Saturday, December 01, 2007

Lemon Lavender Cake, the real deal.

lemon lavender cake

Remember the lemon lavender cake I blogged about two weeks ago? That was my attempt of recreating the one we have at Macrina Bakery & Cafe in Seattle last September. Apparently, the recipe can be found in the one of the Macrina cookbooks. Unfortunately, I have no luck locating it in Barnes & Noble or Borders. Being a smart consumer (ahem), I am not going to make a purchase through Amazon without having a glimpse of the layout and contents of the cookbook.

lavender lemon cake

So, I sent out an "SOS" asking for help on the Cookinglight Bulletin Board. Within an hour, I got the recipe from two members, Felice and Dorothy. Their response meant a world to me, and I could not describe how grateful I felt towards their effort in providing me the recipe. For that, I decided to bake the cake the next day, even though I have just finished making another dessert. I think I could always give some to our friends.

Lemon Lavender Coffee Cake

The taste of the cake reminded me of the one I have in Seattle, simply delicious! I omitted the glaze to cut down on the overall sweetness of the cake. Apart from that, its texture was as fine as the one we ate at Macrina. According to the owner Leslie Mackie, the lemon lavender coffee cake is an adaptation of their popular Lemon sour cherries coffee cake. The dried tart cherries is swapped with one tablespoon of dried lavender. I am going to give the famed recipe a try one day, but meanwhile, the lemon lavender coffee cake taste heavenly with a cup of honey lemon tea!

lemon  lavender love

If lemon + lavender is your cup of tea, do give this recipe a try. The smell of lavender while the cake is baking in the oven is the best aromatherapy I could ask for! Of course if you stay in Seattle, you can always get your fix at Macrina Bakery & Cafe.

Lemon Lavender Coffee Cake
adapted from Macrina Bakery and Cafe Cookbook via Felice.

For the batter
1 tbsp dried lavender (swap 1½ cups dried tart cherries for lemon-sour cherries coffee cake)
4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 ¼ cups granulated sugar
3 tablespoons freshly grated lemon zest
5 eggs
¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 cup plain yogurt ( I used sour cream)

For the glaze
1 cup powdered sugar
2 teaspoons freshly grated lemon zest
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon dried lavender

Preheat the oven to 325F. Oil a 12-cup bundt pan.

Preparing the batter
(If making lemon sour cherries coffee cake:Place dried cherries in a medium bowl and cover with hot tap water. Let soak and plump for 10 minutes, then drain thoroughly and check for pits.)

Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda,and salt into a large bowl. Add in the dried lavender. Toss with your hands and set aside.

Combine butter, sugar, and lemon zest in the bowl of a stand mixer. Using the paddle attachment, mix on medium speed for 5 to 8 minutes. The mixture will become smooth and pale in color. Add eggs, one at a time, making sure each egg is fully mixed into the butter before adding another. After the last egg is incorporated, slowly add the lemon juice and mix for 1 more minute. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix for 30 seconds to make sure all of the ingredients are fully incorporated. Remove the bowl from the mixer.

Alternately add small amounts of the flour mixture and the yogurt to the batter, mixing with a wooden spoon just until all dry ingredients are incorporated into the batter.(If making the sour cherries cake: Set aside 10 to 12 cherries for garnish and gently fold the remainder into the batter, taking care not to overmix.) Pour batter into prepared bundt pan, filling two thirds of the pan. Bake on center rack of oven for 1 hour and 10 minutes, or until the top is golden brown. Check the center of the coffee cake with a skewer. It will come out clean when the cake is finished. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack for at least 20 minutes.

Loosen the sides of the cake with a sharp knife. Place serving plate, upside down, on the top of the cooled bundt pan and invert the pan to remove the cake. Let cake cool completely.

Glazing the cake
Sift powdered sugar into a medium bowl, then add lemon zest and lemon juice. Mix with a spoon until smooth. Drizzle glaze over the cooled coffee cake and top with reserved dried lavender (or plumped cherries).

Note: I used a 10-cups bundt pan, there's some leftover batter that was enough to make 3 cupcakes.


The cake is so good...even lion wants a slice.


Disclosure: Ok, these playmobils are OCT's. They are lying around, so I decided to borrow them as props. Sometime I wonder if OCT is my husband or my son?!

OCT: "You missed the sword!"


Indonesia Eats said...

Those last two pictures are cute.

Elle said...

The cake sounds quite lovely, but what really gets me in this post is that little toy lion - I had the EXACT same toy as a little kid! :D

Ellie @ Kitchen Wench

Cerebrum said...

LOL! Last two pictures - great! Cake sounds good too - I have some lavender sugar hanging around, but can't figure out whether I find the smell too overpowering or... Maybe I should put it to the test?

Nupur said...

I have never used lavender. Can you tell me where you bought it? The cake looks delicious and I can almost smell that heady aroma.

Anonymous said...

hahahahha!!! kawaiiii ~~ ^o^

Anonymous said...

Your cake looks great.. I might have to look for some lavender very soon..!

Julie said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog and letting me know you posted another lemon-lavendar cake. It looks so good, but it's so rich! Not surprising for a bakery-style cake, I guess. I don't blame you for leaving off the glaze! I may just try your lighter version, but I'm glad you were able to recreate the cake you loved from Macrina!

Veron said...

Love the lavender background with the cake...great pictures. I'll make sure to include lavender in my herb box next year and will definitely be baking with it soon!

Big Boys Oven said...

oh lavender is lovely, I must get some to do my coming cakes! great cake and great info, thanks.

Patricia Scarpin said...

Your photos are so beautiful!
Lemon cake is already a favorite of mine, and I'm wondering about the lavender touch. :)

Patricia Scarpin said...

Love it!
Your photos are breathtaking, Mandy!
And lemon cake is already a favorite, I wonder how lavender works with it!

Little Corner of Mine said...

Lovely cake! Am wondering where you buy your dried lavender too.

Anonymous said...

I do love those props!

I've never combined lemon and lavender - how fragrant it must've been.

Mandy said...

thanks! I shall use them more often in my photos. :D

really???? you have OCT lion's long lost brother! ;p

zarah maria,
thanks! i think the flavor with just one tablespoon of lavender in 4 cups of flour is ok, quite subtle actually. Where did you get lavender sugar?

I bought it at world market, at brentwood, next to Trader Joe. ;)

We have A LOT of playmobils at home.*roll eyes*


yeah, the amount of butter in bakery style cakes! I guess that's what make them tasty. I gave 3/4 away so that I won't end up finishing it myself.


big boys oven,

thanks, I know you will love this. :)

Little Corner of mine,
I got mine from World Market.

You mean the toys? They are part of my husband's collection.:)

Anonymous said...

I love Macrina too! For 2 months, we lived only 10 mins walk away. So I usually pop by there for their breakfast pastries. :) Will have to drop by one of these days again. :)

BlurMommy@Kooky Culinary

MPG said...

Yum! I'll have to try this from Macrina, I love so much of their stuff, I don't think I've tried this one! Fresh Lavender is out here in plenty! your shots!!

Anonymous said...

I love your blog but just found this post and thought I should comment, because I have also made a lemon lavender cake lately... twas delightful.
And I'm in St. Louis too... yay!

Ali Halsey said...

it looks delicious! i can't wait to try it out.

Amanda Moran said...

I made this cake for my book club recently. Thanks for the recipe. It was sooo good. Great blog!

Anonymous said...

The cake looks and sounds delicious.
Do you have any other lavender recipes you would like to share? I just started a new website on lavender and would love as many recipes as possible for my recipe section. You may contact me via the url below if you are interested.


joyce said...

I tried this recipe with somewhat disastrous results. 1 hr and 10 minutes baking time was definitely too long. Around the 45 minute mark, I smelled it burning and took it out. The entire thing was charred on the outside.

That being said, it had nice flavors (especially with the glaze), but I was deeply ashamed to serve it to guests and had to slice off the entire outside of it to make it half-way presentable and edible.

Anonymous said...

Did you use a specific type of lavender? I have about 6 different sorts growing in the garden. Great photos & thanks for all the details!

OPatterson Photography said...

I received some fresh lavender from my CSA this week and decided to dry it and try your cake recipe. I followed everything exactly (we used yogurt) and included the glaze. It's a huge hit! So lemony with just a hint of lavender, and perfectly moist. Thanks so much for sharing.

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