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mini lemon cakes

Mini Lemon Cakes with Thyme, Roasted Strawberries, and Whipped Crème Fraîche


  • Author: Tiffany
  • Prep Time: 30 mins
  • Cook Time: 40 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Yield: 6-8

Description

Lovely mini lemon cakes are infused with a fresh thyme syrup and layered with whipped crème fraîche and roasted strawberries.


Ingredients

For the Lemon Cake:

  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • Zest of 2 lemons
  • 4 eggs, room temperature
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup buttermilk, room temperature

For the Lemon Thyme Syrup:

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 5 fresh thyme sprigs
  • 4 lemon slices

For the Roasted Strawberries:

  • 1 pound strawberries
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

For the Whipped Crème Fraîche:

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup crème fraîche
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

For Assembling:

  • Bonne Maman Strawberry Preserves
  • Freeze-Dried Strawberries optional
  • Fresh thyme

Instructions

Make the Cake:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Grease a 9×13 cake pan with baking spray and line with parchment paper.
  3. Cream together the room temperature butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add in the lemon juice and zest.
  4. Add the room temperature eggs to the butter mixture one at a time until thoroughly incorporated.
  5. Sift together the flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda.
  6. Add the flour mixture, alternating with the room temperature buttermilk, in 3 additions. Scrape the bowl between each addition and incorporate well but do not over-mix.
  7. Spread the cake batter into the greased pan and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean and the top springs back gently when touched, about 40 minutes.
  8. Let the cake cool and when completely cool, use a biscuit cutter in your desired size to cut out rounds.

For the Lemon Thyme Syrup:

  1. Combine the water, sugar, thyme sprigs, and lemon in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Simmer 1-2 minutes and then remove from heat.
  2. Let the syrup infuse and cool, about 30 minutes. Strain the syrup and refrigerate.

For the Roasted Strawberries:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and combine the strawberries, vanilla, maple syrup, sugar, and olive oil. Roast the berries until the juices run out and thicken slightly, about 30 minutes.

For the Whipped Crème Fraîche:

  1. Chill the bowl you are using in the freezer for 10 minutes. Beat all of the ingredients until stiff. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Assemble:

  1. Slice the cake rounds in half to form two layers.
  2. Generously brush each layer with the thyme syrup.
  3. Spread the bottom layer with a tablespoon of the strawberry preserves and top with the whipped crème fraîche.
  4. Top the top layer with whipped crème fraîche, roasted strawberries, and a thyme sprig. Garnish with freeze-dried strawberries, if desired, to add crunch. Serve right away.

Notes

All of these components can be made ahead. The thyme syrup can be made ahead and kept in the refrigerator for up to a week. The cake can be made the day ahead and kept refrigerated and tightly wrapped. The whipped crème fraîche and roasted strawberries can be made the day ahead. I do suggest roasting the strawberries the day of and serving them at room temperature.