Candied orange ginger muffins
What to do with all that sugar and orange rinds...?

What to do with all that sugar?[1] Well, one thing I could do was make candied orange peel sort of a marmalade in syrup?[2]

Well, it might not be ideal for stollen, but it works fine for muffins, which the additional bennie that if you don't care to make your own orange peel in syrup, commercial marmalade would likely be a perfectly adequate substitute. This recipe is a variant on triple ginger muffins but is completely vegan—not something I often manage.

17jun20. grated granny smith apple, minced fresh ginger, chopped walnuts and “candied orange peel” with syrup. Plus chia seeds soaked in water for binder.

  • 1-1/2 t baking powder
  • 3/4 t salt
  • 1/2 t ground star anise
  • 1-1/4 C flour (I use an Indian ‘soft white whole wheat’ type)
  • 3–4 T canola oil (I'm lazy and eyeball it)
  • 3/4 C rolled oats
  • 1 apple (preferably granny smith), grated[3]
  • 1/4 C minced fresh ginger
  • 3/4-1 C chopped walnuts
  • 1/2-3/4 C candied orange peel with syrup (see note)
  • 3 T chia seeds, soaked in (roughly) 6–8T water
  • add'l water to clean out sugar/syrup from jars as needed

the finished muffins...


  1. measure chia seeds & add water to soak
  2. peel ginger & mince
  3. chop walnuts
  4. grate apple
  5. preheat oven to 360 degrees F
  6. measure out dry ingredients, starting with leavening, grind out any lumps with bottom of a 1/2 C measure, add flour & oats, stir to mix; form well in center of bowl
  7. add oil & thickened chia seed mixture to well of dry ingredients, stir together; add water as needed, mixing in dry ingredients till mostly wetted: batter should be a thick paste that holds its shape
  8. add nuts, ginger, apple & candied orange peel plus syrup/marmalade
  9. stir till moistened, mixing add'l sugar water to wet any dry flour still remaining (final adjustments to sugar/sweetener, salt and spices go here)
  10. oil 12 cup muffin tin[4]
  11. distribute evenly in cups
  12. bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown
  13. loosen muffins with knife & tip in their cups to cool
  14. serve, with cream cheese or other condiments as desired.

So the trickiest parts are probably figuring out how much sugar/candied orange peel/syrup to add—and this is one reason I made the recipe vegan: you can just taste the batter and adjust. —I had to add some salt, for example, because I used more flour & oats (1-1/4 C flour and 3/4 oats, as opposed to the typical measure of 1 C oats and 1/2 C flour[5]

So, you could sweeten to taste. Because of the bitterness of the orange peels (& spicyness of the ginger) I probably put in more than the typical 3–4 T (plus apples and/or dried fruit) that I usually add to muffins of this type; owing to the greater amount of batter, I probably would've gone to 4–5 T sugar, if I were using that instead of the sweetened peels & extra syrup.

[1]In order to protect us olds/athmatics from covid, f2tE has been doing our shopping, and during the first weeks of the lockdown, bought sugar in the only quantity then available at Costco: a 50lb bag.

[2]The first batch was really hard. So this time I gently cooked the water-syrup mixture at a low level (#2 or 3 on my digital cooktop, out of 10 settings) for much of the day. This meant I ended up with something more like a sort of bitter marmalade in syrup.

[3]Slice a one inch circle of peel to expose the flesh, to make it easier to grate with the half-inch teardrop shaped holes on a standard box grater; mince the circle of peel. Or eat it.

[4]I like spatula oil on flat surface into cups

[5]Oats are less dense than flour, so measures by volume are not exactly equivalent. Typically I use just enough flour to hold the batter together, subbing in oats for the rest of the cereal component, but right now I have a lot of whole wheat flour to use before it gets rancid, in case you're wondering why I changed the 2:1 ratio (by volume).