I’ve been wanting to try this Lemon Bliss Cake recipe over at King Arthur Flour, for like, forever. Well at least since they emailed it to me. The thing is, that I really haven’t had an occasion to make a full sized bunt cake. While I often do bake for the heck of it, even without an occasion, having a full sized bunt cake around the house presents a problem for me. Specifically, the problem being that I will, in fact, eat a large slice of cake everyday until the entire bunt is gone. (Eeek!) I just don’t have a lot of cake willpower my friends. So for me, it’s much better to make the cake for a holiday or get together and share.
But, I got to thinking, lemon cake would be such a nice Valentines Day dessert to make for Charlie. (He’s a totally a citrus dessert loving kind of guy.) Maybe if I adapted the Lemon Bliss Cake recipe to feed two instead of twelve…? And so Mini Meyer Lemon Bunt Cakes were born. (Meyer Lemon’s were on sale, and seemed so much more fun to use them then regular lemons anyhow.)
I ended up settling on making four little bunt cakes, which I personally feel serves two nicely. (My mini bunt pan has pretty tiny openings. But to give you an idea of scale if you made this recipe in a cupcake pan, you’d end up with 2- 3 cupcakes.)
The Bliss Cake recipe was pretty easy to adapt for small batch baking. Mostly it was just required a simple scaling down of the ingredients and adding a touch more flour. The exception being the eggs, because calling for half an egg in a recipe would be super annoying. However, after a little experimenting I found using an egg yolk worked fine for the proportions and keep the great texture of the original cake.
I also decided to simplify the recipe a little, and omitting the glaze called for in the original Lemon Bliss recipe, and only making icing. The glaze just seemed like too much work for four little mini cakes. I felt like making my version of the icing pretty good and lemony and then liberally icing the mini cakes made up for the missing glaze pretty well. However, I don’t think I would skip the glaze if I was to make a full sized version of the cake.
Like it’s parent recipe, these mini lemon cakes are indeed blissful. A lightly crisped outside hides a perfectly tender interior. The cake itself is lightly sweetened which balances out perfectly with the much sweeter icing. And the lemony flavor of the whole darn thing… pleasantly assertive, without becoming overpowering. Really, these cakes are perfect bites of delicious citrus-y sunshine. Just what we all need in the middle of a chilly February. I think this is a perfect dessert to make for Valentine’s, or even just because you want to bake. It will surely cheer everyone up on the next cold wintery day. And I guarantee you they won’t last long. Enjoy!
P.S. Almost forgot to mention, I also tested this recipe with dairy free substitutes and it came out great! (Can’t forget my little dairy free guy.) Directions for making the recipe dairy free are included.
Mini Meyer Lemon Bunt Cakes/ Dairy Free Mini Meyer Lemon Bunt Cakes– Yields 4 mini bunt cakes (or 2-3 cupcakes). Adapted from King Arthur Flour’s Lemon Bliss Cake.
Note: To make the recipe dairy free use Smart Balance and vanilla soy milk in place of butter and milk. Follow all other directions as written.
- 2 tablespoons salted butter, softened -OR- 2 tablespoons Smart Balance Dairy Free Spread
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/8 cup milk -OR- 1/8 cup vanilla soy milk
- zest and juice from 1/2 Meyer Lemon (reserve the other half for the icing)
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease four spots in a mini bunt pan tray very throughly, and set aside.
- Cream together the butter (OR Smart Balance) and sugar, until light and fluffy. Add the egg yolk and beat to combine, scraping the bowl as necessary.
- Measure the flour and whisk the baking powder into it. Add the flour to the butter/sugar and mix until just combined. Add the milk (OR soy milk) and mix again.
- Add the lemon juice and zest and mix again until everything is fully combined. The batter may look slightly curdled at first when you add the lemon juice if you used regular milk. This is ok. This won’t happen if you used the soy milk.
- Divide batter evenly between the four spots in the prepared pan, evening out the top with a rubber spatula or back of a spoon.
- Bake at 350* for 15 to 20 minutes. When the cakes are done the edges of the will be medium brown and the top of the cakes a light to medium yellow. A toothpick inserted into the centers will come out clean. Remove from the oven and cool just until the pan is cool enough to touch. (But don’t allow the pan to get fully cold or the cakes will be very hard to remove.) Gently run a knife around the edges of the cakes to loosen them. Then gently wiggle/pull the cakes out of the pan. You may also invite the pan if preferred. Allow the cakes to cool fully before icing.
- 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- juice from 1/2 Meyer Lemon
- Over low heat in a small saucepan, melt together the confectioners’ sugar, vanilla, and lemon juice. When fully combined remove the mixture from the heat and allow it to cool slightly to create a thicker icing. Drizzle it liberally over the completely cool cake. Cakes may be stored in an airtight container for a few days.