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

Yield: 8 standard 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

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38 Responses to “Clementine Muffins with Clementine Sugar”

  1. 1

    Blog is the New Black — January 26, 2012 @ 8:55 pm

    Delicious and adorable….. love me some bling! 😉

  2. 2

    Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga — January 26, 2012 @ 9:00 pm

    I saw those on Lindsay’s site too and they looked great and so do yours!


  3. 3

    Dianna @ The Kitchen Prep — January 26, 2012 @ 9:18 pm

    I’m never opposed to getting my daily serving of fruit in the form of cake. :) I love anything citrusy {Florida girl much?}, so I think I might have to make these!

  4. 4

    Joanne — January 26, 2012 @ 9:47 pm

    Wait…all cupcakes AREN’T muffins?!?!? Semantics. They’re totally the same. I refuse to be held down by the cupcake-for-breakfast-hating proverbial man.

    Mmm clementine orangey citrus love in muffin form. Swoon.

  5. 5

    Lindsay @ Pinch of Yum — January 26, 2012 @ 11:15 pm

    Oooh girl! I am making these again this weekend.. so glad you liked them.

  6. 6

    Ann — January 27, 2012 @ 1:53 am

    Fantastic! I especially like your note pad…I always go to the store to buy note pads- I didn’t realize I came equipped!

    I gotta say – the muffin “bling” is genius! Pure genius. Delightful read and recipe as always – and your photos are stunning!

  7. 7

    ErinsFoodFiles — January 27, 2012 @ 2:05 am

    Too cute for words! I want one NOW!

  8. 8

    Kathryn — January 27, 2012 @ 4:02 am

    Definitely a muffin. I’m pretty sure that a large slice of chocolate cake is also *technically* a muffin. I think my morning would be immesureably improved if I had some clementine bling in my life.

  9. 9

    Anna — January 27, 2012 @ 5:47 am

    You are a genius, Jessica! I love this mini muffins…eeer, cupcakes, whatever you call them, they look really fab and the bling on top is so chic! Love it! Must try!

  10. 10

    Mackenzie — January 27, 2012 @ 7:46 am

    LOVE these, and I love that you put your personality in each post – so entertaining! :-)

  11. 11

    Emilie @ Emilie's Enjoyables — January 27, 2012 @ 8:39 am

    ahh these look SO GOOD. That orange sugar on the top just sends it over the edge.

  12. 12

    thelittleloaf — January 27, 2012 @ 8:57 am

    I love how you can change the name classification of something so that it’s allowed for breakfast! I always allow myself cake for breakfast if it’s left over from a dinner party the night before…that way it’s technically leftovers not cake. Logical. Obviously :-)

  13. 13

    leaf (the indolent cook) — January 27, 2012 @ 9:40 am

    Oh, beautiful. The sugary zest gives it an almost gem-like quality.

  14. 14

    Jen at The Three Little Piglets — January 27, 2012 @ 9:41 am

    Oh! So THAT’S how you get to eat a cupcake for breakfast!?

  15. 15

    Amy B. — January 27, 2012 @ 11:24 am

    and this is why I call everything that can be considered a “cupcake”, a muffin :) Those muffins look fabulous!

  16. 16

    The Mrs @ Success Along the Weigh — January 27, 2012 @ 11:32 am

    That’s some bling I can get down with, yo.

  17. 17

    Lori @ RecipeGirl — January 27, 2012 @ 11:35 am

    SO pretty- I love them!

  18. 18

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  19. 19

    sarah.a — January 27, 2012 @ 11:40 am

    looks lovely! must try :)

  20. 20

    Living The Sweet Life — January 27, 2012 @ 12:01 pm

    Muffins that sparkle — now, that’s my kind of muffin :) these are adorable. Adorable and delicious!

  21. 21

    nicole {sweet peony} — January 27, 2012 @ 1:08 pm

    so cute! i love the orange sugar & the clementine flavor! and heck yeah- cupcakes for breakfast :)

  22. 22

    Lauren at Keep It Sweet — January 27, 2012 @ 3:05 pm

    Gorgeous post, Jessica!

  23. 23

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  24. 24

    Windy — January 27, 2012 @ 3:32 pm

    I have it on good authority (11 year-old boy) that they don’t “become” cupcakes until you put frosting on them. Since these have glaze – not frosting, they are sooo muffins and can be eaten for breakfast sans guilt.

    I love the sugared zest! It’s beautiful and I can’t wait to find out how much it gives the muffins tasty sweetness and crunch.

    But so now I want to know what the clementines were being boiled for? :)

  25. 25

    Rachel @ Baked by Rachel — January 27, 2012 @ 3:42 pm

    You’re totally a genius! I love that idea… ‘muffins’ ‘coffee cake’ what else can we alter the names of?

  26. 26

    Mel (Sharky Oven Gloves) — January 27, 2012 @ 7:12 pm

    I love the sugared zest on top of the cupcakes – I mean muffins! – it’s such a beautiful addition, it really makes them look absolutely adorable!

  27. 27

    Jill — January 28, 2012 @ 9:49 am

    When I first looked at your pictures, I wondered if you baked them in the skins of the Clementine – I wonder if you could do that?

    • Jessica replied: — January 29th, 2012 @ 11:57 pm

      Maybe?! But I would be worried about burnt skins :-(

  28. 28

    Jessica M. — January 29, 2012 @ 5:26 pm

    I just made these and they are tasty! I did not make the icing thick enough and it rolled right off the muffins and onto my platter! Haha.

    • Jessica replied: — January 29th, 2012 @ 11:56 pm

      Ha! I am glad you liked them anyways 😀

  29. 29

    Lenore — January 29, 2012 @ 10:53 pm

    I am so obsessed with clementines right now, and you are so right: calling it a muffin means they can be eaten all day long!

  30. 30

    Ashlae — January 30, 2012 @ 7:44 pm

    My grocery stopped carrying clementines – I’m a wreck over here! And I’m even more of a wreck now that I know I can’t make a vegan version of these muffins. Arrrrgh

    • Jessica replied: — February 1st, 2012 @ 12:33 am

      WHAT?! That’s a crime! You gotta find yourself a new grocery store girlfriend!

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