On Thursday night while hanging out with some friends, my buddy Mike started asking everyone what they “bring to the table.” Huh? was my first reaction. But after some further explanation I realized we were discussing our favorite qualities and what we contribute to the “friend group.” Somewhere along the line, as we went around the table, it was decided that not only were we listing our “to the table” qualities, but they also had to feature everyone’s favorite literary device, alliteration. For example, Mike finally settled on Smiles, Sarcasm, and Sultry Looks (smiles and sarcasm-yes; sultry looks-questionable). As we continued around the table we landed on Muscles, Manly, McGee; Parties and Pass Outs; Language, Learning, and Love. Then there was me: Food, Fun, and Fitness.
Do you think we’re weird? Its ok if you do. I think we’re weird too.
Food, fun, and fitness are probably the very best 3 words to describe me. Especially the food part, which I quite literally bring to the table all of the time. In my mind, food is the world’s best uniting device. We all like it and we all need it. Nothing breaks the ice in a social situation quite like a fresh batch of chocolate chip cookies, and nothing tells a person you care, quite like a homemade cake.
This lavender cake is actually the perfect example of using food to “love on” someone. I first learned about this recipe when my brother and his girlfriend came out to visit me back in March. After returning to Pittsburgh, she sent me a bag of dried lavender so I could give the recipe a try on my own.
Since then I’ve gone on to make lavender cakes for all sorts of occasions. It was a simple dessert when my college roommate came for a visit. It turned out to be the perfect pastry when I wanted to bring breakfast to my office one morning. I dressed it up with some festive sprinkles for my co-worker Kathy’s birthday earlier this month, and I made a lavender loaf cake to bring as a snack to my church community group one evening.
I’ve had a few requests for the recipe, so next time you are looking to bring food to the table, I think this might be the cake for you!
- 2 cups sugar
- 10 Tbs butter, at room temperature
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 3 eggs
- 3 1/2 cup flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 cups (16 oz container) vanilla Greek yogurt
- 2 Tbs dried lavender, minced
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 1-2 Tbs milk (more if needed)
- 9 or 10 inch bundt pan
**note, if you do not own a bundt pan, this recipe can be halved and made in a 9 inch loaf pan instead. When halving the recipe, use 1 egg and 1 egg white.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a bundt pan and set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar on medium-high speed for about 2 minutes, or until light and fluffy. Mix in the vanilla, then beat in each egg, one at a time.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the stand mixer in 3 batches, alternating with the addition of the Greek yogurt. Beat well to make sure ingredients are fully incorporated after each addition. Finally mix in the minced lavender** and beat the entire batter on medium-high speed for 1 minute before pouring it into the prepared budnt pan.
Bake the cake for 1 hour or until a toothpick tester comes out clean. Let the cake cook for about 10 minutes before flipping it onto a wire rack to finish cooling. I recommend gently running a knife between the edges of the cake and the sides of the pan to ensure that is slides out easily.
Once the cake has cooled, whisk together the glaze ingredients in a medium sized bowl until very smooth. Adjust the amount of milk as needed to reach the desired consistency. The glaze should be thin enough to drizzle over the cake, but not so liquid that it doesn’t stick. When the glaze is ready gently spoon or pour it over the entire cake. If adding sprinkles, jimmies, or another embellishment, now is the time to do it, so they will stick to the cake as the glaze dries.
**Note: Dried lavender can be purchased at your local spice store or at a specialty market like Whole Foods. I mince mine up finely with a knife, but you can also run it through a coffee or spice grinder if you have one.
Eating For England’s Lavender Tea Cake.
It’s time to bring lavender cake to the table.