Rosemary Lavender Cake With A Lavender Buttercream
Rosemary and lavender are two aromatics that are quite vivid and strong in scent but work wonderfully together and both are also used in aromatherapy. They are pleasing to the nose and also pleasing to the palate when incorporated into dishes both sweet and savoury.
A few months ago we had the opportunity to visit Terre Bleu, a family run farm which is Ontario’s largest lavender farm, and we had a wonderful time despite the rain. It only stopped raining as we were driving away and the farm was closing. That didn’t stop us from exploring the farm and purchasing some goodies from their store. Their lavender is organically grown and the farmers work hard to plant, prune, and harvest lavender by hand and distill their oil in a traditional copper still to ensure a truly unique and authentic product. They are committed to education, sustainable farming and your personal well-being. The farm is beautiful and you can smell the aroma of lavender wafting in the air once you arrive. It’s immaculately maintained and their store is just lovely. Make sure to visit www.terrebleu.ca to learn more about the farm, the products they sell and also to shop all the products that they make from the lavender.
I have teamed up with Terre Bleu to make a wonderful cake using some of their products. They sent me a beautiful package with products that I love and used in this cake and will use in many other recipes in the future. They have also been kind enough to share a special discount for all my followers! Go to www.terrebleu.ca and use my exclusive code “OMPURPLETICKET” with your online order to receive a #PurpleTicket which is valid for one FREE admission to Terre Bleu Lavender Farm for the 2019 season (a $30 value), an opportunity you cannot miss. This code is valid until November 16th, 2018 so make sure and take full advantage of it. When in season give yourself the full sensory shopping experience when you visit the beautiful iconic farm store.
This cake is a perfect way to showcase their organic lavender and it pairs wonderfully with the rosemary. The cake itself is quite easy to make even for a novice baker. It bakes up quickly and the aroma of the vanilla and rosemary together while baking is totally wonderful. It’s a dense cake with a very fine crumb making it feel lighter than it is. When I first saw this recipe I worried about the texture of it as I usually cream the butter and sugar alone until light and airy. This recipe was different, the dry ingredients get whisked first then the butter is added and then the liquids separately. I was a bit skeptical but in the end the texture of the batter turned to a frothy and light one and baked up with the nicest texture. It reminded me of wedding cake - who doesn’t love wedding cake?
Let’s talk about the buttercream as this is where the lavender really shines. Instead of placing the lavender buds in the frosting itself, I decided to infuse the cream with it first as this really allows the flavours to blend really well throughout the buttercream. I added a dash of the lavender sea salt to the buttercream because sweet always needs a pinch of salty. It goes so well with the rosemary cake. The two were made for each other.
I chose to decorate it very modestly - with a naked cake buttercream finish, making it look both rustic and chic at the same time (rustic is chic right now in case you haven’t noticed) It is also the perfect way to dress up a cake for a novice baker or an inpatient one like me who hasn’t quite gotten there in the cake decorating department. I will always choose the more forgiving path when it comes to dressing a cake. I used the modest approach when garnishing it as well. Simply using the rosemary and the dried lavender to crown the base of the cake and also create a tiny bouquet in the centre top of the cake. Simple but effective. I dusted the top of it with extra lavender sea salt and some lavender bud and that was it - you got yourself a pretty cake with minimal effort and maximum flavour.
I do hope you give this cake a try and do hop over to the Terre blue shop to check out all their high quality lavender goodies! Can’t wait to got back next season - maybe I will see you there! This is a sponsored post for Terre Bleu. All thoughts and views are my own.
For the cake
- 5 large egg whites at room temperature
- 1 cup whole milk at room temperature
- 2½ tsps pure vanilla extract
- 3 cups cake flour, sifted
- 1¾ cups sugar
- 1 tbsp + 1 tsp baking powder
- ¾ tsp salt
- 12 tbsps unsalted butter, at room temperature and cut into cubes
- 3-4 springs of fresh rosemary for garnish
- 3-4 sprigs of fresh lavender for garnish (I used lavender from my Terre Bleu dried lavender bouquet)
- 3 tsps fresh rosemary, chopped
For the frosting
- 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 4-6 cups powdered sugar
- ¾ cup heavy cream
- 1½ tsps dried culinary lavender bud plus more to sprinkle over cake (I used Terre Bleu lavender culinary bud)
- ¼ tsp salt plus more to sprinkle over cake (I used Terre Bleu lavender sea salt)
- ½ tsp of vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350 °F.
- Prepare three 8” or 9” cake pans with butter or spray oil and parchment.
- In a medium bowl combine the egg whites chopped rosemary and vanilla and set aside.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt together on low speed for 30 seconds to combine.
- Add the butter, and mix on a low speed until just combined.
- Add milk and mix until just combined.
- Increase to medium speed and mix for 1-2 minutes until light and airy.
- Scrape the sides of the bowl and begin to add the egg mixture in 2 separate batches, beat on medium speed until it is just combined.
- Divide the batter between the three cake pan and bake for 25-30 minutes for 8” pan and 20 minutes for 9” pan or until a toothpick comes out clean.
- Let cool on cooling racks until cooled completely. If assembling cake the next day remove each cake and wrap tightly with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator until ready to assemble cake.
- While the cakes are cooling make the buttercream frosting. In a small saucepan over medium heat, heat the heavy cream and lavender until it just comes to a boil. Remove from heat and cover letting the cream infuse for 20 minutes. Once infused, strain the lavender out of the cream, and set the cream aside.
- In a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat the butter until it is creamy, and add the powdered sugar ½ Cup at a time.
- Slowly add the infused cream along with the vanilla until you get a consistency you like. If the mixture gets too runny, add more powdered sugar. Start with 4 cups of powdered sugar first and then add the cream and adjust additional amounts of powdered sugar. Finish off by mixing in the salt.
- Once cakes are cool, take them out of the pans, and place one layer onto a cake plate. Using an offset spatula, spread 1 cup of frosting on the cake.
- Turn the second layer upside down (so the bottom is face up) and gently place it on top of the first layer. Spread another cup of frosting on the cake.
- Turn the third layer upside down and gently place in on top of the second layer.
- Spread a generous amount of frosting on the top of the cake. Spread the frosting to the edge of the cake and then start to work your way down the sides.
- Using a bench scraper or an offset spatula, scrape some of the frosting off the sides of the cake so you can see the cake layers.
- Decorate to preference with fresh rosemary and lavender. For this cake I simply placed the rosemary all around the base of the cake and inserted stems of lavender between every other stem of rosemary.
Recipe adapted from Sprinkles for breakfast and Food 52