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Filipino Calamansi Muffins

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I was craving the famous Filipino Calamansi Muffins. I longed for the crusty outer layer, yet moist and crumbly on the inside. I wanted it big, bold, buttery, and as fragrant as a freshly baked bun. I opened the freezer and a welcome whiff of ice cold wind blasted on my face that hot summer day. I found a full container of frozen calamansi concentrate. Then I checked my baking supplies. It was an “aha” moment! Everything was ready for a  weekend of freshly baked muffins, in one of my favorite flavors – calamansi, the Filipino lime.

What is ‘calamansi’ ? (say “kah-lah-manh- see” ) Calamansi is the Filipino lime. I have loved it forever. and used it in different ways. In a previous post about Calamansi Chewies, I mentioned this about the Filipino calamansi :

Calamansi, the Philippine lime are small,green, round citrus fruits, measuring about quarter of an inch in diameter. They have the tart flavors of a mandarin orange, but are sour as much as they’re sweet.The calamansi also has a piercing sweet citrus scent. I grew up enjoying “calamansi” juice in the Philippines, freshly made by my parents for my school lunchbox.

They are as versatile as lemons and limes are. I’ve used calamansi for anything I want to make from appetizers, sides, entrees to desserts.  This little citrus is packed with loads of Vitamin C, too. Here in the east coast, it is easier and less pricey for me to use the frozen “calamansi”  concentrate, found in Asian markets.

It is spelled “kalamansi”, in the Tagalog language.  “Calamansi is a spiny citrus tree that bear small spherical acidic fruit, used in seasoning food and for making a juice preparation like lemonade.” (As defined by the late Professor Doreen Gamboa Fernandez, in her Philipine  food essay book “Tikim” ).

In the cookbook “Memories of Philippine Kitchens”, authors Amy Besa and Romy Dorotan defined “kalamansi as Philippine lime” (see page 232 of the book).

Even if it was the middle of summer, I still yearned to bake something light and limey. So I reached for my Manila cookbooks. Back in Manila, we always knew how to cope with the heat with quick easy recipes.

I searched for the Calamansi Muffins recipe I found in the cookbook “Bake Me A Cake”. This cookbook is gem of a find, which I found at a bookstore in Manila, when I visited family this year. To my delight and surprise, I found that my nieces Tina Besa and Maya Besa Roxas designed and edited the book, respectively. Have I mentioned how proud I am of the young creative talents in my family? That aside, I’ve also been in touch with the cookbook author, Ginny Roces de Guzman. Each time I bake a recipe from her delightful cookbook, I tell her how I love it. Yes, folks, Manila is a bustling city in Asia which has amazing culinary talents!

Back to these Calamansi Muffins. This was super duper easy to do. I just rounded up the usual ingredients for muffins. Then I made calamansi the base of its flavoring.  It was buttery with sweet limey flavors and oh, so fragrant. Once you  bake it, you will wonder why you never did this before!

 

Filipino Calamansi Muffins

Calamansi, the Filipino lime is the basic flavor in this muffin. After you mix the muffin batter, add a good amount of calamansi juice concentrate. The limey, yet sweet tart-like flavors, and zesty citrus aroma unique to the calamansi makes this a very light, refreshing summer muffin. This recipe was inspired by the Philippine cookbook "Bake Me A Cake" by Ginny Roces de Guzman. The recipe makes 12 large muffins.
Course: Breakfast, Brunch, Dessert, Merienda, Snack
Cuisine: American, Asian, Filipino
Keyword: Filipino Calamansi Muffin Dessert
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 331kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup softened unsalted butter softened butter
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 whole large eggs
  • 1/3 cup calamansi juice fresh or frozen concentrate found in Asian markets (or use lemon juice)
  • 1/3 cup + 1 Tablespoon whole milk

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350 F degrees. Line a muffin pan with cupcake liners.
  • Sift the flour, baking soda and powder, and salt together in a separate bowl.
  • In another bowl, beat the butter with an electric mixer until light and creamy. Gradually add the sugar. Then add the eggs, one at a time.
  • In a cup, combine the calamansi juice and the milk. It will look curdled, but that’s okay. Set aside for a few minutes.
  • With the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients to the bowl, alternately with the calamansi mixture. Mix well, but do not overbeat. Personally, I find that my muffins come out better if batter is slightly lumpy.
  • Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin pan, about 2/3 full. Bake for 20 to 23 minutes in a preheated oven of 350 F degrees. Serve warm.
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Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 331kcal | Carbohydrates: 75g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 2mg | Sodium: 431mg | Potassium: 182mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 39g | Vitamin A: 40IU | Calcium: 77mg | Iron: 2.3mg

Nutrition Notes: The nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

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17 Comments

      1. Hi,…I tried looking up the calamansi concentrate to check that there was no sugar added.
        If I were to substitute the lime or lemon juice suggested in the recipe, the favors would be markedly different if the concentrate was sweet and the substitute not sweet.
        Suffice to say, if I were to use lime juice, would I have to sweeten t and add a thickener to mimic concentrate juice?
        Many thanks…..I was craving a lime muffin!
        Joanne

        1. Hi Joanne! Thanks for the blog visit & kind comment. The original recipe of “Calamansi Muffins” in the Philippine cookbook “Bake Me A Cake” uses natural calamansi juice which is clear colored, not concentrate and has no sugar. I used the frozen calamansi concentrate (in the photo) as a cheaper and the only alternative I had, living here in the east coast (USA). I understand from other bloggers that calamansi grows in the west coast. That said, to answer your question, you can use regular lime juice and there is no need to thicken or sweeten it. The end result is a tart-like, lime-flavored muffin that is not meant to be too sweet. Mine was sweet, but I personally prefer sweets to be extra sweet. Hope this info helps. Let me know how yours turn out – would love to be updated. Come back and blog-visit soon!

  1. I love citrus flavor in sweets very much and the fact that I haven’t tried calamansi in my life bothers me! I’ll check my closest Asian shop, but I’m afraid I might need to travel further to find it. These muffins sound delicious. They make my mouth water by looking at them.

    1. Hi Nami! Since you live in the west coast, it might be easier for you to find calamansi. It grows in warmer climates. I know friends and family from San Francisco who grow these trees. The calamansi is very versatile, like the lemon, and you’ll love its sweet piercing citrus flavor. Thanks for stopping by with the kindest comments 🙂

  2. kalamansi grows in Sarasota, Florida. Thanks for posting the recipe. I am in Boracay now and had heard of this kalamansi muffin, so we went to the place located in Station 1 as early as 10am. I could not believe what is with this muffin! As early as 10am, we cannot buy nor place our order to collect the muffins at 7pm on the same day. Worst, till the next morning as our flight at midday. I hope this recipe is as close to Real Cafe’s. thanks again.

    1. Hi Richie! Thanks for visiting the blog all the way from Boracay – lucky you! To be honest, I haven’t had the kalamansi muffins from there, though I’ve heard a lot about it. You can try this recipe when you get back to FL – I’ve baked this often for my boys. Let me know how yours turn out. Would love it if you can share photos on our blog’s Facebook page – see “Asian In America”. Mabuhay and salamat po!

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