I have some serious lemon lovers at my house. My husband (Adam) and oldest son (James) both loooove lemon. Oftentimes I see lemon recipes and make them because I know those two will absolutely love it. In the case of these Mini Lemon Meringue Pound Cakes, it was more than just their love of lemon that got me on board. I've never seen a recipe quite like this, and that says a lot! I was intrigued, and now I'm pleased to say I have a batch of these delicious little beauties on my kitchen counter.
These little cakes are soft, light, and fluffy. They not at all dense like some pound cakes can be. This is due to the use of cake flour (if you can't find it in your local grocery store, you can find it [here]), beating air into the batter until it's light and fluffy, and the addition of fresh whipped cream.
The amount of cream is so small, however, that I knew my stand mixer wouldn't be able to do the job. So, I rolled up my sleeves (figuratively--it's too hot to have sleeves in May in Texas) and whipped cream by hand for the first time ever. I hated it, but I did it, and so can you! The end result is worth it, I promise. (If you have a hand mixer, I'm sure that would do the job!)
While the cakes are still warm, you spoon lemon syrup over each one to amp up the tart lemon flavor (if you prefer a more subtle lemon flavor, you can skip this step altogether). Once the cakes are cooled, they're covered with a generous helping of meringue, which is then toasted to perfection. Each bite has the perfect combination of the super sweet meringue, the subtlety of the cake, and the tart syrup.
A few tools you may find helpful:
- I used a mini loaf pan, with eight 2.5" x 4" cavities (link [here]). You can certainly use a different size pan(s), but you will need to adjust the bake time accordingly (the larger the pan the longer the bake time)!
- Most people have a grater of some kind in their kitchen, I just really love mine, so thought I'd give you the link ([here]). I love my microplane and they last forever!
- A juicer isn't a necessity in the kitchen, but it can make things easier. I was never interested in owning one until I made my first key lime pie (hand-squeezing 30+ tiny key limes will do that). The one I use is this one [here].
- You can top the loaves with the meringue however you'd like, whether that's decoratively piping it on top or slathering it on with a spoon. It's all good. For the piping that I did, you don't even need a piping tip. Just cut the end of a piping bag or corner of a zip-top bag.
- I use a kitchen torch to toast my meringue. If you don't have a torch, you can put the loaves under the broiler to toast the meringue. Just don't take your eyes off them for a second! I prefer the torch, since it gives me more control over the toasting. (I'm as notorious for walking away and burning things as I am for my overuse of parentheses.) My torch is so old I don't even know what brand it is, but this one online (link [here]) has great reviews. I'll add that it's just really fun to use a torch. I seriously giggle every time I use mine (which is as often as possible).
Spoil the lemon lover in your life (and yourself!) with these Mini Lemon Meringue Pound Cakes. You won't regret it. 🙂
Other posts you may like:
Recipe adapted from Bake from Scratch (link here).
Mini Lemon Meringue Pound Cakes
Lemon Syrup (see note):
- ½ cup lemon juice (from about 2 lemons)
- ¼ cup sugar
For Syrup (see note):
- Combine lemon juice and sugar in a small saucepan. Cook the mixture over medium-high heat until sugar has dissolved, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.
- Spray loaf pans with nonstick spray (see note). Set aside.
- Combine butter, sugar, vanilla, salt, baking powder, and lemon zest in the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, at least 6 minutes.
- Add eggs, one at a time, allowing the egg to completely incorporate after each addition before adding the next. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Beat the mixture on medium-high speed until light and airy, about 3 minutes.
- Add flour and use a silicone spatula to incorporate it gently by hand so as not to deflate the batter.
- In a small bowl, beat cream by hand to stiff peaks (see note). Add whipped cream to mixer bowl and gently fold in with a silicone spatula until no streaks of white remain.
- Divide batter between loaf pans, filling each about half way, smoothing the top of the batter. Bake 15-20 minutes (see note), or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let stand 5 minutes in the pan, then invert the cakes from the pan onto on a wire rack (cakes should be upside down).
- While cakes are still warm, spoon about ½ tablespoon of lemon syrup onto each cake (they should still be upside down). Allow cakes to cool to room temperature.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine egg whites, sugar and salt. Set bowl over a small saucepan of simmering water, taking care to ensure the water doesn't touch the bottom of the bowl. Stir mixture until sugar is completely dissolved.
- Once sugar is dissolved, transfer bowl to the mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Add vanilla extract. Beat meringue on medium-high until it is white, fluffy, glossy, and the bowl has cooled to the touch. Meringue will hold stiff peaks.
- Turn the cakes back right-side-up, and then you can pipe or spread the meringue onto the pound cakes however you like. For the piping that I did, you don't even need a piping tip, just cut the end of a piping bag or corner of a zip-top bag. After adding meringue to each of the cakes, toast the meringue (see note).Enjoy!