Calamansi Cake

Calamansi is a citrus fruit known throughout the Philippines. Funnily enough, I always have a hard time locating a grocer who sells calamansi here in Australia. To tackle this problem, most Filipinos living in Australia actually opt to have calamansi plants in their own backyard, to ensure they have enough supply throughout the year. I don’t have the luxury of a backyard, or a green thumb, or a nurturing nature to care for any living thing inside my house, so I’m stuck with relying on luck when I need calamansi.

Calamansi cake

Calamansi is used similary to how we use lemons: to make calamansi juice, as an accompaniment to side sauce, for marinades, extra flavour, and sometimes in my case, to eat on its own. Please don’t judge me.

I only ever get to eat calamansi when I’m down Blacktown way. The Filipino shops around Blacktown would occasionally have bags of calamansi, however it would cost an arm and a leg. I don’t understand why it could cost so much, but hey, beggars can’t be choosers right?

I got a bit OCD with the skewer, so I pierced the cake a million times. Oops.

Because of this dilemma, I was so grateful when one of my good friends, Jemma, dropped by one Saturday morning with a big box of calamansi extract. Her family from the Philippines imports them here in Australia, and has only started to become available at several Filipino stores. She wanted me to try them out too, but with all pre-packaged products, I was sceptical at first. After tasting it though, I found out it was truly calamansi extract in its truest form, with each sachet giving a tablespoonful burst of citrus juice. I decided to experiment with it and hence, calamansi cake.

San Isidro Calamansi Extract

Calamansi Cake

Recipe adapted from Exclusively Food

180g softened butter

3 eggs

1 cup caster sugar

6 sachets of the San Isidro Calamansi Extract

1 1/4 cups self raising flour

1.  Preheat the oven to 170 deg C. Line a baking tin with baking paper.

2. In a mixer, put butter, eggs and sugar together. Mix to combine.

3. Add the calamansi extract and the flour. Mix well to combine.

4. Pour the batter on to the prepared tin, and bake for approximately 50-55 minutes. Test if the cake is cooked by inserting a skewer or knife through the middle of the cake and it comes out clean. Set aside to cool.

5. Once cooled, pierce the cake using a fork or skewer. Pour the citrus icing on top, and serve.

Citrus Icing

1 cup icing sugar

6 sachets of the San Isidro Calamansi Extract

1. In a bowl, mix both sugar and extract together until well combined. Pour over the cooled cake.

Thanks to Geraldine for the flowers (my take away from her baby shower)
NB. Many thanks to Jemma Leus for the San Isidro Calamansi Extract samples. The calamansi extract is now available at Filipino stores around Sydney: Hurstville, Mascot, Blacktown, Rooty Hill, St. Mary, Chatswood, Fairfield, Granville, Mt Druitt, Dee Why, Ashfield. Each box contains 12 sachets of 10 mls extract per sachet.

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  1. I pretty much had the same problem when we were living in the Midwest US – fresh calamansi was readily available on the West Coast but never seemed to make it where we lived. Fortunately, I also found frozen extract and while it wasn’t perfect, it was close enough to the taste of the real thing. Now that I’m here in Manila, calamansi are taken for granted! So there’s no excuse for not making this lovely little cake right away! 😎

  2. I love Calamansi. I make a Calamansi ice candies and drinks all the time. We have a tree, so we never run out. I love this cake. What an excellent way of using Calamansi. I have tried the San Isidro Calamansi and it is good but I find squeezing the juice from the real fruit is a lot better. It’s good to have a backup though, the little sachets are perfect for parties to put on pancit.

  3. ooh calamansi and baking, awesome idea!!!

    i laughed a little bit when you said this “To tackle this problem, most Filipinos living in Australia actually opt to have calamansi plants in their own backyard”

    since my Mum has several plants growing a supply of it in our garden, haha..

    don’t know about you but I’m a huuuge fan of Toyomansi for savoury dishes – adds that kick of the calamansi without having to find the fresh stuff! soooo good in pancit bihon..

  4. I have to admit, when my parents said they were planning on moving house, I immediately thought “where will I get my kalamansi from now??”! Maybe I should get off my butt and actually plant my own tree, hahaha.

    What a lovely looking cake – next you should try making kalamansi curd for tarts! Much better than plain old lemon versions 🙂

  5. Oh god, I have to try this to curry (haha) favour with my mum. I really miss the taste of calamansi. We cheat and use cumquats, I know, sacrilege…

  6. What a wonderful recipe. Will definitely try this one. I once made a calamansi pie, replacing lemons with calamansi. I live in the Philippines so no shortage of this zesty little babies. 🙂 I enjoy your blog, by the way. Keep on posting.

  7. LOL I found this website looking for ways I can use all the calamansi my mum keeps giving me every week. I drink calamansi juice first thing every morning as I had heard that it helps cleanse your body, and was looking at other ways I can use this fruit. Thank you for this recipe. Will definitely give it a go, but with fresh calamansi juice! 🙂

  8. I live in Blacktown and have long been searching for the elusive Calamansi but without success. Could you email me and advise on the location where I can get some please, please, please?

  9. Hi Henry, thanks for the comment! I find it hard as well to get fresh calamansi, so I usually get these ones in packet form. Of course, they’re not the same as fresh calamansi but they do the trick. You can get them from any pagasa shops, so I’m assuming there will be some in Westfield Parramatta (Chowking). Thanks & good luck!

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