I made this cake as a birthday cake a few weeks ago, but I wanted to repeat the cake part until I was happy with the amount of lavender. I’ve been intrigued by lavender dessert for a while now, but I haven’t made the time to go buy lavender. We tried a dessert at a restaurant a few months ago and it was terribly disappointing, but not because of the lavender cookie, but mainly because of the tapioca and lemon curd mix. I decided the best way to form an opinion on using lavender in desserts, would be to try to bake some myself. It is a bit difficult to asses how much lavender you need while you are making the cake, because even by just opening the bag of flowers the kitchen starts smelling like a lavender bubble bath 🙂 The first time I made the cake, I just followed this recipe from Technicolor Kitchen, one of my trusted dessert blogs. Next time I used so much lavender that my nose couldn’t smell anything else for a while, but it turned out to be the perfect amount to taste it in the cake, but not to be too overpowering. The cake is great as a two or three layer cake with lime curd, but it is just as delicious with just the lime icing. It’s a very light and moist cake, can barely feel the calories 🙂
Ingredients (one 2 layer 9 inch cake):
- 4 eggs
- 3 Tb vegetable oil
- 4 Tb water
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 Tb edible lavender buds
- 1 cup cake flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- pinch of salt
- 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
- 4 egg yolks
- 2 tsp cornstarch
- 4 Tb sugar
- 4 Tb lime juice (from ~ 2 limes)
- 1 1/3 Tb butter
- zest of 1 lime
- 2/3 cup whipped cream whipped with 2 Tb sugar
- 1 1/3 cup icing sugar
- 2-3 Tb lime juice
Preheat oven to 350F. Line a 9 inch cake pan with parchment paper. Process 1/2 cup sugar and lavender buds in a food processor. Sift the flour, lavender sugar, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. Separate eggs. Whisk the egg yolks, water and oil into the sugar flour mix.
In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until foamy. Add cream of tartar and sugar gradually and beat until soft peaks form. Stir in a quarter of the egg whites into the yolk mixture, then carefully fold in the remaining egg whites.
While the cake is baking, start making the lime curd. Whisk the egg yolks with the cornstarch. Heat the sugar and lime juice on medium-low heat. Whisk in the egg yolk mixture. Continue whisking until the mixture starts boiling. The curd will thicken. Remove from heat and whisk in the butter and lime zest. Transfer to a bowl, let cool slightly, cover with plastic wrap directly onto the surface and refrigerate until cold.
Spread lime curd on top of the first layer. It won’t be a very thick layer, but it will be enough as the lime flavor is very strong.
Add the top layer.
I let the icing settle and then topped mine with some buttercream flowers since I used it as a birthday cake. It was so hot that despite adding extra sugar and pipping the flowers in the freezer, some still didn’t resist very well in the hot Chicago weather (and yes, the AC was on!). I guess I could have used butter-less cream, but using butter flavor didn’t sound too appetizing to me.
I really liked this lavender cake, and I have a feeling I’ll make it quite often from now on. While I liked the lime curd, I think I’ll stick with just the icing, unless I make it for a special occasion 😉