Lemon Poppy Seed (& Almost Lavender) Bundt Cake

April Showers Bring May Babies…

It was time to celebrate our May babies at work!  My idea was a birthday party cake with hints of a floral flavor.

Ever since my bartender friend talked about a lavender infused vodka, I’ve been on a quest to produce a lemon-lavender dessert combination.  It has been a long while now.  I just can’t seem to get my hands on lavender when I need/want it (another sign that I should just move to the South of France?!?!).

The first recipe I found years ago left me confused as to what distinguished “edible lavender” from regular lavender.  A cashier at Whole Foods told me it was the growing method- whether or not it was grown without pesticides.  In which case, shouldn’t we start saying “edible tomatoes” versus “tomatoes?”  I tossed out the “edible” qualifier and focused on stores where there would be no risk of a pesticide laden upbringing.

Still nothing.

Finally, a friend disclosed the elusive source of lavender in the dried form:  the East End Food Co-op.  Unfortunately, my time was crunched, and the co-op didn’t fit neatly into the food and party shopping errands.  Lame excuse.  I know.

Alas, I tried another trick I read in a recipe:  lavender seeds?!?!  Unfortunately, I winged the purchase, and the one packet I bought didn’t cover the quantity used in the recipe I had referenced.  My other last ditch effort was the dried lavender from a tea bag.

In the end, this was really a lemon poppy seed cake, and my quest for the lemon-lavender combination continues.  The glass-half-full side of this is that … like an explorer venturing the uncharted world, there are still lavender explorations to be had?

Lavender woes aside (or lavender optimism of a continued quest aside?), one dessert partaker referred to this as crack cake, so at least the lemon did its duty.

Let’s Face It:  Lemon Poppy Seed Bundt Cake

Cake Ingredients

2 cups whole-wheat pastry flour
2 teaspoons of baking powder
3 tablespoons of poppy seeds
1 stick organic, unsalted butter
1 cup sugar in the raw
1/2 cup local heavy whipping cream
2 lemons (zest and juice)
4 local, free-range eggs
1 organic chamomile & lavender tea bag
1 packet lavender seeds

Icing Ingredients

1 lemon (zest and juice)
1 Tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup organic powdered sugar

For the Cake

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and butter a Bundt pan.

Use an electric mixer to combine the butter, sugar and zest, about 2-3 minutes.

Add the eggs one at a time and then the lemon juice; beat for another minute.

In a separate bowl, combine the flour, the tea bag contents, poppy seeds and lavender seeds.

Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture.  Beat until smooth.

Scrape the mixture into the prepared cake pan, and smooth with a spatula.

Bake for 45 minutes, until golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean.

Allow to cool completely before inverting onto a plate.

For the Icing

Combine all the ingredients in a food processor until smooth.  Drizzle over the cake once it has cooled completely and been inverted.

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  • Ah the quest for lavender. It is VERY hard! I was on the hunt a few years ago to make lavender tea cookies. Last I checked there was dried lavender flowers available for purchase at a few places in the Greater Philadelphia area. I know you no longer live here but perhaps on a visit you could get some. Or maybe you can send a friend or family member on a quest to acquire them & send them to you. Anyway, on to the good stuff- they used to sell them up in Saucon Valley at The Fresh Market in little bags along with a variety of other and such that are very hard to find. Come to think of it maybe there is a Fresh Market nearer to you since they are a chain… (thefreshmarket.com) The second place would be The Peace Valley Lavender Farm that is part of Peace Valley Park. They have fields of all different types of lavender and also a gift shop. If you contact them they may even let you place an order & ship it to you… (http://www.peacevalleylavender.com/) Good luck & great blog by the way! 🙂

  • … I don’t go to either place very often but next time I do I can always pick you up a bag or two as well. Only problem is I don’t know when that will be so you may want to choose someone else if you’d like to know when you’d be receiving them vs a serendipitous arrival in the mail. 😉

    • Thanks Ashley for the offer. I am trying a new method- growing my own! A friendly farmer at one of our markets gave me a plant after hearing some of my woes. We’ll see how this pans out. Hopefully the result is a proper tea cake! Congrats on being a mom btw!