These muffins bring back a lot of memories for me. The smell of the house when the muffins are baking remind me of early mornings with my dad and grandmother. I would go visit my grandmother every weekend and she would make these for me. My father would also make these for me during the week sometimes so I could eat them for breakfast. Man, those school mornings were very early. Early to bed (literally at 8 ) and early to rise (4:30). Having these in the mornings before school was such a life saver for me. It didn’t help that I lived way out in the boon docks either. (if you know, you know) There is nothing that I would change at all. It is wonderful to have something that can take you to another place in time just through taste or smell. The memories for me is well worth it.
My grandmother called them “spiced breakfast muffins”, however, I changed the name when I started making them for my family. It is a timeless tradition that takes me right back to my grandmother/fathers kitchen. Now they are both are in a better place and I can teach this recipe to my kids so they can share them with their kids (one day). I am so happy that I get to share a piece of our families traditions with you.
These muffins are a slightly dense but super soft and fluffy. The orange flavor of the muffins pair well with the spice of the cinnamon and cardamom of the crumble topping. While they are baking your home fills with the beautiful aroma of orange and spice and it is glorious. The crumble topping is slightly crisp against the soft muffin. Make a cup of coffee and add one of these muffins and it will start your day off right…
Let’s get started.
4 c. all purpose flour
1/2 c. sugar
2 tbsp baking powder
4 tbsp butter
1/4 coconut oil (or crisco)
1 jar (3/4 cup) orange marmalade
1 c. buttermilk
2 tsp vanilla
1/4 c. granulated sugar
1/4 c. brown sugar- packed
2 tbsp butter
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp fine salt
1/4 c. wheat germ (or 2 tbsp flax)
- Preheat the oven to 375*
- In a bowl combine the flour, sugar, and baking powder. Whisk to combine well.
- In a separate bowl combine the eggs, vanilla, buttermilk, and orange marmalade and whisk to combine well.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry and fold together until just combined. This will take a bit of elbow grease and you are going to think there is not enough liquid but it will come together. When the batter is well combined let it rest for 5 minutes.
- In the meantime, In a bowl combine the sugar, brown sugar, butter, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, cardamom, and wheat germ. Using a fork or cutter, Cut in the mixture until crumbly. Set aside.
- Spray a muffin tin with oil spray or you can use a silicone muffin “tin”. Using an ice cream scoop, fill the tin 3/4 full with the batter. Sprinkle on the topping evenly over all of the muffin batter.
- Place in the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown and cooked through. You can use a toothpick to see if the middle is done by inserting the toothpick into the center of the muffin. If it comes out clean then you are good to go.
- Remove from the oven and let cool.
- Store in an airtight container on the counter up to 3 days, In a container in the fridge up to 7-10 days. They freeze well so you can place them in a freezer safe bag in the freezer up to 1-2 months.
- I like keeping these in the freezer so I can just pop one out and heat it up for my breakfast with coffee. (so good)
- You can omit or sub any spices you like if you do not like this assortment of spices. During the winter months I sometimes use cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice for a more holiday flare.
- If you can not find wheat germ you can sub for flax meal. I sometimes do this as well and find that 2 tbsp of flax is plenty for me. Just add in place of the wheat germ and continue with the directions.
- You can sub the coconut oil for crisco as it works just as well. I find that the coconut oil gives it more flavor (in my opinion). If you can’t find coconut oil, crisco will do the trick.
- If you do not have or do not like orange marmalade, you can use strawberry preserves, apple preserves, or raspberry preserves. This will alter the color of the muffins, however, they taste amazing and I often switch out the preserves from time to time. I have not used any other preserves other than what is stated so I can not tell you if any others will work. If you feel like trying something new with the preserves, please let me know how it turns out. I tend to stick to those four preserves.
- If you do not have buttermilk just use whole milk. Heat it up in the microwave (30-40 seconds) or on the stove top until warm. Add 2 tsp lemon juice or 1 tsp vinegar. Stir and let stand 10 minutes. Use as stated.
- For brown sugar, if you do not have any, simply mix 1 cup of granulated sugar with 2 tbsp molasses and mix until well combined. Use as stated.
- If you want a more orange flavor use 1 tsp vanilla and 1 tsp orange extract to the mix instead of 2 tsp vanilla. Or if you use a different preserve throw in that flavor extract for a more pop of flavor.