I was told there are Calamansi Muffins much sought after at a café-restaurant in Boracay, a favorite beach destination in the Philippines. Many blog readers have written to ask me if I knew the secret recipe. Some readers have shared that customers line up in the morning for these calamansi muffins, place their order and then come back for them in the afternoon. Or if one is late, those famous muffins are sold out. I can understand the longing for a delicious treat. But if I were at a beautiful beach resort, I would not line up. Instead I would lazily enjoy my time on the shore, taking a swim, enjoying the cool breeze, wrapped up in a good book and basking in the sun. If I wanted these calamansi muffins so badly, I will then go home and bake these instead.
So I did. I baked Calamansi Muffins and shared the recipe in a previous blog post. Those were so good and I’ve baked them again and again. These batch today were baked from a different recipe. These muffins were what I baked and brought to the New York Bake Sale organized by food bloggers in the tri state. Every year, one day during the spring, food bloggers led by my friends Lillian Huang Fuentes and Ken Leung tirelessly give their time to organize a bake sale fund raiser to benefit ‘No Kid Hungry.’ Inspired by Lillian and Ken’s hard work, a large group of food bloggers in the tri state give their time and donate baked goods for the bake sale held at the Brooklyn Flea Market.
A few weeks before our fundraiser, I went searching for an affordable calamansi muffin recipe. Fortunately I found one on the site FabAfter40.com. I baked these calamansi muffins for the NYC Bake Sale because they were a simple ‘mix and bake’ process. The muffins were fun to package in transparent mini boxes or clear plastic bags with a pretty bow tied to secure it in place. The muffins travelled well on that 2-hour, 50-mile drive from the Garden State to Brooklyn. And when displayed at the bake sale, they withstood a few hours of outdoors weather on a beautiful spring day.
It gives me much joy to share my favorite Filipino citrus flavor — the calamansi in a homemade muffin. The calamansi has a piercing, powerful yet pleasant lime-like flavor and aroma. Calamansi are known as the Filipino lime. In the USA, they grow and thrive in warm climates like California, Florida, Arizona. In the Philippines, the trees grow in backyards and can be found abundant in markets.
If calamansi, whether fresh or frozen concentrate are not available, use fresh lemons instead and the results are just as wonderful. In the spring and summer, my sons reminded me that lemons are sweetest, so with that thought I shall go squeeze some and use the fresh juice for a batch of these heavenly muffins. If I start now, they’ll be baked in time for dessert after dinner. And if I know my family, these muffins will be sold out immediately at our table !
- 11/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup calamansi juice fresh or use frozen concentrate (from Asian markets)
- 1/4 cup whole milk
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter softened at room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 whole large eggs
- 1/8 cup lemon juice for sprinkling on muffins after baking
- Preheat oven to 350 F degrees. In a medium sized mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients : flour, baking powder and salt. Sift together by using a wire whisk and blending it around the bowl. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, combine the calamansi or lemon juice and the milk. Mix and set aside.
- Using a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar till fluffy for about 2 minutes.
- Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Beat for 2 to 3 minutes.
- Pour the calamansi-milk mixture.
- Lastly, add the dry ingredients and blend the batter well by beating for 2 to 3 minutes till smooth. Do not overbeat the batter.
- Line a cupcake or muffin pan with paper liners. Fill each cup with 3/4 of the calamansi batter. Divide equally to yield 12 pieces. Bake at 350 F for 20 to 22 minutes. Test if done by piercing the middle of one muffin with the tip of a small sharp knife. If tip comes clean, muffin is done.
- Take out of the oven and cool on the counter for 2 to 3 minutes. Using a teaspoon, sprinkle a few drops lemon juice over the newly baked, still warm muffin for an additional citrusy flavor.
- Remove the muffins from the cupcake pans. Cool on cake racks for 30-40 minutes.
- Cook's comments: Just in time for the NYC Bake Sale, I received a box of goodies from friends at Kerrygold USA. Inside was my favorite Kerrygold Butter (unsalted), so it's what I used for this recipe. Disclosure: I was not paid to mention Kerrygold, but I use their products often because the butter and cheese are made from dairy of grass-fed cows. Try to use premium butter like this one for this recipe and the results will be superb.
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