big day, small cake: lemon sponge cake with toasted marshmallow and chocolate drizzle

by Chen


Happy birthday, grandpa!

Despite the size (portion-control…), everything–the cake, the marshmallow, and the syrup–is homemade from scratch. Sweet, isn’t it?


lemon sponge cake
Adapted from this cake from Emeril Lagasse

Makes 4 mini-pannetone-sized cupcakes, which are slightly larger than the standard cupcakes. For the regular-sized ones, the recipe may yield 1 to 2 more.

For the cake:
2 eggs, separate
4 tbsp sugar, divided
zest from half lemon
1/4 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup AP flour
1/4 cup cornstarch

For the topping:
4 1-inch squares of marshmallow
chocolate syrup

Preheat the oven to 350F. Line the molds with parchment paper or baking cups.

Whisk together the egg whites and 2 tbsp sugar until stiff peak forms. Set aside.

In a separate bowl, beat the egg yolks, the remaining sugar, lemon zest, and vanilla until thickened and pale yellow. Gently fold the white mixture into the yolk mixture.

Sift together the AP flour and cornstarch. Fold into the egg mixture in two batches until well combined. Pour into the baking molds to 2/3 full.

Bake in the 350F oven for 10 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 180F and bake for another 10 to 15 minutes or until done. Remove the cakes from the oven.

To assemble the cakes, place one marshmallow on each cake then put the cakes under the broiler. Watch closely and remove them from the oven as soon as the marshmallows turns golden brown. Press down the toasted marshmallows when they are still warm. Let the cakes cool completely before drizzling the chocolate syrup.