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A&E >  Food

In the kitchen with Ricky: Cara Cara oranges and olive oil muffins

By Ricky Webster For The Spokesman-Review

I can’t get enough of winter citrus, so, I figured one more recipe installment wouldn’t upset anyone, at least I hope it won’t. This week we’re making a very versatile batter with a nice orange flavor. It’s not too sweet and balances nicely with the use of a good quality extra virgin olive oil. Feel free to swap out other citrus for the oranges in this recipe.

If you haven’t had a Cara Cara orange, I encourage you to go out and try one now. These oranges can be found in most supermarkets (I recently purchased them from both Yoke’s and Costco). The exterior looks like that of a navel orange but the interior is a pink to reddish hue and resembles that of a ruby red grapefruit. The flavor is sweet and less acidic than most oranges and has notes of cranberry, rose and blackberry.

In this recipe we will be highlighting the Cara Cara oranges in a breakfast muffin. This almost tea cake-like recipe is made with olive oil for a crumb that is delicate and tender with a bright and sweet orange flavor. The recipe has a bit of vanilla in it and gives flavors of orange creamsicle. This recipe easily converts to become a loaf cake or quick bread, or you can bake it in a cake or sheet pan for a light dessert or after-school treat.

Enjoy all the citrus out there Spokane!

Cara Cara Orange and Olive Oil Muffins


2 cups all-purpose flour

1 ½ cups granulated sugar

1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt

½ teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon baking powder

1 cup olive oil (good quality)

1 cup milk (I prefer whole, but can be made with a dairy alternative to keep it dairy free)

3 large eggs

Zest and juice from 2 Cara Cara oranges

1 tablespoon vanilla extract


Zest and juice from 1 Cara Cara orange

½ teaspoon kosher salt

2 cups powdered sugar

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Grease and flour or line a muffin tin with paper liners.

In a medium bowl whisk all dry ingredients together (from flour to baking powder).

In a separate bowl, use a whisk to thoroughly combine remaining batter ingredients. Make sure the eggs are broken up and oil is incorporated.

Whisk dry ingredients into wet and mix until the batter is just combined and comes together.

Let the batter sit for 20-30 minutes before baking. This gives the flour time to absorb some moisture and slightly thickens the batter, ultimately giving you a more flavorful bite and lighter muffin.

Fill muffin tins about 3/4 of the way full and place onto the center rack in your preheated oven.

Bake for about 18-20 minutes or until lightly browned and a cake tester comes out clean or the center just barely bounces back when touched.

While your muffins are baking, make your glaze. To make the glaze, combine all ingredients until smooth, set aside.

When the muffins come out of the oven, immediately top them with a small amount of glaze (it should lightly cover the top of the muffin).

Cool for at least 20 minutes and serve slightly warm or room temp.

Tightly wrap the leftover muffins and they should last a few days.

If you have leftover batter, or only want to make a few at a time, the batter lasts in the refrigerator for 2-3 days (bake fresh as needed).

This batter can also be made in a loaf or cake pan. Make sure to adjust the cooking temperature to 325 degrees and bake until a cake tester comes out clean.

Yield: 12-16 muffins

Local award-winning chef and Rind and Wheat owner Ricky Webster can be reached at Follow Webster on Instagram @rickycaker.

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