Author Notes: I was shopping with my daughter the other day and I came across these mini-bundt cake pans. I could have screamed. I almost did. All I could think of was little mini cakes. I was picturing the mini-birthday cakes I would take to school on my kid’s birthdays. Chocolate on chocolate with rainbow sprinkles. Kid heaven.
Why are miniature things so much cuter than big things?
But today, as it has been for seemingly months on end, it was hot as $%&! and all I could think about was lemon cake. I wanted to get frisky and throw some rosemary in there somehow, someway, but I knew my dad would be eating this (and probably would enjoy them the most with his propensity towards all things lemon) and so I left it out. He is a traditionalist and when you change things up, he can’t handle it. Like the Rain Man of desserts.
I hope you like. We'll save the rosemary for another day... —Rebecca @ DisplacedHousewife.com
Makes: 36 individual cakes
For the Cakes
pound unsalted butter
cups granulated sugar
lemons, zested and juiced
cups all-purpose flour
teaspoon baking soda
teaspoons baking powder
cup milk (I like some fat in mine...but you can go nonfat if you'd like)
tablespoon white vinegar
teaspoons vanilla extract
For the Glaze
cups powdered sugar, plus more for dusting the cakes
lemon, zested and juiced
- Preheat your oven at 350 degrees F. Spray with non-stick or smear with butter (I don’t have a preference here…if I’m feeling lazy I’ll spray. It just feels easier) your mini-bundt pan. These are PERFECT to take to school for your kids. But here’s a tip…this recipe makes 36 mini cakes. Unless you have a lot of time on your hands, I suggest you pick up two or three pans. You don’t have to, I only have one. It’s just an investment in your time with the baking and cooling cycle of each batch. One last note…even though they are non-stick, I spray with non-stick. I don’t think you’re supposed to…but I do. I’m a little paranoid about my baked goods sticking.
- Mix your milk and vinegar and set aside.
- In another bowl, combine the flour, cornstarch, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a bowl.
- Cream your butter and sugar in an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until they are light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. While this is creaming, zest and juice your lemons for the cake.
- Place the lemon juice and vanilla in with the milk and vinegar…let them mingle a bit.
- Add the eggs, scraping down the sides to make sure everything is blended well. Then throw in your lemon zest. Now take a big whiff. Doesn’t this smell amazing? I just want to swim in it.
- Add half of the milk mixture to the creamed butter and eggs. Then add half of the flour. Then the rest of the milk mixture. Lastly, throw in the last of the flour. I always stop the electric mixer when it still looks like it needs more mixing, and then hand mix the remaining so that I don’t overwork my flour. It’s a delicate little flower that can’t handle too much activity. Much like myself.
- Now, here comes the part you must follow me on and this is just the type of recipe detail I would ignore and have a disaster on my hands. When you’re filling up the mini-bundt pan, just fill them half way. I used half of a 1/4 cup for each mini cake. That’s about two tablespoons of batter and it hardly seems like enough. But my first batch was spilling out all over the pan and it wasn’t pretty. And what’s the point in baking if it’s not going to be pretty?
- Definitely pick the pan up and drop it on your counter a couple of times to get rid of any bubbles in the batter. Again, think pretty final product.
- Place them in the center of the oven and bake for about 15 minutes. You want them to have that light tan thing happening…I’m thinking Kate Winslet, mid-summer.
- When you grab these out of the oven, let them sit and cool. Don’t force them out. Give them at least thirty minutes of uninterrupted rest. A little cat nap. One hour is ideal. Run a butter knife or very thin spatula along the side. Flip them over onto a cooling rack and tap them on the bottom a bit. Slowly pull up and they should fall out. While they finish cooling…you can move onto the schmooey…
- For the Glaze...Put all the glaze ingredients in the stand mixer bowl fitted with the whisk attachment and whisk away. I always pour a little less than the recommended liquid in at first to see how everything is coming together. Then slowly add in the remainder until you get the desired consistency. For me, I like it to be on the thicker side. I want it to hit the cake and slowly slide down the sides.
- BUT, before you glaze up, you should sprinkle with the powdered sugar. Use a sieve because it will look the best…weightless and ethereal. There’s something angelic about these little cakes, don't you agree? And what grade schooler wouldn't want these? Actually, who, in general, wouldn’t want these?
- Now you can glaze them. This is a lot of sugar happening…I did this on parchment paper because I didn’t want the glaze-schmooey-powdered sugar trio all over the counter. Remember, cleaning sucks.
- Here’s the best part…this same recipe will make a real-world sized cake. So you basically just broke a cake down into 36 individual bites. So when you want a second one, don’t hesitate. I’m thinking you could have at least five before it equates one slice? Don't you agree?