I know what you’re thinking. More lemon?
I’m not even going to apologize. Sometimes I’m
a little extremely obsessed with an ingredient, and right now it’s lemon.
Breakfast, lunch, or dinner; sweet or savory – lemon is always welcome at my table.
We went savory last time, so I figured a lemony dessert was in order.
The first time I made this lemon-mint cake was a few years back for a casual family dinner at my mom’s house. My mom, who uses a giant bowl filled with fresh lemons as a dining room table centerpiece, was a huge fan. Perhaps this lemon obsession is genetic…?
I’m totally open to partaking in a study on the subject – assuming we’d be consuming copious amounts of lemons.
This time, I had some fresh mint leftover from my recent experiments in cocktail creation with my friend. I had to use it up before going out of town (I can’t bear to waste food), and lemon-mint cake was the first thing I thought of.
This cake uses one of my absolute favorite baking techniques: egg whites are whipped up and folded into the batter to lighten it. It’s like baking magic. The same eggs that would be added whole to a denser cake become something completely different when used separately.
And as if this super light cake wasn’t flavorful enough, it’s served with an intensely lemony syrup that the cake just sucks right up. Lemon fanatics rejoice!
Lemon-Mint Cake with Lemon Syrup
Recipe from Giada De Laurentiis
I always put a parchment paper round in the bottom of my cake pans for a little extra clean cake removal insurance. If doing so, grease the pan, add the parchment, then grease the parchment before flouring the pan.
- butter, for greasing
- flour, for dusting
- 3 eggs, separated, at room temperature
- 1 cup sugar, divided
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 8 mint sprigs, leaves chopped, plus more for garnish
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
For the cake:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour an 8-inch round cake pan.
- In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the egg whites to soft peaks. Add 1/2 cup sugar and beat until the mixture holds stiff peaks.
- In a separate large bowl, beat the vegetable oil, the remaining 1/2 cup sugar and salt. Add the egg yolks 1 at a time. Add the chopped mint, lemon juice and lemon zest. Add the flour and mix until just combined. Set aside.
- Slowly add 1/2 of the egg white mixture into the oil mixture. Using a rubber spatula, carefully fold in the remaining egg white mixture. Spread the batter into the prepared cake pan and bake for 40 to 45 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. Transfer the cake to a cutting board and allow to cool before slicing.
For the syrup:
- In a small saucepan, combine the sugar, water, lemon juice, and lemon zest over medium heat. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer until the sugar has dissolved, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, Remove the pan from the heat and allow the syrup to cool, about 20 minutes.
- To serve, spoon some of the syrup onto each small plate or shallow bowl and lay a slice of cake on top. Drizzle the cake with additional syrup and garnish with a small sprig of mint.