Ottolenghi's Semolina-Lemon Syrup Cakes

Ottolenghi's Semolina-Lemon Syrup Cakes

Not that I'd doubt an Ottolenghi recipe, but I thought these would need some sort of glaze to give them a boost. But oh how wrong I was! They're soft and firm at the same time, moist, and just perfectly lemony.


Makes 18 small cakes


For the semolina–almond cakes:

1 1/2 cups almond flour or almond meal
1/2 cup semolina flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
3 large eggs, beaten to blend
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

For the lemon syrup:

1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
6 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup sugar


Make the cakes:

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line the cups of a standard 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners. Whisk almond flour, semolina flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl to combine.

Using an electric mixer on high speed, beat butter, sugar, and lemon zest until very light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. With motor running, gradually add eggs and beat until glossy, about 1 minute. Add dry ingredients and lemon juice and beat to combine, about 1 minute.

Divide batter among muffin cups (I spooned the batter into a ziploc bag and piped it into the tins) and bake until cakes are golden brown and a tester inserted into the center comes out clean, 25–35 minutes.

Make the syrup:

Make the syrup while the cakes are baking. Bring lemon zest, lemon juice, and sugar to a boil in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring to dissolve sugar; reduce heat and simmer 3 minutes. Remove from heat.

As soon as cakes come out of the oven, brush or spoon syrup liberally over top (you may not need all of it). Transfer pan to a wire rack and let cakes cool completely before turning out.

Do Ahead

Cakes can be made 2 days ahead. Store airtight at room temperature.

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