I love tamarillos, once called tree tomatoes here in NZ. They are rather tart so as kids we would dip them in white sugar and scoop the flesh out with a spoon…..so good!

I also like baking and cooking with them and those who know me know I love baking muffins so I made these spiced, walnut & orange upside down muffins topped with gorgeous, sweetened tamarillo slices. Lovely warm for afternoon tea or dessert with whipped cream or crème fraiche.


  • 1 1/2 teaspoons orange zest (from 1/2 large or 1 small orange)
  • 1 1/2 cup walnut pieces or halves
  • 2 medium/large tamarillos (or 3 small)
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons of brown sugar
  • 6 tablespoons of butter (90 grams)
  • 3/4 cup castor sugar
  • 2 large eggs (size 7’s)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil (I use canola)
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon mixed spice
  • pinch salt
  • 3/4 cup natural, unsweetened yoghurt


  1. Preheat your oven to 160°C fan bake oven or 180°C conventional oven, on bake, with a rack in the centre.
  2. Get out either a x6 texas size muffin pan or a x12 standard size muffin pan and measure the butter, leaving it out so it can warm up to room temperature.
  3. Zest the orange and set aside.
  4. Place the walnut pieces on an oven tray (if you have halves roughly chop them up first) and toast them in the oven for 8 minutes, tossing halfway through.
  5. Put enough water in a saucepan to cover the tamarillos (but don’t place them in yet) and bring it to a boil.
  6. Using a sharp knife, cut a little cross into the bottom of each tamarillo and then place them into the boiling water fro 1 minute.
  7. Place them into icy cold water to help cool them down quickly.
  8. Starting at the cross peel the skin back and then slice them into 1/2 – 3/4 cm (about 1/3 inch) slices.
  9. Turn the oven up a bit to 170°C fan bake oven or 190°C conventional oven, on bake.
  10. Liberally spray the muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray (including not only the holes but also the top as these spread out a bit).
  11. If you are baking texas sized muffins place one tablespoon of the butter and one tablespoon of the brown sugar in each of the muffin holes or 1 1/2 tablespoons in each for x12 standard sized muffins and then leave it aside.
  12. Place the orange zest, the castor sugar, the eggs and the vanilla extract into a large bowl and mix it all together.
  13. Add the oil (no need to stir it in yet).
  14. Add the toasted walnuts, flour, baking powder, mixed spice, salt and the yoghurt.
  15. Using a large spoon stir it all together until it’s all just combined and then set the bowl aside.
  16. Place the tin into the oven for 3 minutes so that the butter and brown sugar can melt.
  17. Then remove from the oven and stir the butter and the sugar together in each hole.
  18. Divide the tamarillo slices between the holes on top of the caramel, placing the largest slices in first and then the smaller slices overlapping those.
  19. Then go on and evenly distribute the muffin batter between the holes (without pushing it down) and don’t be concerned if a bit of the caramel seeps up the sides.
  20. Place them in the oven for 25 minutes (20 for smaller ones) until golden brown all over or until a small, sharp knife inserted into the centre comes out clean.
  21. Leave them in the tin for about 10 minutes before turning the tin upside down onto a chopping board.
  22. Give the bottoms a good tap and the tin should lift off easily.
  23. Enjoy slightly warmed for afternoon tea or dessert with whipped cream or crème fraiche.
  24. Keep these covered in the fridge for up to wo days. After the first day I prefer to freshen mine up in the microwave for about 20 – 30 seconds (cold from the fridge) or until they are slightly warmed.


Visit my blog for a more detailed walkthrough and pics 🙂