Bring a spot of summer sunshine to your Christmas festivities with these cute mini cakes bursting with lemon and thyme flavor and topped with a zesty lemon glaze.
How’s your Holiday baking coming along? Do you tend to bake the same recipes every year or do you like to explore new recipes? I do a bit of both. But I have a confession. It’s about Christmas cakes. Specifically, it’s about a particular cake that is supposed to be the Christmas cake. I am talking about the fruit and nut cake, the one which begins weeks or months before with rum or syrup soaked dried fruits and nuts. The cake that is synonymous with Christmas almost all over the world. Well, guess what? I am not a big fan and this post is not a fruitcake recipe.
This lemon thyme cake is easy, breezy, happy and cheerful. It’s like a spot of sunshine on a cold winter day. And we’ve been having a lot of that lately.
I have a penchant for leaning towards summery flavors in my cakes, even around Christmas. This decadent orange pound cake has sort of become our little family tradition. Somehow I like the burst of freshness in a citrus infused cake.
Now, it is very hard to improve upon something that is ridiculously perfect and trust me, this orange pound cake is perfection with a capital ‘P’. But if you are looking for something lighter than a pound cake, then this lemon mini cake hits the right spot. And what’s more? The cake also has the fragrant notes of fresh thyme, a gorgeous, aromatic herb that goes equally well with sweet and savory foods.
It is Christmas after all. So we will dress up these little parcels of sunshine with a zesty lemon-thyme syrup and a bright lemon glaze. Nothing too difficult or over the top, yet worthy enough of the Holiday spirit.
It is so easy to whip up these mini cakes. The batter begins as a basic vanilla cake batter infused with fresh lemon juice, lemon zest and lots of fresh thyme. Brushed with the lemon syrup while still warm, the top is slightly sticky and deliciously sweet. Top it yet again with a generous drizzle of the lemon glaze and you have a cake that oozes with love in every bite.
The recipe given here can be made as mini bundt cakes, mini loaf cakes or even a regular 9″ round cake. But it’s Christmas, so let’s make cute mini cakes and share the love, shall we?!
Wrap up these little goodies with parchment or wax paper, tie with kitchen twine and add a sprig of thyme for rustic, shabby-chic edible Christmas gifts. Or eat them all yourself. I won’t judge!
Over the course of the next few days, I will be sharing my Christmas bakes with you. And there will be cookies too, I promise. Hope you are enjoying my #ChristmasRecipeSeries!
The cake batter recipe is based on the sponge used to make my upside-down orange cake.
- All purpose flour - 2 cups
- Baking powder - 1½ tsp
- Baking soda - ½ tsp
- Salt - ½ tsp
- Lemon juice - from 1 lemon (2-3 tbsp)
- Milk - ¾ cup plus 1-2 tbsp (explained in Instructions)
- Butter - ½ cup, softened
- Sugar - 1 cup
- Eggs - 3, large
- Vanilla extract - 1 tsp
- Lemon zest - 1 tbsp
- Fish thyme leaves - ½ tbsp, chopped
- Butter - 2 tbsp
- Lemon juice - 2 tbsp
- Sugar - ⅓ cup
- Fresh thyme leaves - ½ tsp, chopped
- Powdered sugar - ½ cup
- Lemon juice - 1 tbsp
- Lemon-Thyme Mini Cakes: Pre-heat the oven to 350 deg.F. Generously grease and flour 3 mini bundt or loaf pans.
- Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl. Set side.
- Squeeze the juice of one lemon into a measuring cup. Add milk till it reaches the 1-cup mark. Set this aside. By the time you are ready to use it, this mixture will have a nice buttermilk quality to it.
- In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar till light and fluffy, around 2 minutes. Add eggs and beat till well combined.
- Add vanilla extract, lemon zest, thyme and the liquid ingredients from step 3. Mix well to combine.
- Add the dry ingredients and mix till just combined. Do not over-mix.
- Divide batter equally among mini cake pans. Tap the pans on the countertop a couple of times to get rid of any air bubbles.
- Bake till cakes pass the toothpick test, around 18-20 minutes.
- Remove cakes from oven and rest in pans for 5 minutes. Gently invert and remove to a wire rack.
- Lemon-Thyme Syrup: While cakes are baking, prepare the syrup. Melt butter in a small saucepan. Add lemon juice, sugar and thyme leaves. Bring to a gentle boil, then simmer till it reaches a syrupy consistency. Brush this warm syrup over the still warm cakes.
- Lemon Glaze: Take the powdered sugar in a small bowl. Stir in lemon juice until glaze is smooth and can be drizzled easily. Use more or less lemon juice as needed. Drizzle lemon glaze over the completely cooled cakes. Allow to rest for few minutes before serving so that the glaze can harden.
- Storage & Gifting: Store the mini cakes covered at room temperature for 2-3 days and in the fridge for anything longer than that. Cakes can be wrapped in parchment or wax paper before gifting.
2. This recipe can be made in a regular 8" or 9" round cake pan as well. The baking time will be around 35-40 minutes.
3. This recipe yields enough glaze to drizzle over the mini cakes. For a more substantial icing that covers the entire cake, please double the lemon glaze quantity.
Try these cute mini lemon cakes for Christmas this year. It will add a festive look to your dessert table and cheer you up if its super cold in your neck of the woods.
Don’t forget to PIN & SAVE this recipe for later.
Which is your favorite Christmas cake? Do you have any quirks about cakes like me?
Do you like lemon cakes? Do try this lemon cake with fresh thyme leaves for a summery twist to your Christmas festivities.
Want more Holiday recipes? Check out this page for all recipes under #ChristmasRecipeSeries.
If you like this post, please follow this blog via Email to get post updates (find subscription box on the right side of this page, or scroll down in mobile version).
Stay connected on social media, PIN and SHARE this post.