June 6, 2013

Chocolate Lavender Cake with Lavender Buttercream Frosting

With spring upon us, we're in the full swing of birthday celebrations!  February starts us off, then we have seven more in March, April, May, July and August. And yes, it does feel like a party here all the time!  So with all these birthdays, and my husband's sweet idea of carrying on the tradition of our homemade Hershey's chocolate cake, I'm always looking for ways to change it up a bit.  My sweet Grace turned 10 recently.  She's my purple girl!  I don't know how it even started, but she's always loved purple!  She also loves lavender, so I thought it would be fun to add a little lavender to my Hershey's chocolate cake.  The result was delicious-the same rich and chocolatey cake, only with a subtle hint of lavender.   Then I made a lavender buttercream frosting which was incredible and added a lovely lavender hue.  My purple girl was delighted, to say the least.  Happy Birthday, sweetheart!

For the chocolate cake recipe, just go to the link above.  To add the lavender, simply process 1 to 2 tablespoons of culinary lavender with part of the sugar in a food processor.  The longer you process it, the more pronounced flavor you will have.  If you like, you can strain the sugar/lavender mixture through a fine mesh strainer.  Then use this, along with the rest of the sugar, as the recipe calls for.

Lavender Buttercream Frosting:

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1 teaspoon regular or clear vanilla
4 cups (1 pound) powdered sugar
2 to 3 tablespoons milk
1 to 2 teaspoons culinary lavender (I use Penzey's)

In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter until creamy.  Place lavender and a little of the powdered sugar in a food processor or blender and pulse for 30 seconds or more.  Strain lavender-sugar through a fine mesh strainer, if desired.  Now add vanilla and all of the sugar to the butter.  Mix well; add milk and  beat on high until light and fluffy.

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