I didn’t expect the hardest part of this recipe to be the grocery store, but apparently all orange muffin mix nowadays is orange cranberry muffins.


This is when mid-century recipe testing gets interesting: when you simply can’t get the ingredient anymore.

Orange Muffins
  • 1 (14-oz.) package orange muffin mix
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup beer
  • 1/2 cup orange marmalade
  • 24 pecan halves
  1. Combine muffin mix, egg and beer. Beat only until just mixed. (Batter will be lumpy.)
  2. Grease medium size muffin pan heavily or line cups with cupcake papers.
  3. Fill cups 1/4 full of batter. Spoon orange marmalade on batter. Top each cup with 2 pecan halves. Spoon remaining batter over pecans.
  4. Bake in preheated hot oven at 40 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown and muffin feels firm to touch. Serve warm.



Luckily, not all of the orange cranberry muffin mixes have dried cranberries in the mix. We found one that includes a can of fresh cranberries separate from the mix — and simply didn’t use the can at all.


Of course, I’d spent so much time focusing on (and worrying about) the muffin mix ingredient that I overlooked the third ingredient. So I sent Buzz back to the store for beer.


“What are you making?”


“Why are you asking for beer?”

“It’s a recipe that Ruth sent.”



The muffin mix was very sticky — our muffin mix was in a 16 oz. box, not 14 oz., so there were slightly more dry ingredients than the recipe expected.

But they worked.


Buzz wore a tiger shirt… because tigers are orange. (We’ve been focusing a lot on color recently.)


“Hey, it doesn’t taste like beer at all.”

Verdict: Tasty.

From the family tasting notes:

The marmalade provided a nice sour contrast to the very sweet muffins. Pecans might have been better chopped in small pieces and distributed through the batter, it was weird to have some bites full of nut and some with none.