At the end of March I decided I would do something a little different on social media and I held a giveaway for a 6" cake. I honestly was just looking for an excuse to make a cake for someone without any strict deadlines attached to it.
I do enjoy making cakes for friends, family & acquaintances, but when there is a deadline looming or a special event that I need to deliver for, sometimes the pressure is a little much and I don't enjoy the cake making process as much as I should.
It was a real pleasure to give a cake away to someone who would just enjoy it because it was free. No strings attached.
The winner of my giveaway turned out to be a young lady who was married in 2020, but due to the pandemic, was not able to hold the event she had dreamed of. For this reason, she requested a cake along the lines of what she would have wanted for her big day.
We went back and forth and she mentioned she loved lemon curd and would want to have that as the filling. The cake could be lavender or Earl Grey, she didn't mind so long as the flavors married well together.
I jumped at the opportunity to choose lavender as this was my own wedding cake flavor. For a blast from the past, here's a wedding photo featuring that cake. (It was made by a family connection who grew the lavender in her own yard and used eggs from her own free-range chickens. Just too adorable!)
I've baked with lavender before, since our wedding actually I've always kept cooking lavender on hand since I think it is such a lovely delicate flavor, perfect for so many occasions.
I actually realized that many of my go to recipe books feature lavender cupcake recipes, so my goal was to try a few and see which ones could best be adapted to a larger cake format. The first I tried turned out way too dense, I wanted the cake to be light and fluffy.
When it came down to the day, I ended up choosing an online lavender cake version - specifically this one by @katie_clova: https://thewoodandspoon.com/lavender-cake-with-lemon-curd/
As always I had to make a few adjustments to make this recipe exactly what I wanted:
I used 2 teaspoons of cooking lavender rather than the 1/2 teaspoon suggested. I was a little worried the cake might come out tasting "soapy" but my instincts told me the ratio would be right based on the other recipes I had consulted. The result was perfect.
I didn't use the proposed icing recipe but instead swapped it out for an Italian meringue buttercream. My go to recipe for this is the one by @preppykitchen . I adjust the flavor as I wish. In this case I mixed in the grated zest of one lemon and 1 teaspoon of lemon extract flavoring.
I made meringue kisses to use as decoration on the top. I wanted to add something that would provide a little contrast in texture and I think they looked very cute on top.
My giveaway winner was lovely enough to send me a video of her cutting it so that I could see how the inside of the cake turned out. That is always one of the things that makes me sad about making cakes I don't get to try out, I don't see the inside!
So there you have it! A beautiful lavender and lemon curd cake just for the heck of it!
It was also fun to try out a different way to engage with the community on social media. I admit I'm not the most experienced person with this stuff and although I want to reach as many people as possible to share my passion, it is a lot of work.
So on that note, thank you for taking the time to check out my blog and social media.
Make sure to leave a note if you see anything you like or have feedback to share.