Mini Whole Grain, Lemon Olive Oil Cakes with Lemon Basil Syrup

Mini Lemon Cakes with Basil Lemon Syrup

Headed Into The Dessert Months

As we head into the dessert months, I am excited to share new recipes with you.  And as always, I am busy converting recipes from  delicious originals  into a fantastic healthier versions.

Why eat unhealthy desserts when healthier versions taste fantastic and are better for you.

Today’s recipe is a favorite of my friend, Chef Bryan Woolley. I converted his recipe with him on Chef’s Stage at the Utah Home and Garden Show last weekend! I really have a great time cooking with Bryan, and he really enjoyed the taste of a healthy version of one of his signature recipes.

Remember, when someone tells you that desserts can not be made with olive oil, or whole grains, you just make this little yummy for them, and KNOCK THEIR SOCKS OFF!!!

Mini Lemon Cakes with Lemon Basil SyrupBasic IngredientsCake Ingredients

1/3 cup pure or Meyer Lemon extra virgin olive oil, plus 2 Tbsp

¾ cup whole wheat pastry flour. plus additional for dusting

2/3 cup plus ¼ cup sugar

¼ tsp salt

3 large eggs, separated, at room temperature for 30 minutes

2 tbsp fresh lemon juice

1 tbsp lemon zest


 For Syrup

1 ¼ cups sugar

1 ½ cups water

1 strip fresh lemon zest

½ cup fresh lemon juice

8 large fresh basil sprigs

To make cakes:

Put oven rack in middle position in a preheated  350°F oven. Generously brush 8 muffin cups with olive oi. Dust cups with cake flour, knocking out excess. Spray entire pan with olive oil cooking spray.

Beat together olive oil, 2/3 cup sugar, and 1/8 teaspoon salt in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, then add egg yolks, 1 at a time, beating until well blended. Beat in lemon juice and 2 teaspoons zest until combined. Add flour and mix at low speed until just combined. 


In a separate mixer bowel, beat egg  whites with remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt in another bowl with cleaned beaters until they hold soft peaks. Add 2 tablespoons sugar, a little at a time, beating, then beat until whites just hold stiff peaks. Stir 1/4 of whites into yolk mixture to lighten, then fold in remaining whites gently but thoroughly.

Adding just 1/4 of the egg whites to the batter, lightens it up a bit

Adding 1/4 of the egg whites will lighten the batter just a bit.

 Spoon batter into 8 prepared muffin cups. Blend remaining 2 tablespoons sugar and 1 teaspoon zest with your fingertips and sprinkle over batter, then bake until cakes are puffed, edges are golden, and a wooden pick or skewer inserted in center of cake comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool cakes in pan on a rack 15 minutes, then lift out cakes carefully (tops will break easily) and cool completely on rack.

Be sure to oil your pans really well, these babies have been known to stick!

Make sure to oil and flour the pan really well, these babies stick like no other.

To make syrup:

Bring all syrup ingredients to a boil, covered, in a 3-quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, then remove lid and boil 10 minutes. Pour syrup through a sieve into a bowl, pressing on and then discarding solids. Cool to room temperature. 

Bring to a Light Boil

Use a very fine strainer

Use a Very Fine Strainer

 To assemble dessert:

Drizzle about a tablespoon of the syrup on a plate. Place mini cake in the center. Dust with Powder sugar, a dallop of light vanilla bean ice cream (optional), and a sprig of fresh basil.

Just another tip when photographing your masterpiece, make sure your nice camera is charged, so that you do not have to use your cookpix!!!

You can fin my cookbook, Olive Oil Desserts at Fine Booksellers everywhere

 or visit to learn more!!!


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