I find it hard to resist a muffin in the morning, especially when it is a homemade muffin that is still slightly warm from the oven. So I don’t try to resist muffins in the morning. I’m even willing to get up a little bit extra early on a weekday to throw together a batch – especially if that batch of muffins smells as good as these Tropical Morning Muffins do. The muffins are filled with dried tropical fruits and topped with a coconut and sugar mixture that will fill your kitchen up with the scent of toasted coconut while the muffins bake, as well as giving the finished muffins a slightly crunchy topping that contrasts with the rest of the moist muffin.
The fruit blend in these muffins includes dried coconut, dried mangoes, dried pineapple and dried blueberries. The fruit combination that inspired these muffins was a blend of leftover dried fruits that I had in my pantry. I sometimes find that I have small amounts of dried fruit – whether they’re raisins or dried pineapples – that I don’t always quite know what to do with. I often toss them in with granola or trail mix for a snack on-the-go, but this time around I combined several of those partially empty packets to make the blend, which gave the muffins a lovely tropical fruit flavor. The muffins also have both orange juice and orange zest in them, for a citrus note that helps the other fruit flavors to pop. All of the fruits absorb moisture from the muffin batter in the oven, making them plump, tender and even more flavorful
The ingredient list may look long at first glance, but that is because there are quite a few flavor elements happening in these muffins. I also used melted coconut oil, rather than plain canola oil, in this recipe to add an extra touch of coconut. Vegetable oil will work just as well if you don’t have coconut oil on hand, though. The muffins are moist and fluffy. The dried fruit doesn’t make the muffins overly wet inside, as some fresh fruit can, so these muffins also keep very well when stored in an airtight bag for a few days after baking – if you can resist the urge to eat them all while they’re fresh.
Tropical Morning Muffins
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup vegetable oil or coconut oil, melted and cooled
1 large egg
1/2 cup orange juice
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp almond extract
2 tsp orange zest
2/3 cup shredded coconut
1 cup diced dried mangos, pineapples and blueberries
1 1/2 tbsp sugar, for topping
1/4 cup shredded coconut, finely chopped, for topping
Preheat oven to 375F. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar
In a medium bowl, whisk together vegetable oil/melted coconut oil, egg, orange juice, buttermilk, vanilla extract, almond extract and orange zest. Pour into dry ingredients and mix until almost all the dry ingredients have been incorporated. Stir in shredded coconut and dried fruit until they are well-distributed and no streaks of dry ingredients remain. Divide batter evenly into prepared pan.
In a small bowl, stir together remaining sugar and shredded coconut. Sprinkle evenly on top of muffins.
Bake for 16-19 minutes, until muffins spring back when lightly pressed and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Turn muffins out onto a wire rack to cool completely.