Date / Orange Muffin with Cream Cheese Icing

Date / Orange Muffin with Cream Cheese Icing

An entire orange - peel and all - goes into a food processor with dates and other stuff and you get these tasty treats!

First, a wee story. So as to not be buried under magazines, I eventually tear out pages/recipes I want to keep and then toss the zine. Once sorted and filed I sometimes end up with various versions of a fav recipe - and these muffins are a case in point. They are nutritious, tasty and have a “cool” factor since the batter, which is made quickly in a food processor, includes a whole, unpeeled orange. The dates on my collection vary (2003, 2006) and there are slight variations on the ingredients or method, but none make any reference to the same recipe in Staebler’s 1979 “More Schmecking” book. She says the recipe "comes from Ruby" – so who knows how long this recipe has been around? 

[If you landed on this page directly you may have missed my related blog post "Whose Recipe Is it Anyway?". ]

So enjoy this recipe from Edna Staebler's "More Food That Really Schmecks". Though I often fiddle with recipes a bit, I have made only one change. First printed in 1979, her recipe suggested using a blender. Wikipedia says that food processors were appearing in the late 70's and maybe they were not yet a common household appliance at the time she published. I used a food processor.

Getting Ready:

  • Preheat the oven to 400 F.
  • Use a 12 cup muffin tin - the kind used to make regular size muffins / cupcakes.
  • Line with paper cupcake liners or butter the tin.
  • Buy two oranges; clean and cut up one orange (see Notes and Tips); from the second one make fresh juice
  • roughly chop the dates

1 whole orange
1/2 cup orange juice

Wash / dry the orange (see Tips). Do not peel it. Cut the whole orange into 4, 6 or 8 pieces and remove any seeds. Drop pieces into a food processor with the half cup orange juice and whiz until the peel is finely chopped.

1/2 cup chopped dates
1 egg
1/2 cup butter

Drop in the dates and egg and butter; give the food processor a very short whirl.


1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
2/3 cup white sugar
1 tsp salt

Into a bowl sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, sugar and salt. Pour the wet orange mixture over the dry. Stir lightly with a wooden spoon or spatula - just enough to moisten. 

Drop spoonfuls into muffin tins and bake at 400° F for about 15-20 minutes. If icing, cool completely. When I made the cream cheese icing for Red Velvet Cake I had enough icing leftover to pipe a bit onto each muffin.


Notes and Tips...

  • Orange -  most citrus fruits, in readiness for the market, are covered with a light coating of wax. Unless the peel is going to be discarded, best to clean off the wax before using the fruit in any way. If a recipe requires zesting - the fruit needs to be perfectly dry before going at it with the zester. Some ways to remove the wax.
  • Orange Juice - you can't beat freshly squeezed juice so when shopping for this recipe buy two oranges.
  • Dates - doing a coarse chop offers an opportunity to be sure that there are no unwelcome pits in the dates.
  • Egg - should be at room temperature
  • Butter - room temp is fine, or even recently out of the fridge is fine
  • Drop spoonfuls - make this easier by using scoops.
  • For KB Recipe Attribution Practices please click here.

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