Inspired by this lavender tea bread recipe I decided to make this for my sister for her birthday this year. It was delicious and gave me high tea – Bridgerton vibes! :p
This lemon lavender tea cake is essentially a lavender lemonade in cake form. It is rich and buttery, a bit dense like a pound cake, but still perfectly soft and subtly sweet. Topped with a simple lemon glaze. Perfect for serving with tea! (hence the name!). Although it has tea in the name, the cake doesn’t actually have tea in it. Rather it is infused with lavender and lemon flavours and is perfect paired with a cup of chai. And that is why it is a tea cake! 🙂
If you do not happen to have lavender lying around, you can easily substitute another aromatic herb like rosemary. Of course then you would have to call it rosemary tea cake… But you get the point. 😉
Preparing Lavender for Baking
I used dried lavender in this recipe as that is what I had on hand and I believe most people will have that as well. But if you are lucky enough to grow your own lavender you can totally use the fresh flowers too. Just make sure to add a little bit more when using fresh as dried tends to have a more concentrated taste than fresh.
Also feel free to adjust the amount of lavender you use in this recipe depending on how much you like lavender.
You also want to make sure to bloom the lavender in some warm liquid in order to bring out the flavour before incorporating it into your baking. In this recipe, I heat the milk and cream with the lavender buds (the kitchen smelled amazing!) just until the liquid starts to come to a simmer. Take it off the heat and let it cool down and infuse with all that delicious lavender flavour!
I hope you give this one a go!
Lavender Lemon Tea Cake with a Simple Lemon Glaze
For the Cake
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 1/4 cup cream (I used 35% whipping cream, half and half works too, or just use more milk)
- 1-2 tbsp dried lavender or 1 tablespoon fresh lavender
- 6 tbsp butter room temperature
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar (1 cup if you want a sweeter cake)
- 2 eggs room temperature
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp lemon zest
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
For the Simple Lemon Glaze
- 1 cup icing sugar, sifted
- 1-2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 tsp vanilla optional
For the Cake
- Combine the 1/4 cup cream, 1/2 cup milk and 1-2 tbsp lavender in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook until it just begins to simmer; remove from the heat and cool slightly.
- Preheat the oven to 325F (163C) . Spray with cooking spray or butter and flour a 9×5 inch loaf pan or a large round cake pan*.
- Cream the 6 tbsp room temperature butter and 3/4 cup sugar together with an electric mixer or stand mixer, stopping to scrape down the sides in the middle.
- Beat in the 2 eggs, one at a time, until the batter is light and fluffy; again stopping halfway to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- Mix in 1 tsp vanilla and 1 tbsp lemon zest until just combined.
- In a separate bowl, combine 2 cups flour, 2 tsp baking powder, and 1/2 tsp salt.
- Add the flour mixture and the lavender cream mixture into the butter mixture a little at a time, giving it a mix with each addition. Mix till just combined.
- Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 45-50 minutes or until a tester inserted in the middle comes out mostly clean.
- Let the cake cool in the pan a few minutes before removing from the pan and transferring to a rack to cool completely.
For the Simple Lemon Glaze
- Make the glaze: Combine 1 cup icing sugar and 1 tbsp lemon juice until it is about as thick as maple syrup- easily poured, but not watery. If it is looking too watery, add a bit more icing sugar. Too dry? Add a splash more lemon juice.
- Pour and spread the glaze over the cooled cake. It will harden as it cools. Decorate with more lavender and cool completely before slicing. Now go make a cup of chai and enjoy!