Happy Easter / Happy Holidays everyone!
It’s been a lovely week here in Singapore as the very humid afternoons have often been accompanied by a beautiful respite of rain or thunderstorms. I love rainy weather , especially just before it starts to rain- the birds start flying back, the clouds gather threateningly in the distance and air becomes expectant. Sadly, this rainy season would soon pass as ‘summer’ approaches. The tropical Singaporean ‘summer’ is terribly hot and very humid until the Southwest monsoon season in July brings in plenty of rain. The nearing of ‘Summer’ also means that we have a plentiful supply of imported berries from Korea and the US. This bundt cake was a direct result of seeing so many pretty berries. I’d bought so many punnets of blueberries that I had to find a way to use them before they started to shrivel and go mouldy.
This recipe is slightly adapted from the ‘Martha Steward’s Cake’ book. It has a very moist and light texture thanks to the addition of sour cream and the berries give it sweet and mildly tart flavour. I first baked this cake with lemon zest, as suggested by the recipe. This was a winner as the lemon gives it a fresh, summery fragrance and taste. For this version, I used edible lavender and lavender paste instead of lemon as I needed to use up this packet of lavender buds which I’d bought months ago. You can buy edible lavender from speciality baking supply shops ( I bought mine from Lemon Zest in Holland Village) or online. I’ve seen some speciality tea shops selling it as well.
The adapted lavender version is equally as delicious and perfect as a tea time treat with coffee or as a decadent breakfast. The use of a bundt pan allows for the cake batter to rise evenly resulting in a dense, moist but light texture. It’s a delightful cake to have around at home as it’s prefect anytime of the day. ( I know this from experience ) And to have it with homemade lemon curd- divine, I tell ya!
Lavender-Berry Bundt Cake
Adapted from Martha Steward’s Cake
- 230g /1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 350g / 2 and 1/2 cups plain flour, plus 1 tsp for dusting berries
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 215 g / 1 cup packed light brown sugar
- 200 g / 1 cup granulated sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1 cups fresh blueberry
- 1 cup fresh raspberry
- 1 tbsp edible lavender
- 1/2 tsp lavender paste
- icing sugar, for dusting (optional)
- lemon curd, for serving (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350°F / 180°C, with rack on bottom shelf. Butter a 12 cup/ 10 inch bundt pan, dust with flour, tapping out the excess. If using a non-stick pan, just butter the pan without dusting the pan with flour.
In a medium bowl, whisk together dry ingredients – plain flour, baking powder and salt.
In a coffee grinder/ food mill, grind the edible lavender with 2 tbsp of granulated sugar till it the buds become a powder. Mix in the lavender-sugar powder with the remaining sugar.
With an electric mixer, on medium-high speed, beat the butter, brown and white sugars with lavender-sugar, until mixture becomes pale and fluffy, about 3-5 minutes. Reduce mixer speed to medium. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each egg addition. Best in vanilla and lavender paste.
Reduce mixer speed to low. Add dry ingredients in 3 batches alternating with 2 batches of sour cream. 1/3 flour, 1/2 sour cream, 1/3 flour, 1/2 sour cream, 1/3 flour. Do not overmix. After the 2nd batch of flour, mix batter using a large spatula and not with an electric mixer.
Toss the berries in flour. Gently fold berries in batter. Pour batter into prepared tin. Smooth top with an offset spatula. Tap the pan once on your kitchen counter to make sure that there are no giant air pockets.
Bake until a cake tester comes out clean, 60-70 minutes. Cool cake in pan for 20 minutes. Turn out cake onto cake rack and cool completely before dusting with icing sugar and serving.
Instead of using edible lavender and lavender paste, you could add in 2 tbsp of lemon zest with the berries and 1 tsp of pure lemon extract.
So, it’s the easter holidays and berries are in season. Why not a berry merry bundt cake ? (pun intended!)