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One portion cakes: Mini Lemon and Thyme cakes

Proving good things come in small packages, mini cakes are having a moment. Forget trying to neatly portion out a big cake at a birthday party or gathering, desperately hoping all your guests get an equally sized slice; with individual sized cakes everyone gets an adorable treat-no sharing required.


These delectable mini lemon and thyme cakes may be small, but with a wonderfully moist and tangy sponge, fragrant thyme icing and topped with candied lemon slices and sprigs of thyme, they make a mighty impact when displayed together at any special occasion.

Using the Titanium Chef Baker XL you can prepare a batch of these mini delights in just 20 minutes. In this guide we’ll take you through the recipe step by step, showing you just how easy they are to whip up and sharing some hints and tips along the way. 

Preparing to bake

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The recipe refers to the Titanium Chef Baker XL, but any Kenwood stand mixer will produce the same mouthwatering results- you’ll just need to wash up before you make the icing if you don’t have the second mixing bowl. Here’s what you’ll need: 

For the cakes:
200g butter, cubed and at room temperature                                 
200g caster sugar                
1 lemon, zested                                     
4 eggs, beaten                                      
200g ground almonds                          
45g plain flour                       
1 tbsp poppy seeds                              
¼ tbsp baking powder                          
Salt, to taste                         
40ml lemon juice                  
1 tbsp milk 

For the candied lemons:
200ml water                                          
200g caster sugar                 
2 lemons, thinly sliced 

For the icing:
200g icing sugar                   
25ml lemon juice                   
5g fresh thyme, destalked 

Titanium Chef Baker XL 
12 hole muffin tin 
Frying pan 
Slotted spoon 

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Get ahead by measuring your ingredients out before you start. For ingredients that are added to your mix as you go, remember that your Chef Baker’s integrated weighing means you can measure them out directly into the bowl, for uninterrupted baking.

For a sneak peek of how to make these cakes using your Titanium Chef Baker, why not check out this video? Then read on for a step-by-step guide. 

Creating the sponges

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First step is to make the cakes. Preheat your oven to 160ºC and lightly grease and flour your 12 hole muffin tin.

Fit the creaming beater to your mixer. Its pliable wings work around the sides of the bowl to ensure a light, even mix.

Add the butter and caster sugar to the mixing bowl and attach it to the machine. Mix on speed 3 for 2 minutes, until your mixture is light and fluffy.

Next, add the eggs, almonds, flour, poppy seeds, lemon zest, baking powder and salt to the bowl. Start the machine on speed Min, then gradually increase to speed 2 for 1 minute.

Finally, add the lemon juice and milk. Mix on speed Min for 30 seconds until well combined. Distribute the mixture evenly between the muffin tin holes. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the edges are slightly golden and a skewer comes out clean.

Cool for 5 minutes in the tin, before turning out upside down onto a wire rack. Leave to cool. 

How to make candied lemons

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Candied lemon slices are simple to make, and make a stunning garnish to finish off these cakes.

To make, first add the water and sugar to a wide frying pan. Bring to the boil and cook until the sugar is dissolved, creating a sugar syrup.

Carefully add the lemon slices to the pan, spreading them out evenly in a single layer. Turn down the heat and simmer for 30-40 minutes, until the lemon slices are translucent.

Remove the slices from the pan using a slotted spoon and place onto a piece of baking parchment. While you allow them to cool and dry,  preheat the oven to 100 ºC. Put aside any remaining lemon sugar syrup to drizzle over the cooled cakes before icing.

Transfer the lemons to a lined baking tray and dry in the oven for an hour. This will help prevent them from becoming too sticky. 

Remove the lemons from the oven and sprinkle with some granulated sugar if you want some added crunch. 

Icing and decorating the cakes

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To make the thyme icing, fit the clean mixing bowl and creaming beater to your mixer. Add the icing sugar, lemon juice and thyme to the bowl. Mix on speed 2 for about 1 minute, or until smooth.

The icing should have a thick, pourable consistency- you don’t want it to be too runny or it will just run off the cakes. Spoon over the cooled upside-down cakes.

To finish, decorate with a sprinkling of lemon zest, a slice of candied lemon and a sprig of thyme. 

Almost too pretty to eat, these zesty little cakes are quick and easy to make and deliver a taste of summer in every mouthful. Perfect for a party, picnic or afternoon tea.