Lemon Lavender Bundt Cake
A light and delicate bundt cake full of citrus and floral flavors, this Lemon Lavender Bundt Cake is perfect for spring and summer entertaining.
This is the Cake That Almost Wasn’t.
I am not one of those people who believe in signs from the universe, but if I did – the universe was definitely telling me I should not share this Lemon Lavender Bundt Cake recipe. Which is a shame, because it’s really quite delicious. And perfect for Mother’s Day!
You don’t have to be a mother to love this cake, though. In fact, you don’t even have to be a human. Because I stayed up until 2:30 am baking this cake, just for it to be devoured by… my dog.
Yep, that’s right. I turn my back for two minutes, and half a cake is devoured. Two big paws up from the Dreidel-monster.
In my fit of annoyance, I even (jokingly) put my dog up on our neighborhood Buy Nothing group.
No one wanted my dog… but there were multiple individuals who offered to eat the rest of the lemon lavender bundt cake, despite the potential dog slobber.
Lucky for them, I went ahead and remade the cake for photography purposes, and gave away the slobber-free cake to some awesome neighbors. Thank you, Buy Nothing, for allowing me to continue my baking hobby while still managing to fit into my pants!
Light and delicate, citrusy and floral. A lemon lavender bundt cake is perfect for spring or summer weather. The unexpected hint of lavender is a unique flavor. The lemon is bright and cheerful and perfect for the warmer days.
So make this for brunch, for dessert, for a celebration, just because, or to share with your neighbors. Just keep your dog out of the kitchen.
Baking with Lavender
Now, let’s talk about this dog-gone delicious lemon lavender bundt cake for a minute, shall we? (See what I did there? I know, I’m hilarious! Admit it, you laughed. Fine, I’ll settle for an eye roll.) I was a little stuck on what flavor cake to make for the May installment of Bundt Cake of the Month.
My husband suggested something floral, a nod to the amazing rosewater macaron we had at Ladurée in Paris. It was a little mind-boggling how much rose flavor was jam-packed into that little macaron.
The lavender in this is much more subtle, although it’s still quite a bit more than most of the lavender baked good recipes out there. Lemon can be a little overpowering (although in a good way – I love citrus!), so the extra boost of lavender helps the flavor come through.
And don’t skip the glaze – it’s the most lavender-y part! Seeping the lavender in some warm heavy cream really brings helps it shine.
As far as obtaining lavender, I purchased this culinary lavender off of Amazon [affiliate link] — four ounces will make you many lemon lavender bundt cakes!
Cake Flour for Lighter Cakes
I normally prefer my cakes a little denser (total personal preference), so I generally bake with all purpose flour. But I wanted a lighter, airy cake to pair with the delicate lavender flavor, so I used cake flour this time.
It’s also a great choice for a bundt cake, which is generally heavier and denser to begin with since it’s so thick.
What is cake flour and how does it make a difference? We can answer this all with my favorite subject, kitchen chemistry!
Cake flour contains less protein than all-purpose flour (roughly 8% compared to 11%). Less protein means less gluten formation, so a cake made with cake flour has a lower gluten content. Cake flour also undergoes a special bleaching process (typically with peroxide), which allows cake flour to hold more water and sugar than all-purpose flour, resulting in a super tender, fine crumbed cake.
But what if you want to make this lemon lavender bundt cake and don’t have any cake flour on hand?
Don’t worry – there’s an easy solution! (Even easier than heading to the grocery store for a bag of cake flour).
You can approximate cake flour by adding in 2 tablespoons of cornstarch for each cup minus two tablespoons of all-purpose flour. You’ll measure out one cup of all-purpose flour, remove two tablespoons, and replace it with two tablespoons of cornstarch. This cake uses 3 cups of cake flour, so repeat this process three times.
Recommended Tools to Make Lemon Lavender Bundt Cake
- Stand Mixer: Use an electric mixer to properly cream together the butter and sugar.
- Culinary Lavender: Good quality, fresh culinary-grade lavender will result in the best flavor.
- Citrus Juicer: This little hand-held citrus squeezer does a great job of extracting all the juice from lemons.
- Microplane Grater: The long stick-style grater easily zests lemon peel without digging all the way into the bitter pith.
- 12 Cup Bundt Pan: This recipe is specifically designed for a 12-cup metal bundt pan.
Tips and Tricks for the Best Lemon Lavender Bundt Cake
- New to baking in bundt pans? Looking for the best tips and tricks to ensure your cake doesn’t stick or overflow the pan? Check out THIS POST for all my best bundt tips!
- Use cake flour or make your own version replacing 2 tablespoons per cup of flour with 2 tablespoons of cornstarch. Using only all-purpose flour will result in a heavier, denser cake.
- Fresh lemon zest and lemon juice yield a far superior taste than dried lemon zest or bottled lemon juice.
- Don’t love lavender? Try substituting in other herbs that pair well with lemons, like rosemary or thyme.
- To make a thicker, more opaque glaze, add more powdered sugar. To make a thinner, drippier glaze, add more lemon juice.
- This cake can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 3 months. Wrap the cake in plastic wrap, followed by a layer of aluminum foil. Unwrap before thawing at room temperature.
More Lemon Desserts
- Lemon Sugar Cookies
- Lemon Raspberry Muffins
- Berry Pavlova with Lemon Curd Cream
- Lemon Cheesecake
- Lemon Meringue Cake
- All Lemon Recipes »
2017 Bundt Cake of the Month Series
For the Cake:
- 1 cup (226 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups (297 grams) granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons dried lavender
- 4 large eggs, room temperature
- 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
- juice of 1 lemon (~2 tablespoons)
- zest of 2 lemons (~2 tablespoons)
- 1 cup (227 grams) full-fat sour cream, room temperature
- 3 cups (360 grams) cake flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
For the Glaze:
- 1/2 cup (113 grams) heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons dried lavender
- 3 cups (340 grams) confectioners sugar
- juice of 1 lemon (~2 tablespoons)
- Heat the oven to 325 °F. Grease and flour a 12-cup bundt pan.
- Using an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat together the butter and sugar on medium speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add in the lavender and beat for an additional 1-2 minutes. Add in the eggs, one at a time, followed by vanilla extract, lemon juice, and lemon zest.
- Turn the speed down to low and add in the sour cream, followed by the cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Continue to mix on low speed until all ingredients are combined and no dry spots of flour remain. Be careful not to overmix the batter - just mix until there are no visible streaks of flour.
- Spoon the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 55 minutes, or until a tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then invert to a wire rack to cool completely before glazing.
- While the cake cools, make the glaze. Heat the heavy cream in a medium bowl in the microwave or on the stovetop, until steaming and just starting to bubble, about 60 seconds. Add the dried lavender and allow the mixture to steep for 10 minutes. Strain the mixture, reserving the lavender-infused cream.
- Add the confectioners' sugar to a second medium-sized bowl. Add the fresh lemon juice and whisk to combine. Whisk in a few tablespoons of the heavy cream at a time until the desired glaze consistency is reached (thick enough to pour while scraped out of a bowl). Pour the glaze over the cake and allow the glaze to solidify for 30 minutes before cutting.
- If you don't have cake flour on hand, you can replicate the protein content by using a combination of all-purpose flour and cornstarch. Measure out 3 cups of all-purpose flour, remove 6 tablespoons of the all-purpose flour, and add 6 tablespoons of cornstarch. Mix well before adding to the cake.
- Other herbs work just as well as lavender - try rosemary, thyme, basil, or mint.
- This cake can be made ahead of time and frozen. Wrap the cooled, unglazed cake in plastic wrap, followed by a layer of aluminum foil and store in the freezer for up to 3 months. Bring the cake to room temperature before covering with the lavender-infused glaze.
- Leftover slices of cake can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 3 months.