lavender tea cake

March 9, 2011

Tea time. Does the idea of it make you giggle a bit? Cos it does me and I’m British. I love how “tea time” is one of those things that people really think of when they think of Britain.

Here’s the thing about tea and the British: everyone drinks it (except my sister who is crazy) but historically it’s been separated by class. When I think of tea the way I drink it, I’m thinking of the builder’s cup of tea. I don’t want to go overboard in trying to explain that to non-Brits but suffice to say it just means your bog-standard, normal, no-frills cup of tea, made with a tea bag, served in a mug.

Afternoon tea, on the other hand is something you might get at the Ritz or if you’re well to do, maybe it’s something you have on a regular basis. In high society, tea time involves all sorts of sandwiches, cakes, biscuits, and high-falooting tea cups and loose leaf tea.

Lavender tea cake would be totally appropriate at a proper “afternoon tea”. Shall we all get together and have one? We can wear posh frocks, talk politely about the weather, nibble on cucumber sandwiches and munch (in a ladylike fashion) on this cake. I promise it will be awesome.

This cake is so lovely. I wondered about the lavender being overbearing or odd for people but it’s just wonderful. It adds a kick of spice and flavour that combines perfectly with the glaze.

I am often fine with omitting glazes and the like but here I’d urge you not to. It’s so easy to make anyway – just whizz some powdered sugar, vanilla extract and water together and drizzle all over – and it really adds the right amount of sweetness. If you’re lucky enough to have left the cake in the oven a few minutes too long like I did then you’ll get a gorgeous crunch to boot.

Lavender Tea Cake

from old fashioned living


  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 5 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg white
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup plain or lowfat yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh lavender leaves


  • 1/3 cup sifted powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon water
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Beat granulated sugar, butter, and vanilla until well-blended.
  2. Add egg and egg white, one at a time, beat well after each addition.
  3. Sift flour and combine with the baking powder, baking soda, and salt; stir well.
  4. Add the flour mixture to sugar mixture alternately with yogurt, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Stir in lavender.
  5. Pour the batter into a greased 9×5 inch loaf pan. Bake at 350 degrees for about 1 hour or until a sharp knife or cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean.
  6. To prepare glaze, combine powdered sugar and remaining ingredients. Spread on the warm cake. Cool in pan 20 minutes on a wire rack before removing from the pan.
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