Frozen Vanilla Bean Banana Icebox Cake with Ginger Snap Cookies

Frozen Vanilla Bean Banana Icebox Cake with Ginger Snap Cookies

  Growing up, my mom would make what we called ‘chocolate eclair cake’. It was the go-to dessert when we were asked to bring a dessert to large gatherings. It was my favorite sweet there most the time. It was rather simple to make, just graham crackers, boxed vanilla pudding, cool whip, and canned chocolate frosting- all layered and kept in the refrigerator. Not too long ago I tried recreating it from scratch, then I tried a slice in the freezer and it was even better that way. So, In a way, that dessert was the inspiration for this recipe. I guess it would be considered an icebox cake, but I’m still not sure. I used the label anyway as it comes pretty close in my opinion.

Traditionally, icebox cake is just chocolate wafers and whipped cream layered and refrigerated. This version has a bit more effort put into it, but the outcome is well worth it. I had a difficult time deciding what cookie/cracker/wafer I should use. I don’t like to buy pre-made things for most of my recipes, so graham crackers or any pre-packaged cookie was off the list. I decided on my ginger snap cookies and combined with the banana pudding, it’s the most delicious tasting combo.

Frozen Vanilla Bean Banana Icebox Cake with Ginger Snap Cookies

  for the pudding/filling:

2 cups whole milk

2 medium-sized bananas, mashed

1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste (or seeds from 1 vanilla bean)

1/3 cup raw cane sugar

3 large egg yolks

1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch

1 1/2 tablespoons cake flour (or all-purpose)

pinch of sea salt

2 cups heavy cream, beaten to stiff peaks

1/4 cup raw cane sugar

1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste (or seeds from 1 vanilla bean)

  for the cookies

3/4 cups unsalted butter, room temperature

1 cup raw cane sugar

1/3 cup blackstrap molasses

1 large egg, room temperature

3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking soda

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

3/4 teaspoons ground allspice

1/3 cup raw sugar, for rolling


  for the cookies:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F / 177°C. Prepare one large baking sheet by lining with parchment paper.
  2. In an electric standing mixer (whisks attached), beat -on medium speed- the butter and sugar until creamy. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl with a spatula and add the molasses and egg; beat on low until fully combined. Scrape down the bowl once more. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, and spices. Add to the mixer and beat on medium speed until just combined. Spoon out the dough, rolling each piece between the palms of your hands until they’ve formed into slightly smooth(but still have small cracks in the dough) balls, each being around 1/2-inch in diameter. Lightly coat with the sugar and place them on the baking sheet, spacing each piece an inch apart from each other. Bake for 12-13 minutes. Once the cookies come out of the oven, use a flat spoon to flatten each cookie while they’re still soft. Cool on the baking sheet for three minutes, then move them to a cooling rack to cool completely before using.

  for the pudding/filling:

  1. In a medium sized saucepan, combine the milk, vanilla bean paste, and mashed banana. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. Once simmering, remove from heat and let the mixture sit for 10 minutes. Once the time has passed, pour the milk into a fine mesh sieve set over a bowl. Discard any pieces caught. In another bowl, combine the cornstarch, cake flour, and salt. Add half of the milk to the flour and whisk until combined, set aside(whisk the mixture again just before using). 
  2. Set aside a clean mixing bowl, whisk, and sieve; as well as a large bowl filled with ice water for later use.
  3. Create a double boiler by filling a saucepan with a few inches of water, then place a heatproof bowl that fits over the top of said saucepan(don’t let the bowl touch the water!). Bring the water to a simmer over medium-low heat. Once simmering, add the sugar and egg yolks and continually whisk until the sugar has dissolved(the mixture will look slightly pale yellow in color). Pour in the flour/milk mixture and whisk until combined, then add the remaining milk. Turn up the heat to medium and continue to whisk the mixture until thick and smooth, making sure to whisk the sides and bottom of the bowl so that none of the pudding burns. When it begins to bubble, cook for one minute, whisking constantly. Remove from heat and pour through a sieve into a clean bowl. Set the bowl in the ice water and whisk the pudding until cool to touch. Pour into a bowl and place plastic wrap directly on the top of the pudding so it doesn’t form a skin. Refrigerate until cold(about 30 minutes or so, or place in the freezer until cool; this way is faster). Once the pudding has chilled, proceed to the next step:
  4. Chill a large bowl and the whisk(s) to an electric hand mixer. Once chilled, add the heavy cream, sugar, and vanilla bean paste and beat on high speed until stiff peaks form. Stir the chilled pudding, then add to the whipped cream. Fold the two together until fully combined. Line the sides and bottom of a large loaf pan with parchment paper(I made the mistake of using plastic wrap, it was difficult to get into/out of the pan). To assemble the icebox cake:
  5. Place a layer of cookies at the bottom of the pan(they should be firmly in place), then spoon half of the pudding mixture on top of the cookies. Place another layer of cookies on the pudding, then add the remaining pudding over the top evenly. Lastly, top with another layer of cookies. Cover the pan tightly and freeze for 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Once frozen drizzle with melted chocolate (optional).

Classic Carrot Cake with Vanilla Bean Rum Frosting

classic carrot cake with vanilla bean rum frosting

  For many, carrot cake is a must-have on the dessert table after enjoying a fattening dinner on Easter Sunday. In my own family, it was actually quite rare. My Grandmother always made a banana pudding trifle or a layered coconut cake for Easter. I only recall eating carrot cake as a spring dessert served at church events or family get-togethers; but though it was scarcely served in my home, it has always been a family favorite when we had the pleasure of eating it.

  This recipe wasn’t specifically meant for Easter, though. I’ve been meaning to post a cake for the past week but they just haven’t worked out, so I decided on this classic carrot cake with vanilla bean rum frosting and well, it happens Easter is this weekend. The recipe for this cake was given to my mother by my Grandmother which she acquired from a friend (my, what a mouthful!) twenty-something years ago. It has always been a family favorite. Of course, I did adapt it slightly. Typically, walnuts or pecans are used, but instead, I used almonds.

 It’s a delicious, dense, and very moist cake. It uses a total four cups of carrots! The frosting has a very light and fluffy mouthfeel, with a slight rum flavor and vanilla bean speckled all about.




2 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda 

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

2 cups raw cane sugar

4 large eggs, room temp.

seeds from (1) vanilla bean pod

1 1/4 cup organic canola oil

1/3 cup buttermilk, room temp.

4 cups grated carrots

3/4 cups coarsely chopped almonds


seeds from (2) vanilla bean pods

1/4 cup dark rum

8 ounces cream cheese, room temp.

8 ounces butter, room temp.

4 cups confectioners sugar

pinch of sea salt


Before starting anything, split open two vanilla pods, scrape out the seeds and place the seeds and the pods in a small jar with a lid. Add the 1/4 cup of dark rum and close the jar. Let the ingredients sit for an hour or more. When ready to use, scrape remaining seeds from the bean and discard the pieces. 

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease three, 8-inch cake pans and line the bottoms with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices- set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine the sugar, eggs, and vanilla bean seeds. Beat the ingredients with an electric hand mixer until pale and fluffy; once they reach this stage, begin streaming in the oil. Add the buttermilk and then the flour in three batches, beating each addition until just combined. Using a wooden spoon, fold in the grated carrots and chopped almonds until combined. Divide the batter amongst the three prepared pans and bake for 30-35 minutes. They’re done when the cake springs back up after being touched lightly, or when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pans 10 minutes, then use a knife to loosen the cake from around the edges of the pans. Invert onto wire racks to cool completely before frosting.

 for the frosting:

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the softened butter and cream cheese. Beat on medium speed until smooth. Scrape the bowl down with a spatula and add the powdered sugar and vanilla-infused rum. Beat on medium-high until the mixture is smooth and fluffy about3 minutes.

 assemble the cake:

 Place the first cake layer on a cake board/plate/stand and spoon about 3/4 cups of frosting on and spread around with an offset spatula. Repeat this with the second and then the third. Use any remaining frosting to frost around the edges. Or, you can use all the frosting on the first, second, and top layers and leave the sides naked. Decorate with fresh or edible flowers.

Chocolate Vanilla Sage Mousse Cake with Pistachio and Sea Salt

  Much of February was one of those months for me.  After three weeks of absence, I began to see the light at the end of the tunnel when I thought of this chocolate vanilla sage mousse cake with pistachio and sea salt.

  It’s a chapter every creative person faces more often than not: the depletion of their creative energy.  It’s like sitting in a vacuum, where nothing new comes in or comes out, it’s just empty space.  The worst part is feeling as though it will never go back to normal, thankfully it always does-  in its own time.  It is both a blessing and curse, the blessing being time to collect your thoughts, your sense of self, and to better understand your surroundings.  The curse is the depressing thoughts that come with losing one of your outlets of expression.  It’s like suddenly forgetting how to swim while you’re in the deepest part of the ocean.

  The weather as of late has been but an early breath of spring, which is what helped bring a few ideas back to me.  Many trees, shrubs, and flowers began to bloom three weeks in advance due to the warm winter season.  I saw Bradford pear trees with their snow-like petals blowing in the wind, as well as cherry blossoms with their lush pink and red hues.  I envisioned something chocolate being surrounded by all these blossoms, and that’s when this chocolate vanilla sage mousse cake with pistachio and sea salt came to fruition.  It’s nothing too creative, to be honest.  I have a chocolate mousse cake recipe rather similar to this one(also one of my most popular blog posts and recipe on this site).

  By reading the title, you may be wondering, ‘why sage’?  The truth is, my motto is to always add at least one fresh ingredient for the main flavoring agent in my baked goods, it is either a fruit, herb, or a vegetable.  But it must be in season and at least somewhat local, to add to my motto.  The sage was plucked from my sage plant in the front garden, which thrived all throughout this mild winter of ours.  To my surprise, it complemented the chocolate rather well.  It’s all very rich in every possible way, with hints of vanilla bean and sage all throughout the mousse.  The brownie I would liken to fudge; it’s chewy and has a strong chocolate flavor.



10 tablespoons unsalted butter

seeds from (2) vanilla beans

1 cup coconut palm sugar

3/4 cups cocoa powder

2 large eggs

1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt


4 tablespoons unsalted butter

7 fresh sage leaves, chopped

seeds from (2) vanilla beans

8-ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped

2 large egg yolks

3/4 cups heavy cream

3 large egg whites

3 tablespoons sugar

roasted pistachio, for garnish

sea salt, for garnish



  1. Preheat oven to 350°F / 177°C.  Prepare one, 8-inch cake pan by greasing the side and bottom then lining with parchment paper.
  2. Create a double boiler by filling a medium-sized pot with about two inches of water, then placing a heatproof bowl over the pot, making sure that it doesn’t touch the water.  Bring the water to a simmer over medium-high heat.  Add to the bowl the butter, vanilla bean seeds, coconut sugar, and cocoa powder.  Stir occasionally with a spatula until the butter has melted completely and the sugar has somewhat dissolved as well.  Remove from heat and let the mixture sit until slightly cooled- it should remain very warm, but not burning hot.  You should be able to dip your finger in for five seconds without it burning you.  Once it reaches this stage, add one egg and stir vigorously with a wooden spoon until combined; repeat with the second egg.  Add the flour and salt and stir until just combined and there are no flour streaks to be seen.  Pour the chocolate into the prepared pan and spread around evenly.  Bake for 18-20 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Let it rest in the pan for 10 minutes, then loosen the edges with a sharp knife and invert onto a wire rack(keeping the parchment on the bottom)to cool completely.   Tip: to speed up the cooling process place the brownie in the freezer until cool.


  1. Place a medium sized bowl in the refrigerator to chill, along with the whisk attachment to an electric hand mixer.
  2. In a small saucepan, add the butter, chopped sage leaves, and vanilla bean seeds.  Cook on medium-low until the butter is melted and the sage becomes fragrant- about 5 minutes.  Remove from heat and let the mixture sit for 10 minutes, then remove the sage pieces.  Place the butter in the refrigerator until firm again.
  3.  Create a double boiler and add the butter and chopped chocolate.  Stir occasionally until the ingredients are melted completely.  Then remove from heat.
  4. Meanwhile, beat the egg whites in a medium bowl on high with an electric mixer.  When they begin to gain volume, sprinkle in the three tablespoons of sugar and beat until stiff peaks form.  Set aside.
  5. Pour the cream into the chilled bowl and beat with the chilled whisk(s) until soft peaks form.
  6. After all this, the chocolate mixture should be warm (not hot) by now.  Add the egg yolks and stir until combined.  
  7. Gently fold the whipped cream into the chocolate in two batches, making sure each batch is combined before adding another.  Once the whipped cream is combined with the chocolate, begin to fold the egg whites in three batches, making sure each batch is fully combined before adding the next.  There should be no streaks or clumps of white when finished.  
  8. Place the cooled brownie(with parchment paper still attached)in a well greased 8-inch cake pan.  Then, very gently pour the mousse over the top and spread around evenly.  Cover tightly with tin foil or plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator until firm, this will take up to six hours or you can leave it in overnight.  I did the latter.
  9. When the mousse is firm, heat a sharp knife in hot water until the blade is hot, then use it to loosen the mousse from around the edges of the pan.  Firmly place the tin foil back on the pan with your hand placed in the center and gently flip until the cake falls out.   Place on a flat surface and remove the parchment from the bottom of the brownie.  Flip the cake back onto a cake and gently remove the foil.  The mousse should not be messed up if this is done carefully.  
  10. Melt some chocolate and drizzle over the top of the cake, then top with chopped, roasted pistachio and sea salt.  Cut with a hot knife and enjoy.

Blackberry Nectarine Cake with Vanilla Sage German Buttercream

  It’s been well over two months since I last made a cake, even eaten a slice of one!  For most people that may be normal, but me?  I love baking cakes, so I usually make them on a monthly basis.  So, two months cake-free was a new record for me, hehe.  

  I like getting creative with fresh, seasonal fruits when it comes to baking.  It can get a little difficult at times, especially with layer cakes.  I really wanted to make a cake with nectarines and also use what little bit of wild blackberries I spent hours scavenging for(thanks, Japanese beetles!).  With this particular cake, I put a lot of brain effort into getting it to come out.  I was working with some pretty juicy fruit.  So, I sat down and did the math for what seemed like hours.  I weighed out every ingredient to the gram and then put the recipe to the test.  Many times the recipes I create take at least two to three(sometimes four)tries before getting my “blog-worthy” stamp, especially when it’s a cake.  My only fear when making this cake was that the nectarines would make the cakes sink in the center, even though I boiled most the juices out before adding the pulp to the batter and that it would make it really heavy.  I was wrong.  For the first time ever, my cake turned out just as I wanted and on the first try! The layers were light in weight and extremely moist(in a good way); the texture was tender and not too sweet. 

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  The blackberries gave it a different color than I expected, I only used a couple tablespoons of blackberry juice.  I was shooting for a purple hue, instead, I got a slight greenish tint(most likely from the baking soda and baking powder).  Some may think of that as fail and proceed to tweak the recipe more; honestly, I rather like the way it turned out.  It doesn’t look perfect and I am one of those people that like things that don’t look perfect.  It makes things more interesting!  

  For the buttercream, I wanted something more than your plain American buttercream.  I took a step forward and tried my hand at German buttercream.  I’m so glad I did as it went perfectly with this cake and tasted so good!  I used this recipe from BraveTart because it looked and sounded amazing(and it was amazing!).  It’s smooth and has the perfect amount of sweetness to it.  The vanilla and sage really complemented the nectarine flavor in the cake as well.

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Blackberry Nectarine Cake

175g unsalted butter, room temp.
500g granulated sugar
4 large eggs (210g)
250g cake flour (2 cups + 2 tablespoons)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
312g whole milk, room temp. (1 1/4 cups)
1/3 cup + 2 tablespoons nectarine pulp (use about 3 large ripe nectarines)
2 tablespoons blackberry juice (use about a 1/3 cup fresh blackberries)


Preheat oven to 350°F / 177°C.  Prepare three, 8-inch cake pans by greasing, lining with parchment, then lightly greasing again.
For the nectarine pulp: Peel and pit the nectarines.  Cut into quarters and add to a food processor/blender and pulse 4-5 times till the fruit is loose and clumpy.  Pour into a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium-low heat, cooking for 8 minutes and stirring often(it burns easily).  Once done, pour into a wire sieve over a bowl(to catch the juices) and use a spoon to press all the juices out.  Spread the pulp out onto a clean plate and let it come to room temperature.  For the blackberry juice:  Mash a 1/3 cup of fresh blackberries with a fork and add to a small saucepan over low heat, cook, stirring gently till most the juices come out(about 4 minutes).  Pour into a sieve and press the juices out. Discard the pulp.  Add the blackberry juice to the milk and bring to room temperature before using.

For the cake:  In an electric mixer with whisks attached, add the butter and sugar.  Beat on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy (about 8 minutes).  Add the eggs, one at a time(and scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl after each addition).  If you’re using measuring cups, use a large spoon to fill the measuring cup with flour, then use a knife to level it off.  So, whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda.  Add a third of the flour to the butter/sugar mixture, then a third of the milk, beat on medium speed till just combined. Repeat this process till the other 2/3 of the milk and flour are combined.  Using a spatula, fold in the nectarine pulp till it is distributed evenly throughout the batter.  Pour evenly amongst the three pans.  Bake for 30 minutes, then check for doneness with a toothpick.   If the toothpick comes out clean, it’s done; if it’s wet, bake for 2 more minutes.
Once done, let the cakes sit in their pans for 10 minutes.  Using a sharp knife, gently loosen the cake from the sides of the pan and invert onto wire racks to cool completely(about two hours).

Vanilla Sage German Buttercream

Recipe slightly adapted from BraveTart

16 ounces whole milk
2 vanilla bean pods, split and scraped, seeds set aside in a small bowl
2 medium-sized sage leaves, fresh
10 ounces sugar
1.5 ounces cornstarch
2 eggs
2 egg yolks
16 ounces unsalted butter, room temp.
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt


  Slit the two vanilla bean pods and scrape out the seeds, place them(the seeds) in a bowl to use later.  In a medium sized saucepan, combine the milk, vanilla bean pods, and sage leaves.  Once the milk starts to simmer, remove from heat and let the mixture steep for about 30 minutes(or more for a more intense flavor).  Once steeped, remove vanilla bean pods and the sage leaves.  Return the milk to a simmer over medium-low heat.  In a mixing bowl, whisk together the sugar, scraped vanilla bean seeds, cornstarch, whole eggs, and egg yolks.  Stream a 1/2 cup of the hot milk into the egg mixture, stirring constantly till it is fully incorporated and the mixture is warm.  Now, pour the egg mixture into the saucepan of hot milk, stirring constantly while doing so, and turn the heat to medium.  Keep stirring the mixture till it begins to thicken and bubble very slowly.  Once it begins to bubble, continue stirring for 1 minute(use a timer). Once the timer goes off, immediately pour the custard into a large bowl.  Press a layer of plastic wrap over the custard(so it won’t form a skin)and place in the refrigerator to cool completely(at least 1 hour).
 Once the custard has cooled, remove from the fridge. Beat the butter and salt on medium speed with an electric mixer till smooth and creamy.  Begin spooning large portions of the custard into the butter while beating on medium-high speed. Beat till the mixture is smooth and is completely incorporated.

Assemble the cake:
  Place the first layer on your cake stand, cake board, or plate. Add about 1 cup of the frosting and evenly spread around. Add the second layer, bottom(flat side)facing up, and add another 1 cup of frosting; spread evenly.  Now, place the third layer evenly on top of the second, again, bottom side facing up.  Add remaining frosting.  Decorate with fresh flowers and greenery(optional).  Cut and serve.

Vanilla Bean Macadamia Nut Cake with Lavender Buttercream

  It’s cake time!  You’d think as much as I love baking and eating cake I’d make more of them.  I’m thinking about creating a page on here dedicated entirely to cakes.  I really want to start making more of them and I feel a page for that reason would remind me to make them more often.  If I do create a page, I’ll try and make other cake flavors besides chocolate variations(I’m a little crazy for a good chocolate cake), don’t worry, haha!

  This cake flavor was inspired by the most delicious latte I drank at a local coffee shop.  It was a vanilla lavender latte, and the shop grows their own lavender for it!  It tasted amazing, so I started to envision it making a really good cake flavor.. then thoughts of white chocolate and macadamia nuts came to mind (probably because everyone seems to be making those cookies right now) and now I have this cake.  Which is so good!

  Yes, I realize my ways of gaining inspiration are odd ones, haha.  A sip of coffee, a smell, or just looking at a flower can spark it for me.  It isn’t all that bad, considering I’m prone to get myself in a creative rut very easily, so any help getting out of it is fine by me.

vanillalavendercake-(2-of-2 vanillalavendercake-(3-of-2

  Oh, and see that cake stand?  Besides clothes(cause who doesn’t love vintage clothes), it is my best vintage find yet from Etsy.  You know those people who see shoes while walking through Target and just HAVE to buy them all?  Yeah, that’s me with cake stands.  I really couldn’t pass this deal by!  One can never have too many stands, right?

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  Now back at this cake.  It’s so good.  Wait, I already said that. . . It’s delicious, moist and full of flavor.  The buttercream is something else, too.  It has a pleasant floral taste which, by the way, isn’t too strong.  I really love lavender and the thought of it in buttercream just sounds perfect(it is, believe me).  The cake itself is sweet, but not super sweet, and the macadamia adds a nutty flavor.  The white chocolate ganache is more of an accessory which is why I drizzled only a little just to make it look more elegant, but it still complements the other flavors.

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Vanilla Bean Macadamia Nut Cake with Lavender Infused Buttercream
Serves 8
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Prep Time
1 hr
Cook Time
30 min
Prep Time
1 hr
Cook Time
30 min
  1. 3/4 cups unsalted butter, room temperature
  2. 1 1/4 cups sugar
  3. 1 vanilla bean*
  4. 3 eggs + 1 yolk, room temperature
  5. 2 1/2 cups cake flour
  6. 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  7. 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  8. 2 tablespoons lavender syrup
  9. 1 cup milk
  10. 2/3 cups macadamia nuts, chopped finely*
Lavender Syrup
  1. 1 cup water
  2. 1 cup sugar
  3. 1/2 cup lavender buds/leaves (dried or fresh, I used fresh. You can also use the leaves and buds)
Lavender Infused Buttercream
  1. 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  2. 2 3/4 cups powdered sugar
  3. 4 tablespoons lavender syrup
  4. Pinch of sea salt
White Chocolate Ganache
  1. 2 ounces heavy whipping cream
  2. 3 ounces white chocolate, chopped
  1. *To chop the macadamia nuts, just put them in a food processor/blender and pulse till chopped finely.
  2. *To scrape the seeds out of the vanilla bean pod, use a sharp paring knife and split down the center of the pod and scrap all the seeds out and use them as directed.
  3. Preheat oven to 350°F/ 177°C. Prepare two, 6-inch cake pans. Grease the pans then line the bottoms with parchment paper.
  4. In an electric mixer, beat the butter till smooth. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl and add the sugar; beat till light and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes on medium-high speed. Scrape down the sides again and add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each one.
  5. In another bowl, add the vanilla, vanilla beans, and lavender syrup to milk and stir. Set aside. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add half the flour to the butter mixture and half the milk. Beat on medium speed till incorporated. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl and add the remaining flour and milk. Beat till just combined. Stir in the chopped nuts with a spatula.
  6. Evenly divide batter into prepared pans, smooth and level the top by using an offset spatula. Bake 26-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or the cakes spring back up after a light touch with your fingers. Bake the full 26 minutes at first then test to see if done, if not, bake in 3 minute intervals till done. Cool in pans 10 minutes and using a sharp knife, loosen the edges. Move to wired racks to cool completely.
  1. In a small sauce pan, add the water, sugar, and lavender. Bring to a boil and stir till sugar is completely dissolved. Remove from stove top and steep for 1 hour(or over night for a more powerful flavor). Remove the lavender and run syrup through a very fine meshed strainer.
  1. In an electric mixer with beaters attached, beat the butter and salt till smooth. Add the powdered sugar and lavender syrup and beat till light and fluffy, about 4 minutes.
  1. Chop the white chocolate and place in a bowl. In a small sauce pan, bring the cream to a simmer. Remove from heat and pour over the chopped chocolate. Stir then set it aside for 10 minutes. Stir till smooth. If it is runny, let it sit for 30 minutes to an hour.
Assemble Cake
  1. Once the layers have cooled and the buttercream and ganache have been made, level the tops of the cakes by using a serrated knife and carefully cut off any dome that may have formed during baking. Once the layers are leveled, place cake on a stand/plate to be assembled.
  2. Place the first layer in the center of your stand, then spread about 1 cup of buttercream evenly around the top. Place the second layer, bottom side facing up, onto the iced layer; and finish icing the cake by using all the frosting around the cake. Carefully pour ganache over the top and let it drizzle down the sides. Cut and serve.
The Sticky Spatula