Food Hack: Boracay’s Real Coffee Calamansi Muffins

Words: Mikka Wee/Photography: Mylene Chung/Styling and Photography: Katherine Jao/July 9, 2012


Rainy season has kicked off quite productively judging by the amount of rainfall we get almost every day. (At least the frogs are happy about it.) Can’t say the same for humans, which is a species that’s hardly waterproof.

On some days, you just want to go back to the beach. How many of you tweet, “I wish summer would come already!” barely a week into June? We haven’t even hit Christmas season and you’re already looking for sun, sand, and surf. In fact, some of you have already started hovering over the PAL and Cebu Pacific websites waiting for a chance to book budget trips to Boracay for the following year.

What’s with Boracay, anyway?

Sure, it has glorious amounts of powdery-white sand (though the shoreline is thinning), clear water (though there’s a problem with E. Coli), and enough resorts and bars to probably last you a year of daily partying.

But the thing is, you can go on a beach trip to almost any part of the Philippines. In any other beach, you’ll do the same things anyway—get a tan, take wide-legged jump shots, write your name in the sand, get a henna tattoo of a dragon (or butterfly), drink beer while eating freshly-grilled seafood, and wonder if the hot foreigners will talk to you.

So the question remains: what’s so special about this little island that attracts hundreds of thousands of tourists a year?

Real Coffee & Tea Café’s Calaminsi Muffins—that’s what.

This little gemstone is located only on this island with its famous muffins baked golden brown and slightly toasted, fresh and zesty, warm like a lover’s hug and soft like a pillow’s dreams.

Luckily, we’ve managed to hack the recipe. So without further ado, enjoy.

Oh, oh, oh, one last thing! We recommend putting a large shell to your ear and closing your eyes to complete the illusion of being at the beach.

Real Coffee Boracay Calamansi Muffins

Yield: 1 dozen muffins


  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 pcs eggs
  • 1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup calamansi


  1. Mix flour, baking powder and salt together in a bowl . Set aside.
  2. Mix milk and calamansi together in another bowl, set aside.
  3. Cream butter and sugar for 2-3 minutes.
  4. Add eggs one at a time and mix well.
  5. Add in milk mixture and flour mixture.
  6. Mix until well blended, don’t over mix.
  7. Scoop in non stick muffin pans.
  8. Bake in preheated 350 degrees Fahrenheit oven for 18-23 minutes.



Mikka Wee

Managing Editor

Mikka Wee’s goal is to travel the world with a backpack stuffed with her books and not much of an itinerary. With an appetite thrice the size of her 5-foot frame, waffles are the one thing that makes her weak in the knees. She also likes to torture herself with sci-fi movie marathons until her brain turns into goop. Her list of not-so-secret culinary crushes includes David Chang, Ivan Orkin, Rene Redzepi, and Anthony Bourdain. Alexander Supertramp is her hero. See More.

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  • Ohmy! My ultimate favorite Boracay food hacked by my ultimate favorite food blog. Heaven! 

    • YESSS. Now you can make some right at the very comfort of your own home. 🙂 Cheers! 

  • Kalamansi muffins!  Oh lord. This seems bad and good, all rolled together and baked crispy.

    Greatly enjoying your blog, btw. Cheers from Brooklyn.

    • Hello from Manila, Christina! Thanks for stumbling upon 🙂 Ooooh, you bet! We like the top crunchy and toasty, too. 🙂 

  • St_ryan_the_great

    Something for the rainy days…

    • Indeed! Pair it with some coffee or hot chocolate! Mmmm mmmm.

  • Tracey@Tangled Noodle

    *sigh* My muffin top’s gonna get even more muffin-y, thanks to you and your fabulous food hacks.

    • Heehee. Thanks, Tracy! Glad to be of service. 😉

  • Zhayne

    thank you SO MUCH for doing a food hack on those glorious calamansi muffins in bora! i’m so going to try to make this.. soon. hahaha! i have a question though.. in your recipe, by calamansi, i take it that you mean calamansi juice? 😀 

    thank you! 😀

    • Yes that’s right, Zhayne! It’s calamansi JUICE! Sorry for that. 🙂 Can’t wait for you to try the recipe out! 

      •  a bit of extra work.. but i would suggest adding the zest as well… adds freshness to each bite. or make it a bit fancy with candied rinds on top.

        • Zhayne

          I’ll try to do that! Thanks for the tip! 😀

      • Zhayne

        Thank you! and no problem at all! 😀 I can’t wait too to try this! *excited*

  • Sayang. ngayon ko lang nabasa. We were in Bora last month. 

  • Rae Cabradilla

    Awww man! I’d love to try this! 😀

  • catjuan

    Made this recipe yesterday, it was delicious and super easy! Thank you for sharing! 

    Since I live in Sydney I had to make do with mixing lemon and orange juice to try to make the flavour of a calamansi. It’s just not the same, but it’ll do.

    Things I will do next time:

    1. Add the zest of the lemon to the batter. 

    2. Squeeze the juice of one lemon and one orange (even if it’s closer to 1/3 cup juice than 1/4). I like my muffins a little tangier. 

    3. Once fresh out of the oven, I’ll brush the tops of the muffins with a mixture of lemon juice and 2 tbs. sugar to give them a nice glaze and add a little more punch. 

    Thank you again. 🙂

    • Thank you for trying it out! And major props for trying it out with lemons and oranges! Now wondering how it tastes like. Mmmm

  • chiniehdiaz

    Here’s what happened on my first attempt:  😀

    But the 2nd try was perfect! Thanks for the recipe, I love it! Sharing it with everyone. 

  • tried it and it’s 98% close to the muffins of real coffee! sans the sand, sunset, shore 😛
    anyway, it’s really good!!!

  • muffins! 🙂

  • Tried it! Thanks a lot for this! 🙂

  • Jodi Abesamis

    How much batter should I put in the muffin pan? 🙂

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  • Ukelady

    I just finished baking my first batch of calamansi muffins. They’re a success! Even better, I whipped up a batch of honey whiskey buttercream to offset the tartness. Honey-mansi muffins. 🙂

  • Maricar Loinaz-Sarmiento

    I just made this now but used Splenda Sugar Blend to cut down the calories and followed the rest of the recipe. It turned out really pale (like buttered puto) I guess coz there wasn’t any sugar to caramelze but it tastes soooo good! Inlove it! I’ve been searching all over for this recipe! Thanks so much for sharing! Can’t wait to try out your other recipes 🙂

    • Hi Maricar! 🙂 yes, it’s because of the sugar substitute. but what’s important is it tasted good. 🙂 what you can do is reheat it in the toasted before eating — for that added toasted caramelized crust.

  • I’ve tried this and it taste really good and almost the same as the one that I had at Real Coffee in 2010. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

  • lan

    what kind of milk…fresh milk?

  • What kind of milk should i use? Thanks!

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  • Chrissie

    Hello there, I tried baking these muffins, and followed your recipe to a T. But instead of getting that golden brown muffins, I ended up with pale white ones. Tastes great though. Any Idea how this happened?

  • I will try your new recipe for the Calamansi Muffins. You forgot the most important ingredient. Hahahaha

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  • Will calamansi concentrate be ok with this recipe? If ever, I suppose I need to dilute it? Replies will be most welcome! Thanks. 🙂

  • Kath13

    mine looks like the picture you have but it was kinda not cooked in the middle and did not was flat!!! wah.. But the taste was the same as the original one.. What did I do wrong?? hmmm

  • muffintop

    I attempted to make these muffins but it came out with cracks on top. Plus, it didn’t turn out as dense as the ones from Real Coffee. What gives?

  • muffintop

    I tried your recipe and my muffins turned out with cracks on top. They were also light unlike the denser ones from Real Coffee Boracay. I used a stand mixer for this receipe. Should have it been done by hand instead?

  • Carol

    Hi. I just got back from Boracay, Real Coffee and tea was just across our room, and oh my,,, the smell of freshly baked Calamansi Muffin was heavenly every morning….I manage to spy on them while they were baking the muffins and they use 1 bar of Anchor butter (I’m not surprised that each muffin costs 45/ea), 2 cups of APF and 6Tbsp of calamansi for every recipe. I couldnt see how much sugar ,milk and eggs they use, nor would they give it to me…and they mix it by hand, not sensitive at all and the batter is kind of thick as they set the unbaked muffins beside our table.I hope I can try baking thir muffins soon.

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  • Evanna Buban

    Tried this today and my family loved it.. I’m so glad you hacked this because I’ve been dying to have this since our Boracay trip last year…

  • Bea

    It’s too tarty 🙁 can i use less calamnsi juice but more sugar? Or use honey instead?and mine cracks on top like crazy!

  • Trixie

    Can you use calamansi concentrate for this or should it be pure calamansi juice? 🙂 and what kind of milk would be best?

  • lisa

    my kids gonna love this..
    thanx for receipe..

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  • LJ Baker

    Do you have any suggestions for a good icing that would go with these kalamansi muffins?I am planning to try this recipe and hopefully my husband will love it since he’s always been a fan of Philippine kalamansi when he eats liempo.

  • carbaddict

    My friend came from Bora and she went to Real Coffee and tried to “spy” on the girls making these muffins. She said she saw them use Maya pancake mix for the muffins. You think you can come up with another version of this recipe using pancake mix? I think this is what makes their muffins so dense. I’ve made your recipe and although it tastes very close to the original, it is not as dense and came out with cracks on top. Your version is actually lighter and has a more sophisticated taste.

  • aya

    I tried this recipe today and accidentally doubled the amount of milk. I also used half cup each of brown sugar and white sugar instead. Turned out moist and dense and very similar to the original! Thanks for the hack!
    PS I added the zest of all the calamansi I used, too, and I think it adds a more citrus flavor. 🙂

  • Amar

    You did not answer queries on your recipe- can you use calamansi concentrate? Some had cracks and was not as dense. Solution?
    Would pancake mix help instead?
    (I was just in Bora w family and made sure I made a trip to Real Coffee. I froze a bunch to bring them to US and my baker friends love them! Wanna give them the recipe. We only have extract in a bottle here.
    Please advise if your website is still around.

  • Ria

    tried this and my husband loved it! 🙂 thank you for this yummy recipe!

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  • Marisu Ang-Doromal

    Hi! Thank you for the recipe, i tried it using an electric mixer, its not as dense as the original but light. Should i just mix it using a whisk? Even the butter with sugar? Should milk be fresh or evaporated? Thank you!

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  • yen salinog

    i like it

  • yen salinog

    i visited ur place yesterday but i fail to get a calamansi muffin but i tried it when my friend gave me last tym,,,

  • Rachel

    I just got my batch fresh from the oven. Tasted really great but my muffins look very pale. Mom asked if it’s puto lol. How do I get the perfect golden color?

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  • Adrienne

    Just baked these today – i doubled the ingredients EXCEPT for the baking powder and salt (not on purpose — i forgot to double them) and i put them in the oven for waaay more than the 18-23 minutes stated in the recipe. I was able to get 24 muffins out of the batter, and they were in the oven for around 30 – 35 minutes. They turned out perfectly moist and golden brown around the edges, a bit dense too, and if i close my eyes it feels like i’m in Boracay and eating the original kalamansi muffins :)) thanks for this hack!

    • Adrienne

      Forgot to post the pic:

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  • Bastiaan van de Loo

    Added some oats (half a cup) and walnuts (around 2 hands full). Very tasty indeed though next time will experiment with using honey and a bit less sugar

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  • Guest

    Cooked these this morning and they were better than expected. They were surprisingly light and just had the right sweetness and sourness. This recipe is for keeps. Thanks!

  • Kamille Warren Mercado

    Made these this morning and they turned out better than expected. They were surprisingly light and had a nice crumb. This recipe is definitely for keeps! Thanks!

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  • ina

    Is it okay to use plain flour?

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  • Mike David

    First Thanks really good, easy recipe and easy to follow, I suck at baking but made this little perfection, not too sweet with a hint of calamansi ! YUMM

  • patrick

    hi. i tryed to bake this reciepe. and my mom love it. heavenly :9