Summer in New England! It's hot, humid and the blueberries are delicious! I know that many people get more excited for the summer New England seafood...and yes, I think that stuff is great too, but bring on the dessert please. One of my favorite places for vacation is Maine and they are known for their blueberries up there. One of my favorite places to eat in New England is Pickity Place in New Hampshire. You likely have heard me mention this place before if you've seen my recipes for Lemon Lavender bread and Lavender Brownies because this is the place where I was introduced to Lavender Lemonade. Let me tell you...the lemonade is incredible. It's like drinking a spa day in a glass. Naturally, I bought some culinary lavender in their gift shop and that started my baking fun with lavender.
This recipe combines three of my favorite things: New England blueberries, Pickity Place lavender and a 6 inch cake. You can find my vanilla birthday version and chocolate version of the one bowl, 6 inch cake on the blog already. This recipe uses the vanilla version as a base with a few slight modifications such as the obvious addition of blueberries and lavender, a reduction in the amount of vanilla extract and an increase in baking time as the berries add moisture to the cake.
I use a total of 4 TBS of lavender in the whole recipe. Most of it goes into the cake and I reserve 1-2 tsp for the frosting. The lavender is added into the recipe with the sugar once it's processed in a blender or food processor. I find that this amount of lavender makes the flavor noticeable to taste and smell, but it's not overpowering. You could increase or reduce the amount of lavender to your preference, but I recommend starting on the lower end of your preferences and working your way up. A little lavender can go a long way.
Let's get baking this beautiful cake.
Ingredients for the Cake
-4 TBS culinary lavender (processed to a fine consistency in a blender or food processor)
-1 cup sugar
-3/4 cup vegetable oil
-1 tsp vanilla extract
-1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
-2 tsp baking powder
-1/2 tsp salt
-1/2 cup whole milk
-1-1 1/2 cups blueberries
Process the lavender in a food processor or high powered blender. Prepare 2 x 6 inch cake pans with parchment paper and non-stick spray. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Mix all of the lavender except 1-2 tsp (which will be reserved for the frosting) with the sugar and vegetable oil in a large bowl. Add the eggs and combine either stirring by hand or with a mixer. Do the same with the vanilla.
Add the flour, baking powder and salt on top of the wet ingredients. Gently stir them together with a fork and then gently combine with the wet ingredients. Pour the milk and stir until all combined. Fold in the blueberries. Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake for 35-40 minutes until the center of the cake is cooked through, as indicated by inserting and removing a clean knife or toothpick to the center of the cake. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pans. Transfer the cooled cakes to a wire baking rack and ensure the cakes are completely cool before frosting.
For the lavender vanilla buttercream frosting shown on this cake. simply add 1-2tsp of processed lavender to the powdered sugar in this vanilla buttercream recipe. Enjoy the flavors of New England summer!
I love 6 inch layered cakes. They're the perfect amount of cake for a modest sized group to enjoy without having a ton of cake left overs. And I would pick chocolate any day of the week, but you can grab my Vanilla version of this cake here if that's your preference. Both of these recipes are one bowl cakes. While I love a baking challenge from time to time, I strive to make the bulk of my recipes simple and accessible for the busy home baker. This 6 inch chocolate cake hits the mark and the cake shown in this photo was actually mixed by my 2 year old. You can see the video over on my Instagram page.
Here's what you'll need:
- 1 1/4cups AP flour
-1/3 cup unsweetened baking cocoa
-2 tsp baking powder
-1/2 tsp salt
-3/4 cups vegetable oil
-1 cup sugar
-1 tsp vanilla
-1/2 cup cooled coffee
Prepare two 6 inch cake pans with parchment paper and/or non-stick cooking spray. Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, mix together the oil and sugar. Add in the eggs one at a time and stir. Add the vanilla extract. Stir.
Add all of the dry ingredients of flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt on top. Use a fork to lightly mix together the dry ingredients on top of the wet ingredients. Then fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Pour the coffee into the mixture and stir until just combined. Don't overmix.
Pour into the prepared pans and bake for 27-30 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pans for approximately 20-30 minutes before transferring to a wire cooling rack. Top with your favorite frosting, whip cream, fruit, sprinkles, chopped chocolate etc. Enjoy!
This time of year is all about the berries! If you have a bunch of strawberries then I have a recipe for you! This recipe is super easy and it tastes amazing on ice cream. The key to making this recipe incredibly easy is either a high powered blender or a food processor. I've had a Vitamix for years and I love it. It was a splurge on a daily QVC deal quite a few years ago and it's still going strong today.
Ok, here's what you'll need!
-approximately 2lbs of strawberries (you can halve or double the recipe to suit your needs)
-1 cup sugar
-juice of 1/3 lemon
Wash the strawberries and remove the green tops. Process the berries in your blender or food processor. Throw the berries into a pot, add the sugar and lemon juice. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer until the puree thickens to the point where it sticks to the back of a spoon. Let cool and store in an airtight jar in the fridge.
Top on ice cream and enjoy!
New England wife, mom & home baker. Faith, food, fitness, baking, cooking and constantly cleaning my kitchen.