I love lemon. I love lavender. What better way to indulge my affections than to combine the flavors and bake a cake. So I did. And it’s absolutely scrumptious if I do say so myself. This family of five devoured it in less than 24 hours – we couldn’t help ourselves.
Since I harvested some of my French lavender last weekend, one of my first inclinations was to use it in the kitchen. Lavender has been used in cooking for centuries – you’ll often find it in the ‘Herbes de Provence’ seasoning blend or lately in lavender sugar blends available at specialty stores. You have to be careful with lavender. Just like truffles, all you need is a tiny bit, you definitely don’t want to overdo it. But what a fantastic culinary flavor it brings to the table !
The addition of lemon pudding in this recipe was my mom’s idea. She’s been adding it to her lemon cake for years, so I stole that idea from her.
Lavender Lemon Pudding Cake
1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
4 large eggs
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 lemon (zest for cake, juice for glaze)
3 cups sifted flour (or cake flour)
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 package instant lemon pudding
2 1/2 cups whole milk (2 cups for pudding; 1/2 cup for cake)
3 cups confectioners sugar
3-4 organic lavender buds
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bring butter to room temperature. In separate bowl, mix butter and sugar with hand mixer, beat until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time. Add vanilla and lemon zest to form batter.
In separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Slowly add flour mixture to batter and blend with mixer. Meanwhile, prepare instant pudding as directed on box, then allow to set for five minutes. Add pudding and additional milk to cake batter, beat on medium for 2-3 minutes.
Pour prepared batter into greased Bundt pan (I use cooking spray) and bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes (test at 45). Allow cake to cool for 30 minutes, remove cake from Bundt pan, and place on cake plate to cool another 20 minutes.
For lemon and lavender icing: Bring 1/2 cup of water to a boil, then place 3-4 lavender buds in boiling water and boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat, and remove and discard lavender buds, then allow lavender infused water to cool. In separate bowl, combine the juice of one lemon with 3 cups of sifted confectioners sugar.
Add 3 tablespoons of lavender infused water. Blend together to make icing – add more confectioner’s sugar if necessary to thicken. Once cake is cool, pour icing on top and garnish with a few fresh lavender buds, then dust with confectioner’s sugar.
It’s not just pretty, it’s completely delicious!
How does one say “Yum” in French ?
I am mourning the emptiness that is now my cake plate.
My only chance for happiness is to bake another one soon.
Bon Appétit !