I know it’s been a while since my last post. Someone – or several someones – took it upon themselves to steal ALL the content from my blog and share it on another website. I discovered this lovely bit of news the first week in January. What a way to kick off the new year, huh? Anyway it took nearly a month to get the whole mess straightened out, and I didn’t want to post anything new for them to steal until I shut that shizz down. It’s finally been handled, so now I’ve got muffins for you!
My mom’s two favorite fruits were mango and cherry. She found every excuse to eat them, and I can’t see a mango or cherry without thinking of her. When her birthday came around a couple of weeks ago I noticed beautiful ripe mangoes at the market, so I whipped up these muffins in her honor. When I shared a photo on social media I got some requests for the recipe, so I’ve tested it multiple times in the past week to be sure it will turn out great for you. These muffins are grain- and dairy-free, so if you’ve been looking for a new breakfast or snack option to add to your Paleo repertoire, this is the one.
These muffins are loaded with sweet, ripe mango – it’s pureed and mixed into the batter, diced and folded in, AND used to garnish the top as well. Since the mango is naturally so sweet and I don’t love overly sweet muffins, there’s very little sugar in the batter. And because I love the way floral, fragrant cardamom pairs with mango and cherry, I’ve added a bit of it. If you don’t love cardamom – or just don’t happen to have any on hand – feel free to substitute an equal amount of ground ginger, or omit the extra spice altogether and add an extra half teaspoon of vanilla extract.
Ready to make some muffins? It’s a pretty easy process, but slicing around the irregularly shaped mango pit can be tricky business so I’ve photographed my process for you. First things first, though. Preheat the oven and get your muffin pan ready. You can grease and flour it, but I prefer to use little paper liners for recipes that contain more than one egg. Otherwise they have a tendency to stick, and these muffins are pretty delicate until they have a change to cool and set up – I don’t want you cursing me as you’re fighting to get them out of the wells 😉
So, let’s master the art of cutting a mango, shall we? Mangoes usually have two sides that are little flatter than the others. After you’ve peeled it, set the mango on your cutting board with the flattest side down, then cut the right side off, being sure to start at least a quarter of an inch from dead center to avoid the pit. If you still hit it, just keep moving your knife a touch farther to the right until you can slice all the way through.
See? One nice piece off, three more to go.
Here’s another angle.
Now turn the mango onto the newly cut side, and repeat so you have two large pieces cut off, and two flat sides.
Turn it onto the last side you cut, and do it again.
Then you’re left with the pit – that white line peeking out along the middle is the edge of it – surrounded by a bit of leftover pulp. Go ahead and trim off that remaining pulp before discarding the pit, and enjoy it as a little baker’s treat. (Or put down the knife and eat it straight off the pit. It’s messy, satisfying, and exactly how my mom used to do it. Excuse me while I wipe mango juice off my chin.)
Now you’ll cut one of the four pieces into slices for garnishing the muffins, then cut those slices in half so they’ll fit – they’ll be too long unless you’re making ginormous muffins or using small Ataulfo mangoes.
Toss the rest of the pulp into a food processor or blender, and puree until smooth. Add the eggs, melted coconut oil, coconut sugar, your nut milk of choice, lime juice, and vanilla extract, and blend until smooth.
This is what the wet mixture will look like all blended up. Set it aside while you tackle the second mango. Follow the same initial process you used for the first one to cut off the pulp, then take it a step further and cut the large pieces into small (¼-inch) cubes. The “cubes” won’t all be completely uniform since you’re starting out with curved slices. Don’t sweat it.
Here’s my diced mango. Be sure to measure yours out before adding it to the batter – you only want use one cup of it because any more will leave the muffins with wet, gummy centers. (Got extra? Toss it into a salsa with diced red onion and jalapeno or serrano pepper, fresh cilantro, and some salt and lime juice to taste. It’s a great topping for tacos.)
Now grab a large bowl and sift your dry ingredients into it, then whisk until everything is evenly distributed. I recommend using a deep bowl and proceeding slowly & gently here so you don’t end up covered in a layer of flour and starch since the mixture is powdery and fine, and tends to fly out of the bowl. You can see in the photo how feather-light it is. I love that about cassava flour – no grit or heaviness.
Pour the wet ingredients into the flour mixture and stir until you have a glossy, thick batter with no visible streaks of flour.
Add the diced mango and lime zest. Drain the soaked dried cherries very well and add those too. See how the mango is sitting on top of the batter without sinking? That gives you a good indication of how thick it should be.
Fold in all those goodies, and this batter is ready to be scooped and baked. Since the batter is thick and sticky I use a spring loaded 4-ounce scoop to portion it out. It’s more efficient than using a couple of spoons and ensures that the muffins will be relatively uniform in size. Alternatively you can use a quarter-cup dry measuring cup for portioning purposes, but you’ll have to scrape the batter out of the cup into the pan for each one.
Once they’re all scooped, top each portion with one of those mango slices you prepped earlier and press it gently into the batter to make sure it stays put. Since the recipe makes eight muffins and most standard pans hold twelve, I recommend adding a little water to the empty wells before sliding the pan into the oven. This prevents the pan from warping and ensures that the muffins bake evenly. It’s also a good idea to use the perimeter wells for the muffins and leave the ones in the middle for the water so the muffins will all bake at the same rate.
Pop that pan into the oven, set your timer, and wash the dishes while you wait. When the muffins are done the tops will be golden and just firm to the touch, and a toothpick will come out with a few moist crumbs clinging to it. Test at least two muffins before pulling them out of the oven to make sure you’re getting the toothpick into batter and not a chunk of mango.
Set the pan on a cooling rack and the muffins sit for about five minutes before transferring them directly to the rack to finish cooling.
I know you want to break one open right away, but please wait at least 20 minutes (and preferably until they’re completely cooled). There’s a lot of moisture in there and these babies need time to set up.
Once they’re cool, dig in! Go ahead and make a mess, you earned it.
Delicate crusty top, beautiful crumb on the interior of the cake, and all that gorgeous fruit packed inside. Did you notice those sunny little smiley faces on my paper liners? I hope these muffins make you as happy as they make me.
- 56g (½ cup) dried tart cherries
- Hot water to cover cherries
- 2 mangoes¹ (12-13 oz each), ripe but not mushy, divided
- 3 large eggs, room temperature
- 52g (¼ cup) coconut oil, melted
- 34g (¼ cup) coconut sugar
- 60 ml (4 Tbsp) plain, unsweetened dairy free milk
- 10 ml (2 tsp) freshly squeezed lime juice
- 5 ml (1 tsp) vanilla extract
- 105g (¾ cup) cassava flour (I use Otto's Naturals)
- 55g (7 Tbsp) tapioca starch
- 24g (¼ cup) finely ground almond meal (I use Bob's red Mill)
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp ground cardamom²
- Grated zest of 1 lime
Preheat oven to 350F. Line the outer eight wells of a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners, or grease and flour them.
- Place dried cherries in a small heatproof bowl and cover with hot water. Leave cherries to soak and rehydrate while you prepare remaining ingredients.
- Peel one mango. Cut all four sides from the pit, and discard pit. Choose one of the smaller pieces, and cut into uniform slices. Cut those slices in half and set aside for garnish.
- Puree the remaining pieces in a food processor or blender until liquefied and smooth. You should have about a half cup of puree - if you have more than that, remove the excess and reserve for another use (it’s great as a topping for yogurt or oatmeal). Add eggs, coconut oil, coconut sugar, nut milk, lime juice, and vanilla, and pulse or blend until smooth.
- Peel the second mango, slice off all four sides, and chop or dice into small pieces about ¼ inch in size. This should yield about 1 cup chopped or diced mango, which you’ll fold into the batter. If you end up with more than one cup, set the excess aside for something else (the extra moisture will make the muffins too wet).
- In a large bowl, whisk together cassava flour, tapioca starch, almond flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cardamom. Pour contents of food processor or blender into flour mixture, and stir until uniform. Batter will be very thick. Fold in diced mango and lime zest; drain cherries very well, and fold into batter.
- Use a spring loaded 4-ounce scoop (or a dry quarter-cup measuring cup) to portion batter into prepared pan, and press one of the reserved mango slices into the top of each portion. Fill the empty wells of the pan about a quarter of the way with water to prevent warping and ensure even baking.
- Bake on center rack of oven until muffins are nicely browned and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with only a few crumbs clinging to it, about 28 minutes.
- Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool for 5 minutes, then transfer muffins directly to rack to cool completely.
²Feel free to substitute ground ginger for the cardamom, or omit the spice and double the vanilla extract.