Spiced Orange Popovers

spiced orange popovers

Ready for my David Letterman impression? I'll do it if you stop staring at my gap teeth!


  1. They taste like donuts, yet they're not fried!
  2. They're ridiculously easy.
  3. Your house will smell like a high-end Christmas candle.
  4. It's the holidays & you're looking for something festive for breakfast.
  5. Clove, cinnamon & orange are your best friends this time of year.
  6. You need an excuse to dust off your popover pan.
  7. They're light and fluffy. Means no calories, right?
  8. They're a perfect breakfast, snack or dessert. You could make dinner out of them. (I totally did)
  9. Your coffee is lonely. It needs company.
  10. Because I said so!

I should also note that I ate 5 popovers within an hour after I made them....I blame the delicious clove cinnamon orange sugar. Well...that and they were WARM.


It's not like I have to wear a bathing suit anytime soon...



And we're off!

Ingredient gathering. We're making batter!


All of that stuff goes into a blender. BLEND.


Batter! Now the batter rests for 30 minutes. Turn on the oven! Get it to temperature.


Let's prep the popover pan. Oil each one. No need to spread it around.

Heat the pan in the oven during the last 10 minutes of the 30 minute batter rest.


Carefully pour the batter into the hot popover pan. Who cares if it drips?


Pop it in the oven and make your spiced sugar!


Grate some orange peel.


Mix it in with your sugar.


After some time in the oven (and a shift in temperature-see recipe) they're done!


Turn them out onto a rack.


Get your butter/sugar assembly line together.


Baste each popover with butter & ROLL IT IN SUGAR.


You don't wanna know how much sugar is still hanging out on my camera lens.


Oh! Look at the inside of a popover.


So light! It's kinda like a French Cruller (my second favorite donut!).


Spiced Orange Popovers

makes 8

(recipe adapted from A Sweet Spoonful who adapted from Cook’s Illustrated)

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 teaspoons vegetable oil

For the orange cinnamon clove sugar top:

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 tablespoon grated orange zest
  • pinch kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted

Preheat the oven to 450 F. Blend the eggs, milk, flour, melted butter, salt and vanilla in a blender until smooth and bubbly, about one minute. Let the batter rest for 30 minutes.

While the batter is resting, prepare the popover tin by placing 1/2 teaspoon of oil into each cup. After the batter has rested 20 minutes, place pan in oven to heat the oil for 10 minutes.

Remove hot pan from the oven and divide batter amongst the 8 cups. Return to oven and bake for 20 minutes (don’t open the oven door). Lower heat to 350 F and continue to bake until popovers are golden brown, about 15 minutes more. After removing from the oven, gently turn them out onto a wire rack.

For the orange cinnamon clove sugar topping: mix the sugar, cinnamon, cloves and orange zest in a small bowl. Thoroughly brush each popover all over with the 1/4 cup of melted butter, then dredge each puff generously in the sugar mixture. Enjoy warm.

***If you don't have a popover tin, use a regular muffin tin! Megan from A Sweet Spoonful used a muffin tin and tells you how in her directions!****

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  • roxy
    December 21, 2011

    Nom! These look delish!

    P.s Do I see a little un-happy face on your thumb in one of the picture?? Lol I think I might be seeing things

    • December 21, 2011

      OMG! That is HILARIOUS!! It totally looks like it! It's magnetic nail polish. I'm OBSESSED with it.

      • Rosie
        December 23, 2011

        Magnetic nail polish?! That sounds amazing! Do you have a brand/store name to share?

        Also, I'm totally digging these popovers- it has been way too long since I've had one... or five...

  • December 21, 2011

    I am totally making these! Yummy.

  • December 21, 2011

    I've always wanted to make popovers! These look divine!

  • December 21, 2011

    i have never had a popover in my life...and that needs to change immediately! i'll take anything like a donut that's not fried any day!

  • December 21, 2011

    these look AMAZING and i have all the ingredients in my house. let's do this!

    • December 21, 2011

      okay, reporting back. i made them in a muffin pan, I probably could have used a little more oil because some of them didn't pop out very easily. BUT. they are delicious. i ate 4. :)

      this was my first time making popovers too, and I'm so glad I did! i might even go out and buy the special pan.

      • December 21, 2011

        WHOA!! That was FAST!!! Next time more oil. Check!

  • Oh my goodness. These look incredible. Do you have to use a popover pan?? I might have to rush out and buy one if that's the case. . . .

  • December 21, 2011

    Mmm these sound lovely!

  • December 21, 2011

    OH my gosh! I didn't need a single bit of convincing -- I was sold as soon as I saw the title of this post. YUM!

  • December 21, 2011

    Yummmm! I have been brainstorming about what to make for Christmas brunch and this hit the nail on the head! Clove is my favorite, and my dad loves popovers. You rock hard, Tracy.

  • December 21, 2011

    Holy guacamole. These look fantastic. Should have asked Santa for a popover pan.

    • December 21, 2011

      If you have a muffin pan, you can totally make them!!!

  • December 21, 2011

    Wow. I need to get a popover pan ASAP.

  • December 21, 2011

    YUM. i have not had popovers since i was a wee mini! so excited to make these - they look ah-mazing!!! channing

  • jenny
    December 21, 2011

    I am such a huge popover fan...but I've never rolled mine in sugar! definitely making these for new year's brunch...if I can wait that long. p.s. tracy, we're apparently anthropologie soul sisters. not only do we have the same napkins with the pompom corners, but we also both have these dish towels! :)

    • December 21, 2011

      Ahhh yeah!! I got those napkins as a gift from Joy! They're pretty amazing. We have good taste!

  • December 21, 2011

    Tracy, they look so light and fluffy...and I bet the smell's heavenly too!

    Merry Christmas to you and yours! X

  • December 21, 2011

    Beautiful, Tracy! Aren't they your new favorite thing to make??

    • December 21, 2011

      YES!!!!!!!! Thank you sooo much for the recipe!! xoxox

  • December 21, 2011

    Until this day I had never heard of popovers. They look AMAZING. I must make these.

  • December 21, 2011

    I've never made a popover, but they look like Yorkshire puddings which I love!!

    These look delicious!!

  • December 21, 2011

    I made David Lebovitz's version of these with just the cinnamon and sugar and they were to die for. I imagine the orange makes them even more heavenly.

  • December 21, 2011

    May I have one please? Or five?

  • December 21, 2011

    good lord i think my brain just exploded. i want one.

  • I love the look of these. I had no idea what popovers were (I know French Crullers). If they are anything like crullers, I have to make them.
    Thank you for this recipe.

  • December 21, 2011

    My coffee was feeling pretty lonely this morning: popover time!!

  • December 21, 2011

    Um...YES. I just got a popover pan so these are a MUST.

    Also, of course you ate 5. Popovers are best fresh-- you couldn't let them go bad!

  • December 21, 2011

    oh yum!! I need!

  • December 21, 2011

    Yum! We even have some oranges in the house right now! I wonder when we could make these!

  • Rose
    December 21, 2011

    Oh my! Looks fantastic! Will definitely make them this week.
    Chuckle. As I was reading this post, I received an pop up email from my runner's magazine with a "holiday meal survival guide". Oppsies, now how did that get deleted??? . Happy Holidays!

  • December 21, 2011

    I've never made popovers before because I thought you needed the special pan (which I don't have - AHEM, Santa!!). Now that I know you don't need it, I'll need to be making these immediately. They look delicious!

    Seriously though Santa, I still want the pan!

  • beth
    December 21, 2011

    No time for the popovers, well, ok, I have the time but I don't want to do the dishes. BUT! totally making the orange clove sugar as a gift to my BFF~!!!!

  • December 21, 2011

    Fab photos! I frequently deal with the ol' sugary camera lens problem myself ;)

  • Amanda
    December 21, 2011

    I am asking Santa for a pop over pan FOR SURE! These look (and I am guessing SMELL) amazing!!! I dont blame you for eating so many- who can resist anything rolled in sugar when its fresh & warm... mmmmmmm.

  • December 22, 2011

    I have not made popovers for *years,* obviously forgetting how amazing they are! Thank goodness your post reminded me - this is on today's baking list!

  • December 22, 2011

    Yes and yes. I love citrus flavors in the winter time!

  • December 22, 2011

    Thanks for introducing me to the world of popovers Tracy! I'd never heard of them. Will definitely have to try this out ASAP!!!

  • December 22, 2011

    These look amazing! I didn't think I could make popovers without a popover pan. Thanks for proving me wrong! The best popovers I've ever had were enjoyed al fresco with tea at the Jordan Pond House in Acadia National Park. :)

    I see a popover teatime in my future...

  • December 22, 2011

    Spiced Orange Popovers or Yorkshire Puddings as we in England call them, youre a genius! This is definitely going on my must bake list!

  • December 23, 2011

    Christmas Eve Brunch. Me. These. and ok... I guess I will share them with my family and guests.

  • December 24, 2011

    I might be making these for NYE brunch! Happy holidays, Tracy! Let's get together more often in 2012. xoxo

  • December 25, 2011

    I'm making this right now (on Christmas)! Thanks for the treat.

  • Sallymae
    December 25, 2011

    Made these for Christmas brunch! In muffin pan less the orange zest. Excellent! AND easy. Loved them!

  • December 27, 2011

    I would love to make these popovers....they look amazing!

  • December 27, 2011

    so many plates!

  • December 31, 2011

    off to make these now! thanks, tracy! happy new year!

  • Kristyn
    January 2, 2012

    Holy Cow!!! Just made these for breakfast and they were fantastic!! Yum, yum, yummity yum! Thank you!

    • January 3, 2012

      HOORAY!! Thanks for trying it Kristyn!

  • January 8, 2012

    Just made these last night and boyfriend declared that they were his new favorite dessert!
    I don't have a popover pan, so I decided to use mini ramekins since they have the vertical walls for the batter to climb. Worked like a charm! Thanks for sharing yet another winner, Tracy!

    • January 8, 2012

      Wow! Nice trick with the ramekins! I'm so glad it was boyfriend approved :)

  • Leigha
    March 7, 2012

    these have been on my "to do" list since the post and I finally got around to making them. LIFE CHANGING!!!! Seriously, these are the best things I've ever eaten. Thank you!!!!!

    • March 7, 2012

      WOW!!!!!!!!!!!! Thank you for FINALLY trying them. YAY!!!

  • August 18, 2013

    WOW these look delicious. I am thinking about trying to make these today or tomorrow in a muffin pan or mini donut pan.
    I've never had a popover but my mouth is watering so I think I will have to at this point haha :)

    • Tracy
      August 18, 2013

      It should work!

  • June 15, 2014

    Thank you for the detailed recipe. My family loved them and I've blogged about it here - http://goo.gl/Rrfyk5.

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