Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day & Lavender Coffee Cake

What would the world do without mothers? It would be a compassionless place, that's for sure.

Mothers bring life into the world, spreading warmth, reassurance, and laughter wherever they go (in most cases). With just the right combo of gentle nudging and tough love, mothers prompt most of us to be better people. I, for one, am very grateful for mine.

In an ode to my mother who happens to be farther away from me than my baked goods can usually safely travel, I made a Lavender Coffee Cake for those folks in my daily life. Discovered and shelved away quite some time ago, this recipe is an oldie but goodie. I opted for the classic bundt cake style, and have had nothing but raving reviews about it.

Exploring this cake in a cupcake format may be in my future. I can't even begin to describe the rich scents coming from the oven while I was baking it. The changes I made in the adaptation were slight: using more dried lavender buds, adding almond extract, and going with non-fat yogurt for the milk base. While I can't even imagine this cake sticking around longer than a few days, I did notice that the first three were the most flavorful. Enjoy!

Lavender Coffee Cake 
Adapted From: Joys of Lavender

  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 3 tsp. cinnamon
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tbs. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
Other Ingredients 
  • 3/4 cups butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 tsp. dried lavender buds (pulse this in blender with 1/2 cup of above sugar)
  • 1/2 cup of brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 and 1/2 cups of non-fat yogurt
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease the pan size(s) of your choice. If you have extra lavender buds, sprinkle a few on the bottom of the bundt pan to decorate the top of the cake once baked.

Mix together the topping ingredients and set aside.

Next, mix together the batter ingredients and set aside.

Cream the butter. Then add the sugars and then the eggs one at a time. Beat until light and fluffy. Blend in the yogurt and dry ingredients, alternating between the 2. Add the vanilla and almond extracts.

Put half of the batter into your pan. top with 1/2 of the topping. Swirl it in gently with a fork so it is just lightly blended. Repeat with the remainder of the batter and topping.

I used a bundt pan, which required about 45 minutes. The original recipe calls for the following cooking times:
  • One 10-inch tube pan or Bundt pan 50 to 60 minutes.
  • One 9-inch springform pan for 60 to 70 minutes.
  • Two 4 1/2 x 8 1/2 inch loaf pans for 40 to 50 minutes.
  • Two 8-inch round or square cake pans for 30 to 35 minutes.

Bake until done. The top will spring back when pressed gently in middle or use toothpick or knife in center of cake, If it comes out clean, remove from heat and cool for 10 minuets before you remove it from your pan.

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