Lemon Loaf Cake with Lavender Glaze

Lemon Loaf Cake

One of the reasons I joined the baking group Tuesdays with Dorie was to force myself to bake more often. I go through odd stretches where baking just seems so time-consuming, so cumbersome. So demanding.

Cooking is spontaneous and inventive and fresh. Baking is measuring spoons and batter-coated bowls and oven timers. Stifling.

But not really. Because once I get myself started, once I pull out the Kitchenaid and the mixing bowls — once I get into a recipe, I remember.

Baking is thoughtful and meditative. Art and science, beauty and beakers.

Lemon Loaf Cake with Lavender Glaze

Once I get started, I remember: there’s sifting and mixing and pouring, yes, but there’s also creativity, too.

Like with this simple lemon pound cake. A reasonable amount of careful measuring, a little whisking, and a long stint in the oven creates a company-worthy loaf of sweet goodness.

And the cook in me finds satisfaction in the on-a-whim addition of a lavender glaze, heavenly scented with fresh buds from a brand new jar.

Stifling? Not a chance.

This post is part of Tuesdays with Dorie, an online baking group working its way through “Baking with Julia,” by Dorie Greenspan. The lemon loaf cake project is hosted this week by Truc of Treats and Michelle of The Beauty of Life. You’ll find the full recipe and instructions on their sites. Also check out Tuesdays with Dorie to see how the other bakers’ lemony loaves turned out.

Lavender Syrup & Glaze

Lavender is an underrated flavor in baking. Used in moderation it adds a sweetly scented undertone and is a wonderful complement to citrus. Here, lavender does double-duty, as a soaking syrup for the cake and as a finishing glaze on top. Both keep the cake fresh and tender.

Prep Time: 5 minutes     Cook time: 5 minutes     Yield: Enough to glaze one 9″ x 5″ pound cake

for the simple syrup:
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 heaping teaspoon dried lavender

for the glaze:
1/4 cup milk
1/2 heaping teaspoon dried lavender
1 cup confectioners’ sugar

for the simple syrup:
Just before your cake finishes baking, place the three ingredients in a small sauce pan and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and stir gently until all of the sugar is dissolved. Pour through a strainer and discard the lavender buds. Remove the cake from the pan (per your recipe’s directions) and place on a cooling rack over a pan. Using a long, slender toothpick, poke holes in the cake, inserting the pick as far as it will go. Slowly pour the syrup over the top of the cake. The syrup will find its way down the holes and infuse the cake with a sweet, light lavender flavor.

for the glaze:
When the cake has completely cooked, place the milk and lavender in a small sauce pan (or butter warmer) and heat to medium-high. Remove from heat when the milk begins to show signs of bubbling, and let steep for 5 minutes. Strain the milk and discard the lavender buds.

Place the sugar in a medium bowl and add 1 tablespoon of the lavender milk, whisking to thoroughly combine. If the glaze is too thick, add more milk, 1/2 tablespoon at a time, until it reaches the desired consistency.

Pour the glaze over the top of the cake and allow to set.

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  1. looks like it would melt =)
    sreebindu recently blogged about:  Burger Time.

  2. Have several Meyers Lemons to use, so this might be perfect!
    Christine recently blogged about:  La Familia…sigh

  3. Oh, lavender. I like pretty things :-)

    Thank you for reminding me about that pretty jar of lavender in my pantry & things that I can do with it.
    Cher recently blogged about:  TWD Baking w/ Julia: Lemon Loaves (Chocolate Espresso Pudding)

  4. Lavender and Lemons. It sounds like the name of a food blog. Clever combination! Your picture does your cake justice.
    Paula @ Vintage Kitchen Notes recently blogged about:  Lemon Loaf Cake

  5. I am sure the lavender glaze tasted amazing with it, beautiful looking loaf too!
    Im At Home Baking recently blogged about:  TWD: Lemon Loaf Cake

  6. that cake looks divine. Never had lavender syrup. Thanks for the recipe!
    smarkies recently blogged about:  TWD: Lemon Loaf Cake

  7. Nice job Soup Addict…love the addition of the lavendar glaze. I’ll definitely be using that recipe.

  8. Wow, what a combination. Never would have thought of it, but certainly going to try it. I’ve got a lot of lavender in my garden, so thank you for the idea.
    This group is very inspirational.
    And great pictures.

  9. Oh lavender, genius. I’ve always wanted to play with dried lavender. This sounds brilliant.
    Ace @ the toasted sprinkle recently blogged about:  TWD: Lemon Loaf

  10. The lavander glaze sounds divine. Your loaf looks fabulous. :)
    Wendy recently blogged about:  {twd} lemon loaf cake

  11. Creativity, indeed! I love this use of Lavender! Just lovely!
    Susan recently blogged about:  Lemon Loaf Cake ~ Tuesdays With Dorie ~ with Limoncello Blueberry Sauce

  12. Oooh, the lavendar glaze sounds like it would be so good. MUST TRY!
    Ei recently blogged about:  Tuesdays with Dorie: Lemon Loaf Cake

  13. Ooh, I love that you made a lavender glaze! How fantastic!
    yummychunklet recently blogged about:  TwD: Baking Lemon Pound Cake with Julia

  14. Your lemon loaf is really beautiful, great pictures.

    On a side-note I nominated you for the Liebster blog award, go to my blog to check it out!
    Sabine @ berrylovely recently blogged about:  Lemon Loaf Cake [TWD]

  15. Oh your lavender glaze over this luscious lemon loaf cake is calling my name! I love all things baked with lemon and lavender;-) Also, just love your photos, the cake in the loaf pan is gorgeous!

  16. Jenn Ragland says:

    I bet the lemon and the lavender glaze were delish!
    Jenn Ragland recently blogged about:  Tuesdays with Dorie: Lemon Loaf Cake

  17. Looks beautiful! I added some minced lavender into my cake batter. I thought it really complimented the lemon nicely. Next time I’m going to try your glaze. It sounds delicious.

  18. Lavender glaze sounds perfect for this loaf. I’ve always enjoyed baking for its meditative quality. I agree that there’s plenty of room for creativity, too. Lovely job!
    Teresa recently blogged about:  Lemon Loaf Cake!

  19. The moment I saw the lemon loaf, I craved. It looks beautiful, I wouldn’t want to eat it right away. Plus, I think the lavender glaze would really complement it.
    Lorna recently blogged about:  land of nod online

  20. Mmmm! Lavender!! I can imagine the aroma already!

  21. fun glaze! thanks for sharing your recipe!!
    Frolicking Night Owl recently blogged about:  Lemon Loaf Cake – Tuesdays with Dorie

  22. A lavender glaze, why didn’t I think of that? Sounds awesome

  23. Karen, your top photo is just stunning…perfection! And what a lovely glaze~
    Liz recently blogged about:  Cinnamon Buns, E-Cookbook Review and Giveaway~

  24. Your loaf is beautiful, Karen and I bet the lavender syrup tasted delicious with the lemon.
    Elaine recently blogged about:  Lemon Loaf Cake

  25. I’ve thought about doing Tuesdays with Dorie, but always seem to forget! Guess I’m getting old. I love cakes like this, not too sweet..

    looks wonderful!

  26. was the cake as tender and moist as the crumb of those slices look? you’re too modest about your baking skills!
    marilyn recently blogged about:  I’ve been loafing

  27. Gorgeous photo! Your loaf looks delicious.

  28. I’m always nervous to play too much with baking recipes because the precision matters so much more than cooking. I’m hoping that I can learn where it’s safe to change the rules when I bake. I love your lavender toppings. I made baby loaves and doused two with syrup, an herbal one and a lemon one.

  29. Lavender glaze?! Amazing! I wish I would have thought of that! My lavender plant is already up & pretty big so maybe I will give it a go sometime soon. Great idea!
    Maggie recently blogged about:  French Fridays with Dorie – Coconut (& Mexican Cocoa) Friands

  30. I love, love, love the surprise of the lavender glaze on this! What a beautiful combination.

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