Lemon and Lavender Make a Heavenly Combination in this Cake

Lemon and Lavender Make a Heavenly Combination in this Cake

Lemon and Lavender Make a Heavenly Combination in this Cake

Lavender is an underrated herb in the culinary world. It’s not just for scents and soaps; it’s a beautiful, floral flavor that melds wonderfully with lemon. This lemon lavender cake is bright and flowery. If the perfect summer day had a flavor, it would be this.

The tart lemon and the sweetness of the cake play off each other like any classic sweet-tart lemon dessert. But the subtle amount of lavender adds a whole new dimension. It’s just enough to add herbaceous hints that will transport you to blooming lavender fields, rather than an overpowering soap store. The cake is fluffy and tangy and feels as natural on a bright day as a glass of lemonade.

An Easy Butter Cake With Lemon and Dried Lavender 

This lemon lavender cake is as easy to make as a butter cake but flavored with fresh lemons and dried lavender. First, infuse the sugar with the lemon zest and dried culinary lavender. I find the fastest and easiest way to do this is to blitz them all together in a food processor.

Then, beat the butter, infused sugar, and oil with a mixer until almost tripled in volume. I like to use both butter and oil for cakes: butter gives the best flavor, and oil makes a moister cake. Add the eggs, one at a time. Then, alternate adding the dry ingredients with the milk and lemon juice. Divide the batter evenly between two cake pans and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.

Baking with Lavender

Lavender is a beautiful and underutilized flavor in cooking and baking. It has a relaxing floral scent and, in the right amount, a flowery taste that can be reminiscent of mint or rosemary. Lavender is strong, and a little can go a long way; if you add too much, it will taste soapy.

To use lavender in your baking, you can either infuse liquid ingredients by steeping or grind it into a powder and add it directly into the batter. For this cake, I chose to grind the lavender.

Generally, when I use lemon zest, I like to combine the finely grated zest with the sugar to infuse it with the zest’s essential oils. So here, I did essentially the same thing and combined it into one step by blitzing the sugar, zest, and lavender in the food processor. This is faster than heating the milk to infuse the lavender and waiting for it to cool, and there’s less risk of over-flavoring the batter.


How to Frost a Layer Cake

Assembling and frosting a cake has a reputation for being difficult and scary. But I think of it as the fun (and sometimes messy) step that turns a cake into a cake. Here are a few tips for a smooth experience and embracing mistakes:

  • Make sure the cakes have cooled completely before frosting, otherwise the frosting will melt and your layers will slide around.
  • I love my offset spatula for the amount of control it provides while frosting cakes. But you can also use a spoon, a large butter knife, or the straight edge of a rubber spatula.
  • A crumb coat is a thin layer of frosting that seals the cake and traps any loose crumbs, so the final layer of frosting doesn’t have any red specks of crumbs in the outer layer of white frosting.
  • Chill the cake in the fridge to set the crumb coat before adding the final layer of frosting.
  • If you’re having difficulty getting perfectly smooth sides, embrace the look by decorating the cake with a swirl, swoops, or waves instead.

Making Lemon Lavender Cake in Advance

It’s easy to make components of this cake ahead of time and assemble closer to serving time. After baking the cake layers, allow them to cool completely, wrap them in plastic, and store them at room temperature overnight or freeze them for longer storage. The cake layers can be frozen for up to 3 months.

You can also make the frosting in advance and store it for later. Cover the frosting tightly and store it in the refrigerator for up to 1 week or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Let the frosting thaw in the refrigerator then beat it on medium speed for a few seconds until satiny. It may be helpful to add another tablespoon of milk if it’s too thick.

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