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Lemon Blossoms

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I made these for Mother’s Day, intending to give pretty little baggies of them as gifts to all the mothers at the annual Mother’s Day picnic on Dennis’ side of the family.  It didn’t quite work out that way.  The first pan, which was half the batch, I didn’t grease well enough and they all stuck horribly so guess where those ended up?  Yup, in our bellies.  Can’t say we were too sad that only half the batch was pretty enough to share.  But then we couldn’t keep our hands off those either, and in the end, there were only enough to give to two mothers: his and mine.

Our mothers loved these little beauties, and we loved them.  Way too much.  They are really delicious, but most of the lemon flavor comes from the glaze, and I would suggest trying this with a lemon cake mix instead of a yellow if you can find one.  That would really intensify the lemon flavor.  They are wonderful as is, but can you get enough lemon flavor in the summer?  I think not.

Lemon Blossoms

Printable recipe
Printable recipe with picture

1 (18.5 oz) box yellow or lemon cake mix
1 (3.5 oz) box instant lemon pudding mix
4 large eggs
3/4 cup vegetable oil

Glaze:
4 cups confectioners sugar, sifted
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
Lemon zest from 1 lemon
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 tablespoons water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray miniature muffin tins thoroughly with cooking spray.

Combine cake mix, pudding mix, eggs and oil and blend well with an electric mixer until smooth, about 2 minutes. Batter will be quite thick. Using a cookie scoop, divide the batter between the muffin wells, filling each halfway. Bake for 12 minutes.

While the blossoms are baking, make the glaze. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the sugar, lemon juice, zest, oil, and 3 tablespoons water. Whisk until smooth.

Remove the blossoms from the oven when they are done and turn out onto a tea towel. You might have to run a butter knife around the edges of the cupcake wells to loosen them before turning out. While they are still warm, dip the blossoms into the glaze, covering as much of the cake as possible, or spoon the glaze over the warm cupcakes, turning them to completely coat. Place on wire racks with waxed paper underneath to catch any drips. (I did this over the sink.) Let the glaze set, about 1 hour, before storing in airtight containers or covering with plastic wrap on a platter.

Makes 48 mini-cakes

Recipe source: Paula Deen, as seen on Minda’s Cooking

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Lemony Orange Cake

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We recently celebrated my Dad’s 61st birthday and I meant to only provide a Banoffee Pie, but I’ve been in an experimental baking mode lately and we ended up having a dessert-athon with three cakes in addition to the pie…all for only 8 guests!

The surprise favorite turned out to be this Lemony Orange Cake.  It is heavier than a regular cake, but lighter than a pound cake and extremely moist with a wonderful orange glaze that locks in the moisture.  The citrus flavors make it the perfect summer treat.


Lemony Orange Cake

Printable recipe

Cake
1 (18.25 ounce) package yellow cake mix
1 (3 ounce) package instant lemon pudding mix
3/4 cup orange juice
1/2 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
1 tablespoon orange zest
1 teaspoon lemon extract

Glaze
1/3 cup orange juice
2/3 cup white sugar
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter

Grease & flour a 10 inch Bundt pan. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).

In a large bowl, stir together cake mix and pudding mix. Pour in the 3/4 cup orange juice, oil, eggs, orange zest, and lemon extract. Beat on low speed until blended. Scrape bowl, and beat 4 minutes on medium speed. Pour batter into prepared pan.

Bake in preheated oven for 50 to 60 minutes. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely.

Once it’s cool, fit the Bundt pan back over the cake and flip it over so the cake is back in the pan.  In a saucepan over medium heat, cook 1/3 cup orange juice, sugar and butter until it comes to a boil and continue to boil for two minutes. Pour the glaze over the bottom of the cake and use a spatula to spread to the sides so that it drips  down evenly on all sides and on the inside circle.  You don’t want all the glaze sitting on top, you want it to drip down so it can soak into the cake evenly.  Allow to soak for 10 minutes, then place a serving plate on top of the pan & flip it over so that the cake comes out on the plate.  Glaze will dry so that the cake can be covered with plastic wrap until serving.  If made more than two days in advance, store in the fridge.  Don’t worry–it will stay moist even if made several days ahead!

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