Muffin manna

I promise we are going grocery shopping TODAY!

That being said, I woke up this morning to find that my significant other had made it to the refrigerator before me. His reward for being both a morning person and a breakfast lover? Leftover French toast and leftover frittata. He was set. I’m really not a morning person and breakfast, in my opinion should be put off for at least a little while until the grogginess wears thin.

Once I made it into the kitchen, I realized that there was one egg, a little tiny bit of milk that was flirting pretty heavily with it’s expiration date, and a teensy bit of yogurt. Hmmm. Maybe a muffin and some green tea could somehow be coaxed out of the last remaining food items in the house.

I grabbed a beloved breakfast cookbook and found a muffin recipe I hadn’t tried before. It was for Orange-Cherry Corn Muffins. I had one last bag of frozen sweet cherries and two teeny blood oranges left. I didn’t expect much from these muffins made of scraps but they came out so good that I had to keep the “sharing my breakfast” theme up with you.

These muffins turned out to be different from the original recipe due to my usual need to make things healthier and an unusual need to find appropriate ingredients. Here are some substitutions I made:

Whole wheat pastry flour for white flour

Honey for sugar

Blood oranges for Oranges

Yogurt diluted with milk for buttermilk

Olive oil for butter

These muffins were tender, moist and tangy and had a pretty sunny color due to the blood oranges and cherries. The best muffins I’ve had in a long, long time. My boyfriend… well, let’s just say that with an appetite like his, there is always room for dessert. He loved his second breakfast.

Blood Orange-Sweet Cherry Corn Muffins

Adapted from Sunlight Café by Mollie Katzen

Olive oil Spray

1 cup whole wheat pastry flour

1 cup cornmeal

½ tsp salt

1 ½ tsp baking powder

1/8 tsp baking soda

1 tbsp blood orange or orange zest

½ cup blood orange juice or orange juice

1/3 cup honey

¼ cup nonfat plain yogurt thinned down with ½ cup nonfat milk

1 large egg, beaten

½ tsp vanilla

4 tbsp olive oil

1 ½ cups frozen sweet cherries, undefrosted and coarsely chopped.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, F. Spray 8 – 10 standard muffin cups with olive oil spray (The recipes in this book annoy me. The muffin recipes always make an odd amount of muffins and she gives a range for how many you will end up with. When dealing with this book, I always start out spraying 8 cups, if the recipe makes up to 10 muffins like the author says, I spray a couple more as I need them. I don’t do all 10 because I ruined my muffin tins spraying too many cups once for one of these recipes, be careful).

In a large bowl, combine flour, cornmeal, salt, baking powder, baking soda and zest.

In another bowl, combine orange juice, honey, yogurt/milk mixture, egg, vanilla and oil.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Add the chopped cherries. Mix until combined well, being careful not to overwork the batter. Spoon batter into muffin cups until just full. Again the recipe gives a range of 8 – 10 muffins, depending on how you fill the cups you may get 8, you may get more, I got 9 and one of the cups was slightly overfilled.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool for a few minutes before serving.



  1. Brad said,

    March 14, 2010 at 1:37 pm

    Nice improvising.

    • Mimi said,

      March 14, 2010 at 1:50 pm

      Why thank you, my dear!

      I have been perfecting these “improvements” over the years little by little. I don’t like a cloyingly sweet muffin. When I make these general changes to a muffin recipe, I end up with something that feels substantial instead dessertlike.

  2. Joanne said,

    March 15, 2010 at 3:51 am

    Of all the muffins in the world, I think corn are my favorite. But especially when you mix in the cherries and orange. I bet some chocolate would have been nice as well…but that may have been pushing it (into cupcake territory). Good job on working with what you have! I definitely need to get better at that.

  3. Natashya said,

    March 15, 2010 at 4:38 am

    Mmm, delicious. I have that book on my wishlist. Good call on the subs.

  4. Andreas said,

    March 15, 2010 at 5:49 am

    That muffin turned out really well.
    Happy shopping.

  5. Jeanne said,

    March 15, 2010 at 7:47 am

    These sound like the perfect breakfast muffin! I love your ingredient choices.

  6. drfugawe said,

    March 20, 2010 at 8:55 am

    Hey Mimi,
    While down at my daughter’s place in FL, I messed around with using sourdough in both bran muffins and corn muffins – have you done this yet? Seems to me I remember you doing some kind of sourdough muffin – maybe I was taking unconscious motivation from you. Whatever – I’m doing my next post on the sourdough corn muffins, which turned out very well.

    • Mimi said,

      March 20, 2010 at 9:36 am

      That’s great! I can’t wait to see what you did.

      I baked those coconut chocolate muffins but it wasn’t my recipe. I found a chocolate cherry sourdough muffin through YeastSpotting and I changed the flavors. I haven’t made any others even though I made a couple of cakes.

      It seems like most people just toss a 1/2 cup of starter into a muffin recipe. I’m not sure if this is a smart way to approach using it. I’ll run over and read your post when it is up because I want to see your thoughts on using it.

  7. Jayasri said,

    April 10, 2010 at 4:13 pm

    Hi mimi, Thanks for visiting me and leaving such a interesting comment, first time here, fell in love with your muffins they look gorgeous must try this!!

  8. April 30, 2010 at 1:58 pm

    […] Blood orange sweet cherry corn muffins […]

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