Lovely light and moist individual olive oil lemon cakes, bursting with lemon flavour and a hint of fresh thyme. Topped with a sweet glaze.
I have been looking for something citrusy to make this week, maybe just to brighten up my days after all the snowy weather we’ve been getting. These lovely little lemon cakes fit the bill perfectly and is a recipe I will be returning to again, I’m sure. The cakes were deliciously moist and light with just enough citrus flavour. I also loved the petite size. Built in portion control :)
Whatever pan you use though, be sure not to fill the cup more that about 2/3 full, as they will rise a bit. I baked my tin on a baking sheet, just to be safe, but as long as you don’t over-fill, you’ll be fine.
I made my cakes with Meyer Lemons, but it would work equally well with regular lemons or oranges (or any citrus really). As you can see, I also baked these in a tin. Even with buttering and flouring, I can’t say they just popped out of the pan. They did take a little coaxing, but it was all good in the end. As I had a little batter left, I cooked a couple extra in a silicone pan and they popped out quite easily. Might be the way to go to make life easier.
These cakes got more moist the longer they sat, so they’re great for making a bit ahead. I also froze the extras, to enjoy later.
Get the Recipe: Individual Glazed Lemon and Thyme Olive Oil Cakes
- 1 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
- 1 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
- 1 1/3 cups white granulated sugar
- 2 Tbsp. grated lemon zest, from about 2 lemons
- 2 large eggs
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2/3 cup whole milk
- 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. fine salt
- 1 tsp. finely minced fresh thyme, plus sprigs for garnish
For the Glaze:
- 1 1/2 cups confectioners'/icing sugar
- 3 1/2 to 4 Tbsp. lemon juice, from 1 to 2 lemons
- 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
- Preheat oven to 350° F. with rack in centre of oven. Prepare an 6, 8 or 12 cup metal or silicone mini cake/bundt or muffin pan. For a tin pan, brush with melted butter and dust with flour and shake out the excess.
- In a blender or food processor, pulse the granulated sugar and lemon zest in a blender until combined. Add the eggs one at a time, then gradually pour in the olive oil and milk, pulsing until emulsified into a thin batter. Don't over-blend or the cakes will be too puffy.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and 1 tsp. thyme. Add this flour mixture to the blender/food processor in 2 batches, pulsing lightly until just combined. Stop to scrape down the sides of the blender as needed.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan to no more than 2/3 full (as they will rise). Bake until the cakes just begin to pull away from the sides of the pan and spring back when lightly touched, 22 to 25 minutes for a 12-cup Bundt or muffin pan or 28 to 30 minutes for a 6-cup Bundt pan. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then loosen the sides with a small knife and invert the cakes onto a rack.
- Meanwhile, prepare the glaze. Whisk the confectioners' sugar, lemon juice and butter until smooth, adding more lemon juice if the mixture is too thick. Drizzle over the warm cakes and garnish with thyme sprigs.
Made this tonight and oh my goodness this is delish! I made it in a specialty bundt pan…short, wider. The lemon glaze packs a punch…but I love all things lemon!
So glad you enjoyed them, Karen :) Thanks so much!
Are these the same as the lemon and thyme olive oil cupcakes posted a few years back? I loved that recipe and would like to make them for my daughter’s birthday. I can’t find that specific cupcake recipe on the blog.
P.S. my husband and I loved that recipe so much that it inspired our wedding cake!
Hi Morgan and yes, this is the original recipe I posted years ago. I recently pared down the photos, so the photo you associate with these may be gone, but the recipe is exactly the same :) So glad you are enjoying them!
A friend just brought me what seems like a whole tree full of Meyer lemons so your recipe arrived in my inbox just in time. I love that you add a little glaze on top. Can’t wait to try these. By the way, I saw your food adventures in Vegas. Looks like you had a great time. Happy birthday to your daughter!
Do enjoy these Celia and still jealous of your lemon trees :) And yes, had a great time in Vegas. Much good food was consumed. Thankfully my daughter is as much of a food enjoyer as I am! Thanks so much.
Yum – these look great! I don’t know what it is about this time of year, but I’m always craving citrusy things too! I love the addition of thyme and olive oil too! Beautiful, as always :)
Thanks Jessica. Loved these little cakes. They definitely satisfied my craving :)
I love citrus with thyme, these cakes look irresistible!
Thanks so much, Laura :)
Oh I’m so happy Meyer Lemons are back! Adding these little cakes to my list of things to make with them.
Me too, Liz. They are probably my favourite citrus to cook with!
They’re almost too pretty to eat! Almost… I just love herbs in desserts. And lemon and thyme is a fabulous combination! Gorgeous photography, as always :)
Thanks Sarah. I love the lemon and thyme in these, too!
Be still my lemon loving heart — these make me want to plan a tea party!
They would be perfect for a tea party, Sue :)
Sounds wonderful Jennifer! I love the interesting and very intriguing flavour combination!
Thanks Millie. My daughter did a little nose wrinkling when I told her I was putting thyme in the lemon cakes, but she took it all back after she tasted them. It’s very subtle, but a nice addition :)
Ooooh – these are so pretty Jennifer! My co-worker just gave me a small pan that was too shallow for muffins (I think she used them for tarts) so I’m going to use it to make these little cakes! Such perfect timing!
That pan sounds perfect for these, Stephanie! I’m sure you’ll enjoy these little cakes :)
Just looking at these brightens my day! I love olive oil based cakes, and the addition of lemon and thyme in mini-fied form sounds like the perfect post-holiday indulgence. Beautiful photos as always, too!
Thanks so much, Katie. I loved the bit of thyme in these. It’s very, very subtle, but nice :)
I have been craving something bright like these cakes too! I am really missing sunshine at this moment…
Same here, Meghan! The sun is actually shining here today … it’s just minus 32 degrees (so it doesn’t really count ;)
Citrus muffins. . .the perfect little snack to brighten up these dreary winter days. This is such a beautiful pint-sized cake. Great that it comes in portion control sizes. . .just not sure that I have the will power to eat just one.
Thanks Lynn and true, I sometimes have trouble eating just one ;)