Mandarin Orange Muffins with Greek Yogurt

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These fresh and moist mandarin orange muffins made with healthy Greek Yogurt make a great breakfast on the go, dessert, or snack. A light glaze adds an extra punch of mandarin flavor and sweetness.

glazed mandarin orange muffins on a cooling rack

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Phil’s boss knows where in the city to find – and how to choose – the best mandarin oranges. When they’re in season, we get a bagful from him on almost a weekly basis! They are super sweet and and juicy, and far superior to what I find at my local grocery store.

Mandarin oranges with leaves in a white fruit bowl

It’s always a treat, and we eat as many as we can just like that, but sometimes it’s fun to put them in stuff too. Last week, I put some in an awesome chicken stir fry from the new Half-Baked Harvest book.

This week I used them to make these mandarin orange muffins.

a dozen glazed mandarine orange muffins on a cooling rack

The original recipe, which I found in this Williams Sonoma baking book, is for regular orange muffins and uses just the orange zest to flavor the muffins. I found using mandarin oranges instead of regular oranges gave the muffins a delicate, almost floral flavor that I loved.

Orange, mandarin and otherwise, is probably my all-time favorite flavor. If you’re in need of a celebration cake, this orange layer cake with cream cheese frosting is our entire family’s very favorite cake.

And for a healthier but no less delicious orange cake, try this easy orange loaf cake. Super moist, packed with orange flavor, and made with healthier ingredients like yogurt and olive oil.

For these muffins, you could definitely use regular oranges, clementines, tangerines or some other sweet citrus instead of mandarins. You would probably need to add some additional sugar for lemon or lime muffins. Maybe this is something I’ll experiment with!

Zesting Citrus

Zesting citrus, believe it or not, is one of my very favorite kitchen tasks. The scent of fresh citrus zest is unbeatable as far as I’m concerned.

The tool that makes this task so easy though is a microplane zester. Do you have one of these? If not, I highly recommend it.

You can use it for anything you need finely grated. I love it for Parmesan cheese, for instance. It captures everything you’re grating with it’s special shape, so there’s no mess.

Zest of a mandarin orange on a microplane zester

I used Greek yogurt because I love the texture of muffins made with yogurt. The crumb is slightly less dense than my sturdy bakery-style cranberry orange muffins, but still great for a quick breakfast on the go.

The glaze on top is optional, but the muffins themselves are not overly sweet, so it adds a little extra sweetness.

Collage of process shots for making mandarin orange muffins

These are the perfect snacking muffin, in my opinion. After a day or so, the glaze kind of sinks into the muffins, making them super moist.

Inside closeup of a mandarin orange muffin on a plate

A Few More Favorite Muffins

Everyone’s favorite banana pecan muffins (pecans optional). Seriously, they are so good.

These perfect one bowl apple cinnamon muffins are soft and cakey cinnamon-scented amazingness

Or try these cherry muffins with coconut streusel. A long-time favorite!

Sound good to you? If you make this recipe, I would love it if you would take a pic and tag me on Instagram @ourhappymess!

Or pin for later!

And if you’re looking for more easy breakfast inspiration, follow me on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook or Twitter. Or be old-fashioned and subscribe in the sidebar on the right to get every new recipe in your inbox ๐Ÿ™‚

glazed mandarin orange muffins on a cooling rack

Mandarin Orange Muffins with Greek Yogurt

These fresh and moist mandarin orange muffins made with healthy Greek Yogurt make a great breakfast on the go, dessert, or snack. A light glaze adds an extra punch of mandarin flavor and sweetness.
4.80 from 5 votes
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Course: Breakfast/Brunch
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 18 muffins
Calories: 133kcal
Author: Ann Otis


Mandarin orange muffins

  • 6 mandarin oranges or 3 regular oranges
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar separated
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter plus a little extra for greasing
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup plain greek yogurt
  • 3/4 cup milk

Orange Glaze (optional)

  • 1 cup icing (confectioner’s) sugar
  • 2 tablespoons mandarin orange juice freshly squeezed
  • 2 teaspoons mandarin orange zest
  • pinch salt


Mandarin Orange Muffins

  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Grease a standard muffin pan. This recipe makes enough batter for 16-18 muffins, so you can bake in batches and re-use the same pan, or grease an additional six cups in separate muffin pan, if you have one.
  • Finely grate enough mandarin oranges to get about 1/4 cup (30 grams) of zest. For me this was about 6 mandarins. You can also peel a long strip of zest with a vegetable peeler and julienne into small thin pieces for an optional garnish, as in my photos.
  • In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the zest, 1/4 cup of the sugar, and the water. Heat and stir until the sugar has dissolved completely. Stir in the butter until melted. Remove from heat and set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, remaining 1/4 cup of the sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  • In a large mixing bowl, stir together the Greek yogurt, eggs, milk and orange sugar mixture until well combined.
  • Add the flour mixture to the yogurt mixture and stir until just combined.
  • Fill the prepared muffin pan(s) to 3/4 full. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes back clean. Allow the muffins to cool in the pan for about 5 minutes, then remove from the pan to a cooling rack to cool completely.
  • Glaze (optional): In a small bowl, stir together the icing sugar, mandarin juice, zest and salt until smooth. If too thick for pouring, add a little juice until a pour-able consistency is achieved.
  • With a spoon, drizzle the cooled muffins with the glaze, and garnish with thin slices of mandarin peel if desired.


Calories: 133kcal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 27mg | Sodium: 141mg | Potassium: 123mg | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 340IU | Vitamin C: 7.8mg | Calcium: 49mg | Iron: 0.8mg
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  1. I don’t have a muffin pan.. will this recipe work to pour the batter into a loaf pan or a 9×9 cake pan? Any special instructions to turn this into a loaf or a cake? TY!

    1. It should work fine in a loaf pan, or an 8×8 inch cake pan (might be on the thin side in a 9×9). You’ll probably need to increase the baking time a bit and I would bring the temp down to 350F. Alternatively, we love this orange yogurt loaf cake for something a little sweeter but still on the healthier side!

  2. 4 stars
    I would say the glaze is definitely NOT optional. These muffins were pretty bland without it. With that being said, the muffins AND glaze together were delicious ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. I should add that they are really fluffy & moist though, so Iโ€™ll be making this recipe again with a couple small changes to add a touch more flavor & sweetness.

    2. Yes, they aren’t the sweetest muffins without the glaze! You can definitely add some extra sugar to make them sweeter ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Hi, can I replace sugar by honey, use almond flour and add more greek yogurt instead of milk? Thanks!

    1. Hi Tarah! Those are pretty heavy modifications, none of which I’ve personally tried, so I really can’t make any promises! I would say that you should be ok subbing the all purpose flour for almond flour in equal quantity. If you do, I would add an extra egg as almond flour doesn’t bind as well as all-purpose. Subbing the sugar for honey should also work in theory. Honey is sweeter, so you might want to cut the quantity down by a tablespoon or two, but this recipe isn’t overly sweet to begin with so I think you’d be fine keeping it to 1/2 cup. For the milk, this batter is already very thick, so I would personally go with almond milk instead of regular, rather than more Greek yogurt. Let me know how it turns out! ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. 5 stars
    My family LOVES these muffins! The flavour is incredible. I replace the water with freshly squeezed orange juice, since I used regular Cara Cara oranges.
    Thank you for this delicious recipe!

  5. 5 stars
    I love adding orange zest to baked goods, and I bet the greek yogurt helps keep these muffins moist! Glad to see someone else likes to add a bit of icing to their muffins! I usually do that when I’m making muffins for a special occasion. These look awesome!

    1. Thanks so much Leanne! They are super moist and the glaze makes them extra special for sure ๐Ÿ™‚

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