Cupcakes and muffins, Recipes
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Mandarin cupcakes

I have been happily harvesting mandarins from my uncle’s tree that I ended up with way too many mandarins. Since there was no way that I could possibly finish all of them, I’ve decided to make mandarin cupcakes. I’ve learnt a couple of lessons when baking with mandarin. Firstly, they are best to be boiled till soft. I’ve tried juicing them (didn’t feel very smart doing that), zesting them (they were way too soft to be zested). However boiling it till it is soft and then blending it using food processor retains the flavour of the mandarin. But before blending it, remember to remove the seeds from the mandarin if not the cakes will have a bitter after taste – trust me, I’ve learnt this the hard way.


Ingredients for the cake 

  1. 3 large mandarins (or 4 small ones)
  2. 200g self raising flour
  3. 150g brown sugar
  4. 2 large eggs
  5. 100ml olive oil
  6. 1 tbsp poppy seeds
  7. 3 tbsp maple syrup
  8. 1 tsp vanilla essence

Ingredients for the cream cheese frosting

  1. 250g cream cheese
  2. 30g butter
  3. 40g icing sugar
  4. 1 tsp vanilla essence


Preparation time: 80min
Baking time: 15-20min or until the skewer comes out clean

  1. Carefully lower the unpeeled mandarins into a large-ish saucepan of boiling water. Let them bubble gently for about 1 hour or until they’re very soft and a fine skewer pushes through them easily
  2. When the mandarins are ready, drain off the water and leave the mandarins to cool on a plate
  3. Once they’re cool, halve them and scoop out and discard the seeds then puree them as finely as you can in a food processor. Set the puree aside
  4. Preheat your oven to 170 degrees and prepare a 12 case muffin pan
  5. Mix the flour, sugar and poppy seeds together in a large mixing bowl. Use your fingers to ensure that there are no lumps of flour or sugar in the mixture.
  6. Beat the eggs, oil, vanilla essence and maple syrup together
  7. Tip the wet mixture into the dry ingredients and mandarin puree. Mix together with a spoon until lump-free
  8. Bake in the preheated oven for 15–20 minutes, by which time the muffins should be dark, rounded and peeking proudly out of their cases. Allow to cool slightly in their tin before removing to a wire rack.
  9. Leave the muffins out to cool

To make the frosting

  1. Whisk the butter and cream cheese at high speed until light and fluffy
  2. Add in the icing sugar and 1 tsp vanilla essence and continue to whisk until a uniform consistency is formed
  3. Prepare a piping bag and place the frosting into the piping bag
  4. Carefully pipe the frosting over the cooled down cupcakes



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