Orange and Cardamom Muffin Recipe

Orange and Cardamom Muffins ~ delicately fragrant muffins flavored with bright orange zest and warm, spicy cardamom, this easy muffin recipe is unique and delicious!

For a quick, easy, comforting breakfast, nothing beats my homemade orange and cardamom muffin recipe!

Is anybody making muffins anymore? It seems like they’ve totally gone out of fashion, right? But every time I make a batch I’m reminded of why I love them. These orange and cardamom muffins bake up so nice and tall, with a sugary crust on top, how could you resist? I don’t know why I thought of combining citrus with cardamom, I don’t think I’ve done it on the blog before, but boy, it’s so perfect. Neither taste is overpowering but they blend beautifully. The aroma is especially great when they’re just out of the oven,  Definitely going to use this combo again!


You know I love my one bowl no-mixer recipes

They make baking from scratch so much more do-able. There’s less mess, and less lag time between the inspiration to bake and your first bite. Just grab your bowl and a whisk and you’re off to the races.

A plain muffin needs a little something something on the top, right?

I used my favorite Sparkling Sugar to add a little glitz and a sweet crunch. Less homey, more coffee shop. You could use regular sugar if that’s all you’ve got, but sparkling sugar has a bigger crystal and a great texture. I recommend picking some up from Amazon.

Muffins are nice to have around because they’re already pre-portioned and they keep well. Pop day old muffins in the micro for 20 seconds to revive that amazing aroma. They’re special enough for office potluck parties, especially in winter when a cozy muffin is everything.

One of the saving graces of deep winter is all the juicy citrus that comes into season.

It’s surprising how many different ways you can incorporate citrus into baking. In this recipe I use the juice and zest of the orange, but it’s the zest that really brings the orange flavor home. The outer orange colored  part of the peel, or the zest, contains the flavor and aroma oils, which provide the true essence of the fruit flavor. The more you use, the more flavor payoff you’ll get.

How to zest an orange

  • The zest of citrus fruit is the very outer part of the peel…the part that is colored.
  • When you zest citrus fruit you are looking to remove just that outer colored part, with as little as possible of the white part underneath, which is bitter.
  • I highly recommend using a citrus zester, which is a tool specifically created to do the job.
  • Be sure to zest your fruit before cutting or juicing!
  • Zest your fruit as close to adding it to your recipe as possible, because the oils start to dissipate quickly.

making orange and cardamom muffins

More wintery breakfast ideas ~

4.36 from 39 votes

Orange and Cardamom Muffins

Orange and Cardamom Muffins ~ delicately fragrant muffins flavored with bright orange zest and warm, spicy cardamom, this easy muffin recipe is unique and delicious!
Course Breakfast, Snack
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Yield 10 muffins
Author Sue Moran


  • standard muffin pan


Wet Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • zest of 1 large orange, grated
  • 1 tsp ground cardamom

Dry Ingredients

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt



  • Preheat oven to 350F and butter a muffin tin, or line with muffin tin liners.
  • Whisk together all the wet ingredients well.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients, then add to the wet ingredients and fold everything together until there are no dry bits of flour left.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared muffin tins, and top with a sprinkling of the sparkling sugar.
  • Bake for 20-22 minutes until risen and starting to turn golden brown around the edges. A toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin should come out without wet batter clinging to it.
The nutritional information for recipes on this site is provided as a courtesy and although tries to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.

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    Please rate this recipe!

  • Reply
    May 21, 2021 at 8:08 pm

    I love any muffins made with orange. Very excited to try these. You HAVE to try Orange Date muffins Sue. That is an amazing combination. Thanks for another recipe to get excited about!

    • Reply
      Sue Moran
      May 22, 2021 at 4:57 am

      I just put them on the schedule for next fall/winter 🙂

  • Reply
    April 12, 2021 at 4:40 am

    5 stars
    I made these to share with coworkers and I think I might make more just for myself! I did use mixed spice instead of just cardamom, but I also love cardamom and will certainly try them as written. Fabulous and easy muffins!

  • Reply
    Dee Verhagen
    February 8, 2021 at 8:05 am

    How do I sign up for newsletter

  • Reply
    February 5, 2021 at 10:36 am

    Yummy muffins. I made these with Bob’s Red Mill 1-to-1 Gluten Free Baking Flour. Also increased baking powder by one teaspoonful and let the batter sit in the refrigerator for about an hour before filling the muffin tin. They came out perfectly and were not in the least gritty, as GF baked goods often are. Adding extra leavening and resting time for the batter were were tips I found on a GF baking site. The site recommended always using 2 tsp of baking powder for every cup of GF flour (I only used 1 1/2 per cup of flour in my adaptation of this recipe) and explained that allowing GF batters to rest allows GF flours to better absorb liquid and and therefore reduce grittiness. Apparently GF flours absorb liquid more slowly than wheat flours. I used a large CaraCara orange to achieve a nice orange flavor. Will use more cardamom next time.

    • Reply
      Sue Moran
      February 5, 2021 at 10:56 am

      Our gf readers will love this info, thanks Britt.

    • Reply
      May 7, 2021 at 2:43 pm

      Britt I’m so happy to read this!! I’m new to GF baking and have had mixed results. Can’t wait to try this with your tips!!

  • Reply
    January 17, 2021 at 11:34 am

    4 stars
    So delicious! I didn’t find them bland, but I used freshly ground cardamom. A nice, light afternoon muffin to go with my tea. The texture of the muffin top was great too, perfect amount of crunch!

  • Reply
    January 15, 2021 at 1:22 pm

    5 stars
    Loved this recipe. Added some dried cranberries and made it with olive oil.

  • Reply
    December 30, 2020 at 10:54 am

    5 stars
    I just made these and I really did enjoy them. I wouldn’t say they are bland but if you want more than a very subtle cardamom and orange flavor I would double the zest and cardamom. The texture is so good and they baked up with a nice muffin top, no spreading over the pan.

  • Reply
    Valerie J Kosubenko
    November 5, 2020 at 8:04 am

    I love your recipes, however I would love them more if you would give the size of pans etc.. Example would this recipe did you use mini muffin tin or a regular cupcake tin?

    • Reply
      November 5, 2020 at 8:22 am

      Oh, ok Valerie, yes. I used a standard muffin or cupcake tin here.

  • Reply
    August 9, 2020 at 7:03 am

    Can you share the sparkling sugar you buy from Amazon? Looking forward to trying this out! Sounds delicious. Thanks

    • Reply
      August 9, 2020 at 7:43 am

      Hey Tamela, I have King Arthur Flour’s sparkling sugar and love it.

  • Reply
    April 28, 2020 at 8:52 pm

    1 star
    I’m a cardamom lover (have it in my tea almost every day) and found these to be very bland. I added more orange juice than recommended and put 1.5x the recommended cardamom and still almost imperceptible flavour. I would double all the flavourings, at minimum, if I was going to try this again.

  • Reply
    March 20, 2020 at 7:56 pm

    This sounds delicious and I’m so excited to make them! But what if I can’t find cardamom, can I use allspice or something else instead to get a similar flavor?

    • Reply
      March 20, 2020 at 8:27 pm

      It’s hard to say since cardamom is such a unique flavor…suggestions might be Cloves, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Ginger, or Allspice.

  • Reply
    February 26, 2020 at 8:44 am

    5 stars
    I’ve made these twice and they are scrumptious. Be sure to use the crystal sugar on top. I also added a drop or two of some orange extract not too much of you think it needs more orange kick, oh and I got a large muffin tin, six, 1 cup. Thank you for a great muffin and I love your site.

  • Reply
    Debra Hibma
    February 23, 2020 at 7:53 pm

    1 star
    I don’t know what I did wrong, but I found it bland without much flavor at all. Maybe it needed the zest of two oranges.

  • Reply
    January 26, 2020 at 12:10 pm

    I make muffins and you had me at cardamom – just the thing for a foggy rainy day. These muffin are wonderful and perfect with a steaming cup of Earl Gray!

    • Reply
      February 3, 2020 at 7:48 pm

      Makes you almost wish for rain!

  • Reply
    January 16, 2020 at 4:28 pm

    5 stars
    These are delicious! They’re fresh tasting with just the right amount of orange. The cardamom is the perfect compliment. The recipe made exactly one dozen. I followed the suggestion to sprinkle the tops with sparkly sugar. The texture is delicate and moist. Loved them, will make these on repeat!

  • Reply
    Jessica Savage
    January 16, 2020 at 8:37 am

    5 stars
    I made these muffins for breakfast this morning and they were delicious! I love anything with citrus in it and these muffins were perfect. They are easy to make, beautiful and kid approved!
    Thank you for sharing this recipe!

  • Reply
    January 16, 2020 at 7:53 am

    5 stars
    Wow! Never thought of this combination for muffins. I made them with coconut oil, sucanat (instead of granulated sugar) and whole wheat Einkorn flour. These were delicious! I tested one after baking – and now I want another! Will summon all my willpower to save them for family later!
    I just discovered your site when looking for something new and different to do with excess oranges. So glad I found you!
    Thank you very much!

    • Reply
      January 16, 2020 at 8:38 am

      Welcome in Kathleen, I love that you made these with Einkorn flour, that sounds delicious 🙂

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