just combined.
  • Using an ice cream scooper, fill a paper lined 12 muffin tin with the batter. Sprinkle with sanding sugar if desired. Bake on the middle rack of your oven for 18-20 minutes. After 8 -9 minutes, rotate the pan once to insure even baking.
  • Muffins are finished baking when a toothpick inserted comes out with just a few crumbs. Serve with sweet, softened honey butter, marmalade or jam.
Don’t worry! It’s just Blood Orange Juice

You can find sanding sugar on the baking aisle of most fancy food stores like Williams Sonoma, Sur La Table, Fresh Market and craft stores like Michael’s . The sanding sugar adds a real “pro touch look” to the muffins. I’m always watching my sugar intake , so I left the sanding sugar off my batch, but it really adds a little special touch if you want it- perfect for a brunch, gift for a friend or new mom. Purchase from my AMAZON store HERE.

Muffin batter ready for the oven

It is so important when baking quick breads or muffins to not overmix your batter. This will lead to tough muffins and you want a tender crumb- not a muffin that is chewy. Be certain to have the wet and dry ingredients well mixed before combining them to prevent overmixing. Make sure your oven has been preheating and is at 350 degrees- you want a hot oven for a quick rise of your batter.

Warm blood orange & Cardamom muffins in the pan
The smell of warm baked happiness from the oven

Looking for other great muffin Recipes?

Try my Banana and Oat Breakfast muffins with walnut crumble HERE


AWARD WINNING Orange Cranberry Muffins HERE

Muffins slathered with sweet creamy butter
Slather with butter, marmalade or jam for a perfect breakfast or tea time treat


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