I adore winter and its frostbitten cheer. Autumn is lovely in its burnt orange shade, bringing apples crisp as fallen leaves and a cool wind, warm with cinnamon. Summer is divine in its simplicity, and its navy night skies that never really let go of the sun. But this is the first week of spring, the season of bird songs and lavender and budding new life. My most favorite season of all.
(Excuse my merciless adjective abuse.)
I’m sitting here trying to think of things to say about how much I love spring and I just can’t. I cannot put it into words. I guess it’s like Mother Nature went down the pastel aisle at Michael’s and drew all over everything in the world. That’s what spring is like. It’s like all the puppies and kittens and bunnies and baby chicks are parading around flaunting their cuteness and snuggling in fluffy white blankets because that’s what cute baby animals are supposed to do. Cuddle with things. Spring is one big cuddle fest of nature. There. I found words.
Note to self/everyone: when faced with writer’s block, start talking about baby animals and everything will be okay.
In all aspects of life, the springtime has brought many beautiful things. Like cookies for friends, mason jar candle lanterns, pottery, and pizza night.
And when I wake up and the birds are singing, I like to open all the windows and make breakfasts like this.
Is it just me, or is more than just the earth in bloom this season? In a matter of months I’ll be embarking on this new cool adventure called my dream college, in New York City nonetheless. (!!!!!!) I feel like my brain is a cauldron of bubbling ambitions… it’s the best feeling in the world. There are a bazillion new babies and everyone’s in love and the sky is blue and it’s beautiful. Maybe it’s the whole apocalypse deal. I dunno. But I love it.
Okay, lemon cake. I made some. It was Spring, in the form of a dainty tangy light and lovely little cake. It is the edible embodiment of ‘chic.’ If Breakfast at Tiffany’s was a dessert… okay, you get it.
Lemon Lavender Tea Cakes
Adapted from Bon Appétit, 1993
- 3 cups cake flour (don’t want to buy cake flour? click here!)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons dried lavender (available at Whole Foods, many natural markets, or online)
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 3 cups granulated sugar
- 6 eggs, at room temperature (place them in a bowl of warm water for several minutes)
- 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons grated lemon zest (pro-tip: zest lemons before juicing)
- 1 cup sour cream
Preheat oven to 325°F. Grease 16-cup bundt or tube pan, or 2 mini-bundt cake pans. Dust pans with cake flour; tap out excess flour.
Sift flour, baking soda and salt into medium bowl. Stir in the lavender. Using electric mixer, beat butter in large bowl at medium speed until fluffy. Gradually add sugar and beat 5 minutes. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating just until combined after each addition. Scrape down the bowl a few times to incorporate all of the butter evenly. Beat in lemon juice and peel. Using rubber spatula, gently fold in dry ingredients. Fold in sour cream. Transfer batter to prepared pans, and bake until an inserted toothpick comes out clean and the visible edge is golden brown, about 1 hour 30 minutes for a large bundt or 20-30 minutes for minis. Let cake(s) cool completely before turning out onto cooling racks.
For the glaze:
- 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 cups powdered sugar (or slightly more to reach desired consistency)
- 1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract
- dried lavender, for sprinkling on top
Whisk together the lemon and vanilla. Gradually incorporate the powdered sugar until desired consistency is reached. Drizzle over cake immediately, or transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate until use. Sprinkle dried lavender onto the freshly glazed cakes. Enjoy!
Spring has sprung!!!