Saturday, August 25, 2018

Lavender Lemon Cake

Lavender Lemon Cake, Edible Lavender, Lemon Cake, Lemon Buttercream, Herb Garden
Lavender grows exceptionally well in Colorado, and I see it all over town as landscaping, although, after researching perennials that grow well in Colorado, what I have seen around town might actually be Russian Sage, which looks somewhat similar to lavender.  With its hardy leaves and bright purple flowers that last all summer, it's a pretty and easy plant to maintain.

I finally used the last of my packet of lavender I bought in Palisade a couple years ago, so it was time to grow my own.  Last summer, we planted edible lavender in the corner of our back yard, and while the plant grew substantially in a few months, there were no flowers last year.  This summer, though, it's grown so much more, with its first flowering stalks ready to be cut and dried...

Like we've experienced with our sage bush, we will probably end up with more lavender than what we can actually use, as it's not something I cook and bake with all that often, although I do have a few lavender recipes in my blog archives, including Lavender Cocoa Chocolate Chip Shortbread, Fizzy Lavender Lemonade, Lavender Honey Ice Cream, and  Raspberry Cheesecake topped with Blueberries and Lavender.  If you haven't had lavender ice cream, you're in for a treat.  I like to add shaved chocolate to mine, which tastes just wonderful with lavender's unique flavor.

I've long wanted to bake lavender into a cake, and thought it would pair well with lemon, so I steeped lavender in milk for the cake batter, and crushed more dried lavender to whip into the buttercream.  The flavor of this cake is bright, spectacularly lemony (and the lavender can certainly be left out if you want just a lemon cake), and subtly enhanced with floral notes of lavender.  The light, airy crumb and sweet tart lemon flavor makes it perfect for a summer party cake.


Lavender Lemon Cake, Edible Lavender, Lemon Cake, Lemon Buttercream, Herb Garden

Lavender Lemon Cake, Edible Lavender, Lemon Cake, Lemon Buttercream, Herb Garden

Lavender Lemon Cake, Edible Lavender, Lemon Cake, Lemon Buttercream, Herb Garden

Lavender Lemon Cake, Edible Lavender, Lemon Cake, Lemon Buttercream, Herb Garden

Lavender Lemon Cake, Edible Lavender, Lemon Cake, Lemon Buttercream, Herb Garden

Lavender Lemon Cake, Edible Lavender, Lemon Cake, Lemon Buttercream, Herb Garden

Lavender Lemon Cake, Edible Lavender, Lemon Cake, Lemon Buttercream, Herb Garden

Lavender Lemon Cake, Edible Lavender, Lemon Cake, Lemon Buttercream, Herb Garden

Lavender Lemon Cake, Edible Lavender, Lemon Cake, Lemon Buttercream, Herb Garden

Lavender Lemon Cake, Edible Lavender, Lemon Cake, Lemon Buttercream, Herb Garden

Lavender Lemon Cake, Edible Lavender, Lemon Cake, Lemon Buttercream, Herb Garden




Recipe Notes:
  1. All of my baking is done at high altitude; please review this post and this post for tips on achieving the best results with your cake baking.
  2. Your cake ingredients should be room temperature for the best results.
  3. The potency of lavender can vary, and the fresher your lavender, the more potent it will be.  A little goes a long way, so don't use too much or the flavor will be overwhelming rather than complementary.


Lavender Lemon Cake
printable

Cake.
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2 teaspoons dried edible lavender
  • 4 eggs
  • 2/3 cup fresh lemon juice (about 2 small lemons)
  • zest of 2 small lemons
  • 2 teaspoons lemon extract
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
Buttercream.
  • 1 teaspoon dried edible lavender
  • 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon meringue powder
  • 1-2 teaspoons lemon extract
  • zest and juice of 1 small lemon

Cake.
Bring the milk to a simmer, in the microwave, or in a small saucepan on the stove.  Remove from the heat, stir in the lavender, and let steep and cool for about an hour at room temperature.

Preheat the oven to 350 and grease three 8-inch round cake pans with non-stick spray.

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs and lemon juice until smooth.  Add the lavender milk, lemon zest, lemon extract, sour cream and oil and whisk until combined.  Add the flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt; whisk vigorously for 2 minutes until smooth and well combined.

Divide the batter between the pans and bake until the centers are done, about 25 minutes.  Cool completely on a wire rack, covered loosely with a clean kitchen towel.

Buttercream.
Use a mortar and pestle, or a spice grinder, to crush the lavender until powdery.  In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the butter with the lavender for about a minute.  With the mixer on low, add the powdered sugar and meringue powder until combined.  Add the lemon extract, zest and juice, and whip on medium high for 4-5 minutes, scraping the bowl several times, until light and fluffy.

Fill and frost the cooled cakes with the buttercream.  Garnish with sprigs of edible lavender.

Recipe from Curly Girl Kitchen

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