And, with this post, I am finally done with the three boxes of yellow cake mix that I had left over from Christmas. The first two were used to make Pecan Cake Bars and Raspberry Oat Bars, respectively. Both recipes are delicious and quick ways to use cake mix, with the raspberry oat bars being a real stand-out in terms of flavor and ease of assembly. For this last box of mix, I decided to stick to the fruity route, and I chose a recipe called Lemon Blossoms from Paula Deen, which are tiny little lemon cakelets baked in a mini-muffin pan and covered in a lemon glaze. I had it in mind to test as a potential Easter recipe (for some reason, Easter and lemons are always associated in my mind), plus it sounded like a great, bright, spring-time recipe now that Spring is officially here.
Although, you'd never know Spring is here from all the snow I've been cleaning off of my car every morning, but that's another story.
This recipe starts with an ordinary box of yellow cake.
Normally, when I make a lemon cake from a mix, I buy the lemon-flavored mix, and dump in a box of lemon Jell-o to make the color bright and the flavor pop. It is an easy thing to do, and I recommend it for anyone who wants a quick lemon cake. This recipe, however, calls for a box of yellow cake mix, and a box of instant lemon pudding, so I was very interested to see how the flavor of this cake compared to my standard from-the-box lemon cake (Spoiler Alert: this recipe is divine).
Combine cake mix, pudding, lemon zest, eggs, and vegetable oil in the mixer until well-combined. The batter will be very thick, resist the urge to add extra liquid, these cakes are supposed to be dense, like a tea cake.
Fill a sprayed mini-muffin tin (no liners) with batter, filling the wells half full of batter. The blossoms rise a lot, and if they spill over the top of the well, getting them out of the pan might be harder, so make sure you only fill up half way.
Now, they bake in a pre-heated oven. The tops will spring back when they are done, mine took about 15 minutes, although the directions say 12.
When they come out, before they cool, invert the pan and turn them out onto a towel. Paper towels are fine.
You can right them if you want.
At this stage I was a little worried. Mine looked browner than Paula's -- baking them until the sprang back seemed to turn them into what felt like little hockey pucks...or so I thought.
Now it is time to dip them in the glaze. Paula calls for you to dip them as soon as you turn them out onto the towel. I didn't do this, because I didn't have my glaze made yet. I don't think the blossoms ended up any worse for wear, but that is your decision. So, prep your glaze (you can even do this before you assemble the dough, just be sure to cover the glaze, and stir it again before you dip): lemon juice, lemon zest, a little veggie oil (I didn't put as much in as she called for), and a little water.
Dip them, Put them on a rack on top of wax paper, so that the excess glaze can run off, and let them set for about an hour before you try to pack them for storing.
They look a little like glazed doughnut holes, and the taste is wonderful. The cake is dense, but the flavor is light and bright. The amount of cake you choose to dip will really affect the level of lemon. I loved them both ways, they are the perfect accompaniment to tea, and just a great addition to a dessert spread in general.
There's no reason why you can't substitute lime juice and zest, or orange juice and zest to change the flavor. You can use vanilla pudding in the mix, or you can use lime or orange Jell-o, respectively. There's also no reason why you can't substitute a chocolate cake mix and chocolate pudding, and make the glaze out of vanilla and water instead (or substitute a chocolate glaze).
- 1 box of yellow cake mix (18.5)
- 1 package lemon instant pudding (3.5 oz)
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 4 eggs
- 3/4 C vegetable oil
- 4 C confectioner's sugar
- 1/3 C lemon juice
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 2 tbls vegetable oil
- 2 tbls water
- Combine cake mix, pudding, zest, eggs and oil in mixer, and mix until combined, about 2 minutes
- Spray a mini-muffin tin with butter spray, and fill the wells half full with batter. This recipe makes 48 mini-muffins, and uses 2 pans
- Bake in a pre-heated 350F oven for 12-15 minutes
- Turn out immediately on a tea towel
- In the meantime, make the glaze, combining all glaze ingredients together
- Dip the blossoms, either by covering completely, or by dipping the tops (*double the glaze recipe if you want to completely cover all blossoms)
- Let glaze harden for an hour before putting away
- Can store at room temperature