If you have ever wondered whether you can make a cake without an oven, then yes, you can! These mini lemon cakes are steamed in cute silicone molds and served with a fresh cherry syrup. How adorable would these be for afternoon tea or a kid’s birthday party!!
I am loving summer so far, except for the dry heat that seems to permeate our Texan city and will continue to do so well until, say… Halloween. But I am not really complaining. If you have been following me for a while, you would recall that I loathe winter. So, give me all the sunny days!
Speaking of sunny, aren’t these mini cakes simply adorable? Are you intrigued about their cute shapes yet? Well, I’ll let you in on my little secret.
I got an opportunity to try some amazing home products recently. They were from this company called Gitadini. They make affordable, stylish and functional products for the modern home. Gitadini designs American products with an Asian flair like these Idlito 4-in-1 Silicone Kitchen Molds. Idlis are steamed rice and lentil cakes usually eaten as breakfast along with a variety of chutneys. They are traditionally cooked in curved metal molds and Gitadini has given them a new spin with these silicone molds in fun shapes and colors.
And what’s more, these molds can be used to bake, steam, chill and freeze. You can make desserts, flavored ice cubes, jellies and all sorts of things with them. And given our family’s love of cakes and sweet treats, it was a no-brainer that I would use them mostly for making desserts!
They also sent me this stylish yin-yang storage bin set, their modern take on a traditional masala dabba (Indian spice box).
They hold a lot of stuff, but if you do not cook Indian food regularly, you can still use them to store or serve other things.
I used them to store the leftover cake. Worked like a charm, and they are easy to transport as well.
I am always apprehensive of any sticking issues with new bakeware and really wanted to put these silicone molds to the ultimate test. But once I greased, filled and steamed these beauties, the cakes literally popped right out.
Speaking of cakes, I do get a ton of special requests for cakes, like cakes that can be made without ovens and cakes that do not need eggs or other special ingredients. If you want my go-to eggless cake recipe, here it is. It is a winner and never fails me and the many readers who have tried it so far.
So now, it was time to tackle the other request – how to make cakes without an oven. It’s simple really – just steam the batter in small ramekins or molds. I haven’t ever tried steaming a large-sized cake, but you cannot go wrong with mini cakes.
Simply fill the molds with batter, cover tightly with foil (so as not to let water fall into the batter), cover and steam. These small cupcake-sized cakes took exactly 30 minutes to be cooked to spongy perfection.
I love light citrus cakes in summer, they are just perfect for the weather. Serve them with a zesty fruit sauce or syrup and they make the perfect summer dessert. I made fresh cherry syrup this time, but the recipe works just as well with berries.
Here is the recipe for steamed mini lemon cakes with fresh cherry syrup.
- All-purpose flour - 1½ cups
- Baking powder - 1 tsp
- Baking soda - ¼ tsp
- Salt - ¼ tsp
- Butter - ½ cup, softened
- Sugar - 1 cup
- Eggs - 2, large
- Vanilla extract - ½ tsp
- Lemon zest - 2 tsp
- Yogurt - ¼ cup
- Lemon juice - 3 tbsp (from 1 large lemon)
- Fresh cherries - 2 cups, halved and pitted
- Sugar - ½ cup
- Water - ½ cup
- Lemon juice - 1 tbsp
- Steamed Mini Lemon Cakes: Fill a large steamer vessel with water and place on the stove to come to a gentle boil. Grease your molds lightly with oil or melted butter. Set aside.
- Meanwhile, sift together the dry ingredients (flour, leavening agents, salt) into a medium bowl. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar on high speed till pale and fluffy, around 2 minutes.
- Add eggs one by one, beating well after each addition.
- Add vanilla extract, lemon zest, lemon juice and yogurt and beat well to incorporate.
- Quickly add the sifted dry ingredients and mix to form a smooth batter. Do not over-beat with an electric beater, use a spatula to gently combine the ingredients. Batter will be very thick and fluffy.
- Using a spoon, fill the molds ⅔rd with batter. Use the spoon to smooth batter into the crevices if using a special mold. Cover molds with aluminum foil or parchment paper and string.
- Place filled and covered molds into the steamer vessel. Cook on medium-low heat for 30 minutes or till a toothpick inserted into the cakes come out with just a few slightly moist crumbs.
- Remove molds from steamer and remove the covers. Once cooled, remove cakes and serve with fresh cherry syrup. Recipe follows.
- Fresh Cherry Syrup: Take all ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a gentle boil. Lower heat and cook till cherries are soft and can be mashed with a spoon.
- Cook for 5 more minutes till you can see the syrup thickening slightly. Strain into a clean jar and chill till needed.
2. These silicone molds are stackable, so you can use one large steamer vessel if it is tall enough to fit 2 of them at once. I ended up using 2 different vessels. If you have something that resembles a traditional idli steamer or bamboo steamer, it is perfect to be used here. Otherwise, pick any Dutch oven or stock pot that has a cover and is large enough to fit the mold. To test the amount of water needed, place the silicone mold in the vessel and fill with water to come midway up the sides of the molds. If you see the water has drastically reduced during cooking, open the lid and top up with hot water.
3. You can also use individual mini ramekins in place of baking molds.
Serve up these steamed lemon cakes drenched in sweet cherry syrup for afternoon tea, a birthday party or any time you fancy a sweet treat. It is simply delicious and such a fun recipe to do with kids this summer!
These mini cakes are the perfect bite-sized desserts for Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, holiday parties and more.
Don’t forget to PIN & SAVE this recipe for later.
Have you tried any steamed desserts? Do you like mini party cakes? Do try this recipe for steamed cakes and let me know how you like it.
Need more dessert inspiration? Here are some that you can make in a jiffy.
- Another classic steamed dessert that’s also a family favorite – my mom’s recipe for Caramel Bread Pudding.
- These mini lemon thyme cakes are what I made as food gifts last Christmas.
- Try your hand at these mini hand pies (empanadas) with a pineapple and cream cheese filling.
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Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by Gitadini. As always, all opinions stated here are mine and true to my experiences while using them. The above links are not affiliate links, they are simply products that I tried and loved.