Lemon Tea Cakes
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serve these pretty little Lemon Tea Cakes for an afternoon tea, Mother’s Day, or a special birthday. The cake has a light lemon taste with a sweet vanilla icing drizzled on top. Tea Cakes are deliciously tempting and easy to make. Bake the cake in a 9x13 inch pan, cut the cake into squares when cooled, then drizzle the icing on top, allowing the icing to drip down the sides of each piece. Arrange the cakes on a pretty serving plate along with fresh fruit and possibly some Candied Edible Flowers.
Recipe type: Dessert | Butter Cake
Serves: 10 to 12
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup milk (preferably whole milk)
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest (about 1 lemon)
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 5 large eggs
Vanilla Icing:
  • 3 cups confectioners (powdered) sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • About 6 to 8 Tablespoons milk or half and half
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare one 13x9x2 inch oblong pan; lightly grease the pan, line with parchment paper, then lightly grease the top of the parchment paper and dust the pan with flour. Tip: Leave parchment paper high enough around the sides of the pan so that you can easily grab the paper and lift out of the pan after the cake is baked.
  1. In a medium mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt; sift or whisk together to mix. Set aside.
  2. In a small mixing bowl, stir the milk, lemon juice, and vanilla together. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter, lemon zest, and sugar until light and fluffy. Tip: To cream, start by placing the butter and lemon zest in the bowl, with an electric mixer on medium speed begin by beating the butter and lemon zest about 1 minute until it is smooth and light in color. With the mixer still on medium speed, slowly add the sugar to the butter, either one tablespoon at a time, or in a very slow steady stream, taking from 4 to 8 minutes to add all of the sugar, and beating until the butter and sugar are fully incorporated and the mixture is a light, or pale yellow color, with a fluffy texture. While adding the sugar, stop the mixer occasionally to scrape the mixture off the paddle and scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula so the mixture blends evenly.
  4. Add eggs one at a time, beating until thoroughly mixed. Tip: For each egg, crack the egg into a small bowl and whisk with a fork to thoroughly break up the egg before adding to the creamed mixture. Start with the mixer on low speed so the liquid from the egg doesn’t splatter, once the egg is partially mixed increase the speed to medium. Each egg should be fully incorporated into the mixture before adding the next egg, taking about one minute to blend in each egg.
  5. With the mixer on low speed, add about one third of the flour mixture, mix just until the flour is almost completely blended. Scrape the bowl down, and add about one half of the milk mixture, blending just until mixed. Scrape the bowl down again and continue alternating with the flour mixture and milk mixture, ending with the last portion of the flour, and stirring just until blended.
  6. Bake: Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the surface with the back of a large spoon. Bake 40 to 45 minutes or until a long toothpick, wooden skewer, or cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire cooling rack for 10 to 15 minutes then remove cake from pan by grabbing the edges of the parchment paper and lifting the cake out of the pan, and finish cooling on wire rack.
  7. When cake is cooled, remove parchment paper, and place cake on a cutting board. Cut cake into 1½ inch squares.
Vanilla Icing:
  1. In a medium bowl, combine powdered sugar, vanilla, and 6 tablespoons milk or half and half; stir until smooth. Add additional milk if necessary to make a soft consistency. The icing should be thicker than a glaze but thin enough that it will run down over the sides of the cake. Add additional powdered sugar if too thin or a little more milk if it seems too thick.
  2. Brush off any loose crumbs from each cake piece, and then drizzle the icing over the cake pieces, allowing the icing to drip down the sides. Let the icing set before serving.
  3. Serve with fresh fruit or Candied Edible Flowers.
Recipe Notes
Pan: One 13"x9"x2" Oblong Pan Prep: Greased, Parchment Paper, and Floured Oven Temp: 350° Storage: Covered, Room Temperature

Help: Cake Hints and Tips, Candied Edible Flowers

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Recipe by at https://thebakingpan.com/recipes/cakes/lemon-tea-cakes/