We often had homemade muffins for breakfast on Sundays when I was a kid. One of my favorite then (and now) were whole wheat Orange Yogurt Muffins. With a touch of whole grains, these muffins are slightly healthier and certainly more filling than the average muffin but still tender and delicious. The orange flavor is very delicate and the nutty taste of the wheat flour is addicting. They are also very lightly sweetened so you don’t feel like you’re eating cake for breakfast. The interesting technique of cutting in part of the butter and melting the remainder for the batter results in a very tender crumb.
I’ve updated the recipe slightly over the years. The original recipe called for a combination of shortening and melted margarine and used regular whole wheat flour. I seldom have shortening on hand and never use margarine, so I use unsalted butter instead, which I think has a nicer flavor anyway. I also sometimes swap out the regular whole wheat flour for the milder white whole wheat flour and I add some fresh orange zest for a bigger punch of orange flavor. It has become increasingly difficult to find orange yogurt, so if I can’t find it, I mix a little orange juice concentrate with some plain yogurt or I use vanilla yogurt and add extra orange zest. Note that if you use an unsweetened yogurt that you may need to add more sugar to the batter. If you have any leftover, they freeze very well.
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup white whole wheat flour (or regular whole wheat)
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ tsp salt
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ⅓ cup cold unsalted butter
- 1 egg, slightly beaten
- ¼ cup unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
- 8 oz orange-flavored low fat yogurt (see notes)
- zest of one orange
- Preheat the oven to 375°F and place 12 muffin papers into your muffin pan.
- Melt ¼ cup of butter and set aside.
- In a bowl, mix together the flours, sugar, salt and baking soda. Cut the ⅓ cup of cold butter into several chunks, then add it to the dry ingredients and cut it in until you have chunks the size of small peas. This can be done in a food processor, but be careful not to over-process.
- In a small bowl, mix together the melted butter, orange yogurt, orange zest and slightly beaten egg.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir with a spatula just until all ingredients are moistened. The batter will be thick and lumpy.
- Divide the dough evenly into 12 paper-lined muffin tin wells. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown and done.
- Let cool in the pan for a couple of minutes and then remove from pan and serve immediately.