02 July 2009

Garden Lavender Pound Cake

The lavender is in bloom in my little corner herb garden. Or it was until I snipped off all the flowers for a cake. In Turkey I had made this cake for the first time, and I knew the recipe was in one of my journals. Somewhere. After about twenty-some pages of heart-stopping drama, there it was: "Garden Lavender Pound Cake: BH&G, April 2004". What was scrawled across a whole 8 1/2 X 11-sized page has since been condensed to a single recipe card. Which is much easier to locate upon demand.

Garden Lavender Pound Cake
(Better Homes & Gardens, April 2004; narrative is mine)

4 eggs
1 c. butter
3/4 c. yogurt
1 c. sugar
1 - 2 TBSP dried lavender flowers*
2 1/2 c. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 TBSP vanilla
1 tsp. lemon zest

Let eggs, butter, and yogurt sit out to reach room temperature. In the meantime, grind lavender flowers into 1/2 cup of the sugar. Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt into a medium bowl. In another bowl cream butter, lavender sugar, remaining sugar, and vanilla.

Add eggs--one at a time--beating between each. Alternately add sifted dry ingredients and yogurt to the batter. It will be thick! Fold in lemon zest. Grease and flour your baking pans (2 8X4 or one bundt). Bake at 325F for 45 minutes, testing near center for done-ness. Cool on wire rack for 10 minutes, and then removed from pan and cool completely.

This cake stands well on its own, or can be glazed with the following:

1 c. powdered sugar
1 TBSP melted butter
3 - 4 tsp. lemon juice

Mix and drizzle over warm cake, letting it drip down the sides.


I ended up making three small cakes (3 1/2 by 6 in.) from a half-recipe: "one for my master (and myself), one for my dames (women's group) and one for the new neighbors who live down the lane." The one pictured above was garnished especially for my dames, only one of whom showed up. Somehow we still managed to polish it off between just the two of us. It went down quite nicely with a half-pot of decaf coffee. Cook's word.

* Be careful to only use lavender that has not been treated with pesticides or other chemicals. And don't use too many flowers, as they can give a perfume-y or soapy taste.


  1. OK, this one I gotta try--I've got a lovely crop of lavender just waiting to be used.

  2. well, you know . . . my life five years ago

  3. So I tried this recipe and the cake is lovely--very rich but soft and light, too. I used just over 1 TB of lavender and the flavor was pretty subtle; I might increase the amount slightly next time. I really like the way the lemon glaze provides a nice counterpoint for the sweet cake and lavender flavor. I made two loaf pans, which worked fine, too. Thanks for posting this recipe!