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I Won Something!

Yum

In case you haven’t heard by now I am the official winner of the Sunset Magazine Best Butter Cake Recipe Photo Contest! Sunset Magazine believes their butter cake recipe is the best base recipe for any number of creative cakes and challenged their readers to submit a recipe and photo of what they came up with. Knowing that my Lavender Vanilla cake was such a hit in the past, I decided to change it up a little bit and make a Lavender Chamomile Cake. Below is the winning photo I took of the cake (now the property of Sunset Magazine).

I am so honored to have been chosen as the winner of this contest. I think it is the first contest I’ve ever won! The most remarkable thing is what the editors wrote about me “The use of fresh and unusual ingredients (culinary lavender! chamomile tea!) and experienced level of skill and technique required to assemble the recipe made it stand out.” EXPERIENCED LEVEL OF SKILL AND TECHNIQUE… WOW! I love all the praises I receive from friends, but you know it’s a whole other ball game when strangers who are professionals have lovely things to say! Truly humbled. They didn’t post the actual recipe, so I copied it for you below. Enjoy!
Lavender Chamomile Milk

Ingredients

  • 3 1/2 cups milk
  • 3 Tbsp culinary lavender
  • 6 chamomile tea bags

Pour the milk into a sauce pan along with culinary lavender and chamomile tea bags. Put the pan over medium heat and stir the lavender thoroughly throughout the milk. Heat until piping hot, but not boiling. Once you’ve reached that point, let the milk steep for approximately 20 minutes. After the milk has steeped, pour through a sifter to catch all the lavender, squeezing the last bits of milk out of the lavender petals.

Lavender/Chamomile Cake
Ingredients

  • 2 1/4 cups cake flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar 
  • About 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature 
  • 2 large eggs 
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup lavender/chamomile milk 

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350Ā°. Sift flour, baking powder, and salt into a medium bowl; set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat sugar and 1/2 cup butter until creamy. Crack eggs into a small dish (do not beat) and add vanilla. Add eggs to the butter mixture 1 at a time, scraping down the inside of the bowl as needed. Beat in flour mixture and milk in alternating batches, starting and ending with the flour and making sure each addition is fully incorporated before adding the next.
2. Butter and flour 2 round 8-in. cake pans. Divide batter evenly between pans.
3. Bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center of each cake comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes.
4. Cool cakes 5 minutes. Invert onto a rack, remove pans, and let cool to room temperature, at least 40 minutes.

Lavender/Chamomile Buttercream

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups lavender/chamomile milk
  • 10 Tbsp all purpose flour
  • 2 cups (4 sticks butter)
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla

Pour the milk into a sauce pan over low heat. Gradually whisk in the flour, 2 Tbsp at a time until well blended. Continue stirring until it has reached a consistency of cupcake batter (see pic below). Immediately remove from heat and sink the entire sauce pan into a a bowl of ice water. Let cool for approximately 15 minutes. When the mixture has COMPLETELY reached room temperature (any warmer, and this won’t work), stir in the vanilla.

Cream together the butter and the sugar until light and fluffy. At the COMPLETELY COOLED milk and flour mixture and beat for about a while, about 10 minutes. The frosting will come out light and creamy – almost like whipped cream. At this point you can add in any food coloring you desire.

Candied Lavender

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp culinary lavender
  • 1 egg white
  • 2 Tbsp sugar

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. Coat the lavender with the egg white using a basting brush. This sounds a lot easier than it actually is. The lavender will stick to the brush, just do your best to make sure all the lavender blossoms are coated. Once coated, roll the lavender around in sugar (again, sounds much easier than it actually is). Spread out the lavender on top of tin foil or parchment paper until it looks like the pic below. Let dry out in the oven for an hour or two. Not only do you get candied lavender (that is delicious), your house will smell amazing!

Assembly
What you will need: Lavender/Chamomile cakes, Lavender Chamomile Buttercream, Lemon Curd of your choice, and Candied Lavender.

Cut each of the cakes in half. Put the bottom layer on your cake plate, cover with lemon curd (I bought mine from Trader Joes). Lay down the next layer of cake and coat with the lavender/chamomile Buttercream. Lay down the 3rd layer, and apply lemon curd again. Finally place the 4th layer on top and frost the entire cake with the lavender/chamomile buttercream. You can use the candied lavender to decorate the top of the cake or you may also sprinkle the candied lavender in between the layers.

11 Comments

  1. Krystal says

    wow!!! Congratulations!!! That is amazing!! You totally deserve it!

  2. Congrats! This sounds so incredible I *have* to make it. You are using 3 1/2 c of milk, but then you are using 2/3 c and 2 c in the recipe. So is there leftover milk or is one of the amounts in the recipe wrong? I want to make this but not have it flop. I also don’t see a pic for the candied lavender. Does this need refrigeration? Can it be made the day before? If for some odd reason it’s not eaten at once, how long can it last? Are you allowed to give us the basic butter cake recipe or direct us to where we can find it? Thnak you in advance for your answers.

  3. Hi Christel! Thanks for the compliments! Yes, the measurements for milk are correct. The reason you make more than necessary is because much of the milk evaporates in the scalding/steeping process. The candied lavender is in the center part of the flowers on the came (where the stem would be). You can also put it in between the layers. I would recommend making it beforehand and refrigerated. The basic butter recipe is included in the recipe I listed for the cake. It is exactly the same except the butter recipe uses regular milk instead of steeped milk. Hope that helps!

  4. Hi Magreet! I need some clarification on your question. Do you mean fresh culinary lavender, or fresh picked lavender? If you mean fresh culinary lavender, yes, that is what you need for this cake. Regarding freshly picked lavender, there are so many different kinds of lavender, I would be hesitant to say anything other than culinary lavender would probably not work out.

    Best,
    Miri

  5. Tori Rivapalacio says

    Hi Miri! I know this post is super old, but pinterest is amazing that way, right? I’m in need of an exciting cake and here is this one, just pinned there, waiting for me! And, boy, do I love the idea of this cake! As someone not nearly as skilled in the culinary arts, though, I love pictures that offer me some guidance. In this post, you reference pictures “below,” that aren’t there (or that I can’t see?). Am I missing something? Is there a way I can see those pictures?

  6. Jamie C. says

    Hi there — is there a reason for the lemon curd?? I am a huge fan of lavender but not a huge fan of it served with lemon. Can I follow the recipe and just skip the lemon curd part? Just layer buttercream in between top and bottom layer? Please let me know your thoughts. Thanks!

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