This is another great recipe from a book Patisserie – William and Suzue Curley.

Very easy to make and delicious in the winter time when citruses are in the spotlight.

These mini cakes just burst out with the flavour. A lot of lemon zest and a good pinch of poppy seeds will convert any winter day into a shiny and cozy one. And don’t think that olive oil will ruin everything. It is very subtle and hardly recognizable at all. But it really depends on what kind of olive oil you have.

Making these cakes was great, just don’t repeat my mistake by overbaking them. The book says to bake them until golden in colour. That was 10 minutes after the specified time and they got a bit dense. The first time I baked them I respected timing in the book and while they haven’t got the golden colour, they were pillowy soft. So, here’s the recipe.


Makes 12 small cakes.




  • 145 gr all purpose flour
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1 egg
  • 155 gr caster sugar
  • 80 ml olive oil
  • 10 gr (6 very small lemons) grated lemon zest
  • 5 gr poppy seeds
  • 110 ml milk


For water icing:


  • 100 ml water
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract


First, sift together flour, baking powder and salt.

In another bowl whisk together egg and sugar until pale in colour (about 5 minutes).

Mix olive oil, lemon zest, poppy seeds and milk in a separate bowl.

Mix the olive mixture into the egg mixture and gently fold in the dry ingredients.


Cover with foil and place in the fridge for at least an hour.

Preheat oven to 180 C. degrees.

Take the mixture out of the fridge and divide batter among silicon muffin moulds or mini bundt moulds. Pipe into each hole until three-quarters full.


Bake for 15-18 minutes, but not longer!

When the cakes are done leave them to cool completely, especially if baked in mini bundt moulds because they tend to fall apart if taken out while still hot.


In the meantime warmen water and add the vanilla. Brush every cake carefully. Sprinkle with powdered sugar if desired.


Water icing is specified a little bit different in the book. I tried that way, but unsuccessfully. My fondant just didn’t melt well and it smelled weird (store bought). That’s why I have simplified this icing. For those willing to try the original recipe, here it is:


100 gr fondant

30 ml simple syrup (water, sugar, lemon zest and vanilla boiled and cook for 2-3 min)


On the low heat melt together fondant and simple syrup. After the cakes are baked, turn the oven up to 220 C. degrees. Turn the cakes out of the moulds and brush with the water icing. Put the cakes onto a baking tray and return to the hot oven for 30 seconds.