Thursday, May 8, 2008

"Mother May I" Meyer Lemon Baby Cakes with Candied Zest

In preparation for Mother's Day, I wanted to share a little cake (with a big for its britches name) that is positively de-lovely for any spring or summer time event. It's an angel soft, not-too sweet baby bundt cake, drizzled with a tangy lemon syrup, crowned with whipped cream and speckled with sugared zest and lemon candy. I'm giddy about buttermilk and sour cream in baked goods, and once you savor one of these spongy tender crumbs, you'll share my enthusiasm. (Although someone once glowlingly compared their softness to a twinkie-and they meant it as a compliment. I won't mention names.) Don't be discouraged if you can't find Meyer lemons; I've used plain old grocery store lemons with super results.
Last year, Nordicware hosted a holiday themed cake contest, and my baby-cake was lucky enough to be chosen as the Mother's Day May winner. They're hosting again this year, so fire up your ovens and get your bundts in gear. (Sorry, I couldn't resist.) All finalists receive a trip to San Francisco and $500 in Nordicware; the grand prize winner gets a cool 10K. (My friend Anne won the GP last year with a gorgeous Christmas "Mint Mountain" cake. You might want to bow down when you take a look.)
Now go make some of my long-titled cakes and give some to your mom, mother-in-law, grandma, aunt, niece, neighbor, daughter, hairdresser, obstetrician, palm reader, and masseuse. Make them say "Mother, May I?" before you hand over the goods.

Mother May I Meyer Lemon Baby Cakes with Candied Zest
Estimated Cost: $3.00

I used the Garland Bundt pan here, but you could easily bake these in ramekins or even cupcake tins, but you won't get the pretty design. Keep an eye on the cakes and take them from the oven when the middle springs back after a gentle poke.

½ cup softened butter
1 and ¼ cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 tbsp fresh Meyer lemon juice
2 tsp Meyer lemon zest
2 cups cake flour
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
½ cup sour cream
½ cup buttermilk
Glaze and candied zest:
1 Meyer lemon
1/3 cup sugar, plus ¼ cup divided
For Serving:
Powdered sugar for dusting
Sweetened whipped cream
Crushed lemon candies
Preparation:Instructions:Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a mini Garland Bundt pan. Cream together butter and sugar in a large bowl. Add eggs, vanilla, lemon juice, and lemon zest. In a separate medium bowl combine flour, baking soda and salt. Add half of dry ingredients to butter mixture. Add sour cream to butter mixture. Add remaining flour mixture, then buttermilk. Beat for one minute. Pour into prepared pans. Baking instructions:Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until toothpicks inserted into centers come out clean. Cool for ten minutes in pan and invert to racks to cool completely.While baking, prepare candied lemon zest and glaze. Using a vegetable peeler, peel long strips of zest from lemon. Set aside briefly. Cut lemon in half. Squeeze lemon juice into 1/2 cup measure. Add enough water to equal ½ cup. Bring water and 1/3 cup sugar to boil in a small saucepan over medium heat. When sugar is no longer grainy, stir in lemon peels and cook for one minute. Remove from heat. Transfer lemon peels to a paper towel. When peels are dry, roll them in remaining 1/4 cup sugar; slice into thin strips and roll in sugar again. Drizzle lemon glaze in saucepan generously over tops of cakes. Dust cakes with powdered sugar. To serve, garnish each cake with a dollop of whipped cream in the center. Sprinkle with lemon zest strips and crushed lemon candies. Serve immediately.Serving recommendations:Wrap these cakes to give as gifts or serve with sweetened whipped cream.
Coming Tomorrow: Mother's Day Breakfast in Bed
FOR You, hopefully not made BY you


Veronica said...


Those look yummy and sound easy to make-I'm going to give them a whirl!

RecipeGirl said...

Although I would definitely love this one, my MIL eats only chocolate. And we're going there for Mother's Day. Someone should be making this one for me though, eh?

Anonymous said...

Once when you knew I was coming, you made me this cake! And it was so delicious! I'm so happy to have the recipe! Thanks Prudy!

Anonymous said...

These lemon baby cakes are just the right touch on Mother's Day....light and refreshing. Thanks Prudy

Jenny said...

Cute Cute Cute! I love those individual little cakes. Bright and colorful for Mother's Day! Have a great Mother's Day Weekend!