Cake Recipes: Girly-Girl Lavender Cake

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This vanilla cakes is studded with fragrant lavender. It takes a skilled hand and a lock-tight restraining order on your part not to overdo it because what starts out as a faint floral flavor can quickly turn into something akin to licking grandma’s soap if you’re not careful. This cake is everything baking with lavender was meant to be: demure, delicious and darling. A true girly-girl delight.
- 2 3⁄4 cups cake flour
- 1 2⁄3 cups sugar
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 3⁄4 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon dried lavender buds, crushed
- 3⁄4 cup (1 1⁄2 sticks) butter, at room temperature
- 4 large egg whites, plus 1 whole large egg
- 1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
- 1⁄2 teaspoon Almond Extract
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Lavender Simple Syrup or prepared lavender syrup like Monin brand
- Butter cream frosting colored purple
Bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 35 minutes.

Step 1

Preheat the oven to 350° F. Spray two 8-inch round cake pans with nonstick cooking spray, line the bottoms with parchment paper and spray the paper. Set aside.

Step 2

In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and lavender on low speed. Add the butter and beat until the mixture has the consistency of fine sand or a paste. Increase speed and add the egg whites one at a time, beating well after each addition, then add the whole egg and beat until thoroughly incorporated. Scrape down the bowl as needed. The batter will be thick.

Step 3

In a liquid measuring cup, stir together the coconut milk, vanilla extract and almond extract. Pour this mixture into the batter in thirds, beating well after each addition until the batter is fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.

Step 4

Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans and bake for 25 to 35 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let the cake cool in the pans completely before frosting.

Step 5

Slice a thin layer of cake from the top of each layer to create a flat surface. Place one layer (cut side up) on a cake pedestal or plate and tuck waxed paper under the edges of the cake to keep the pedestal clean. Using a chopstick or skewer, poke a few holes in the top of the cake. Brush the top of the cake with half of the lavender syrup. Let the syrup seep into the holes. Spread 1 heaping cup of the frosting in a generous layer over the top of the first cake layer. Place the second cake layer on top of the frosting, cut side up, poke holes in the top, and brush with the remaining syrup. Use 1 heaping cup of the frosting to apply a crumb coat to cover the entire cake (it’s okay if you can see the cake through the frosting). Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Use the remaining frosting (about 3 cups) to apply the final decorative layer to the cake.

Step 6

Lavender Simple Syrup (yields 1 cup):

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lavender extract
  • In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine the sugar and 1 cup water. Stir until the sugar dissolves. Simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool for at least 30 minutes, then stir in the lavender extract. Store lavender simple syrup in a sterilized bottle (run it through the dishwasher) with a tight-fitting lid in a cool dry place for up to 3 months.

Step 7

This tutorial is printed with permission from "Sweet and Vicious: Baking with Attitude" by author Libbie Summers and photographer Chia Chong and published by Rizzoli.

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