Lemon is my favourite fruit to add to desserts, especially cakes! It is so resourceful allowing the use of both it’s juice and zesty flesh.
Why Sicilian in the title of this recipe you ask? Well lemons grow in abundance in Sicily, Italy. I recently read in the cookbook, ‘Carluccio’s Complete Italian Food’ by Antonio Carluccio, that Sicily produces 90 per cent of Italy’s lemons (650,000 tonnes per year).
That’s a whole lot of lemons and the Sicilians celebrate this industrious fruit by adding it to both sweets and savoury dishes. But the main reason for the title of this cake is because of a beautiful lemon cake that I devoured on our travels through Sicily. It was scrumptious and my recipe – Sicilian Lemon Cakes – is my attempt to recreate that memory and pay homage.
This cake was one of my best sellers when I operated my pastry business via stalls at Grower’s Markets throughout Sydney. I’m happy to share it with you now and see it be a big hit with your guests over a cup of coffee or tea.
You’ll find it hard to stop at one!
So moreish.... you won't stop at one!
30 minPrep Time
25 minCook Time
55 minTotal Time
250g Butter, unsalted, room temperature
200g Castor Sugar
1 or 30g Lemon, grated zest
2 or 50ml Lemon juice, freshly strained
3 or 180g Eggs
240g Plain flour, sifted
1 tbls or 15g Baking powder
1 tsp or 5g Sea salt, finely grained
140g Castor Sugar
3 or 75ml Lemon juice, freshly strained
2 or 20g Lemon, long zest strips
15g Pure Icing Sugar
- Preheat oven to 165c.
- Pre-condition ingredients – take our butter, weigh and cut into small cubes – leave out till reaches room temp. Weigh eggs, lightly whisk with a fork and ensure at room temp.
- Lightly butter and flour (baker’s flour) rectangle cake shape moulds (8 per tin).
- Using the mixer with paddle/beater, cream softened butter and caster sugar on medium speed for about 2 to 3 mins until pale in colour and fluffy.
- Then add the lemon zest and beat until combined.
- Gradually pour the lightly beaten eggs in about 3 to 4 stages on medium speed, making sure to beat in the eggs thoroughly after each addition. Ensure to scrape down sides of bowl before adding next stage of eggs to allow even mix and to emulsify.
- In a large bowl add the butter mixture to the dry ingredients and lemon juice and then fold through with a metal spoon or a spatula.
- Using a large piping bag with a large nozzle, gently pipe mixture into cake moulds – don’t squeeze all the air out of mixture when piping. Fill each cake 2/3 full.
- Bake for 20-25mins.
- Cakes should be light golden colour and spring back when lightly touched. Take out of oven and allow to rest for 5 mins in tin.
- Place water and sugar in small size pot and over medium heat, stir with slotted metal spoon to dissolve sugar. When comes to boil, add all lemon juice – cook till boil & then allow a further 5 mins to boil. Then add lemon zest and allow to boil for 5 mins. Scrape off any scum that rises to top.
- Remove mini cakes from tin and turn out onto a wire rack.
- While cakes are still warm – separate the lemon zest from the syrup with a metal slotted spoon. Ladle or brush over the syrup on cakes.
- When cakes have cooled completely, sprinkle with pure icing sugar and top with few strands of lemon zest.