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.
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?
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.
- 3/4 cups unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 1/4 cups sugar
- 1 vanilla bean*
- 3 eggs + 1 yolk, room temperature
- 2 1/2 cups cake flour
- 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 2 tablespoons lavender syrup
- 1 cup milk
- 2/3 cups macadamia nuts, chopped finely*
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup lavender buds/leaves (dried or fresh, I used fresh. You can also use the leaves and buds)
- 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2 3/4 cups powdered sugar
- 4 tablespoons lavender syrup
- Pinch of sea salt
- 2 ounces heavy whipping cream
- 3 ounces white chocolate, chopped
- *To chop the macadamia nuts, just put them in a food processor/blender and pulse till chopped finely.
- *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.
- Preheat oven to 350°F/ 177°C. Prepare two, 6-inch cake pans. Grease the pans then line the bottoms with parchment paper.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.