I love lavender-trimming day. Delicate buds not yet spent, but given their pollen to the bees, at the ready for culinary cajoling. I bundle the limping stalks, tacking my baker’s rack with lines of purple. A scent of Provence fills the air. I toss the dried buds in everything from simple syrup to custards, aioli to bitters, shortbread to biscotti. I especially love it in this cake.
(this is a riff on a classic 1-2-3-4 cake)
1 cup unsalted butter–room temperature
2 cups sugar
3 cups flour
4 large eggs
1 cup buttermilk
½ tsp salt
½ tsp baking soda
1 Tbs lemon zest
juice of 1 large lemon
1 generous tsp dried lavender buds
Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time fully incorporating after each addition. Stop and scrape down the sides with a spatula and resume beating until the mixture looks like buttercream frosting. Meanwhile…in a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, salt and baking soda. Combine the lemon zest, lemon juice and buttermilk together. With the mixer on low, alternately mix in the flour and buttermilk, beginning and ending with the flour, in 3 additions. Do not over-mix, just allow the ingredients to come together. Stir in the lavender. Pour into 2 loaf pans that have been coated in pan spray. Bake at 325 F for approximately 50 mins. Check for doneness after 40 minutes. Cake is fully baked when a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.When cool, pour glaze over.
1 cup powdered sugar
1 Tbs cream
Juice of lemon (more or less to your taste)
Stir together and pour over cooled cake.