Breakfast & Desserts/ Cakes, Tarts/ Russian Monday

Russian Monday: Lemon “Keks” – Lemon Tea Cake

“Keks” – Russian tea cakes are a tradition in Russian households and have been since the last century when the technology was perfected for milling fine, smooth white flour. Before, lemons were prized for there medicinal and cosmetic qualities. Today, at breakfast, lemon tea cakes enriched with honey are perfect for a cup of coffee or aromatic tea.

For more Russian recipes, visit Russian Cuisine page.

Fresh mint in a garden pot

Note: I have leftover Cream Cheese Frosting, so I spread a little on my cakes.

Lemon "Keks" - Lemon Tea Cake

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  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 8 Tbs. (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 Tbs. finely grated lemon zest
  • 2 tbsp. crystallized ginger, chopped
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • honey or lemon syrup for serving
  • fresh mint for serving



Preheat an oven to 350ºF. Grease two small 5-inch cake pans.


In a bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.


In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the flat beater, beat the butter and sugar on medium speed until blended, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.


Reduce the speed to low and add the flour mixture along with the milk and lemon zest. Beat until blended and smooth, stopping the mixer occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Stir in the raisins and crystallized ginger.


Spoon the batter into the prepared cake pans and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, about 40 minutes.


Remove the bread from the oven and transfer the cakes to a wire rack. Let them cool for 15 minutes, then turn the cake pans out onto the rack, top side up, and let cool completely.


Drizzle with honey, or lemon syrup and serve with fresh mint.

Lemon cake with fresh mint and honey

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  • Reply
    Rosa's Yummy Yums
    March 10, 2014 at 4:09 pm

    Divine little cakes!



  • Reply
    March 10, 2014 at 5:21 pm

    These look just the ticket to accompany a big mug of tea after a hard morning in the garden Yelena. I reckon they would fuel you right up to lunch time 🙂

  • Reply
    Regina Melo-Jocknevich
    March 10, 2014 at 7:00 pm

    How I love cakes! They are good with coffee, milk, or just plain cake. I love lemon cakes but this one is quite different from the ones I've had. I guess I'm going to have to try it… and gain a few more pounds… 🙂

  • Reply
    La Table De Nana
    March 10, 2014 at 9:04 pm

    So pretty..I love the ethereal look!

    Was your friend thrilled with the pancakes?

  • Reply
    March 10, 2014 at 9:16 pm

    Monique, my friend was very happy, I serve it with her favorite cherry jam, that I saved for her-))) Scrambled eggs with truffle paste, pancakes, and excellent cup of coffee, we had very long and delicious breakfast. Thank you for asking-)

  • Reply
    March 11, 2014 at 5:22 am

    Fresh keks with a glass of milk..I used to love that 🙂 I will be making this for sure. Thanks for reminding me about this wonderful treat 🙂

  • Reply
    Te de Ternura
    March 11, 2014 at 5:22 am

    UN PASTELITO de lo más apetecible YELENA..
    Ese sabor a limón y miel le debe dar un toque exquisito, y desde luego la puesta en escena es como siempre de una BELLEZA admirable

  • Reply
    Angie Schneider
    March 11, 2014 at 12:09 pm

    These little cakes look so lovely! As always, excellent clicks.

  • Reply
    Lydia Schljachovskaja
    March 11, 2014 at 8:17 pm

    Как всегда, очень красиво!

  • Reply
    July 15, 2019 at 9:42 am

    You give recipes like my late wife did. What size cake pans should I use? I can, of course, guess, but I’d rather have a recommendation.

    • Reply
      Yelena Strokin
      July 15, 2019 at 7:45 pm

      Hello Richard, it was a small cake pan, like 5-6 inch. You can double the recipe and use a bigger pan. Also, you can bake it in bread pan as well. Whatever you have on your shelf. I hope you like it and I am so happy that you are visiting my blog!

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