Hi friends! With citrus season in full swing here in Southern California, our farmers markets are bursting at the seams with all types of lemons, oranges, grapefruit and kumquats. My hands down favorites are Cara Cara Oranges, Blood Oranges, Meyer Lemons and Tangerines. The Orange Cranberry Almond Tea Cakes I’m sharing with you today are also bursting at the seams with fresh orange flavor and bits of cranberry and almonds that will brighten up any cold winter morning or make a special occasion brunch/bridal shower even more delicious!
Searching for all kinds of “orange” inspiration to go with the citrus harvest season, I ran across a recipe for Fresh Orange Muffins. The recipe was unique (to me) because it utilized the entire orange – peel and all! Say what?
Zesting the peel of nearly any citrus will add incredible flavor to wide variety of dishes, so using the peel isn’t all that crazy. When I make Marmalade I use the whole orange, so why not muffins or cakes? I would suggest organic oranges and be sure they are well scrubbed. Another plus? Less waste! We’re using the entire orange (minus the seeds!) It really does make a huge difference in the flavor. It’s simple to do too. You quarter your freshly scrubbed oranges and get rid of any seeds. Place them in your food processor, along with a bit of orange juice. Turn on your processor and let it do it’s magic until the entire orange is pulverized and looks like the picture above!
I changed the original recipe by incorporating dried cranberries and chopped almonds. They compliment the huge orange flavor in the batter very nicely. They just scream “CITRUS SEASON IS HERE!” and I’m Ok with that! Here’s how they looked when I made them the first time for a group of food bloggers:
Last week I went to Melissa’s Produce for their second annual “dessert contest” and to learn about the new trends in produce coming for 2017. For the dessert contest, I thought the Orange Muffins would be fabulous, but they weren’t really a “dessert.” So, I tweaked the recipe yet again. This time, I made them in mini muffin cups, flipped them upside down and drizzled them with an orange juice and sugar glaze. I added candied ginger to both the batter and the tops of the little cakes! Of course, I also renamed them. Now they are “Orange Cranberry Almond Tea Cakes.” Cute, right?
They disappeared very quickly and even won an honorable mention in the dessert contest. That was exciting! From whole oranges. Who would have thought? I’m so happy everyone enjoyed them though. They are so moist and delicious! I know one thing for sure, they will be on our table for breakfast again very soon!
This recipe was inspired by Fresh Orange Muffins on food.com If you’d like to make them in a regular muffin tin, it will make 12 muffins. Bake them for 20 minutes or until light golden brown on top!
I hope you enjoy these as much as I enjoyed sharing them with you! I’d love to hear about your favorite citrus and how you use it! Give me a shout out in the comments below and let’s share!
Until next time friends, live life deliciously!