Due to storms & bad luck, we were without power for two days. We told jokes & ghost stories for about an hour, and then got progressively crankier as the power didn’t return (and the power company kept extending the outage estimate: “You’ll have power back by 6 pm!” “You’ll have it back by midnight (Tuesday)!” “You’ll have it back by midnight (Wednesday)!”). Yesterday, we finally caved and rented a hotel room (oh, hot water & internet–how I’d missed you). Now our power is back on. I’ll try to post regularly from here on out.
Long ago, Star Provisions sold lavender pound cakes, sweet buttery confections with clean floral notes & crisp sugar glazes. Then they stopped, and I was forced to choose between a life without lavender pound cake or learning how to make it myself. This is the first recipe I tried, and it is good (though not perfect, more on that below). It is also easy.
The following recipe (slightly altered) comes from Tessa Evelegh’s Lavender, via LavenderFarm.com.
Lavender Pound Cake
¾ cup unsalted butter, softened
¾ cup granulated sugar
3 eggs, room temperature
1 ½ cups self-rising flour
1 tbsp dried culinary lavender*, roughly chopped
½ tsp. vanilla extract
2 tbsp. whole milk
⅓ cup confectioner’s sugar, sifted
½ tsp. water
*We bought lavender at Cost Plus World Market; also check local farmer’s markets or online. We paid $2 for 0.25 oz at CPWM; you can definitely do better online, but keep in mind shipping costs.
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
2. Lightly grease and flour a 10-inch ring pan.
3. In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
4. Beat eggs in one at a time, until thoroughly incorporated (mixture should be glossy & uniform).
5. Fold in the flour, chopped lavender, vanilla extract and milk (I used a silicone spatula) until thoroughly blended.
6. Pour the mixture into the ring pan. Place on the middle rack and bake for 30 minutes. Test by inserting a sharp knife through the thickest part; when knife comes out clean, remove pan from oven. Let sit 5 minutes, then overturn onto plate. Transfer to wire rack for cooling.
7. With a fork, whisk the confectioner’s sugar with the water until smooth and thick (add more water/sugar as needed). Drizzle over cake. Serve.
I have mixed feelings on this cake. I love how easy & fast it is to make. The cake’s light texture and subtle sweetness are good for a breakfast pastry or as a snack with tea, coffee, or citrus juice. The lavender flavor/smell make it special.
But I feel it could be better. It crumbles too much; the glaze could be thicker; the flavor is straightforwardly good, but I wonder if it could use complexity. In particular, I want to try the popular pairing of lavender & lemon (see: lavender pound cake with lemon glaze & Meyer lemon lavender pound cake). Not that you shouldn’t try this recipe first (the ease and relatively small amount of lavender used make it a good starting point), but definitely experiment later on. I’ll also update here if I discover an upgrade.