Thursday, November 15, 2007

Lemon Lavender Cake

lemon lavender cake

Do you know that November 15 is National Bundt Day? Perfect time to blog about the messy bundt cake I made two weeks ago.

If you know me well, you know my affinity to anything with coffee+ chocolate in it. "Lemon + lavender" on the other hand, is another flavor combination that I can't resist. I have had sables with this combination but haven't had a success with cake yet. After trying the lemon lavender cake from the Macrina Bakery in Seattle, I can't stop thinking about it ever since we came back. The generous serving of their light but flavorful cake is the best lemon lavender cake I have ever had. The balance between two of my favorite flavors is simply spot on.

I have tried making a lemon lavender cake in the past using my favorite lemon cake recipe as a base. Although it was moist and flavorful, upon comparison, I found mine to be too dense. And it shouldn't be so. I need to make one as poetic (and light) as the Macrina's.

In order to achieve the desired cake, I need a lemon cake with light texture as base. The next step maybe a little tricky.It is to determine the amount of lavender required. It has to be just enough to complement the citrus flavor, without making the eaters feel poisoned eating a lavender soap bar. I decided to go with 1 tablespoon of dried lavender. In order to extract the maximum flavor, I steep it in the buttermilk. Easily done when the buttermilk was lefted on the bench to come to room temperature.

Lemon Lavender Cake

Having had good result with this recipe in the past, I decided to use it as the base here. Once the cake was out of the oven, I impatiently waited for 30 minutes before cutting out a thin slice to taste. It was nice, but not as lemony as I would have loved. I knew I had to add a thin layer of glaze to boast up the flavor. And I did just that. But maybe the glaze is a little too thin. It is quite unsightly as you can see from the various shots here. The flavor had improved with the added glaze but I know something is amiss. I really should have bought their recipe book which was prominently displayed on the shelf. Or at least took a peek and tried to remember the recipe! By the way, I also couldn't resist to buy a piece of their chocolate grand marnier cake. Heavenly! Now I need to find that recipe. If ANY of you know the recipe, please drop me an email. My stomach and tastebuds will thank you.

Lemon Lavender Cake

Coming back to the lemon lavender cake, I think this version is not too bad, but I would tweak it again the next time I try. Maybe a little more lemon zest in the batter, and a thicker, prettier glaze.

Lemon Lavender Cake

If however, lemon lavender is not your cup of tea, head over to Nordic Ware's website. There are a series of drool-worthy winning recipes from the "Bundts Across America" recipe contest. One of the judges, is none other than Anita, the talented blogger behind the sweet blog -Dessert First! Her account on the contest judging is here. I am jealous of all the yummy bundts she had tasted......

Lemon Lavender Cake
Modified from this recipe

Cooking spray
3 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour (about 13 2/3 ounces)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cup butter, softened
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon grated fresh lemon rind
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon of dried lavender, steep in 1 cup of low fat buttermilk

For the glaze:
2 cups confectioners' sugar (I used 1.5 cups, it turned out too thin)
3 1/2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon dried lavender

Preheat oven to 350°.
To prepare the cake, coat a 10-inch tube pan with cooking spray; dust with 2 tablespoons flour.

Lightly spoon remaining 3 cups flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine 3 cups flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Combine 2 cups granulated sugar and butter in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until light and fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add flour mixture to sugar mixture alternately with buttermilk, beating at low speed, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Add rind and juice; beat just until blended.

Spoon batter into prepared pan; sharply tap the pan once on counter to remove air bubbles. Bake at 350° for 45 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes on a wire rack; remove from pan. Cool completely on a wire rack.

For the glaze, combine the confectioners' sugar,lemon juice and dried lavender in a bowl, mixing with a wire whisk until smooth. Pour over the top of the cakes and allow the glaze to drizzle down the sides.


Rasa Malaysia said...

National Bundt day? Your Lemon Lavendor Cake looks lovely...

BTW, this time I was home, I bought so many baking cheap there...hehe. I got myself a banana tart mold, I can't wait to make some banana tarts. :)

Venus ~ Vi said...

Yummy! The cake looks soooo good! Lavender and lemon combo?! Sounds interesting!

Anonymous said...

The last picture made me see a waterfall...:)
Nice cake.

Anonymous said...

It's too bad ab the deadline snafu -- because what a Bundt!! Elegant flavors, so prettily styled and shot, and, no doubt, simply dee-lish!

Thanks for rockin' the Bundt!

Deborah said...

What a gorgeous cake!! I am not too familiar with baking with lavender - I need to give it a try one of these days!!

Gloria Baker said...

So nice recipe!! yummy!Gloria

Aimée said...

This looks lovely and light- perfect for accompanying a cup of tea!

Helene said...

That second picture makes me happy...just very happy....Hmmhmmmhmmm! Thanks Mandy!

Amrita said...

oh scrummmyyy!!!!

ps: i've relocated to

hope u'll ammend the link! thanks!

Anonymous said...

Lovely photos and what an incrediblye combination of flavors! November 15th also happens to be my birthday but now I can celebrate x2 next year with a cake for national bundt day!

Ari (Baking and Books)

Nora B. said...

Lemon + lavender = I love that too! Nice looking bundt, Mandy. I have a very elegant looking bundt mould, 15th Nov would have been a good excuse to bake something with that mould....

p/s: congratulations for the recent award. Your nutella tart was indeed very tempting.

Anonymous said...

I have never used lavender in anything before but I'm seeing more and more of it in desserts. I nearly bought a mini-bundt pan today. Your bundt is so droolworthy!

Astrid said...

Oh this looks delicious. What wouldn't I give for a piece right now! Great photos!

Valerie Harrison (bellini) said...

I missed National BundtCake Day, but lemon and lavender would be perfect in combination!!!

Anonymous said...

Mmmm...this looks tasty, tasty. Yeah, and I totally missed out on National Bundt Day... Oh well, next time!

Mandy said...

what is banana mold?? Can't wait to see it on your blog soon!

it is a nice combo with a cup of tea!

you are always so creative, and imaginative. LOL.

nora leah,
yeah, I have every intention to take part in your event, but just let the deadline slipped. So typical of me. :(

thanks. Let me know what you think if you try it. :)


you are absolutely right!

my pleasure!



nora b,
thanks! hey, bake a bundt cake,I want to see your elegant bundt pan!

thanks! I am absolutely in love with lavender. Hope you get to try it soon.


hey, national bundt cake comes every year. ;)

you are right! Besides, you can still bake a nice bundt cake anytime you are up to it. :D

Julie said...

I just had to comment even though this is an older post. I love the lemon-lavendar combo too. And the light texture of the cake looks just perfect. I'll hold onto this to try after the holidays are over, but if you perfect the recipe, please post it. I know it's not easy to do a really lemony cake...maybe adding lemon extract would help?

Unknown said...

I'm mkaking this today as a gift. I'm very excited!

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