Mumbaikars have nostalgia for Irani bakery mawa cakes. Centuries-old venerable relation with mawa cakes has sustained and will never retire. The soft, buttery, cardamom-infused teacakes in silver foil trays, sometimes wrapped in wax papers are heartwarming. A staple in Irani cafes and bakeries has created an eternal harmony with our taste buds.
Mawa cake has a strong presence of Indian flavours. Cardamom being one of the prominent biffs in a mawa cake, it opens more room to play around using more Indian palette friendly flavours.
This is the season of Thandai and for me infusing Thandai flavours in a mawa cake recipe was a mood fetching idea. Thandai flavoured mawa muffins turned out amazingly yum.
I am lucky to have homemade Thandai masala, that too made by an expert. Its Usha aunty’s special Thandai masala. She is my friend’s mom, who is a genius when it comes to the kitchen and food. She holds an ocean of authentic recipes with-in her and I am so so glad to share her very special homemade Thandai masala recipe with you here.
I have used the same Thandai masala in the making of these supremely delicious muffins today. You can see the recipe of Usha Aunties Thandai masala here
And a few points, I would like to share with you before we go ahead with the recipe.
Khoya also knew as mawa or khoa is dried evaporated milk solids. The milk is slowly simmered in a large iron Kadai, till all its moisture evaporates and it reduces to solids. Increasing vaporization of water content converts milk into coagulated solids: the product is mawa. In Indian cooking, especially in northern parts of India, khoya forms a base of almost all sweets.
I have turned my mawa cake recipe into a muffin recipe, by adding oats.
The difference in cake and muffin batter – cakes are made by creaming the butter and sugar together to create a smooth, fluffy batter. The cake batter is beaten significantly longer than muffin batter; this creates a uniformness of air bubbles throughout the cupcake. Muffin batter, on the other hand, is beaten briefly and is relatively thicker.
You can use the nuts of your choice, I have used pistachio, almonds and cashew nuts. Because these are the classic Thandai friendly nuts.
Saffron gives a deep festive essence to the muffins, and soak it in a tablespoon of milk for some time, before adding in the cake batter.
The recipe is very easy to follow. It is a one-bowl mixing recipe. Make sure to preheat the oven. I like to keep the temperature knob of my oven at 160*C or 170* C because my oven is on a hotter side. You will know your oven better than what I can guess. Some ovens tend to get very hot, like my oven. Some ovens are very accurate in the temperature measures. Ideally, we should bake the cakes at 180* C.
Do not open the oven door during baking time. Have the ingredients (butter, milk, condensed milk, khoya) at room temperature, before using them.
60 gm of sugar
80gm of butter (room temperature)
100 ml of condenses milk
100ml of milk
A few strands of saffron
100 gm of Khoya
80gm of all-purpose flour
1/4 cup of oats
A pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
1/4th teaspoon of baking soda
1 tablespoon of Thandai masala
1/4 cup of chopped nuts
Preheat your oven at 160*Celsius for at least 10 minutes.
Sieve the flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Add in oats, Thandai masala and chopped nuts and mix all well. Set aside.
Prepare the muffin paper cups and seaside.
In a big mixing bowl cream the butter and powdered sugar till it’s pale in colour and soft and fluffy. Now add milk, condensed milk, saffron strands (soaked in a tablespoon of milk) and combine the batter well.
Now add the khoya/mawa to this mixture and blend well. Make sure there are no big lumps or pieces of the khoya. You can grate the khoya and add.
Now add the dry ingredients slowly into the liquid mixture and fold it gently. Do not overmix.
Pour the batter into the prepared muffin paper cups. Sprinkle few chopped nuts on top.
Bake in the preheated oven for 20 – 22 minutes or till the top looks golden. You can also check if an inserted toothpick in the centre comes out clean.
Remove from the oven and allow the muffins to cool on a wire rack.