Recipe: Orange and Lavender Mini Cakes

Recipe: Orange and Lavender Mini Cakes

These elegant little cakes from Lunch in Paris will transport you to the hills of Provence in France, where the lavender fields bloom in spectacular shades of purple from June to August

Lunch in Paris by Suzy Ashford is a tantalising trip through the City of Light.

Each chapter of this chic cookbook focuses on one of Paris’ arrondissements and is studded with dreamy location photography. Stroll through the lush Place des Vosges and along the golden water of Île Saint-Louis – all before roaming the fresh and fragrant markets of the 11th arrondissement.

With 50 simple and classic examples of French cuisine, Lunch in Paris lets you bring the flavours of France to your very own kitchen.

Perfumed with lavender, these elegant little cakes will transport you to the hills of Provence, where the lavender fields bloom in spectacular shades of purple from June to August. Bursting with citrus flavour and quick to make, they are ideal for taking to picnics or a friend’s place for dinner if you’re on dessert duty.


Makes eight

2 large free-range eggs

100ml (3½ fl oz) olive oil

Zest of ½ orange

100ml (3½ fl oz) orange juice

50ml (1¾ fl oz) cointreau or other orange liqueur

A few drops of lavender essence

200g (7oz/1? cups) plain (all-purpose) flour

145g (5oz/? cup) caster (superfine) sugar

1 tsp baking powder

Pinch of sea salt flakes

Melted butter, for brushing

Orange glaze

60g (2oz/½ cup) icing (confectioners’) sugar

½ tsp orange zest

1 tbsp orange juice

Lavender flowers, to garnish (optional)


Preheat the oven to 160°C/320°F. In a mixing bowl, lightly whisk together the eggs, olive oil, orange zest, orange juice, liqueur and lavender essence.

Place the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer. Using a paddle attachment, slowly blend together. With the motor running slowly, add the whisked egg mixture. When combined, beat on high for three minutes, scraping down the side of the bowl occasionally.

Brush the base and sides of eight mini cake tins, or eight holes of a large muffin tin, with melted butter. Divide the batter evenly among the tins. If using mini cake tins, place them onto a baking tray for safe handling.

Transfer to the oven and bake for 20 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into a cake comes out clean. Remove the baking tray or muffin tin from the oven and leave to stand for 10 minutes before removing from the tins onto a cooling rack.

To make the orange glaze, sift the icing sugar into a mixing bowl. Stir in the orange zest and juice. When the cakes are cool, use a spoon to drizzle the glaze over them. Garnish with lavender flowers, if desired. The cakes are best enjoyed the same day.

Lunch in Paris: Delicious and simple French recipes by Suzy Ashford (Smith Street Books).

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