A couple of weeks ago my mother was cleaning out a box of stuff in her office and came across a bunch of old recipes. In the middle of it was a 5×8 note card with a recipe for “Old Fashioned Lemon Bread,” handwritten by yours truly.
The letter started, “Dear Mom, I just made this and liked it so much I had to send you the recipe.” It ended with, “You are required to make this as soon as possible.” I was college student living in an apartment and starting to cook more on my own. On the front side of the card I had decoupaged a selection of phrases cut from magazines including “Hot Stuff” and Highway Mileage May be lower” and the Surgeon General’s warning about smoking. God knows what I was thinking. No matter, the cake was fantastic and once I saw the recipe again, I knew I had to make it a.s.a.p.
It’s been a prolific year for our ancient Meyer Lemon tree and the sweeter flavor of those lemons lends itself to many different applications, especially cakes and cookies. In addition, I’ve got two different types of lavender in bloom and I thought it would add a nice accent flavor to the cake. It did, but if you don’t have lavender, don’t worry. This cake is wonderful even without it; sweet, tangy and a bit sticky all at the same time. The syrup poured into it keeps it moist for a few days after baking though I doubt it will last that long.
On another note, you may have noticed the site looks a little different now. That’s because I’ve moved it from a free wordpress.com blog to a self-hosted wordpress blog. I’m still working out all the kinks, so bear with me, there may be more changes to come. Hope you like it!
Meyer Lemon Lavender Cake
(“Old Fashioned Lemon Bread”)
Printable Recipe in PDF
1.5 cups all purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup oil*
2.5 tsp lemon zest
2 tsp fresh lavender flowers (optional)
Lemon Glaze recipe (see below)
*I used canola oil but I think olive oil would add an interesting flavor to this cake as well.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Mix the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl.
In a medium sized bowl whisk together the eggs, milk, oil, lemon zest and lavender. Add the egg mixture into the dry ingredients and stir to combine.
Pour the batter into a greased and floured loaf pan. I used an 8.5# non-stick loaf pan and sprayed it with a little cooking oil spray.
Bake at 350 for 50-55 minutes, or until a wooden skewer comes out clean. The cake may cook faster if you use a larger or differently shaped loaf pan so start checking it after about 40 minutes.
Once the cake is done, remove it from the oven. Using a long wooden skewer, poke holes in the top of the cake, all the way to the bottom, about 1″ apart. Do not remove from the pan. Follow the directions below for adding the glaze.
1/2 cup sugar
5 Tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp lemon zest
1 tsp lavender flowers
Mix the sugar and the lemon juice and heat until the sugar dissolves into a syrup. Do not add the zest and lavender yet.
Pour 1/2 the glaze over the cake while it’s still in the pan after you have poked holes in the top (as described above). Let the cake rest for 15 minutes and then remove the cake from the pan and set on a platter.
Mix the other half of the syrup with the lemon zest and lavender flowers, heat it in a small pot and let it reduce about 1-2 minutes. The goal is to slightly thicken the syrup but be careful not to let it burn.
Remove from the heat, wait about 15 seconds, and then pour the syrup with the zest and the flowers in it over the top of the cake and allow to cool.