Meyer Lemon Lavender Cake

by formerchef on March 13, 2010

Post image for Meyer Lemon Lavender Cake

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 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
2 eggs
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.

Lemon 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.

1 Chez Us March 16, 2010 at 7:23 am

This post screams spring. I love the combination of flavors and can only imagine how beautiful it must smell. I am definitely going to have to try this recipe.

Love the new look as well – clean, fresh, easy and delicious!

2 formerchef March 16, 2010 at 8:09 am

Thanks for the comment Denise!
BTW, your comment was the 1000th on my blog!

3 Mom March 16, 2010 at 7:26 am

The surgeon general thing was beacause I was still smoking then…this cake looks sooo good now, as it did then, and Granma’s platter is perfect!

4 Karen B March 16, 2010 at 7:28 am

Absolutely adore lemon bread (lemon flavor in anything) . This goes on my ” to bake/ make list!

5 Janet Rudolph March 16, 2010 at 9:39 am

Love this recipe.. perfect for this time of year! Can’t wait to make it/bake it 🙂

6 Trisha March 16, 2010 at 9:42 am

This is making me salivate! Love the new website, pictures are gorgeous, and can’t wait to try the recipe. If only I had my own Meyer Lemon tree…hmmm…

7 the wicked noodle March 16, 2010 at 9:54 am

The new site looks awesome! Great job! And that cake…oh, that cake!! It looks stunningly delicious 🙂

8 Martha Meredith March 16, 2010 at 11:07 am


your new look, colors, photography, design are artful and pleasing. i like the addition of travel and grow! for the lemon cake can we substitute limes for the meyer lemons down here in mexico?

9 formerchef March 16, 2010 at 12:12 pm

Martha- Yes you could make this cake with fresh limes. I’m sure it would be great.

10 Kate @ Savour Fare March 16, 2010 at 11:08 am

I will vouch for the fact that this cake was DELICIOUS.

11 Charles G Thompson March 16, 2010 at 11:15 am

Love anything with lemon and Meyer lemons are just the perfect citrus. Great story about your Mom and this recipe. I’ll be giving it a try soon. Nice to meet you in Amy’s class. Love your blog, really nice design.

12 Lily March 16, 2010 at 11:39 am

This looks wonderful – I really want to make this!!! AND I LOVE the new site! It is fantastic!

13 Donna - Dishy Goodness March 16, 2010 at 7:39 pm

Hi, Kristina! The new blog looks great — I like the colors and new layout! Congrats! 🙂

The cake looks delicious, too. So perfect for spring!

14 Vivian March 16, 2010 at 7:56 pm

That just screams spring 🙂 It looks wonderfully refeshing.

15 kitchen gadgets March 29, 2010 at 4:35 am

This looks so beautiful. I love the smell of lavender, but I have never used it in cooking. Never even thought about that. I am definitely going to try this out once the lavender starts blooming. Can’t wait! Thanks for sharing this recipe.

16 Amanda April 8, 2010 at 5:44 pm

Hi, did you use baking powder or baking soda? (Ingredients list says baking powder, directions say baking soda) I used baking powder and the cake turned out all egg-like.

17 formerchef April 8, 2010 at 6:30 pm

Yikes! That’s a typo in the directions. Thank you for letting me know. I’ve corrected it.
It’s supposed to be baking powder, which you used. My guess is that it wasn’t cooked long enough if it was “egg-like” in the center. What size pan did you use? Did you test it with a skewer before you took it out?

18 Amanda April 8, 2010 at 7:18 pm

Hi, thanks for responding, I used baking powder and a convection oven. I’m still figuring out the correct temperature settings. I think the other problem might have been old baking powder! I’ll play around and see how it works out! I’m sure it’ll be yummy.

19 Cherine May 31, 2010 at 6:07 am

this cake is so moist and delicious! Perfect with a coffee 🙂

20 formerchef May 31, 2010 at 6:09 am

Cherine-Thanks! I actually made this cake last night for a friend’s birthday and served it with homemade strawberry ice cream. You’re right, it’s great with coffee too! 🙂

21 Baking is my Zen June 7, 2010 at 10:28 am

Looks heavenly!

22 hobbyBaker October 24, 2010 at 10:15 pm

The cake came out very well. Everyone loved it

23 Reid April 11, 2011 at 10:26 pm

This cake turned out so delicious when we made it! Thanks for sharing.

24 Nance April 16, 2011 at 3:25 pm

Wonderful! I don’t think I added enough lavender though. Next time I will add more so there are more speckles of lavender in the cake.

25 Sharon May 7, 2011 at 8:01 am

Oh, my word! this was soooo yummy! The only other variation I made, was that I used the first half of the glaze to go through the holes of the cake and then made a very lite, low sugar, cream cheese “icing” with fresh lemon juice. So delish!!!!!!! Thanks for the recipe!

26 John Gaudin March 14, 2012 at 10:54 am

Want to make this for my wife but am confused on some measurements.
Please explain what 1.5 cups of flour–is it 1 1/2 cups? How many ounces?
The same with 2.5 tsp??
How much dried lavendar flowers would you use instead of fresh?


27 formerchef March 14, 2012 at 1:02 pm

Yes, 1.5 is the same as 1 1/2 cups, which would be 12 fluid oz. Same goes for the teaspoons. For the lavendar, I would use 1/3 to 1/2 the amount of fresh if using dried.

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