In Season

Lime, Basil, and Mandarin Salad

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Mandarin and Pistachio Magdalenas

Did you know that you don't really need a muffin top pan to make top-only muffins? Nope. All you need to do is lay out your muffin papers on a baking sheet and make sure you don't fill them more than half full. Voilà, muffin tops. Of course this trick also works for these little Spanish cakes called magdalenas. From what I have been able to gather, they are essentially madeleines made with olive oil and put in a muffin tin. More often than not they have citrus and nuts in them. Made with the muffin-top method they essentially become giant madeleines. 
I had never heard of magdalenes until very recently when I stumbled on a simple recipe online. Then with a little research I found a few more recipes. It wasn't until I came across this version with citrus and pistachio that I was completely sold. You can actually swap out the mandarins for regular old oranges, or any other flavor of citrus you prefer. The same thing with the nuts. I've been going a little crazy with the pistachios every since I was able to find some unsalted ones here in Fairbanks. I was thinking an orange, hazelnut combination might be nice. What about lime and macademia nut? Meyer lemon and pine nuts? The combinations are endless. What's your favorite nut and citrus pairing?
Mandarin and Pistachio Magdalenas
adapted from The New Spanish Table

1 cup cake flour, sifted
1/2 cup all-purpose flour,sifted
1 small pinch of salt
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3 large eggs, room temperature
1 1/3 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted, plus extra for dusting the cakes
1/3 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup fresh mandarin juice
1/2 cup olive oil, choose one that is light in flavor
1/3 cup of slightly toasted pistachios, chopped fine
2 teaspoons grated mandarin zest

Combine flours, salt, and baking powder in a mixing bowl.
Place eggs in bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat until foamy. Add the sugar, continue beating at high speed until pale yellow, about 5 minutes.
Combine heavy cream, mandarin juice and olive oil in a bowl with a spout or a large measuring cup. In three additons alternate between adding the flour and the liquid ingredients to the mixer. Thoroughly incorporate ingredients between each addition. Stir in the pistachios and mandarin zest. Cover batter with plastic wrap and let rest at room temperature for at least 30 minutes and up to 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Place 12 standard muffin cup papers on a baking sheet.
Stir the batter before filling muffin papers. Make sure to fill no more than halfway full or the batter will run out of the liner and on to the pan. Use an extra liner or two if needed.
Bake until the cakes are light golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 18-20 minutes. Do not overbake as the cakes will become dry. Let cool for about 20 minutes. Serve warm dusted with powdered sugar. I found them to be quite good the next day when stored in an airtight container overnight.


  1. These are beautiful, Nicole! I once made a clementine almond lime marmalade that I thought was going to be completely wacky, and I was surprised by how good it was. (I think it's the only time I've ever actually put nuts in a marmalade. I used slivered, blanched almonds.) Hope you keep playing with citrus and nut mixes. :-)

  2. Oh, how lovely. I somehow ended up with a supply of pine nuts (like a lifetime supply) - and I bet this would be perfect for using some of them up! I love the idea with a muffin cups - brilliant.

  3. What a cute new muffin shape, and since I really don't need another pan clanking around in my cabinets, so this is great to know about. The texture looks great on these!

  4. Beautiful photos, and great idea for a tea party.

  5. I got completely addicted to magdalenas when I studied abroad in Spain - and time had robbed my memory of them... thank you for the wonderful trip down memory lane, Nicole!

  6. Oh how pretty!! I would love to sip on some deep flavored tea and nibble on the entire batch of these beauties! :)

  7. Replies
    1. Good catch, so sorry! 3/4 teaspoon. I've updated the recipe. Thanks so much.


Thank you for stopping by and sharing your comments.

Related Posts with Thumbnails