Clementine Muffins with Clementine Sugar

These muffins… Oh these darling muffins… They have some serious pizzazz don’t they?! They are so glamourous with all that bling on top. They are honestly, quite possibly, the cutest damn muffin I ever did done see! There is only one problem…they aren’t muffins. I hate to burst your bubble, but that right there is a cupcake.

When I saw these babies on Pinch Of Yum, I was all “Ohh, look at those sparkle-y cupcakes!”. I grabbed my weekly menu planner (the back of my hand and a pen –I like to keep it classy) and started to jot down the name of the recipe. Glazed Orange …Muffins?! WTF? That’s a cupcake. It has icing and pretty homemade sugar sprinkles, that ain’t no muffin! And then, I realized I was wrong.

Obviously, that is totally a muffin. I don’t know what I was thinking, or how I could have possibly confused it for a cupcake. There is one giant obvious reason that it is a muffin:

Call it a muffin and you get to eat it for breakfast with no guilt!

Genius! How have I never made that connection before? I will now refer to all cakes as Coffee Cake, and all cupcakes as Muffins. 😀

These “muffins” are light and fluffy in both texture and flavor. The clementine flavor adds a burst of freshness and a healthy balance to the sweetness. But despite the delicious cake -err um, muffin- the real star is all of that delicious zested sugar on top! While it is obviously a really fun way to dress these up, it also adds an interesting and flavorful crunch to the tops. I am already looking forward to making this recipe again, but with Lemons instead!

Clementine Bling Muffins

Recipe Note: Total, this recipe will use 2 Clementines.


  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • zest & juice of 1 Clementine
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup confectioners sugar
  • 1 tablespoon clementine juice
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • zest of 1 clementine


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease muffin tin with butter or non stick spray. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together egg, oil, milk, zest and juice of 1 clementine and vanilla extract. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, whisking until just combined. Evenly divide the batter, about 1/4 cup batter per muffing tin. Bake for 14-16 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool on rack for about 10 minutes, then turn out onto rack to cool completely. For the glaze: In a small bowl, whisk the confectioners sugar with clementine juice. You want the glaze to be thick enough to thickly coat the back of a metal spoon. Add more sugar or juice as needed to reach the desired consistency. For the sugared zest: In a small bowl, combine clementine zest and sugar with your fingers, until zest is evenly distributed. When muffins are cooled completely, dip the tops in the glaze and immediately sprinkle with sugared zest. Serve immediately or store in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Tip: When grating a fruit for zest, be sure to just grate the colored outside layer of the fruit. Do not grate the white layer, the pith, that is under the colored skin. The pith is very bitter and will give your muffins a bitter aftertaste.
Inspired by Pinch Of Yum