Belinda Jeffery

Date, tangelo (or orange) and banana muffins

These moist, golden muffins have a lovely slightly sticky, yet light, texture and an intense citrus tang.


Makes 12 muffins

1 cup (150g) plain flour

½ cup (80g) stone-ground wholemeal plain flour

3 teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg

1 cup (160g) pitted dates, chopped

1 large tangelo or medium-size navel orange

2 eggs

½ cup (110g) brown sugar

½ cup (125ml) light olive oil

2 medium-size bananas (to yield roughly 1/2 cup mashed)

½ cup (125ml) freshly squeezed tangelo (or orange) juice

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

6 pitted dates, halved, for topping

Preheat the oven to 200C. Butter a 12-hole muffin tin and set it aside. (If you like, instead of buttering the tin you can sit a muffin paper in each hole, as I’ve done here.)


Put both the flours, the baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, salt and nutmeg into a food processor and whiz them together for 15 seconds. Tip this dry mixture into a large bowl and stir in the chopped dates.


Thoroughly wash and dry the tangelo (or orange) then chop it into small chunks. Scrape these chunks into the processor and whiz them for a minute or so until they form a rough-textured puree; you will need to stop the machine a couple of times and scrape down the sides with a spatula as you go.


Add the eggs, brown sugar, oil, mashed bananas, tangelo (or orange) juice and vanilla extract to the processor and whiz them until the mixture is fairly smooth (it won’t be completely smooth as there will be little chunks of orange peel in it).


Pour this tangelo mixture into the dry ingredients and quickly stir them together until they’re just combined. As the batter will be quite thin and sloppy, leave it to sit for 1 minute to thicken up so it’s easier to scoop. Divide the batter evenly between the muffin cups. (I use a spring-loaded ice cream scoop to do this…it works really well). Gently press a halved date on top of each muffin.


Bake for about 20 minutes or until they’re deep golden and a fine skewer inserted in the middle of one comes out clean. Cool the muffins in the tin on a wire rack for 1 minute, then gently loosen them around edges if they need it, and turn them onto the rack. Serve them warm or room temperature, either as is or as I love them, with plenty of butter.