(Hot) Lemon (and Poppyseed) and Honey Mini Cakes

This is definitely cold season. Everyone (myself included) seems to have some sort of cold/sore throat/ cough or is just a bit generally run down.

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Everyone knows that the best (and probably only) way to truly combat a cold is a big mug of hot lemon and honey. Not only is it yummy and warm, but honey itself is also very good for soothing even the sorest of throats. There are also a whole host of other health benefits of drinking hot lemon and honey- it promotes weight loss, aids digestion and gives skin a healthy glow.

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These are the cake alternative. I wish I could say that they had as many health benefits as the liquid counterpart, but, alas, the amount of butter, sugar and flour in them probably cancels out any good that the honey and lemon might do.

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But they are yummy! So if you are feeling a bit under the weather- have one anyway, it will definitely perk you up. And maybe have a cup of hot lemon and honey on the side too…

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Lemon Poppyseed Cakes with Honey Icing

For the cakes:

225g butter

225g caster sugar

4 eggs

225g self raising flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

6 tablespoons milk

zest and juice of 1 lemon

50g poppyseeds

Cream together the butter and sugar, then add the eggs. Sift in the flour and baking powder. Then stir in the milk, followed by the lemon juice and poppy seeds. Spoon the mixture into cupcake cases or a greased muffin tray. Bake for 20-25 minutes at 180 degrees celcius.

For the honey icing:

140g butter

280g icing sugar

about 2 teaspoons milk

about 4 teaspoons honey

Beat the butter and icing sugar together, then add the milk if needed to loosen the mixture. You don’t want it to be too runny so only add it if you think you need it! Then stir in the honey. Add more if you think it needs it, but use some caution- you don’t want a really sickly sweet icing!

I cut my cakes in half and sandwiched icing in the middle, or you could dollop it on top instead!

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Candied lemon to decorate (optional):

1 unwaxed lemon

about 1 cup of sugar

about 1 cup of water

(with both the sugar and the water, you don’t need to be very precise, so just use a normal size mug for these measurements- or don’t measure at all! You just need roughly the same amount of each.)

Boil the sugar and water together until the sugar has completely dissolved. Cut the lemon into thin slices, and put in the boiling sugar and water mixture. Simmer until the lemon pith has gone translucent and the whole thing is fairly soft.

Take the lemons out of the water and cover in some dry caster sugar, then leave, ideally overnight, to cool and harden completely before using. They will keep for about a week in an airtight container.

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xxR

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Tea Cupcakes with Honey Buttercream

These cakes are the bees knees.

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A small, perfectly formed tea infused cupcake, topped with the most deliciously decadent honey flavoured buttercream. They are a tiny amount of spring in this otherwise very wintery, mid-January landscape. This week has been so sunny that it’s really started to feel like spring. My flat has south facing french doors, so the sun really beams in, giving me an illusion that it’s warmer outside than it actually is! Always a bit of a shock when I finally step outside and realise that the ground is covered with a thick layer of frost…

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They are basically an afternoon tea, all in one bite, and topped with dried petals, just to prolong the illusion of spring even more!

I got these rose and cornflower petals for Christmas. They’re from a company called Steenbergs which sells organic teas, spices and dried petals! Everything is organic, and most things are fair-trade and ethically sourced, so definitely a good thing to check out!

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Sometimes going back to school or work after Christmas is a little painful, but I’m actually very happy to be back. I’m excited to get back in the kitchen, and start cooking up more weird and wonderful (hopefully less weird than wonderful!) treats. And I’m excited to get back to uni, even though I’m really just faced with a mountain of reading and essay writing!

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Whatever you’re doing this weekend, these cakes are the perfect accompaniment. Trust me!

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Tea Cupcakes with Honey Buttercream

For the cupcakes:

235ml milk

3 normal tea bags

55g butter

225g sugar

2 eggs

60ml vegetable oil (I used rapeseed, which is my new favourite thing- much healthier than olive oil, but not weird and processed like most of the vegetable oils out there. But any veg oil would be fine!)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

175g self raising flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C.

Begin by warming the milk in a saucepan to nearly boiling- but don’t burn it because burnt milk is absolutely horrible! Cut the teabags and pour the tealeaves directly into the milk, then allow to infuse and cool.

Cream together the butter and sugar, then add the eggs. Mix in the vegetable oil and vanilla. Gradually add in the flour and baking powder.

Strain the tea leaves out of the milk. (I did this by pouring the milk back through the teabags because the holes on my sieve were too big). Then add the milk to the flour mixture.

Spoon into cupcake cases and bake for about 20 minutes.

For the buttercream:

125g butter

250g icing sugar

3 teaspoons honey (or more)

Whisk the butter and icing sugar, then add the honey. I used three teaspoons, but do this to taste. I didn’t want it to be too sweet and sickly, but it’s up to you! This is also a good excuse to stick your finger in the icing…

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Spread the icing on each cupcake, and decorate as you wish. Devour immediately with a big cup of tea.

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xxR