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Three slices of lavender lemon cake on plates.

Lavender Lemon Cake

Heather Smoke
A light and fluffy lavender lemon cake, with fresh lemons and edible lavender flavoring the cake and buttercream.

All recipes on Curly Girl Kitchen are developed for high altitude at 5,280 feet.

5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 40 mins
Cook Time 27 mins
Cool Time 1 hr 15 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 16

Equipment

  • Stand Mixer with Paddle Attachment
  • Spice Grinder or Mortar & Pestle

Ingredients
  

Cake

  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2 tsp dried edible lavender
  • ½ cup lemon juice (about 4-5 small lemons), fresh or bottled
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • zest of 2 small lemons
  • 2 ¾ cups cake flour, spooned and leveled
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp coarse Kosher salt (if using table salt, use half the amount)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 large egg whites (save the yolks for another use)
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Buttercream

  • 1 tsp dried edible lavender
  • 2 cups unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tbsp meringue powder, optional
  • tsp coarse Kosher salt (if using table salt, use half the amount)
  • 2 tsp lemon extract
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • zest of 1 small lemon
  • 2-4 tbsp milk or cream, if needed
  • ½ cup lemon curd

Instructions
 

Cake

  • Pour the milk into a small saucepan, and bring just to a simmer over medium heat.  Remove from the heat, stir in the lavender, and let steep and cool for about an hour at room temperature.  Strain out the lavender bits and discard, so that you just use the lavender-infused milk.
    Whisk the lemon juice into the milk, and let sit for several minutes to curdle.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 F.  Line three 8-inch cake pans with parchment paper in the bottoms of the pans, and spray the paper with non-stick spray.  The baked cakes are sticky, and you should not skip this step of lining your pans with parchment paper.
  • Measure the sugar into a large bowl, and zest the lemons over the sugar. Use your fingers to rub the lemon zest into the sugar to really infuse the lemon flavor.
  • Set a fine mesh strainer over the sugar, and sift in the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt, then whisk together the dry ingredients with the lemon sugar.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together the lavender-lemon milk, eggs, egg whites, sour cream, oil and vanilla until smooth.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry and whisk by hand until smooth, about 30 seconds.
  • Divide the batter between the pans.  Bake for 25-27 minutes, until a cake tester in the center of the cakes comes out clean and the tops spring back when lightly touched.  Set the pans on a wire rack, cover with a clean kitchen towel, and cool completely.

Buttercream

  • Use a mortar and pestle, or a spice grinder, to crush the lavender until powdery.
  • In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter with the crushed lavender for one minute until smooth.  Scrape the bowl down.  With the mixer on low, add the powdered sugar, meringue powder and salt, mixing to combine.  Add the lemon extract, vanilla and lemon zest.
  • Beat on medium high for about 5 minutes, scraping the bowl down occasionally, until very light and fluffy.  Add the milk as needed for desired consistency.
  • Place one of the cooled cakes on a cake board. Spread with a layer of the buttercream. Spread half the lemon curd over the buttercream. Stack the next cake on top, and repeat with another layer of buttercream and lemon curd. Stack the last cake on top.
  • Frost the cake all over with a thin crumb coat of buttercream, and chill the cake for 30 minutes. Frost all over with a final coat of buttercream.
Keyword High Altitude Cake, Lavender, Lemon Cake
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