Last year, I went on a little tear baking with fruit and herbs. It started when a favorite vendor at the farmers market had a proliferation of lemon balm, and it was so fragrant I couldn’t resist. That led to my Nectarine and Lemon Balm Cake. The same trip to the market resulted in a plethora of blueberries, so I turned them into this dense, rich pound cake, and with my mind on herbs, I added some dried lavender to the cake and the glaze, because I figured the varying blue and purple tones would compliment each other. And boy was I right. This has become a favorite of mine, even more so this summer as I have a thriving lavender plant in my own garden now.
This cake was definitely conceived as a dessert, but I took it to a book club house party and it was devoured for breakfast. Before glazing, the cake will keep, wrapped tightly, for several days and freezes beautifully. I think a slice of this with some lemon ice cream would be particularly refreshing. I happen to have this lovely, large molded loaf pan, but a regular Bundt pan works. Grinding the lavender and sugar together releases both the lovely flavor and fragrance of the flowers, so don’t skip the step. If you don’t have a small food processor, put the lavender buds and a little sugar in a mortar and pestle and rush together, then stir into the rest of the sugar. For another foray into fruit and herbs, try my Strawberry and Basil Chiffon Cake or Blackberry Sage Skillet Cake.
Blueberry Lavender Pound Cake
- For the Cake
2 cups granulated sugar
1 Tablespoon dried lavender
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
4 large eggs
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon kosher salt
2 cups fresh blueberries
- For the Glaze:
1/3 cup fresh blueberries
½ teaspoon dried lavender
3 – 6 Tablespoons cream or milk
1 ½ cups confectioners’ sugar
- For the Cake:
- Preheat the oven to 325. Spray a 10 -cup Bundt pan or similarly sized large loaf pan with baking spray.
- Put the sugar and the lavender in a small food processor and process a few times to blend.
- Beat the butter and sugar together in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until light and fluffy and pale. The scent of lavender is lovely! Add the eggs one at time, beating well after each addition and scraping down the bowl as needed. Beat in 2 cups of the flour, baking powder
and salt at medium high speed until the batter is smooth and light and fluffy – about 4 minutes. Turn the mixer to high and beat for 30 seconds.
- Toss the blueberries with the remaining ½ cup of flour in a medium bowl. Add the berries and flour to the batter and fold through with a spatula until the flour is completely blended and the blueberries are evenly distributed. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean, about 1 hour and 15 minutes.
- For the Glaze:
- Put the blueberries, lavender and 3 Tablespoons of cream in the small food processor and process until as smooth as you can get it, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Scrape the mixture through a fine sieve into a medium bowl, scraping as much liquid through as you can. Add the confectioners’ sugar and stir to begin combining. Add more cream, a Tablespoon at a time, to create a thick but spreadable glaze. I like to pour the cream through the blueberry pulp left in the sieve to add a little more color.