I find blood oranges fascinating.  I’m sure at least a little part of it has to do with the word “blood” in the name (cool!  and gross!), but it is mostly due to their deep ruby red flesh and juice, and their sweet-tart flavor.  Unfortunately my regular grocery store never seems to carry them, so they are a special treat whenever I make the trip to Whole Foods or order them in my weekly produce bin.  Don’t worry if they are unavailable in your area.  These muffins can just as easily be made using regular oranges.  Often in recipes where a little bit of orange zest is included, I omit it because I find the flavor tends to overpower everything else in the dish (it may just be a quirk of my tastebuds.)  But, I do enjoy oranges, so I am happy to make something where they play a starring role.

Orange and dark chocolate compliment each other very well, so combining the two in a muffin is bound to be a natural success.  These muffins have a triple dose of citrus with both the zest and juice in the muffin itself, and additional juice used to make a glaze for the top.  These were very popular in our house, and I found it hard to limit myself to one per day.  One thing to note is that due to the deep red color of the blood orange juice, your muffins can take on a slight blue-gray tint after baking.  Break the muffin monotony and try something a bit different from the usual.


For the muffins:
1¾ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup sugar
1½ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. coarse salt
Grated zest of 3 blood oranges
4-6 oz. bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
8 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
2/3 cup freshly squeezed blood orange juice
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 large eggs

For the glaze:
¼ cup sugar
¼ cup blood orange juice


  • 01

    Preheat the oven to 400˚ F.  Line muffin tins with paper liners.  In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and orange zest.  Whisk to blend.  Stir the chocolate chunks into the dry ingredients.  In a medium bowl combine the melted butter, orange juice, vanilla and eggs.  Whisk to blend.  Add the wet ingredients to the bowl with the dry ingredients and fold together gently just until combined.  Divide the batter between the prepared muffin cups, filling about ¾ full.

  • 02

    Bake 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Allow to cool in the pan briefly, then transfer to a wire rack.

  • 03

    While the muffins are baking, making the glaze.  Combine the sugar and blood orange juice in a small saucepan over medium-high heat.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until the sugar has dissolved.  Remove from the heat.  Brush warm glaze over the muffins as they cool.


  • I find them fascinating as well – I love that you put them in these muffins!

  • These sound simply fantastic! I love chocolate and orange together, but only ever seem enjoy it in raw chocolate form. Great recipe, and beautiful photos!

  • Just stumbled upon your blog…lovely pictures and writing! I cracked up your fascination with blood oranges (cool! and gross!) because that’s always my immediate reaction too.

  • I used to get blood orange snow cones when I was a kid, but I’ve never had the actual fruit. I’ll definitely have to go find some to try!

  • I love this flavor combination and I’m sure the glaze just puts these over the top! My local grocery store rarely carries blood oranges unfortunately.

  • I think they’re cool too, but you know, I never notice blood oranges around here for some reason. I’ll bet these muffins are wonderful.

  • I too love blood oranges but am sadden that they are so hard to find. I have had a blood orange sherbet on my ‘to-make’ list for quite some time but can never seem to find the beauties.

  • These look rich and decadent-and possibly even bursting with (blood?) flavor.

    I so want to try these. I have never worked with blood oranges just because of availability. I want to now.

  • Annie

    Bwahaha ;)

  • I’m also really intrigued by blood oranges! I love the flavor and the awesome color of the flesh. These muffins sounds delicious – especially with the chocolate!

  • These oranges just fascinate me too. What a great looking recipe. Cannot wait to give this a try.

  • What a great idea for a muffin! Must try this recipe! :)

  • Cate

    One word – YUM!

  • I’ve heard of blood oranges, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen one or eaten one. I’m going to have to be on the look-out now.

  • I love blood oranges and so happy when i find them at the local grocery. These muffins sound delicious. Thanks for sharing Annie

  • I’ve never seen blood orange muffins before! They look beautiful and so tasty!

  • Joelyn

    Annie, instead of orange, can I use grapefruit, since they kinda like from the same family and it’s reddish inside….

  • Annie

    Yes, you could really make these with any citrus I think.

  • Colleen

    I’ve never been able to find blood oranges here either so I made these tonight using regular oranges. I’m also a chocolate fanatic so I used a chocolate orange glaze. I just finished the first one and I’m trying not to go down to the kitchen and get a second. Orange and chocolate. Sublime. Thank you for the delicious recipe.

  • Casey Dunne

    Unfortunately, I couldn’t find any blood oranges, so I went with regular oranges, and this recipe turned out beautifully. I sent my boyfriend to work with a few, and he said they were gone in seconds and coworkers were requesting more. Even a guy whose wife is a professional chef and restaurant owner said they were some of the best muffins he’s ever had.

    So glad I found your website; such scrumptious food that’s easy to make and suits the palates in my home PERFECTLY!


  • I’ve never used blood oranges in a recipe, but we actually grow them. I’m really excited to try this now!

  • Iheartcooking

    I actually had some blood oranges, and made a google search for something to bake with them. Your recipe came up, and I’m so glad it did. I just made these this morning! What an awesome recipe! I followed it exactly, and the muffins came out perfectly wonderful. They have a lovely taste of orange and dark chocolate (two of my favorite flavors!). Not too sweet. And I love the glaze on top. This is a keeper! Thank you.

  • Sarah

    I just made these using regular oranges and they turned out fantastic! Thanks for the great recipe!

  • Hen

    Just made a half-batch of these. The texture is wonderful, but next time I’ll add more orange zest or juice, because I find the orange flavor to be a little weak. I still can’t stop eating them though!

  • adrienna

    hi annie ive been wanting to try this recipe but cant find any blood oranges. my mom went shopping and found blood orange juice as a replacement. should i use that or use regular oranges instead??

  • annieseats

    Hmm, not sure. I’d probably just use regular oranges. I’m guessing the juice isn’t really pure juice and is sweetened in some way. Enjoy!

  • These sound amazing! There is a Dark Chocolate Scone recipe that uses orange zest and it always reminds me of those Chocolate Oranges people give at Christmastime. Love!

  • Bernardita Araya

    Great Recipe! I loved it. I have a blood orange tree and I always search for fun recipes to use them. thanks!