lavender and vanilla cake

Who watched Bake Off this evening? Oh man, I’m still a bit giddy with excitement that it’s back on TV! Norman is my current favourite after episode one – you guys?

Tonight I’m writing about lavender and vanilla cake. I wouldn’t have thought of putting lavender in a cake as it can be pretty strong, but the end result is a fragrant cake that’s not overpowering 🙂 I had a bit of a job trying to figure out what exactly ‘culinary lavender’ was, but came to the conclusion that the stuff growing in the garden would do… I’m guessing it just means that it’s pesticide free? Also, I took ‘cake flour’ in the original recipe (link here) to mean plain flour as you have to add baking powder and bicarb soda yourself. Right, that’s all my pre-recipe notes done, let’s get to it!

Lavender and Vanilla Cake


  • Recipe from Pastry Affair
  • Past Hannah didn’t know what cake flour was – but I have since found out: it’s a mixture of plain flour and cornflour. Find out how to make it in my Baker’s Notes



  • 1.5 cups milk
  • 4 tsp lavender petals {I washed them a couple of times and then just used them like that; original recipe uses dried}
  • 85g unsalted butter {at room temp}
  • 280g caster sugar
  • 4 small eggs {original: 3 large}
  • 75g vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 300g cake flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp bicarb soda
  • 3/4 tsp salt

Vanilla buttercream: (all approx. measures)

  • 100g unsalted butter {room temp}
  • 2 cups icing sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 tbsp milk


In a saucepan with a lid, heat the milk until it’s near boiling – then remove from the heat, add the lavender, stir, and leave for around half an hour with the lid on.
In the meantime, grease two circular cake tins and measure out the dry ingredients if you have the patience. Preheat your oven to around 160 degrees C (fan-forced). Strain out the lavender from the milk.
Cream the butter and sugar together in a big mixing bowl and beat in the eggs one at a time. Next, beat in the vegetable oil and the vanilla.
Sieve the flour, salt, baking powder and bicarb soda together. Add them, about half a cup at a time to the mixture and fold them through until all combined. Next, mix in the milk.
Pour the cake mix into the tins and bake for around 35 minutes, until a skewer comes out clean. Leave them to cool.

Beat the butter until it’s smooth and creamy, then add icing sugar little by little. Mix it in carefully or it’ll go everywhere (past experience!).  Keep adding and mixing until you have a smooth, pale buttercream. Add milk (or hot water) if it gets too thick, and vanilla to taste.
Arrange one cake on a serving plate and cover the top in a thin layer of buttercream, before sticking the other one on top. Spread about a third of the remaining icing on top of the second cake.
Now, here’s where I tried something new: if you’ve read a few of my previous recipes you’ll {hopefully} remember I was mucking about with chocolate ganaches for a while… You have to give the cake a ‘crumb-coat’ – which is basically a messy first layer of ganache. Then you put the cake in the fridge for a while, say a little prayer, and cover it in a neat, crumb-free second layer. I had no idea whether that would work with buttercream but I gave it a go with this cake, and it worked! Woo!
Using a spatula, or the wrong side of a knife (anything with a straight edge), completely cover the sides in a thin layer of cream. Put the cake in the fridge for 10 minutes, then use the remaining buttercream to cover the sides, using a palette knife if you have one!
Cover the top with lavender petals, and there we go 🙂

3 thoughts on “lavender and vanilla cake

  1. Yeah I liked Richard too! I reckon he's going to be a dark horse… and Nancy, and Martha! God at this point it's anybody's game!
    and me neither! I've heard of someone putting it on salmon which I reckon would work really well! 🙂


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s