One of our practice recipes in our free baking lessons is for a wonderful bread called Golden California Raisin Bread. It’s made with plump golden raisins and a touch of orange and cinnamon. There was just one thing wrong–we have to wait for the yeast to rise to enjoy this combination of flavors. So we set out to make muffins with those same flavors. Now we can wake up to the aroma of golden raisins, orange and cinnamon.

California Golden Raisin Muffin Recipe


1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup rye flour, all-purpose flour, or whole wheat flour
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon grated orange peel

4 tablespoons cold butter

1/2 cup orange juice
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 large eggs
1 cup golden raisins

1 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon


Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Grease 1 regular-sized 12-muffin tin.

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1. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, brown sugar, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon. Stir in the grated orange peel.
2. Use a pastry knife to cut the butter into the dry ingredients and continue cutting until the mixture is coarse and uniform.
3. In another bowl, stir together the orange juice, buttermilk, vanilla extract, and eggs. Form a well in the dry ingredients and pour in the liquid mixture. Add the raisins. Stir to combine. (Do not over-stir. Some lumps are acceptable.)
4. Spoon the batter into muffin tin. Mix the granulated sugar and cinnamon together and sprinkle on the tops of the muffins. Quickly place the muffins in the oven and reduce the heat to 375 degrees. Let bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until the tops are lightly browned and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove to a rack to cool.

Baker’s note: The initial burst of heat in the hot oven will help the muffins dome. How quickly the muffins bake will depend somewhat on how well your particular oven retains heat.

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