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Lemon Cakes Recipe

The sweetness of the candied lemon peel helps balance the tartness of this lemon cake.  Perfect for an afternoon tea party.

Prep time: 45 minutes | Simmer time: ~2 hours (candied lemon peel) | Cook time: 15 minutes | Servings: 12

Lemon cake, raspberry, lemon zest


  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 3 eggs, room temperature
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest
  • 1 drop yellow food coloring
  • 1  8 ounce container of sour cream
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • Sifted powdered sugar
  • Raspberries

Candied Lemon Peel 

  • 3 lemons
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 cups sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Grease and flour a 12 cup muffin tin (a silicone muffin tin makes it very easy to remove the cakes).
  3. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt.
  4. In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar with an electric mixer until fluffy.  Add the eggs one at time, beating well before adding the next egg.  Stir in vanilla, food coloring and lemon zest.
  5. Combine the sour cream and lemon juice.
  6. Alternately add the flour and sour cream mixture into the butter mixture, beating on low to medium until just combined.
  7. Fill muffin cups halfway and bake for 15-20 minutes, until toothpick comes out clean.
  8. Let cool for 5 minutes, then remove and place upside down on cookie sheet.
  9. In a small bowl, mix the remaining sugar and lemon juice. Brush over the cupcakes.
  10. Garnish with sifted powdered sugar, candied lemon peels and raspberries.

Candied lemon peels: Using a zester with a channel knife, make strips of the lemon peel.  Combine water and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved.  Turn the heat on low and add the peels.  Simmer until peels are translucent, which may take 2 hours.  Drain and place on wire rack until dry.  The lemon syrup that remains in the pan is a perfect sweetener for tea.

zester with channel, lemons, lemon peel

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