Spicy Mandarin Orange Muffins

muffcup2The recipe for these muffins is adapted from one in the cookbook, Seasoned with Sunshine.  In 1988, my son babysat their two young children and my daughter-in-law came to work in my office one day a week to make a little extra cash.  We had a one-hour commute each way and she never ate breakfast before she left, so I made these muffins to take along for a quick snack after we arrived.  They are extra-tasty and freeze well.  These also won a ribbon in the 1988 Hamilton County (Cincinnati) Fair.


  • 11 oz. can of mandarin oranges
  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1-3/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/3 tsp. salt
  • 1/3 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp. allspice
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup Canola oil
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 egg


  • 3 Tblsp.  butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar mixed with 1/2 tsp. cinnamon

Drain oranges well and spread out on paper towel while mixing batter.

orangesPlace flour, baking powder, salt, nutmeg, allspice and sugar in a medium bowl and whisk together.  Combine oil, milk and egg in a shaker or small bowl and mix well.  Add egg mixture all at once to the flour mixture and stir until just moistened.


Dough will be quite stiff at this point.  Add drained oranges and mix lightly.

Spoon into greased muffin tins and bake @ 350 degrees F for 20 minutes.  Immediately remove muffins from pans.  While hot, dip tops of muffins in melted butter, then in sugar mixed with cinnamon.


Yield:  12 small muffins – just the right size to have with a nice cup of coffee. 


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Lillian Applegate Westfelt was a mother of 4, grandmother of 6, and great-grandmother of 3. She was an 86-year-old widow living in a nice little bungalow with her oldest daughter and a beagle-dachsund named Addie. She passed away in November, 2018.

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