06 Jul2007


The kalamansi muffins from Real Coffee in Boracay were definitely the inspiration. But the spectacular kalamansi marmalade that I made last weekend (it gets better as it ages) was definitely the catalyst for attempting to make a kalamansi muffin I could eat often and blog about on Marketmanila. I searched the internet and my cookbooks for muff6recipes and the best I could find were variations of a cupcake with lots of lemon juice. I read over 6 different recipes, did two trial batches and have settled on this recipe which I find produces a relatively dense, nicely flavored and delicious kalamansi muffin. The addition of kalamansi marmalade makes this special for me, but you can also make them plain. Using a rich buttercream and powdered sugar icing would do this recipe well, but I didn’t bother. These cupcakes (what the heck is the difference between a cupcake and a muffin?) are terrific with a cup of hot Earl Grey Tea and this recipe is destined to become a house favorite.


This recipe makes approximately 20-22 smallish cupcakes (2 and ¼ inch diameter at the mouth of your cupcake pan) or roughly 16-18 medium sized cupcakes (2 and ¾ inch diameter at the mouth of your cupcake pan). You will need: 1 pound of sweet (unsalted) muff3butter, 1 and ½ cups white sugar, 4 large eggs (I prefer organic for more yellowish yolks), 3 cups flour, 1 teaspoon baking powder (fresh, not dead), a pinch of salt, 7-8 tablespoons of freshly squeezed kalamansi juice, a small container of plain yoghurt (about 200 grams worth, just under a cup) and 6-8 tablespoons of kalamansi marmalade (optional, preferably homemade). In a mixer, cream the butter until fluffy. Add the sugar and mix some more. Add the eggs, one at a time, until just incorporated. In a separate bowl, mix the flour, baking powder and salt together. Next, add the kalamansi juice to the butter mixture, then half of the flour mixture, half of the yogurt, the remaining half of the flour mixture and the remaining yogurt and blend until just mixed. Remove from the mixer and fold in the kalamansi marmalade and spoon into your cupcake liners and bake at 350 degrees for roughly 20-24 minutes until just done.


Adjust the amount of fresh kalamansi juice to your taste. I like the recipe with about 7 tablespoons of kalamansi juice which gives it a nice kick but it isn’t overpowering. Then the addition of the kalamansi marmalade gives another layer of sweetness, bitterness muff5and flavor. If you don’t have kalamansi marmalade, you can make these plain. I suspect these cupcakes can take up to 9-10 tablespoons of kalamansi juice if you like them tart, just reduce the yogurt a bit to compensate for all the extra liquid. This is not a light fluffy cupcake. It is dense and a bit solid, but quite moist. A small one is enough to quell a sweet craving. Total cost of the plain muffins? About PHP10 each which I thought were a great bargain. With the marmalade and personal effort factored in, they cost a maximum of PHP15 each. Wrapped up and sent over to friends/neighbors, they got pretty good reviews. I loved them. Serve with some icing if you have a sweet tooth. Serve with a teaspoon of marmalade on top to showcase the rind. Serve warmed or toasted and with butter and more marmalade on the side for breakfast… YUM!



  1. krizteene says:

    Delicious! I wish I can taste some of them. Sana I’m one of your neighbors, or better yet, one of your friends. hehehe..

    Jul 6, 2007 | 6:58 am


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  3. elaine says:

    They look awesome!!!!!!!! This I will DEFINITELY make with lots of butter on top. Just wondering if I can mix in some citrus rind with it, like maybe lemon, or dayap (using the microplane, for a finer rind)? :)

    Jul 6, 2007 | 7:17 am

  4. Jade186 says:

    Thanks for the recipe, MM! Can I substitute lemon (or lime) for the calamansi? What about dayap?

    Jul 6, 2007 | 7:23 am

  5. Maria Clara says:

    Cupcakes and muffins are not interchangeable. Cupcakes are miniature version of cakes so they have more of an airy cakey finished and dressed up on top with buttrecream icing/frosting with sugar sprinkles, any other miniature pareils or cut fruits. Cupcakes can be enjoyed all day long till the late hours of midnight for birthday and bridal shower parties or whenever it calls for a celebratory cake they tend to grab cupcakes instead. Whereas the muffins are dense and moist and the only dressing you can put on top of them is the streusel mixture of flour, butter, brown sugar and sometimes chopped nuts or plain sugar before they hit the oven. Muffins are meant for an early morning to a late morning treat. Magnolia Bakery in New York gave cupcakes a rebirth and reintroduce it with different look and flavors and designed for individual less formal serving and control portions than a sliced cake. Like a prohibition to come back for a second serving of a cupcake. Your version of kalamansi muffin looks great considering our very own kalamansi is making a hit wave in Paris from sorbet to chocolate truffles flavored kalamansi/calamondin.

    Jul 6, 2007 | 7:33 am

  6. starbuxadix says:

    Another explanation that i saw through google. Some may think its lame but i find it quite amusing;

    If you threw a cupcake against the wall, you would hear something of a “poof!” If you threw a muffin, you would hear a “thud!”

    A muffin goes with coffee, a cupcake with tea. (That’s a rather controversial statement, so perhaps this discussion should be moved to the controversial topics zone.) Fast food joints deal in muffins, especially in North America, but I have never seen one that sold a cupcake. Sociologically, a muffin is everyday living, whereas a cupcake is “we’re getting fancy.” Theoretically, a man could say, “hey honey” to his waitress while he was chewing on a muffin, but with cupcake in his mouth he could only say, “my dear.” If you were writing a novel, it would be a gross literary error to substitute a cupcake for a muffin.
    from – http://www.englishforums.com/English/CupcakesAndMuffins/ghvm/Post.htm

    Jul 6, 2007 | 7:56 am

  7. mila says:

    I’ve always thought of muffins as mini-fruit breads or bread like in texture, while cupcakes are smaller versions of cakes. But I like starbuxadix’s explanation about the wall sound! lol

    Jul 6, 2007 | 8:16 am

  8. Apicio says:

    Agree with all of the above. Muffins are generally prepared with less sugar and fat and simpler by far to make than cupcakes. Traditional muffin recipes actually warn you not to over-beat, just dampen the dry ingredients with the called for liquid which throws it in the same league as quickbreads, scones and baking powder biscuits. Each one great with marmalade for breakfast or tea.

    Jul 6, 2007 | 10:03 am

  9. suzette says:

    how about putting up a store? marketman’s muffins … sounds cute :)

    Jul 6, 2007 | 11:00 am

  10. Rowi says:

    Thanks for the inspiration, MM! I’m so amused by your enthusiasm over your calamansi marmalade that my curiosity got tweaked. And your photos are so encouraging. Am not really a cupcake or muffin fan but I shall certainly give your recipe a try, just for the experience. And who knows, I just might get hooked? I don’t have access to fresh kalamansi in Scandinavia, but I have frozen fresh kalamansi juice somewhere in the freezer and might combine this with freshly-made elderberry bloom cordial.

    Jul 6, 2007 | 4:34 pm

  11. allen says:

    A muffin is some sort of a quickbread, a cupcake is a cup-sized cake, I think :-)

    Jul 6, 2007 | 5:05 pm

  12. Berry says:

    This cupcake is the stuff of my dreams (which are all about lemon-y desserts anyway.) Thanks Marketman for officially marking Friday with this zesty post. ;-)

    Jul 6, 2007 | 5:15 pm

  13. Katrina says:

    MM, Lori wrote about the difference between the two in her blog before, as well as the difference between scones and biscuits. Basically, it’s what’s been said above: muffin=bread, cupcake=cake. But I couldn’t care less what you call what you made, I’d just love to taste them and your marmalade, too! ;-)

    Jul 6, 2007 | 5:59 pm

  14. Cookie says:

    MM – I also would like to know what substitue I can use since Kalamansi is not readily available in NJ. Although, I know the Home Depot sells the calamandion plant, have yet to purchase and see if it would bear fruit and taste the same as our native kalamansi. What about the kalamansi concentrate? If I use that and dilute, do you think it would work?

    Jul 6, 2007 | 9:08 pm

  15. kb says:

    Guess am not the only one obsessing on muffins lately. Tried the blueberry muffin recipe from this HK-based French pastry chef’s book. Unfortunately they tasted more like bland scones unlike the ones he sells at grEAT Seibu which I think is butter-based, hence a richer, more pound cake-like taste. But am digressing. Just wanted to tell you that to get that nice looking criss-cross crack on your muffins, dip a bread/pastry scraper on corn oil then cut through the muffin top twice forming a cross before baking.

    Jul 6, 2007 | 9:59 pm

  16. DADD-F says:

    WOW, sarap! I’m sure it is. Just as I am dead sure about your calamansi marmalade. Balak ko talagang subukang gawin soon as I can. I tried Food Mag’s calamansi pie already with my personal tweaks here and there. Sarap talaga. Have also tried making durian cake which turned out good; and am toying with the idea of making mangosteen cake or something like it. Passion fruit is also in my list. What has these to do with your calamansi muffin? Hahaha…actually, I just admire your keen desire at experimentation, creative kitchen skills and resulting products. I do this (experimenting and trying to create something different) all the time, too. I’ve already–well, almost–perfected what my son and I call our “power bread”. Actually, it’s a “Pinoy” power bread of sorts since most of the ingredients are quite local. And “power” because it’s also a fantastic blend of rolled oats, vegies, nuts, honey, etc. and possesses a taste that is somewhat a cross between a fruit cake and carrot cake. It’s dense and heavy but perfect (AND NUTRITIOUS) for my family.

    Cheers to you MM and keep it up!

    Jul 7, 2007 | 8:08 am

  17. Lou says:

    I never thought calamansi would make great muffins(cupcakes)! But this is worth a try. Could limes be a worthy substitute? I can’t find calamansi in Canada. Great recipe and cheers to you MM.

    Jul 7, 2007 | 8:41 pm

  18. Marketman says:

    Lou, using limes is worth a try, though I mostly see recipes for lemon cupcakes, not lime. DADD-F, the older I get, the more I am inclined to try new things…I figure if it fails, so what? kb, thanks for that tip on the muffin crack…never knew that before… Cookie, lemon or possibly lime might be a good substitute. I understand there is bottled kalamansi juice too but I don’t know how that would taste. I would buy a calamondin plant if I were you and had a reasonably green thumb…imagine the flavor it would bring to your pancit, sawsawan, etc… Katrina, I am with you, I don’t really care what they are called, and like the other folks above, I too like the muffin tops if it is a crusty caramelized type of muffin… Rowi, I am really curious if the frozen kalamansi juice works, please leave a comment if you do get around to making the cupcakes…

    Jul 7, 2007 | 9:00 pm

  19. Candygirl says:

    I was so inspired that I baked pineapple muffins. Last weekend, we bought pineapples for 3/php 50 in Tagaytay. I just folded it in a regular muffin recipe and voila!

    Jul 8, 2007 | 11:46 pm

  20. ctl says:

    Wow, I’m definitely going to give this a try! Calamansi isn’t readily available here in Toronto, but I think I’m gonna experiment with the bottled concentrates :-) Keep up the great ideas, MM!

    Jul 9, 2007 | 1:48 am

  21. DADD-F says:

    MM, I just made both kalamansi marmalade and jelly last night. Oks! I also took the liberty of sharing the recipes with a neighbour. Pareho kasi kaming mahilig sa homemade, fruits, vegies as well as local, natural products. And tonight, I hope to make some kalamansi muffins o basta within the week, together with my power bread and camote pie para sa mag-ama ko.

    Salamat and cheers!

    Jul 12, 2007 | 5:18 pm

  22. DADD-F says:

    I don’t know if you ever review your old posts but I baked a calamansi cake last night, as inspired by your calamansi muffin. I like mine tart, with a lot of kick, so I was quite generous with the calamansi juice–fresh–and used up the rest of my calamansi marmalade and jelly. WOW! SARAP talaga! Thanks MM. My son absolutely loves it and am sure my labiduds will love it, too. I finished baking late last night (after baking my own recipes of camote pie cum pudding and the power bread I mentioned earlier) so he still has to try it.

    Am further inspired to make calamansi squares intead of lemon squares. Mag-ipon muna ako ng pambili ng ingredients. I used up a lot of ingredients na and we happen to be among the almost-below-the-poverty-line people. Whatever, I’ll manage that, in time. Again, thanks for the idea MM!

    Jul 16, 2007 | 10:19 am

  23. Marketman says:

    DADD-F, Galing!!! I am so happy the marmalade and kalamansi cake worked for you! Yes, it is so nice to use our native and abundant ingredients…and if the results taste great…how satisfying! The kalamansi squares idea sounds good too… I hope more folks like you try these out. Thanks for letting me know how your experiments turned out! :)

    Jul 16, 2007 | 11:02 am

  24. DADD-F says:

    You’re welcome at salamat din ulit MM. Your response is encouraging. And I just have another idea. You know, I’ve worked in Mindanao for several years and one of my best stints was my most recent, that in Zamboanga Sibugay and Basilan, which, unfortunately, are very much in the news–as in BAD news–these days. Doon pa mandin sa municipal areas ko. Anyway, calamansi is one of Sibugay’s main products (And what lovely calamansi they have!). If plans do not miscarry, I might be able to go back there and work actively with the people again (though not necessarily for a fee). And there’s mangosteen naman in neighbouring Jolo. Such possibilities! We can work on this in line with their development program. Actually, I still am very much in contact with them and I manage to help maski long distance but it would be so much easier, of course, if we could work together the way we used to. I know this sounds like a big jump from kitchen adventures to development programs. Haba lang i-explain kasi. Pero, at least, we can all be one in food ‘di ba? For starters.

    Basta, salamat for these ideas and your patience for reading my piece on your efforts. And for whatver it is worth to you, do pray for ours. Support…prayers…we need lots.


    Jul 16, 2007 | 7:52 pm

  25. dee bee says:

    It’s winter here, but by some freak of nature, our kalamansi plants are fruiting profusely. Lucky, I didn’t have to wait too long to try this out. This is a good recipe. I cut the butter amount in half (hehe… watching my fat intake). Didn’t have kalamansi marmalade so added about a teaspoon of kalamansi rind and a few tablespoons of kalamansi honey (a homemade concoction where my mom infuses kalamansi in honey).

    I made tiny muffins, about 1 inch in diameter and my little nieces loved them. Next time, will use friand molds and make some classy-sounding “kalamansi friand” :))

    Aug 23, 2007 | 11:00 am

  26. Marketman says:

    Nice to read it works where you are… and with HALF the butter only… heehee. I would add more butter if possible…

    Aug 23, 2007 | 11:09 am

  27. Olive says:

    Hi MM! Tried this recipe and inspite of just using 8 pcs of calamnsi,it should have been 8 tbsp of calamansi juice (should change my reading glasses :)), it still turned out great! I will give it another try this weekend, hopefully doing it right this time! Btw, 1 pound of butter = 2 cups? I just used 1 cup!
    And thanks for the tip on the Raon stores. I emailed you once about my kitchen aid and it is now working beautifully, for P1,500.00.
    Keep on writing!

    Aug 24, 2007 | 12:55 pm

  28. rence lacerna says:

    may i know the grams of your kalamansi muffin.. tnx

    Oct 10, 2007 | 2:46 pm

  29. Marketman says:

    rence, I have no idea, I don’t weigh my baked goods after I make them…

    Oct 10, 2007 | 4:36 pm

  30. Bettina says:

    Hello! It’s been 10 years since I last visit Boracay. Our first breakfast there, my friend ordered the Calamansi Muffin. I didn’t realize that I was such a big hit. Well, I didn’t try it. However, out of curiosity, I googled the recipe. I found it on your site, which I visit once in a while (All the food makes me drool!! hahaha)and tried making it this morning. Shared it with my friends this afternoon and it was a hit!! Thank you for sharing. By the way, I made a mistake and added the sugar with the flour. Added a little bit more sugar with the butter, but…it was still delish!! Thank you again.

    Aug 25, 2008 | 11:20 pm


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