A bag of mandarins is a traditional gift for Chinese New Year, which is widely celebrated in our neighborhood. They’re so pretty and delicious, I thought it might be fun to bake small cakes in them. Chocolate of course, because chocolate and orange are one of my favorite flavor combinations.
It’s actually pretty amazing how moist the cake becomes baked in a juicy mandarin. These are super delicious and a perfect little treat for company, or a special after school snack. Keep reading to see how we made them…
These chocolate cakes baked in mandarines were much more moist compared to ones baked in a cupcake pan. We made both and the mandarin cakes were by far most moist and tasty, with a hint of that mandarin orange flavor. Just delicious! I always have a hard time getting chocolate cake to not be crumbly and dry, and I think I’ve learned the trick now!
Step 1: Cut the tops of your mandarins and scoop out the insides with a small pairing knife and/or a serrated spoon. Mandarins lay flat on their own so you don’t have to shave off the bottom and risk cutting a hole, which makes them that much easier to work with!
Step 2: Prepare your favorite chocolate cake batter (we used my favorite boxed chocolate cake mix from Whole Foods) and preheat the oven.
Step 3: Fill the mandarins 2/3rds of the way full with batter. Place them on a tray in the oven and cook for around 20 minutes at 350 degrees until a toothpick comes crumbly through the center.
Photography by Liz Stanley. Assisted by Sara Albers