Vanilla Lavender Cake
- Yield: 20 servings
- 2 3/4cups cake flour
- 1 2/3cups sugar
- 1tablespoon baking powder
- 3/4teaspoon salt
- 1tablespoon dried lavender bugs, crushed
- 3/4cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, at room temperature
- 4large egg whites, plus 1 whole large egg
- 1cup unsweetened coconut milk
- 1/2teaspoon almond extract
- 1teaspoon vanilla extract
- Lavender simple syrup or prepared lavender syrup like Monin brand
- Swiss meringue buttercream frosting, colored with purple food coloring
- Preheat the oven to 350F. Spray two 8-inch round cake pans with nonstick cooking spray, line the bottoms with parchment paper, and spray the paper. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, on low speed, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and lavender. Add the butter and beat until the mixture has the consistency of fine sand or a paste. Increase speed and add the egg whites one at a time, beating well after each addition, then add the whole egg and beat until thoroughly incorporated. Scrape down the bowl as needed. The batter will be thick.
- In a liquid measuring cup, stir together the coconut milk, vanilla extract, and almond extract. Pour this mixture into the batter in thirds, beating well after each addition, until the batter is fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
- Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans and bake for 25 to 35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let the cake cool in the pans completely before frosting.
- Slice a thin layer of cake from the top of each layer to create a flat surface. Place one layer (cut side up) on a cake pedestal or plate and tuck waxed paper under the edges of the cake to keep the pedestal clean. Using a chopstick or skewer, poke a few holes in the top of the cake. Brush the top of the cake with half of the lavender syrup. Let the syrup seep into the holes. Spread 1 heaping cup of Swiss Meringue Buttercream Frosting in a generous layer over the top of the first cake layer. Place the second cake layer on top of the frosting, cut side up, poke holes in the top, and brush with the remaining syrup. Use 1 heaping cup of the frosting to apply a crumb coat to cover the entire cake (it’s okay if you can see the cake through the frosting). Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Use the remaining frosting (about 3 cups) to apply the final decorative layer to the cake. Serve immediately.
Excerpted from Sweet and Vicious: Baking with Attitude, © 2014 by Libbie Summers. Reproduced by permission of Rizzoli New York.