Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Lavender Lemon Cake

What gift do you get for the most amazing sister in the world?  Someone who really needs to celebrate...a new baby girl, beautiful new home, an amazing smoker that produces the most mouth watering smoked salmon you will ever taste....CAKE of course!  My mind went directly to Red Velvet...the southern classic (Bloody Armadillo Cake anyone???).  I have loved this cake for years and even served it at my wedding.  Since then it has become a family mainstay.  Alas, I am feeling a bit of ennui for this old favorite...I mean seriously...I can't believe Yoplait made it an actual yogurt flavor.  Gross!  Like the sagas of the Kardashian clan, this cake is a little played out.  Fear not!  What better substitute for an old has-been than a tart new star...Lavender Lemon Cake.  I like lemon to take center stage in my lemon cake.  A lemon cake should be tart, slightly sweet, moist, and rich.  This cake is bright with lemon juice and lemon zest combined with soothing dried lavender.  I would say you could use less sugar (a little too sweet for me) and more lemon in the recipe (I updated the recipe accordingly).  Since my plan was to ship this cake I chose to make it in 4 mini spring form pans.  Personal and MUCH easier to ship!  Let's hope it made it in one piece.  Happy Birthday have really set the bar high for next year! I Love You!
Lemon Lavender Cake
adapted from: Fresh from the Oven

For the cake:
1 tablespoon of dried lavender, soaked in 1 cup of low fat buttermilk
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
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cup butter, softened
2 large eggs
1 1/2-2 tablespoon grated fresh lemon rind (whole large lemon)
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (juice of one whole lemon)

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 whole lemon)
1 1/2 tablespoons lemon zest
1 teaspoon dried lavender

Preheat oven to 350°.

To prepare the cake, coat a 10-inch tube pan (or 4-5 mini spring form pans) with cooking spray; dust with 2 tablespoons flour.  Add ground lavender to buttermilk and set aside while preparing the cake.
Sift 3 cups flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl. 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 and lavender combination, beating at low speed, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Add zest and juice; beat just until blended.

Spoon batter into prepared pan leaving 1 1/2 inches for cake to rise; sharply tap the pan once on counter to remove air bubbles. Bake at 350° for 45 minutes (35 minutes for mini cakes) or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean.
While the cake is cooking, make the glaze.  Combine the confectioners' sugar,lemon juice, lemon zest, and dried lavender in a bowl, mixing with a wire whisk until smooth.
Cool in pan 10 minutes and remove onto a wire rack.  Place foil/parchment paper under the wire rack to catch any glaze drops.  Poke small holes on the top of the cake to allow the glaze to seep into the cake. Poor glaze over the top of the cake.  Cool completely on the wire rack. Enjoy!


Denver Jen said...

You are the best sister ever and this cake is sooo amazing! I was literally going to hide it in my closet so that I didn't have to share with anyone else. Clearly, you are the nicer sister.

Thanks so much for making my birthday so amazing! I love you!

Theodore said...


I would prefer to send this to you as an email. I apologize. It's not meant as a comment.

I’m reaching out to prominent Houston food bloggers to let you know about the first ever Houston Beer Experiment - an amateur cook-off pitting Houston’s finest, most committed, and passionate home chefs against one another to battle for culinary glory! The Houston Beer Experiment on March 4 is kicking off a 16-city National Food Experiment Tour sponsored by Brooklyn Brewery. The Grand Prize winner of the Houston Beer Experiment gets a trip to Brooklyn, NY courtesy of Brooklyn Brewery to compete in the World Series / Super Bowl / World Cup of food competitions: The National Championship! Where the winner will be up against the winners from around the country and the globe.

The Food Experiments ( is a series of amateur cook-offs that celebrate the home chef. Dishes will range from the savory to the sweet. You’ll see it all: Beer Braised Bratwurst, Secret Chili Recipes, Beer Soups, Beer Jelly, Beer-laced bread puddings, Stout milkshakes… Remember there is always room for a little experimentation and one last bite. As long as there’s some kind of beer in it, it can represent. You may never look at beer the same way.

By creating these events, my co-organizer and I have looked to develop a community of food and fun-loving people not only in our hometown of Brooklyn but also across the country. And now thanks to our presenting sponsor Brooklyn Brewery, The Food Experiments are going on the road for a second year!

The Houston Beer Experiment will be held at Fitzgerald’s on Sunday March 4, 2012 from 1-4 PM. Anyone can compete! All you have to do is sign up through our website. Anyone can win! Anyone can attend! Tickets are $10 and include a Brooklyn Brewery Beer. A portion of the event’s proceeds will go towards charities that promote sustainability and local culinary education for disadvantaged children and teens.

I’d like to encourage you and your readers to enter or attend. The grand prize is a trip to Brooklyn (we fly you in, take you out for some great food, and put you up in a cool hotel) to eat and compete against all the cook-off winners from around the country. All Houston chef-testants will be a provided with a $50 Central Market gift certificate to help purchase ingredients for the competition.

Both the audience and the judges will get to name their favorites. Our esteemed judging panel will include Chef Chris Shepherd of Underbelly, Chef Adam Dorris of Stella Sola, and Jenny Wang of Southbound Food and Chowhound. Don’t forget to check out the prizes!
The Friday Night Food Bloggers Meet Up: Our presenting sponsor, Brooklyn Brewery invites “Chef-testants”, Press, and Food Bloggers to a pre-event Happy Hour. It is an opportunity for food loving individuals to get together, shed their outer layer, drink some beer, and dig deeper into food obsessions and personal insecurities. It will take place on Friday, March 2nd, 5:30PM to 8PM at Hay Merchant, and feature some special and unique Brooklyn Brewery beers.

On a side note, if you have any eating recommendations for Houston please send them my way. What is your favorite Vietnamese restaurant? Favorite Dive, BBQ, High End, Cocktail, etc

I would like to send you a PDF of our Press Release. If you have any questions, please email me at or

All the best,

Theo Peck