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Apr 20, 2020

Lemon, Ricotta, & Thyme Mini Cakes

These little lemon loaves with ricotta and thyme are sweet and lemony with a slight herbal undertone from the thyme.

Lemon, Ricotta, & Thyme Mini Cakes

These sweet mini lemon cakes are the perfect treat for the lemon fans in your life. The cake is flavored with lots of lemon zest and the glaze is flavored with lemon juice. They are like lemonade on a plate.

The cake ingredients also include ricotta, which helps keep these cakes moist.

Lemon, Ricotta, & Thyme Mini Loaves

There is just a hint of the thyme flavor because there is only 1 tablespoon in the entire recipe. You could leave it out, but it really does go nicely with the lemon.

If you like the idea of a hint of herbal or floral flavor, be sure to try my lemon lavender cake too. The glaze is amazing. 

Tips for making these mini lemon cakes:

To get the most flavor from the lemon zest, be sure to use your fingers to rub the sugar and zest together to release the oils.

You may have to adjust the glaze depending on how thick it is. You want it to be thick enough so that it looks white on your little cakes, but not so thick that is doesn't drip down the sides. If it's too thin, just add more sugar, and if it's too thick, add more lemon juice.

Be sure to line your mini loaf pans with parchment paper so you can lift the cakes out easily. I left little "handles" on the ends to make it super easy.

Lemon, Ricotta, & Thyme Mini Loaves in pan

What sized loaf pans should you use for these mini loaves?

I used a Wilton 9 cavity mini loaf pan, which I cannot find on their site anymore. The dimensions of the cavities are 2 3/8 inches by 3 3/4 inches. This pan (affiliate link) looks like it has the same dimensions.

If you don't want to buy another pan, you could probably make these in a jumbo muffin tin or small cake pans. If you bake them in a muffin tin, you could glaze them upside down if you like that look.

As a side note, I also learned that you can easily freeze ricotta. I had enough leftover ricotta from another recipe to make these cakes, but I didn't have time to bake them for another week. I placed some plastic film on the surface of the ricotta in its container, put the lid on, and stuck it in the freezer.

When it was time to make these cakes, the thawed ricotta worked perfectly.

I divided the batter among 8 of the cavities, but I think I could have easily gotten 9 loaves.

Lemon, Ricotta, & Thyme Mini Loaves with garnish

These cakes are a delicious lemony treat. Each cake serves two for a light dessert.

More recipes for lemon lovers!

Lemon bundt cake.

Lemon shortbread cookies.

Lemon poppyseed ricotta muffins.

Blueberry lemon ricotta tea cake.

Blackberry lemon bars.

Braided lemon bread with blackberries.

Glazed lemon loaves

Each month The Cake Slice Bakers are offered a selection of cakes from the current book we are baking through. This year it is The New Way To Cake by Benjamina Ebuehi. We each choose one cake to bake, and then on the 20th - never before - we all post about our cake on our blogs.

There are a few rules that we follow, but the most important ones are to have fun and enjoy baking & eating cakes! Follow our Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest pages where you can find all of our cakes, as well as inspiration for many other cakes.

If you have a blog and are interested in joining The Cake Slice Bakers and baking along with us, please send an email to thecakeslicebakers at gmail dot com for more details.

The Cake Slice Bakers also have a new Facebook group called The Cake Slice Bakers and Friends. This group is perfect for those who do not have a blog but want to join in the fun and bake through this book.

Book cover
It is a new year and a new book - The New Way To Cake - and our choices for April 2020 were ~

Carrot Cake with Masala Chai
Lemon, Ricotta and Thyme Mini-Loaves 
Jasmine Green Tea Cake

    These little cakes were wonderful. My only issue with the recipe is, while the author said the recipe makes 8 cakes, she did not specify the size of the mini loaf pans. I ended up weighing the batter, then weighing an eighth of it, just to make sure my pans were the right size.

    These little lemon loaves with ricotta and thyme are sweet and lemony with a slight herbal undertone from the thyme.

    Lemon, Ricotta, and Thyme Mini Cakes

    Lemon, Ricotta, and Thyme Mini Cakes
    Yield: 16 servings
    These little lemon loaves with ricotta and thyme are sweet and lemony with a slight herbal undertone from the thyme.


    For the Cakes
    • 200 grams (1 cup) granulated sugar
    • Zest of two lemons
    • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh thyme
    • 1/2 cup neutral oil
    • (250 grams) 1 cup ricotta 
    • 2 large eggs
    • 190 grams (1 1/2 cups) all purpose flour
    • 2 teaspoons baking powder
    • 1/8 teaspoon salt
    For the Glaze
    • 150 grams (1 1/4 cups) confectioner's sugar
    • Juice of one lemon
    • 8 fresh thyme springs for decoration


    How to cook Lemon, Ricotta, and Thyme Mini Cakes

    1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees F
    2. Spray  eight 2 3/8 inch by 3 3/4 inch mini loaf pans with spray oil and line with parchment paper. 
    3. Put the sugar and lemon zest in a large bowl and, using your fingertips, rub the sugar and zest together to release the oils. 
    4. Add the thyme, the oil, ricotta, and eggs, and whisk until smooth. 
    5. Add the flour, baking powder, and salt, and gently stir to combine. 
    6. Divide the batter among the pans and bake for 27 to 30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
    7. Cool in the pan for about five minutes before turning the out on a wire rack to cool completely. 
    8. Whisk together the confectioner's sugar and lemon juice and adjust the consistency by adding more sugar or juice. Spoon over the loaves, letting it drip down the sides. 
    9. Garnish with thyme sprigs. 
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    cake, lemon, thyme

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    Would you like to comment?

    1. These are adorable, Karen! They remind me of little cakes you see in cartoons or video games! I'm so intrigued by the addition of thyme with the lemon--can't wait to try it!

    2. This was such a delicious cake. I made mine in bundt form as I didn't have the mini loaf pans available. Yours turned out lovely Karen.

    3. I found my mini loaf pan and D has fresh thyme in his garden. I see cakes in my future today.

    4. I love love love lemon cake / loaves - these are just beautiful!! I may need to get some mini loaf pans though - because that makes these extra perfect!

    5. Baking these is a jumbo muffin pan is a great option. I've never had thyme in a dessert recipe and I am intrigued. They look yummy!

    6. Love! Love, love, love, love, love. I am such a lemon fan and with the ricotta and thyme? Totally a winner.

    7. You had be at lemonade on a plate. I'm definitely going to have to try this recipe. And as always, stunning photos.

    8. Love the thickness of your glaze. They look great!


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