Strawberry-Orange Muffins

Strawberry-Orange Muffins

Hint: Begin with pre-measured ingredients in larger containers so children can practice measuring, but recipe still works. There are other recipes – simpler ones – that can be used to experiment what happens if the measurements are not accurate. Those are great to discuss following directions, and to encourage children to create and write (or dictate) their own tweaked recipes.


  • 9 x 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 x teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 x teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 x 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 x 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 x 1/4 cup sour cream (or yogurt)
  • 1 x 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 egg
  • 3 teaspoons finely grated orange zest
  • 4 x 1/4 cup thinly sliced strawberies
  • 1 x 1/4 cup strawberry jam

Other materials

  • 1/4 cup and 1 teaspoon per child
  • 1 large bowl
  • 1 small bowl
  • 2 whisks
  • 1 wooden spoon
  • 24 muffin tins
  • ingredients slips displaying a picture of the ingredient, a picture showing the measuring utensil as many times as it should be used. Under each picture is the name of the object depicted.

My Suggestions For the teacher

Arrange the cooking materials on a table – ingredients and utensils alike – and make sure there are enough 1/4 cup measuring cups and 1 teaspoon measuring spoons for each cooking student so they can be asked to differentiate them when it is their turn to “read” and measure. Cover the materials to help children focus while the teacher works on previous knowledge when presenting the recipe.

Holding the ingredient slips, name the recipe “Strawberry-Orange Muffins” and asks the students what ingredients they think will go in it. As students guess an ingredient correctly, show the corresponding slip, and tape it to the wall or display on a board, in a way that students can see. Give students hints to help them guess ingredients they do not think of independently.

After the ingredients have been presented, recap the ingredients list, pointing at the words under the pictures and reading. Students can “read” along using the pictures as support.

When all the ingredients are clear, introduce the utensils, pointing at them on the recipe slips and explaining that they are a special cup and a special spoon for measuring, that is, for getting the right amount of each ingredient into the recipe so the recipe works. During the explanation, hand each student a 1/4 cup and a teaspoon.

Each child then is given a slip from the wall. This is a good moment to elicit which measuring utensil each student will use and how many times they will need to use it (based on their slips).

When children are cooking for the first time, the teacher should be in charge of reading the recipe. If children are used to following recipes it can be displayed on the wall for them to cook independently. I like to use pictures – to allow children to follow – as well as texts – to encourage them to keep the recipes for later in their cooking experience when they become readers.

Recipe Directions

  1. Preheat the oven at 400F (280C).
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg, the sugar, the milk, the sour cream, the canola oil, the sugar and the orange zest.
  4. Pour the liquid ingredients into the large bowl and stir with a wooden spoon.
  5. Add the strawberries and the jam and stir gently.
  6. Line muffin tins with paper liners and pour 1/4 cup (leveled) of the batter into each
  7. Bake for 15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Recipe adapted for class from: Chuck Williams, ed. (2005). Williams-sonoma baking. San Francisco, CA: Oxmoor.

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