Lemon Lavender Pound Cake

Lemon Lavender Pound Cake

 

One of my favourite flavours to bake with is lemon. Give me just about any lemon dessert, and I will be very happy. I have been baking lemon pound cakes for years. It has a permanent place on my list of favourite cake recipes. Last summer, I was feeling curious about baking something with lavender in it. I love lavender. It has such a lovely, light, floral scent. When I started to look for recipes using lavender, I kept seeing recipes combining lemon and lavender. Obviously, I thought of my favourite lemon pound cake.

Lemon Lavender Pound Cake

The following weekend, I convinced my partner to go on a family excursion to a nearby lavender farm, where I knew I could pick up some culinary lavender. We are lucky enough to live in a gorgeous, warm climate, here in South Australia. In the beautiful Barossa Valley, a place known for producing some of the best wines in the world, there happens to be a little lavender farm. So, off we went to the Lyndoch Lavender Farm. It was such a lovely place. I really enjoyed wandering through the rows of lavender and gazing out upon the views of vineyards and hills beyond. There was a cafe and shop at the farm, where I found what I was looking for. Culinary lavender is what you need to bake or cook with, because it is organic. Actually, you can use lavender tea, as I did. It is simply dried and crushed lavender flowers.

Lyndoch Lavender Farm

Lemon Lavender Pound Cake

Lyndoch Lavender Farm

Now let’s talk about the cake… I tried a recipe for lemon lavender pound cake, last summer, but I decided that I was more fond of my trusty glazed lemon pound cake recipe from Martha Stewart. Comparing the two recipes, I realized that the main difference, other than lavender, was that the former recipe uses Greek yogurt while the latter uses buttermilk. Last weekend, I tried the first recipe, replacing yogurt with buttermilk, and I was very happy with the results. I also wanted to intensify the lemon flavour a little, with more lemon zest, because I absolutely love lemon. Feel free to adjust the lemon zest to your taste. I must caution you not to add any more lavender to the recipe, though. A little goes a long way when baking with lavender. One more change I made to the recipe was to use lemon juice instead of milk for the glaze, and not use vanilla, to give the cake more lemon flavour.

Lemon Lavender Pound Cake

This lemon lavender pound cake turned out to be wonderful. It’s full of refreshing lemon flavour and a pleasantly floral-herbal lavender taste. I really like the zesty lemon glaze on top. It is the perfect finishing touch. The crumb of the cake is soft and moist. It’s just delightful. I hope you will enjoy this cake as much as I do.

Lemon Lavender Pound Cake

 

Here’s the recipe…

Lemon Lavender Pound Cake

The fresh lemon flavour pairs so beautifully with the floral lavender taste in this delicious pound cake. It's simply delightful.

This recipe was adapted from Bake Your Day and Martha Stewart.

Ingredients

For the cake:

  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ tsp. baking powder
  • ¼ tsp. baking soda/ bicarb soda
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ½ cup/ 115g unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • ¾ cup buttermilk
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp. lemon zest (from 2-3 large lemons)
  • 1 Tbsp. culinary lavender

For the glaze:

  • 2/3-1 cup powdered sugar/ soft icing mixture
  • 1-2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • A little lavender for garnish (optional)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 325F/ 160C. Grease a standard 9×5” loaf pan. Then line pan with baking paper, with the long sides overhanging, for easy removal of cake.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  3. In the bowl of your stand mixer, cream the butter. Gradually add the sugar, creaming until fluffy. On a lower speed, add the eggs, one at a time, mixing each completely before adding the next. Mix until blended well.
  4. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the creamed butter mixture, alternating with the buttermilk. Mix until just incorporated. On a low speed, mix in the lemon juice, lemon zest, and vanilla extract, until blended. Mix in the lavender on low speed.
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Bake for 50-60 minutes, until the edges begin to brown and a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10-15 minutes before transferring cake to the rack.
  6. To make the glaze, whisk together the powdered sugar and lemon juice until you reach a thick yet pourable consistency (a Pyrex measuring cup works well). Pour evenly over cooled cake. Sprinkle a little lavender on top of the cake (if using), while the glaze is still wet.
  7. Wait for glaze to set up before serving cake. Slice cake into thick pieces. Enjoy!

This recipe was created by Kim Sequoia for a delicious moment.

All written content and photos are copyright Kimberly Sequoia 2017 for a delicious moment.

If you would like to use this recipe on your own site, please re-write it in your own words and link back to my original post.

 

Lemon Lavender Pound Cake

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Blondies

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Blondies

Sometimes I just want a simple oatmeal cookie. This time, I wanted something more. So, I baked a batch of oatmeal blondies (or oat “slice”, for those of us in Australia). Of course, I couldn’t stop there. I had to add chocolate chips.

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Blondies

This is such a simple, delicious treat. Each slice is like a thick, soft, chewy oatmeal cookie. These blondies are so good and so easy to make. You may already have the ingredients in your kitchen. Made with little more than butter, brown sugar, and oats, these blondies can be whipped up in about an hour. I will definitely be making these many more times! My family loved them.

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Blondies

They would be really good with dried apple pieces, or any dried fruit you like. Nuts would be a welcome addition, too. Feel free to put whatever you like in these oatmeal blondies. I’m sure they would be equally good.

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Blondies

Enjoy the recipe…

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Blondies

These easy blondies are like thick, soft, chewy oatmeal cookies, full of sweet chocolate chips. Feel free to swap some or all of the chocolate chips for dried fruit and/ or nuts, if you like. They're so good!

This recipe was adapted from My Lovely Little Lunch Box.

Ingredients

  • 125 grams/ 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/3 cup plain flour
  • 2/3 cup rolled oats
  • 1/3 cup quick oats
  • 3/4 cup chocolate chips (or dried fruit, like apple, and/or nuts)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C/ 350°F.
  2. Spray oil a square 8 x 8” or equivalent pan. Then line the pan with baking paper, allowing extra paper to overhang on two sides, for easy removal.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, mix melted butter with brown sugar by whisking until smooth. Whisk in egg and vanilla. Gently stir in flour until combined. Then fold in oats and chocolate chips.
  4. Pour oat mixture into prepared pan. Spread evenly and flatten the mixture with a spatula, pushing the batter into the corners.
  5. Bake blondies for 20-25 minutes or until golden around the edges and just set in the middle. Do not overbake, or the top will get too crunchy.
  6. Leave blondies in pan on wire rack for 5 minutes, then carefully lift them out in the baking paper. Cool blondies on wire rack before cutting into squares. Enjoy!
  7. Store blondies in a tightly-lidded container. They should stay fresh for about 5 days.

This recipe was created by Kim Sequoia for a delicious moment.

All written content and photos are copyright Kimberly Sequoia 2017 for a delicious moment.

If you would like to use this recipe on your own site, please re-write it in your own words and link back to my original post.

Red Velvet Cheesecake Cupcakes

Red Velvet Cheesecake Cupcakes

With the 4th of July coming up, I just had to make these red velvet cheesecake cupcakes, and top them with some red and blue sprinkles. I still celebrate Independence Day, even though I’m a resident here in Australia. I really enjoy teaching my son about American holidays and celebrating them with our own family traditions.

Red Velvet Cheesecake Cupcakes

One of my favourite things to do for most holidays is baking (of course). I love to make a special treat for the 4th of July. These red velvet cheesecake cupcakes are perfect for a red, white, and blue treat. They would also be wonderful on Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Australia Day, or any other occasion when you want something red (or you simply want cupcakes).

Red Velvet Cheesecake Cupcakes

The creamy cheesecake filling adds another level of goodness to the already delicious cakes. The cream cheese frosting adds even more sweet, creamy goodness. I lightened up the original recipe by using half the amount of oil. I also used Greek yogurt instead of buttermilk. These cupcakes are so moist and delicious. They are definitely a crowd-pleaser. I hope you will enjoy this recipe as much as I do!

Red Velvet Cheesecake Cupcakes

Enjoy the recipe…

Red Velvet Cheesecake Cupcakes

  • Servings: 24 cupcakes
  • Print

These rich red velvet cupcakes are made even more delicous with a sweet, creamy cheesecake filling inside. They make a wonderful treat for your holiday gatherings, or any time you want cupcakes!

This recipe was adapted from Crazy for Crust.

Ingredients

CUPCAKES:

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1 ½ cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon red food coloring

CHEESECAKE:

  • 8 oz/ 225g cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup sour cream (not low fat)
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

FROSTING:

  • 8 oz/ 225g cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 cups powdered sugar/ soft icing mixture
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

OPTIONAL:

  • Sprinkles of your choice, such as red and blue ones for the 4th of July

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350°F/ 180°C. Line cupcake pans with liners. (I like the look of plain white paper liners, because they allow the red cake color to show through.)

2. Whisk flour, sugar, salt, and baking soda in a large bowl (or the bowl of your stand mixer). Sift cocoa powder into flour mixture (to prevent lumps). Whisk until thoroughly combined.

3. Add eggs, oil, Greek yogurt, white vinegar, and vanilla to a large measuring cup or bowl and whisk until combined. Add to dry ingredients, a little at a time, beating with your stand or hand mixer until smooth.

4. Turn mixer down to a LOW speed. Add red food coloring and mix slowly until thoroughly combined. (The mixer speed needs to be low so you won’t splatter red batter everywhere.)

5. Place about 2-3 tablespoons of batter into the bottom of each cupcake liner about 1/2 full. Do NOT overfill! It is important to leave enough room for the cheesecake mixture to be dolloped on top.

6. To make the cheesecake mixture: Using the whisk attachment for your mixer, mix cream cheese, sugar, vanilla, and sour cream until smooth. Drop about 1 1/2 tablespoons of cheesecake mixture on top of each cupcake. Smooth it down with the back of a small spoon. Keep it from touching the edges, if you can, because the cupcakes look nicer that way.

7. Bake cupcakes for about 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick stuck in the cake part comes out clean. The cream cheese filling will still be a little soft, but it should be set up, not raw and creamy. Cool cupcakes to room temperature on a cooling rack, then chill for at least 2 hours before frosting. (Note: the cupcakes can be frozen once cooled, and then frosted later.)

8. To make the frosting: Using the whisk attachment on your mixer, cream butter and cream cheese until blended well and fluffy. Sift the powdered sugar/ icing mixture into a large bowl. Switch to the paddle attachment on your mixer. Turning the mixer to a low speed, slowly add in powdered sugar/ icing mixture. Add salt and vanilla. Mix gently until smooth.

9. Frost the top of each cupcake generously. For a decorative effect, use a star-shaped tip with a pastry bag. Top with sprinkles, if you like.

10. Store cupcakes in refrigerator for up to 3 days.

All written content and photos are copyright Kimberly Sequoia 2017 for a delicious moment.

If you would like to use this recipe on your own site, please re-write it in your own words and link back to my original post.

 

Levi’s Room Inspiration

My son Levi is almost four years old. Time certainly does fly! Since he’s a “big boy” now, I want to give his bedroom a makeover.

green wall colour

I’ve been bringing together my favourite images for inspiration for his bedroom makeover. I’m thinking about painting most of the walls a light neutral grey, and painting the wall next to his bed a leafy green. I feel that this shade of green is exuberant yet calming. It reminds me of hiking in my favorite forests, back in Ohio. I’m hoping that Levi will feel inspired by this colour, too. I don’t normally like the accent wall look, but, for a kid’s room, I think it might be a good plan. Their tastes change so much in so little time. This way, if Levi decides he doesn’t like the colour, we can easily change it. Every time I ask him what colour he would like in his room, he gives me a different answer, so we’ll see how he likes the colour green. I love it so much, so I’m just going to do it!

We will be getting a bigger bed for Levi soon, along with the necessary bedding, of course. I totally love the star quilt cover set, pictured below. I think it really suits my son’s imaginative personality.

stargazer charcoal quilt cover set

hexagon shelves

modern geo wool rug

As for the style I’m envisioning for the room, I’d like a collected, eclectic look, with some elements that tie together through their colour, pattern, materials, and mood. Some elements/ ideas I’d like to have in Levi’s room are: nature, adventure, and creating/ building. We love to go on treasure hunts together, around the house. Levi has such a great imagination. He loves to create and build things. He believes in magic. I think he would like to have stars and other cool patterns in his room. He loves maps and globes. I want to incorporate those elements, too.

triangle sticker wall and striped rug

 

globe paper lantern

 

 

SMILA STJARNA wall lamp IKEA

white cube shelves with globe

He also loves Lego, so I want to make a letter “L” with Lego, along with him, to hang on his wall. I think he will really like that.

Lego wall letter on painted wood

I’m going to create an art collage above his dresser. I’ve got a few pictures already. I’ll just need to buy or make one or two more pictures to bring it all together. Over time, I’m sure it will evolve, as Levi grows and changes.

art collage wall

fox with bee on its nose drawing

choose your own adventure wall hanging

I hope my little boy will love his big boy room, and enjoy it for years to come.

{Image sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12}

 

Banana Coconut Chocolate Chip Muffins

Banana Coconut Chocolate Chip Muffins

I hope you’re having a lovely weekend. I just wanted to share this wonderful recipe for banana coconut chocolate chip muffins, because it is one of my favourite muffin recipes. I made a batch of them this past week, simply because I happened to have all of the ingredients on hand. If you have a few overripe bananas you want to use, this is a great way to use them up. These muffins make a delicious treat to have with your morning coffee. They would be a great Father’s Day treat, for those of you in the States who are celebrating this special day. Of course, they are good any time!

Banana Coconut Chocolate Chip Muffins

I love to have these muffins fresh and warm from the oven. They are so soft, moist, and delicious. There is nothing like taking a bite in a warm muffin, when the chocolate chips are rich and melty. Right? If you have little ones who like to help out in the kitchen, you can have them mash the bananas with their hands in a big bowl. It’s great fun for them. This is an easy recipe. You don’t need any special equipment, not even a mixer. So whip up a batch this weekend. You won’t regret it!

Banana Coconut Chocolate Chip Muffins

Here’s the recipe…

Banana Coconut Chocolate Chip Muffins

  • Servings: 12-15 muffins
  • Print

These muffins are a wonderful treat, best eaten warm and fresh from the oven, while the chocolate chips are meltingly delicious.

This recipe was adapted slightly from A Week of Menus.

Ingredients

  • 3 large very ripe bananas, chopped or sliced
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/ 4 tsp baking soda/ bicarb soda
  • 1/ 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/ 4 tsp salt
  • 5 Tbsp or 70g unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 Tbsp light brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 – 3/4 cup dark chocolate chips (to taste)
  • 1/2 cup desiccated coconut, plus a little more to sprinkle on top of the muffins, if you like

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F/ 180C degrees. Line muffin pan with cupcake liners.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt together. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk egg, sugars, and vanilla together until well combined. Whisk in melted butter. Mix well.
  4. In another large bowl, mash the banana slices with a potato masher or ricer.
  5. Add mashed banana to sugar mixture. Stir to combine well. Add coconut and chocolate chips. Mix well.
  6. Add flour mixture to banana mixture. Very gently stir the dry mixture into the wet mixture. Stir until just combined. Do not stir too much, or the batter, and therefore the muffin texture, will become too stiff. You want the muffin crumb to be tender.
  7. Divide batter equally in liners. Sprinkle tops with a little coconut, if you like.
  8. Bake muffins for 20-30 minutes, depending on your oven, until golden brown on top and baked through the middle, until a tester comes out clean except for a few crumbs.
  9. Cool for 5 minutes in the pan. Enjoy!
  10. Store muffins in an airtight container. They will stay fresh for about 2 days, but they are best eaten on the day they are baked.

All written content and photos are copyright Kimberly Sequoia 2017 for a delicious moment.

If you would like to use this recipe on your own site, please re-write it in your own words and link back to my original post.