Parka plushy is standing in front of 3 muffins baked in oranges. These muffins baked in oranges are Parka’s favourite!

By Jon Reed and Hannah Rochon, Learn to Camp 

Have you ever been interested in camping with your family but didn’t know where to start or what to bring? Look no further! My colleague Hannah and I would be glad to help you! Over the last few months we have been working for Parks Canada’s Learn to Camp Initiative. We help families and kids learn how to set up a tent, start a campfire and cook outdoors. We provide advice on what to bring like camping equipment, clothing, and cooking materials all through fun and interactive activities!

Today we will reveal the secrets of how to bake the perfect muffin in an orange! They are Parka’s favourite and will surely be a hit with your kids too! We suggest cooking them over a campfire, but these muffins can also be baked in a barbecue or in the oven, just to give you a little taste of camping at home!

This recipe and many others are available on Parks Canada’s website or on the free Learn to Camp App where you can find tips, advice and all the information you need to plan and enjoy your first family camping trip! If you are already an experienced camper, you'll love these recipes, camping checklists and insider tips too!
 

 

YOU WILL NEED

  • 4 large thick-skinned oranges
  • 1 1/3 cup of your favourite muffin batter (bran muffin mix works well)
  • Aluminum foil

Optional: Ingredients for Home-Made Healthy Muffin Batter:

  •  
    1 ¼ cup instant oatmeal
  • 1 ¼ cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • Optional: 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ cup of oil (olive, vegetable, sunflower, etc.)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 to 1 1/3 cup milk (quantity will vary depending on whether you decide to add orange juice)
  • Optional: 1/3 cup freshly squeezed orange juice from emptying the orange

INSTRUCTIONS

Making the Muffin Batter (If you have already made your own muffin batter, you can move to the next step.)

  1. Mix the dry ingredients (oatmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and cinnamon) in a large bowl.
  2. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients. (A well is a hole mounded up on all sides to hold wet ingredients.)
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients (oil, egg, milk and orange juice).
  4. Pour all wet ingredients into the well. Mix quickly and lightly until moistened. The final mixture should be rather thick.

Preparing the Orange Muffins

  1. Using a knife, slice the top off of each orange and set aside. Keeping the skin as intact as possible, carefully scoop out the orange flesh with a spoon. This can later be used for a snack or fruit salad or use the juice in your muffin mix.
  2. Half-fill each orange with the muffin batter (leaving room for expansion) and replace the orange lid on top.
  3. Wrap each orange in aluminum foil, shaping a foil handle at the top of the orange.

Cooking the Orange Muffins

  • Campfire option: Place each foil-wrapped orange in the hot embers of your campfire for approximately 20-30 minutes, rotating several times to avoid burning.
  • Barbecue option: Same as campfire.
  • Oven option: Place the oranges in a 400F preheated oven for approximately 20-30 minutes (flipping or rotating is not necessary as the heat in your oven should be evenly distributed).

The muffins do not have to be perfectly cooked. We are pretty sure you and your family will enjoy a 75% cooked gooey muffin to a fully cooked one! Also, by under doing it, you never run the risk of it burning while trying to get it just right! To test to see if the muffin is fully cooked, remove one from the fire. Carefully take off the aluminum foil (making sure the opening is at the top) and insert a toothpick in the center. If the toothpick comes out clean, it is done! If not, wrap the aluminum foil around the orange and place back in the fire.

Enjoying the Orange Muffins!

When done, let your oranges cool for approximately 5 minutes. Eat with a spoon or peel open your moist and orange-infused muffins… and enjoy!

TIPS AND TRICKS

  • Approximately ½ of the muffin batter will fill 4 oranges. You can either freeze the other half for later, or fill 4 more oranges.
  • If you are planning a camping trip, you could premix the muffin batter in a food-safe reusable bag or container and freeze it ahead of time. Make sure it has completely thawed-out before you begin.
  • If you are mixing your muffin batter at the campsite, make sure it is a mix that requires minimal additions and you have all the required ingredients with you.
  • You could add leftover dried fruit or nuts (cranberries, dates, raisins, walnuts) to your batter before spooning it into the orange (for this demonstration, we chose raisins and sliced almonds).
  • A sprinkle of brown sugar and a pat of butter on top of the batter would give your muffins a decadent caramel-like topping. You could also try putting a couple of chocolate chips on top.

Kids are having fun making campfire muffins in oranges. Yum! Campfire muffins baked in oranges are the best!

Cooking and camping can be so much fun! We hope this recipe inspires you to experience it. Do not hesitate to participate in a Learn-to Camp Experience in your area or, just like these muffins, try the experience at home! Set up a tent using sheets in your living room! Pull out your sleeping bags, lay in your backyard and stargaze with your kids! Read a book together using a flashlight!

There are so many options to choose from! The important thing is to have family fun while camping… in a park or at home!  

Download this activity (PDF, 838 Kb)