This weekend we celebrated the 11th birthday of our younger daughter. The big question was what to cook in this oppressive weather that would taste light and appetising but still look like party food. I mostly included food with lemony, zingy flavours; curries with lemon, tamarind and coconut milk with plain steamed rice instead of heavy gravies with pulao or biryanis.
Though usually we all vote for a chocolate cake unanimously on any celebration, this time the idea just didn’t click because of the heat. Even the birthday girl didn’t want a heavy chocolate and butter cream loaded cake. Also, honestly, I simply did not have the energy in this heat to bake a layered cake. That got me thinking! The next thing she loves best after a chocolate cake are donuts. I decided to bake a delicious little pile of fluffy mini donut cakes and stack them high on a cake stand.
The flavour I chose was again lemon to go with the summer theme. These very soft, light and fluffy donuts were dipped briefly in honey lemon syrup to make them super moist and then glazed with a lip smacking good lemon sugar glaze. Colourful sprinkles made them look extra festive. I was a bit nervous about whether the birthday girl would like the idea or not but it turned out that she fell in love with the towering yumminess at the first sight and bite. She said it was the tastiest thing she had ever eaten and that it was the best surprise on her birthday. She even licked clean the bowl of left over lemon sugar glaze.
That lemon glaze is the easiest thing to make and it lifts the donut cakes to a whole new level of delight. You can serve these delicious donut cakes separately too as a perfect accompaniment for tea in the evening. You can bake muffins with the same batter or even a loaf cake.
Tip: If you don’t have self raising flour, make your own by mixing 1 cup plain flour with 2 teaspoons of baking powder and 1/4 teaspoon salt.
For Mini Donut Cakes:
1 cup caster sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2/3 cup cold water
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon lemon essence
1 tablespoon lemon juice
For Lemon Honey Syrup:
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons lemon juice
For Lemon Sugar Glaze:
2-3 tablespoons lemon juice
A pinch yellow colour
This Is What You Do:
Mix flour, sugar, baking powder and lemon zest in a big mixing bowl.
Add oil, lemon juice and lemon essence. Slowly add cold water and mix everything to make a thick batter.
Lightly grease a donuts or mini bundt cakes baking pan. Spoon the batter into the baking pans, filling each one almost three quarters.
Bake for 18-20 minutes.
Meanwhile mix honey, lemon juice and water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and take off heat. Set aside.
Mix icing sugar with lemon juice in a separate bowl. Add a little lemon juice at a time to get the consistency of the glaze you require. It should neither be too thick nor too runny.
Add a pinch of your favourite food colour to make the glaze look pretty or leave it white. I added yellow colour to compliment the lemon flavour.
When the donut cakes are done, cool them till they are room temperature. Briefly dip each one of them into the honey lemon syrup. Don’t soak for too long or the donuts will break and get very soggy.
Drizzle the tops with lemon sugar glaze. Sprinkle with colourful sprinkles, toasted coconut, white chocolate chips or candied lemon zest.