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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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Monday 23rd of April 2012

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


Friday 20th of April 2012

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!


Thursday 19th of April 2012

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.


Thursday 19th of April 2012

Gorgeous photo! Your loaf looks delicious.


Wednesday 18th of April 2012

was the cake as tender and moist as the crumb of those slices look? you're too modest about your baking skills!