This summer we went on a road trip that led us to the Lavender Festival in Orion, Michigan. We had no idea what to expect, especially since this tiny town doesn’t even boast a hotel. What we did discover was an amazing festival dedicated to this wonderful, fragrant herb. We slathered on lavender lotion, ate lavender ice cream, cooled off in a lavender-infused misting tent, guzzled lavender lemonade, bought lavender lip balm (among other things), and were inspired to use lavender in our own kitchens. Of course, the festival offered many, many other items including beautiful crocheted baby clothes, llama wool, photographs, baubles, and bags, but the real star of the show was, of course, lavender. Just being there was calming and soothing.
Since I was so inspired, I hit the kitchen with my bag of food-grade lavender buds. The first recipe I developed was for lavender lemon pound cake. I knew it would be delicious, but I wasn’t sure how my colleagues would receive it–they are after all, by guinea pigs and eating flowers might seem weird to some people. The cake did receive rave reviews, so I decided to post it for you. I hope you give it a try.
For the Cake:
3 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 sticks butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon lavender buds
4 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
1 cup buttermilk (or sour milk)
1 tablespoon fresh lemon zest
For the glaze:
1/2 cup sifted powdered sugar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- Make sure all ingredients (yes, even the eggs) at room temperature
- Preheat oven to 325 and prepare 2 5-cup loaf pans, 1 10-cup bundt pan, or 6 mini bundts
- To prepare the cake, sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl using an electric mixer, cream butter until smooth. Add granulated sugar and lavender, continuing to beat until light and fluffy, periodically scraping down the sides of the bowl. Add eggs a little a time, beating well after each addition. Add lemon extract. (I used homemade lemon extract which added a bright flavor to the cake. Find directions here.)
- At a low setting, add the flour mixture in thirds, alternating with buttermilk, beginning and ending with dry ingredients. Beat only until ingredients are incorporated. Do not overbeat. Using a rubber spatula, add lemon zest.
- Spoon batter into prepared pans, spreading evenly. Bake until cake begins to pull away from the sides of the pan and a toothpick comes away clean. For bundt cake, about 1 hour. For mini bundts, about 30 minutes. For loaf cakes, about 40 minutes.
- Transfer cakes to a wire rack to cool for 15 minutes. Remove cake to serving plate. When cake has completely cooled drizzle with glaze.
For glaze: In a small bowl, add lemon juice to sifted powdered sugar. Stir to blend.
For sour milk: If you don’t have buttermilk, no worries. Use sour milk. If you don’t have sour milk, no worries. Make your own. Here’s how: In a small bowl, combine 1 cup milk with 1 tablespoon lemon juice. Allow to curdle.
I made 6 individual bundt cakes for my colleagues; they were delicious. Try something new. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised. This makes a great gift from the kitchen. It travels well for church potlucks. Quite frankly, I don’t think you need an excuse.