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Mini Lemon Olive Oil Cakes

March 10, 2012

I was looking at Easter stuff in Target the other day and ended up coming home with this mini Bundt pan. It was one of those good impulse purchases (the kind you instantly feel good about, not the kind you end up regretting). I love it because anything you bake in it comes out looking adorable–these lemon olive oil cakes included.


These cakes are not only cute, but are also really delicious. The combination of extra virgin olive oil and lemon works well in this recipe. The olive oil keeps the cakes moist and flavors them ever so slightly, while the lemon brightens everything up.

mini-lemon olive oil cake

For me, the glaze is what really makes these cakes. It’s lemony, tart, and the perfect finishing touch. Some people might want to drizzle it on, but I like to coat the cakes completely as if they were glazed donuts.

If you like lemon desserts, this recipe is for you. There’s lemon zest in the batter, lemon juice in the glaze, and more lemon zest on top for garnish–very lemony and very delicious!

Mini Lemon Olive Oil Cakes
Adapted from Food Network

The type of olive oil you use in this recipe matters since it helps flavor the cake. Use a good quality extra virgin olive oil that’s on the fruity side (versus one that has grassy or peppery notes).

1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
All-purpose flour for dusting

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
1 1/3 cups sugar
2 tablespoons grated lemon zest (2 to 4 lemons depending on size)
2 large eggs, room temperature
1/4 cup fruity extra-virgin olive oil
2/3 cup milk

Glaze and Garnish:
3 cups confectioners sugar, sifted
5 to 6 tablespoons lemon juice (2 to 4 lemons depending on size)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Lemon zest for garnish (optional)

Heat the oven to 350 degrees with the rack in the middle position. Brush a 12-cup mini Bundt pan with melted butter and dust it with flour, shaking out any excess flour.

In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt and set aside.

In a food processor or blender, pulse the sugar and lemon zest together until combined. Pulse the eggs in one at a time, then gradually pour in the olive oil and milk, pulsing until the batter has emulsified into a thin batter, about 30 seconds (be careful not to over-blend a this point or else the cakes will be too puffy).

Add the reserved flour mixture to the food processor or blender in two batches, pulsing until just combined both times. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, filling each cup only 3/4 of the way full. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until the cakes start pulling away from the sides of the pan and spring back when touched. Cool for 10 minutes in the pan before inverting them onto a rack to cool completely.

Make the glaze by whisking together the confectioners sugar, lemon juice and melted butter—if you find that the glaze is still too thick to work with, add more lemon juice or water until you get the right consistency. Coat each of the cakes with glaze and sprinkle with lemon zest if using. (Note: You will have leftover glaze. Starting out with a large amount of glaze makes it easier to coat the cakes). Let the glaze harden before serving.

Makes 12 mini cakes.

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Izy March 11, 2012 at 12:25 pm

Wow, they look so beautiful, great photos!


Amanda March 12, 2012 at 3:43 am

These look so wonderful! I can just imagine how moist and lovely they were to eat.


Daisy@Nevertoosweet March 12, 2012 at 6:27 am

These mini lemon oil cakes are so cute :) I don’t own a bundt tin I really should get this mini one it looks SO SO SO cute ~ Thanks for sharing this recipe! Can’t wait to try it!


Daisy March 18, 2012 at 3:27 pm

I just made these mini bundt cakes and they are FABULOUS!!!!!!!!! I didn’t have enough milk so I used 1/3c milk and 1/3c sour cream along with the juice of 1/2 lemon. They were really moist with a subtle citrus flavor!!! Thanks for the recipe, it’s definitely a keeper.


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