Orange, Date & Oat Muffins

Saturday 24 October 2020

What a miserable rainy horrible day it is out there today.  Dark and heavy clouds made it really difficult to take decent photos of these muffins. I hope that my photos don't put you off from wanting to try them! 

They are excellent muffins!  Orange, Date & Oat Muffins. Moist and filled with lovely flavours.  I adapted the recipe from an original recipe which came from a 1991 Robin Hood Baking Booklet.

Years ago they used to put out Baking Booklets full of festive and harvest ideas every year.  They would be stuck in magazines, or newspapers free of charge.

I can remember watching television and the Kraft Foods commercials would come on and they would also offer you recipe booklets. All you had to to was write requesting them.  They would send them to you once a month for nothing.

I used to love those little booklets, especially the ones from Kraft. There were usually quite a few good recipes in them, mixed amongst some awfully gaudy ones.

But hey, free for the asking!  No reason to complain! They were inspiration for sure, if nothing else!

Orange, Date & Oat Muffins

I saved quite a few of them through the years. I still use some of the recipes that I gleaned from them, so all was not lost! 

As I said, this recipe came from a Robin Hood Flour one. Baking Festival Recipes was the title.  There are 27 pretty tasty recipes for cakes, cookies, muffins, etc. in it.


These muffins intrigued me because they contain a whole orange. I have made muffins before, and cakes too, which contain a whole orange. Usually you had to boil the orange first.

There is no boiling of this orange. You simply cut it into quarters, remove the seeds and blitz it up in a food processor or blender until it is chopped into small bits.

Orange, Date & Oat Muffins


You begin by soaking some old fashioned oats in milk. I always use whole milk for my baking unless otherwise specified. 

Old fashioned oats are the large flake oats. Don't be tempted to use instant oats. They will no have the right consistency. You want an oat with some bite to it.  Instant oats would become far too gummy.

Orange, Date & Oat Muffins


Using the whole oats gives you a muffin with plenty of lovely wholesome texture. Oats are very good for you and are filled with fibre and iron and are good for your heart.

The chopped orange gets stirred into the soaked oats, along with an egg, some brown sugar and melted butter.  There is also plenty of chopped dates in the mix.  I adore dates.

Orange, Date & Oat Muffins


They have a lovely sticky toffee flavour.  Dates are actually what makes sticky toffee cake so moist and delicious. I love to use dates in my baking and always have a bag or two in the store cupboard.

They are wonderful in cakes and bakes.  I love to make date slices, and of course they work beautifully in muffins such as these ones I am sharing today.  Little sticky hints of caramel to go along with the tart orange flavours.

Orange, Date & Oat Muffins

When I was living down South I sometimes went into London to the Borough Market. I don't know what you couldn't get at the Borough Market.

It was filled with stalls selling everything from soup to nuts! I remember one time buying these lush chocolate covered dates.  I still think about them.  Taste memories are some of the best kinds of memories.

Orange, Date & Oat Muffins

I don't think those chocolate covered dates ever made it back to our house. They were gone before we even hit the train.  They were probably one of the nicest things I have ever eaten.

Ten years later I am still thinking about them. And I probably always will.

When I was pregnant for my oldest daughter I can remember having a craving for "Puffa Puffa Rice." It was a breakfast cereal made from puffed rice coated in a brown sugar and pineapple coating. 

Orange, Date & Oat Muffins

I had loved it as a child and they had stopped making it. I was 21 when I was pregnant for Eileen and I am 65 now.  That is a long time to have a craving for something! 

Taste memories. They only get better with time. Either that or we crave them more. One way or the other most of them will never be fulfilled.  Now back to the muffins.

Orange, Date & Oat Muffins


These delicious moist muffins will always be there for us. That's the good thing about recipes like this. They never disappear or go away so long as you curate them and keep them in a safe place.

And that's what I am doing today.  Sticking the recipe here online for everyone to enjoy! Tina and Tony were here earlier and they said they were excellent!

Orange, Date & Oat Muffins

Tangy from the orange, which also adds to the moistness.  Studded with sticky toffee dates, and willed with wholesome oats.

I cannot think of a way in which these could ever be improved!  I really can't.  Unless you also wanted to add some toasted chopped nuts.

Walnuts would be very nice. Just toast them in a hot oven for about 10 minutes, let them cool and chop. You decide how many you would like.

I think another nice touch would be to brush the tops of the warm muffins with some warm orange marmalade. That would make them glow and add even more orange flavour!  Yummy yummy!!


Orange, Date & Oat Muffins

Orange, Date & Oat Muffins
Yield: Makes 12
Author: Marie Rayner
prep time: 10 Mincook time: 25 Mintotal time: 35 Min
These lush muffins contain a whole orange, which makes for a tangy muffin that is quick and easy to bake and studded with sticky bits of date!


  • 1 1/4 cups (300ml) whole milk
  • 1 cup (80g) old fashioned oats
  • 1 medium orange, washed, seeded and quartered
  • 1 large free range egg
  • 3/4 cup firmly packed (150g) soft light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (120g) butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup (75) chopped pitted dates
  • 2 cups (280g) plain/all purpose flour
  • 1 TBS baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp fine sea salt


  1. Preheat the oven to 200*C/400*F/ gas mark  6.  Line a 12 cup medium muffin tin with paper liners.
  2. Measure the oats into a bowl and pour the milk over top. Let stand 5 minutes.
  3. Put the orange into a food processor or blender and blitz until it is finely chopped.  Add to the oats along with th egg, brown sugar, melted butter and dates.
  4. Measure the flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl. Add the wet ingredients all at once and stir together just to combine.
  5. Divide the batter between the prepared muffin cups and bake in the preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until golden brown. A toothpick inserted in the centre should come out clean and the tops should spring back when lightly touched.
  6. Tip out onto a wire rack to cool completely.  Store leftovers in an airtight container.
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Orange, Date & Oat Muffins

I usually bake something like a muffin at the weekend. You never know when people are going to stop by so its nice to have something in the cake tin. They are also an extra special nice treat to enjoy with a hot cuppa in the middle of the afternoon or the evening when you're watching the telly. 

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  1. These are very much flavours that I enjoy, so these will be baked later in the week after I get my shopping delivery (*adds oranges and dates to the order*). I like the idea of being very Paddington Bear and brushing them afterwards with marmalade - yum!

    I've never eaten a date let along a chocolate coated one, but I have always liked them in baked goods. Mum made a great date and walnut loaf that I looked forward to as a kid. And I often make your Queen Elizabeth Cake, which is much loved by my husband.

    Pregnancy cravings are funny. Mine was for corned beef and pickled onion sandwiches. I can still remember the joy of scoffing them down and that was 40 years ago as well :)

    1. Corned Beef and Pickled onion sandwiches sounds lovely Marie. I just scoffed down an oat cake and you have me wanting one of those, lol. Ever the glutton! these muffins are really fabulous! My next door neighbor loved the ones I sent over! xoxo

  2. Thanks Laurie. They are really moist and delicious for sure! xoxo

  3. I think I made these too now that I think of it..yours are poifect!

    1. Thanks so much Monique. I remember making a muffin in the past which required boiling an orange. I liked that you didn't need to do this with these muffins! xoxo

  4. Oh, I remember the Kraft commercials! I ordered their hardback cook book because of them. Memories!!! It has many great recipes......and yes, some awfully gaudy ones! These muffins look amazing. Thanks, V.

    1. Oh yes, those gaudy ones were pretty yucky! Fun to look at, but horrifying to think of eating! YUCK!! These muffins are great! xoxo

  5. Hooo boy do these look good Marie, and with no fussing boiling the orange or trimming away the pith these muffs practically make themselves. I think these would be ideal warmed in the oven soaking in sticky toffee sauce. Definitely going on my to-bake list.

    Many of those Kraft recipes had to be a joke, right? When we were kids, we dreaded mum trying out a new Kraft recipe, lol. Horrible things for instance, like a decent tuna casserole made inedible with the addition of mandarin orange segments mixed in and topped with maraschino cherries or some such awfulness. Blech!

    1. I hope they were a joke, Jen! lol I can't imagine many people ever cooking and eating the gross ones, but then again, taste is a very individual thing! One man's meat and all that! These muffins are great however and love your suggestion of a sticky toffee sauce! Yum!! xoxo

  6. These sound very good. I love oats in the muffins. In fact, I need to find your recipe and can't remember the name for the oat muffins with (if I remember right) maple syrup? They're quite dense and delicious. I love all the ingredients in this one, too.

    1. Thanks very much Jeanie! Is this the muffin recipe you are wanting:
      I hope so! xoxo

  7. Wonderful muffin recipe. I bake muffins 2-3 times a week using countless recipes from all over the internet. Wasn't sure about using the whole orange, but I love it. The texture of these is perfect and the bitterness from the orange peel is a nice contrast to the date and brown sugar sweetness. They rose well and browned perfectly. Well done here.

    1. I am so pleased you baked and enjoyed this! Thank you so much for taking the time to share your experience with us! xo

  8. Do you peel the orange ?

  9. Just made these muffins and they turned out perfect and are so delicious and moist.

    1. I am so pleased that they were enjoyed! Thank you so much for taking the time to leave your comment! I really appreciate it! xo


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