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Lemon-Lime Tea Cakes


These luscious little cakes are perfect for an afternoon gathering or a brunch.

  • Prep:
  • Total Time:
  • Yield: Makes 24

Source: Everyday Food, January/February 2010


  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan
  • 1 1/3 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest, plus 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lime zest, plus 1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour, (spooned and leveled)
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1 lemon (ends cut off), very thinly sliced and seeded


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly butter a 24-cup mini-muffin pan. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter, 2/3 cup sugar, and lemon and lime zests on medium speed until light and creamy (not fluffy). Add lemon and lime juices along with eggs and beat to combine, scraping down bowl. With mixer on low, gradually add flour and salt and beat until blended. Divide batter among muffin cups (about 1 tablespoon each). Bake until cakes are golden around edges and a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, about 15 minutes.

  2. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, combine 2/3 cup water and 2/3 cup sugar; cook over medium, stirring occasionally, until sugar dissolves, about 5 minutes. Add lemon slices and rapidly simmer until peel turns translucent and lemon syrup thickens slightly, 5 minutes.

  3. With a toothpick, poke holes all over tops of warm tea cakes in pan. Drizzle 1/2 teaspoon lemon syrup over each cake. Let cakes cool slightly in pan; transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Spoon lemon slices on top if desired.

Cook's Notes

The cakes also work well using the zest and juice of a single citrus -- lemon, lime, or orange -- or any combination. Lemon is best for making the syrup and candied slices.

Reviews Add a comment

  • parkrngr17
    8 DEC, 2016
    Delicious, easy, and light! It's hard to stop eating them so I make them for special occasions, but they are perfect for anything formal or informal. These little treats come out great every time.
  • Stacey L-E
    1 MAR, 2013
    This is a terrific recipe. Easy to do and tastes great. I added 2 teaspoons of lemon juice to the lemon syrup for an extra zing. I did not like the visible holes left by the toothpicks, so I topped the cakes with a simple opaque lemon glaze. Thank you Martha!
  • krbelcher
    20 MAR, 2011
    These were delicious! I made them exactly as directed above and they turned out perfect. Very easy with a wonderful flavor. I will definitely be making these again!
    20 DEC, 2010
    Wonderful little treat. Everyone in my office loved them. Will definitely make these again. Plenty of lemon syrup leftover, I just froze it and will use it for other desserts.
  • eurochica
    17 MAR, 2010
    These were so good, I could not stop eating them!!!
  • rbcooks
    21 FEB, 2010
    The recipe worked well and were a great hit! A sure repeat! It should be noted that the "ingredients" should be separated for the "tea cakes" and the "Lemon Syrup"! A fast read may cause double amount of sugar to be added to the "Tea Cakes"!
  • phillandlil
    16 JAN, 2010
    This recipe did not work for us...perhaps the flour ratio is off? Batter consistency looked thin but was tasty. However, after the cook time, the "cakes" were runny and more like a curd. 24 "cakes" spooned out into a 1/2 cup mixture which we improvised and spooned over vanilla ice cream or yogurt. Disappointing results to say the least...