Lavender and Lemon Syrup Cake

by Amanda McInerney on 31/01/2014

I often feel lethargic and disinterested when it comes to the daily drudge of what to put on the table each evening for dinner. It’s not always the cooking that I lose interest in, although I do have days when I struggle to find the will, but rather the constant decision making of what meals to plan day in, day out. And when I’m asked, as the plates are being cleared from one meal, what we are having for the next I’m ready to give the whole thing away – or drop the dirty plates on the head of the inquirer (and he knows who he is). However, when we are away on vacations and indulging in meals that someone else has planned, prepared and put in front of me I frequently find myself dreaming about all the wonderful things I intend to cook when I get back to my kitchen – contrary of me, I know.

For some reason cake has been on my mind quite a lot of late and I decided, somewhere in Morocco during this last most recent vacation, that there should be more of it in my life. I love to bake – it is such a thoroughly satisfying pastime and completely fulfilling, not to mention just filling. I came up with a plan to bake a cake a week – not overly ambitious, I think. Planning a cake a week gives me plenty of time between bakes to find the next inspiration and also spaces them out enough to hold diabetes and hideous hip enhancement at bay (a bit). Now, I’m not promising anything as I know life can get in the way of my best laid plans, but that’s what I’m aiming for and it’s only fair that I share the cake love, so you can expect things to take something of a sweet turn on this blog.

I suspect one of my problems will be diversifying my repertoire as I’m a slave to chocolate and it could become over-represented (especially as I intend to class brownies as cake for the sake of this exercise) but I’ll make every effort to broaden my selection. Another problem in the next few months is likely to be the weather. Adelaide is suffering through another heatwave at the moment and when it is over 40C outside I’m a bit reluctant to put the oven on in my un-airconditioned kitchen, but fortunately I baked earlier this week before the heat set in.

This recipe for a Lavender Lemon Syrup Cake is a riff on an old standby of mine. The original recipe was given to me many years ago by my much-loved, late mother-in-law from my first marriage and has never failed me. It is very simple and basic – the kind of recipe every good cook will have up her sleeves – and if baked in the smaller loaf tins will make two cakes, one of which can be frozen for any later cake emergency. I baked it in a larger loaf tin, so extended the cooking time by 15 minutes – but do check with a skewer to make sure it is done if you are using the bigger tin.

Lavender and Lemon Syrup Cake
 
Prep time

Cook time

Total time

 

If baked in a larger loaf pan this will only make one cake and the cooking time will need to be extended accordingly – usually about 10-15 minutes.
Author:
Recipe type: Cake

Ingredients
  • CAKE
  • 2 cups plain flour
  • 1½ tsp baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 125 gms butter
  • 1 cup caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • ⅓ cup milk
  • 2 tsp grated lemon rind
  • 1½ tsp culinary lavender
  • SYRUP
  • ⅓ cup lemon juice
  • ⅓ cup of sugar

Instructions
  1. Grease and line 2 small loaf pans and preheat oven to 160C (350F).
  2. Sift flour, baking powder and salt together and set aside.
  3. Using a stand mixer or hand beaters cream butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy.
  4. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  5. At low speed, beat in flour alternatively with milk mixing until combined.
  6. Stir in lemon rind and lavender.
  7. Pour into pans and bake for 45 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into the centre comes out clean.
  8. SYRUP
  9. While cake is cooking, prepare the syrup.
  10. Combine the lemon juice and sugar in a small pan over medium heat for 1-2 minutes, until syrupy. Allow to cool for 10 minutes.
  11. When cakes are removed from the oven and still hot, pierce them at regular spaces with a skewer, then pour the syrup over very slowly – allowing it to soak in.
  12. Cool in pans for 10-15 minutes, then remove and place on wire rack to cool completely.

 

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{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Jennifer @ Delicious Everyday January 31, 2014 at 4:06 pm

Gorgeous cake Amanda! I bet it smells divine! And I don’t think there could ever be such a thing as chocolate being overrepresented. I’m a slave to chocolate too, and I think any good chocolate lover knows you can never have too many chocolate recipes.

katew5050 February 1, 2014 at 9:38 am

I, too , am a slave to chocolate but lemon is right up there close by. The cake looks delicious and I have a zillion lemons just dropping off my trees so thank you for this great idea !!!

Judy February 1, 2014 at 10:32 am

The cake sounds and looks nice Amanda, a simple but tasty cake I’m sure.

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella February 1, 2014 at 3:02 pm

Cake should definitely be in everyone’s lives! It brings a smile to a face like nothing else :D

Mel @ The cook's notebook February 1, 2014 at 5:42 pm

I do love chocolate but I must confess I get a bit sick of chocolate cake. This one sounds gorgeous. I’ve been wondering what to do with the packet of lavender languishing in my spice drawer…

karin@yumandmore February 1, 2014 at 7:37 pm

Oh I so understand you on this! for me it isn’t the drudgery that gets me but rather the matter of course with which daily delicious meals are expected to be on the table. I usually enjoy it and it isn’t a chore but sometimes I think and say, why doesn’t one of you do it if you think it is so simple?
Lots of shoulder shrugs….
Love the cake and will certainly make it.

Lizzy (Good Things) February 1, 2014 at 8:16 pm

Amanda, gorgeous sprang to mind for me too! I have some culinary lavender that I haven’t even opened… once our time with the personal trainer is over, I am baking this! Love it.

angela@spinachtiger February 2, 2014 at 3:01 am

I’ve added lavender salt to scones before. The lemony lavender cake is something I would like a piece of right now. Saturday morning here and I’m hungry for this.

Andrea February 2, 2014 at 8:24 am

This looks so yummy, is on my to-do list!!!

Hotly Spiced February 2, 2014 at 8:28 am

What I hate is never knowing for sure just how many are coming for dinner and what time they’ll all be arriving. On Friday afternoon (late) Archie said, ‘Oh, and did I tell you Courtney’s coming over tonight?’ And of course that meant she was coming for dinner. So it was just lucky (since I was already cooking) that I had just enough of everything for an extra. I love the look of your cake and the colour of your Kitchen Aid is fabulous xx

InTolerant Chef February 2, 2014 at 1:07 pm

Oh this looks fantastic! You know how much I love lavender, so I’ll definitely be making this for sure-thanks! Xox

My Kitchen Stories February 2, 2014 at 8:53 pm

I can’t live without cake. Lavender and lime sounds like one I need to eat.

Maureen | Orgasmic Chef February 3, 2014 at 12:35 am

Just seeing the words lavender syrup made my heart skip a beat. I love this cake!

Anne February 4, 2014 at 4:54 pm

Cake sounds delish. Know what you mean about the daily dinner grind. I love a good cake or biscuit baking session any time, except then someone has to eat them and if they contain chocolate, the dogs can’t, so it means me and hubby and the hip problem you mentioned.

Ann February 5, 2014 at 11:35 pm

Did you really say your kitchen is un-air conditioned? I don’t know how you cope, maybe it’s cooler in the hills, but my kitchen gets hot even with the a/c cranked high! Delicious looking cake!

Amanda McInerney February 6, 2014 at 8:29 am

We have no air conditioning in the house at all, just ceiling fans & combustion fires Ann, which is okay most of the time. There are some days when I wonder what we were thinking, though.

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