Can I let you in on a little secret when it comes to thinking up new cake flavors? One trick of the trade is using other foods—or drinks—as inspiration. Herbal teas are my favorite go-to with this. They combine so many flavors, from floral to citrus to rich and chocolatey, in so many ways that you wouldn’t generally think of initially.
Take Teavana’s Citrus Lavender tea, for example. Citrus + lavender…that sounds like a magical combination, doesn’t it? This particular tea actually has orange and pineapple acting as the citrus here, but I decided to go for lemon because, paired with lavender, you’ve got one sweet cake flavor that will carry you from spring into summer.
See below for the recipe! (And to see what culinary lavender looks like.)
Lemon Lavender Cake or Cupcakes
Makes 12 cupcakes or enough batter for one 9″ round cake pan. Double the recipe if you’d like a full-sized cake.
1 1/2 cups cake flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter, cut into pieces
1 cup sugar
2 egg whites, slightly beaten
3/4 cup milk
1/2 tsp vanilla
zest from 2 lemons
2 tsp culinary lavender
Firstly, in case you haven’t, you should check out my basic cake baking method and my list of cake baking tips! Every cake batter recipe I post follows that same method, and my cake baking tips are great tips to memorize for whenever you’re preparing a cake batter such as this.
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
In a medium-sized bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
In a larger bowl, beat the butter at a high speed, and gradually beat in the sugar. Then, slowly beat in the egg whites.
Now you will gradually be adding the dry mixture and the milk to the butter-sugar-egg mixture. To do this, alternate mixing in some of the dry mixture, followed by some milk, followed by some dry mixture… You get the picture. Do that until you’ve incorporated the dry mixture and the milk completely. Just don’t over-mix here.
Finish by incorporating the vanilla, lemon zest, and lavender. (Bonus points if you grind up the lavender a bit in a mortar and pestle first.)
If you’re making cupcakes, pour the batter into 12 greased or lined cupcake wells and bake for 16 to 22 minutes. If you’re baking a cake, pour the batter into a greased 9″ round cake pan and bake for 30 to 40 minutes. Rely on the toothpick test here for a perfect cooking time—a toothpick inserted into the middle should come out with some crumbs on it.