Tuesday, 9 January 2018

Lemon, blueberry and almond teacakes

It may have something to do with the season, but I have never embraced a cookbook as much as I have Yotam Ottolenghi and Helen Goh's recently released Sweet. In Sydney, in late December, I made rhubarb yo-yos and orange and star anise shortbread as holiday gifts. A few days later, in Hobart, I collaborated with a friend (and fellow Ottolenghi disciple) on the rolled pavlova with blackberries and peaches for dessert on Christmas Day, and on a hot, sticky Brisbane afternoon just before new year, I whipped up these lemon, blueberry and almond teacakes with expert bakers Alice (10) and Emily (5) in their new kitchen in Fig Tree Pocket.

Well, to be honest, I really did nothing more than supervise, passing eggs to little hands to crack, reading from the recipe about what to add when and overseeing the distribution of blueberries in batter. Though these look fancy as fancy can be, they are super easy and super fun to make, and showcase the beautiful berries so plentiful at this time of year. You don't need any specialist equipment - they're made in a muffin tin and simply inverted and iced to make little cakes (genius!). Though they're not strictly gluten-free, you could easily make them so by substituting more almond meal for the very minimal amount of flour in the recipe. They're sweet, light and unbelievably good. This recipe makes twelve, which seems like a lot but having had one, you will almost certainly want another. Get in quick.

Lemon, blueberry and almond teacakes 
Adapted from a recipe in Sweet by Yotam Ottolenghi and Helen Goh

I'm sure you could swap the 45g of flour for the same amount of almond meal if you wanted to make this gluten-free - just make sure the baking powder and icing sugar you're using are gluten-free. Most are, but best to read the label, or check online.

190g unsalted butter, at room temperature
190g caster (superfine) sugar
finely grated zest of one lemon (1 teaspoon)
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
190g ground almonds
45g flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
60ml lemon juice
100g blueberries, plus 70g to garnish

160g icing (confectioners') sugar
35ml lemon juice

Preheat oven to 180 deg C. Grease and flour all 12 holes of a muffin tin.

Beat butter, sugar and lemon zest together til light and creamy, then add eggs and ground almonds in three or four alternate batches. Fold in flour, salt and baking powder, then finally add the lemon juice. Spoon batter into the muffin moulds and divide the 100g of blueberries between them - pushing the berries down into the batter a bit.

Bake for 30-35 minutes or until edges are golden and a skewer inserted into the middle of a cake comes out clean. Remove from oven, let cool in tin for ten minutes then turn out onto wire rack to cool completely, making sure they are sitting upside down (ie: smaller end on top).

Sift icing sugar into a bowl and add lemon juice til mixture is thick but pourable. Spoon icing over cakes and top with remaining blueberries.


  1. Hello,
    Just wondering whether this recipe contains the except ingredients that are in the book Sweet? Also were they made in a muffin tin or mini bundt pans?
    Looking forward to trying them.
    Also love your blog.

    1. Thanks Angela! The recipe printed above contains the exact ingredients listed in Sweet, I've just streamlined the method a bit. I baked the teacakes in a muffin tin and then flipped them over so that the bottoms became the tops. But a friend recently baked them in mini-bundt tins and that worked well for her so either would work.

    2. Thank you so very much. Pleased you knew that my typo was meant to be exact instead of except!
      I think these little teacakes will be a lovely flavour combination.
      How did you find the rhubarb yo-yos...the biscuit part? Are they similar to melting moments ...melt in your mouth?
      Will have to get the book "Sweet" as it seems like a winner.
      Thanks again,

    3. The yo-yos are amazing Angela - very similar to melting moments in technique and taste but with pretty pink (rhubarb-flavoured) icing in the middle. I'll be posting them for sure so look out.

  2. They look so cool Alice! I actually tried this recipe the other day and they were great, but I had trouble making the icing as thick. Did you add all the lemon juice? :)

    1. I can't remember now! Maybe if you make it again, either add the lemon juice incrementally (stopping when you get to a good consistency) or wait a little while/refrigerate for it to firm up before pouring over.

  3. Yay... this day was so much fun