Orange Cranberry Almond Tea Cakes

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!

Orange Cranberry Almond Tea Cakes

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?

Orange Cranberry Almond Tea Cakes

Orange Cranberry Almond Tea Cakes

Orange Cranberry Almond Tea Cakes

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:

Orange Cranberry Almond Tea Cakes

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?

Orange Cranberry Almond Tea Cakes

Orange Cranberry Almond Tea Cakes

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!

Whole Orange Cranberry Almond Tea Cakes

These bright tea cakes utilize an entire orange, peel and all, to create an intense orange flavor. Paired with dried cranberries and almonds, they are perfect for serving at an afternoon tea party or weekend brunch!

  • 4 large Melissa’s Produce Organic Oranges
  • 1/2 cup, freshly squeezed orange juice (from above oranges)
  • orange zest (from above oranges)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup Melissa’s Produce Dried Cranberries
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped almonds
  • Drizzle
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 2 Tablespoons finely diced Melissa’s Produce Candied Ginger

Preheat oven to 400F.

Spray two 24 count mini-muffin tins with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.

Juice and zest three of the oranges. Add additional orange juice (if needed) to reach 1/2 cup, plus 1 Tablespoon of orange juice.

Set aside 1 Tablespoon of juice for the drizzle.

Add remaining 1/2 cup juice and all the orange zest to the bowl of your food processor.

Cut the remaining orange into six segments, removing all the seeds but keeping the peel intact.

Discard the seeds and add orange segments (including the peel) to the bowl of your food processor. Blend until pureed.

Add egg and melted butter to your food processor with the orange puree and blend until light yellow and fully combined.

In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Fold in cranberries and chopped almonds. Stir coat the cranberries with the flour mixture.

Pour orange puree over flour mixture. Stir with a spatula until just incorporated. Don’t over-mix. Your batter will be thick, not at all pourable.

Scoop batter into prepared mini muffin tins, filling each well only 1/2 of the way up. Bake in preheated oven for 8-10 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the cakes comes out clean.

Remove from oven and let them sit in the tins for at least 5 minutes before removing them to a cooling rack to cool completely.

While the tea cakes are cooling, make the drizzle.

In a small bowl, combine powdered sugar and remaining 1 tablespoon orange juice. Stir until well combined and it reaches your desired consistency. (Increase powdered sugar if you want a thicker glaze or add more juice if you like the drizzle a little thinner.)

Lightly drizzle completely cooled tea cakes with orange drizzle and top each with a pinch of candied ginger.

Makes approx. 36 tea cakes

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!

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