Vegan Vanilla Lavender cake with toasted cake crumbs and Lavender buttercream frosting!

I recently had a request to make an anniversary cake inspired by a bride and groom’s wedding cake that I made for them last year. However, this time they asked if it could be made using all plant based ingredients! Even though I’m used to baking in a more traditional way, I was totally up for the challenge! I figured that just a few substitutions here and there from my vanilla Butter cake recipe would do the trick, so I did just that, and it turned out great! So here is my recipe for a Vegan Lavender Infused Vanilla butter cake with a Lavender Vanilla buttercream frosting!

Mise en place….

‘Mise en place’ is a French term that is often used in the kitchen that translates to ‘everything in its place’. So, the first thing that needs to be done before we start is prepare the work station with the tools and ingredients that we are going to use.

You will need…

A scale and/or measuring cups to measure ingredients. Make sure all ingredients are at room temperature. 1/2 sheet pan to bake cake crumbs *3 6″ round or 2 8″ round baking pans lined with parchment paper or greased with coconut oil and a light dusting of flour *Mini offset spatula *Rubber spatula for stirring *Serrated knife *6″ round cakeboard *Food processor *Pastry bag/Star tip *Pastry brush/squeeze bottle *Strainer

Vanilla Butter cake recipe

  • Yield: 3 6″ round or 2 8″ round cakes Oven temp: 325 F Sugar 397 g (1.5 cups) AP flour 376 g (2 3/4 cups) Baking powder 10 g (2.5 tsps) Sea salt 9 g (1.5 tsps) Almond Milk 180 g (1/2 cup) ‘Egg’ 227 g (Whisk 3.5 Tbs Bobs Red Mill Eggs replacer powder together with 5 Tbs water). Let stand for 1 min. before use. Vanilla Extract 10g (2 tsps) Earth Balance Vegan Buttery spread 227 g (1 cup)

Lavender infused buttercream recipe

  • Yield: 3 cups Frosting for 1 6″ round 3 layer cake or 2 layer 8″ cake Earth Balance Vegan buttery spread 227 g (1 cup) Powdered sugar 250 g (2 cups) Almond milk 90 g (1/4 cup) Vanilla Extract 5 g (1 tsp) Lavender 2 g (2 Tbs)

Lavender infused simple syrup

  • Yield: 1 cup Sugar 130 g (1/2 cup) Water 120 g (1/2 cup) Lavender 2 g (2 Tbs)

Almond milk recipe (optional)

  • Almond flour 48 g (1/2 cup) Pitted date 1 Water 300 g (2.5 cups) Vanilla Extract 2.5 g (1/2 tsp)

method: In a food processor, combine all ingredients and pulse together until mixture is smooth. You can strain the milk through a cheese cloth into a bowl for a more pure milk but in this recipe, I liked the more nutty textured milk. Reserve 1/4-1/2 cup of milk for frosting, add 2 Tbs lavender to it and set aside for later.

The Creaming method

So to begin the Cake batter, place softened vegan butter into a mixing bowl. Note: You can slightly warm the butter in the microwave for 10 seconds at a time until soft. The mixing method for this particular cake is called a ‘Creaming Method’. This is where you cream the ‘butter’ and sugar together with a paddle attachment for about 5 minutes at medium speed until mixture is light and fluffy. ( with stand mixers) this is the same with any hand mixer you may be using. You can surely mix by hand as well, that 5 minutes will give you a great arm workout! ;).

It’s a good idea to mix the butter itself first to soften and get any clumps you might have.

After the sugar and butter have been mixed together, you want to add your ‘Eggs’. I used Bob’s Red Mill gluten free Egg Replacer.

To make your egg mixture, carefully follow instructions on the back of the package based on how many eggs and whites you will need. Mix thoroughly and let stand for a minute before adding. Once you have that done, you can slowly incorporate your egg mixture into your butter/sugar mixture while on medium speed, make sure to stop the mixer periodically to scrape the bowl to ensure even mixing.

Now for the dry ingredients…

In another bowl, sift together the AP flour (I like to use a quality unbleached All purpose flour such as Wheat Montana Natural White All Purpose Flour.) baking soda, baking powder, and salt.

Be careful not to over mix!

Now once you have your dry ingredients, slowly incorporate 1/3 of this mixture into your creamed mixture just while mixing on medium just until incorporated. Now add 1/2 of the Almond milk and mix in. Repeat the process ending with the flour mixture, making sure to scrape the bowl as needed.

Side note: Did you all know you could make your own Nut milk? ….. I mean obviously, you can make a homemade version cause that’s how it all starts anyway, but somehow I thought the process would be much more time consuming and perhaps involve equipment that I didn’t have in my kitchen. To my surprise, I discovered that it can be made in a pinch! Yes, it’s quicker to just buy the stuff right? However, sometimes when you are smack dab in the middle of baking a cake while home with your toddler and baby and realize you forgot said store bought milk, you find ways to get creative to avoid getting them all bundled up again and in their carseats to head back to the store for just that! lol… SO.. what did I do? I made my very own homemade almond milk, and it took like 5 minutes! Not only that but it tastes way better homemade! Thank goodness the ingredients it called for just happened to be sitting in my cupboard!! phew… ok lets continue….

Now that you have the finished batter, you want to pour it evenly into 3 6″ round cake pans lined with parchment paper. You can also use 2 8″ round pans depending on the size cake you desire. Place the pans in a preheated oven of 325 F and allow to bake for at least 30 minutes or until the cake springs back up to the touch or toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. I highly reccomend that you Do Not open mid-baking especially if you have a conventional oven. This will most likely result in a sunken cake. Once your cakes are out of the oven, allow them to cool completely before unmolding from pans.

To make the Lavender simple syrup, in a saucepan, combine all ingredients and place over medium heat and bring to a boil. Let lavender steep for 5 minutes before straining syrup into a bowl. Set aside and allow to cool slightly.

Lavender set aside for the garnish as well as infused simple syrup and almond milk

Now you can start your buttercream frosting! Just like you started creaming the buttery spread for the cake batter, you will do the same for the frosting. Once it’s smooth, add your powdered sugar, sea salt and vanilla extract. Start the mixer out slow as to not get powder all over the place, then increase speed to medium high. Slowly pour in the almond milk to emulsify all ingredients together, scraping bowl with your spatula as needed.

Mix buttercream mixture on medium high speed for about 5 minutes to ensure a nice, fluffy finished buttercream. It should look like this when its finished…

The picture below shows one of the cooled 6″ round cakes with the top trimmed off. You will want to carefully remove the top crust of each cake with a serrated knife to open up the crumb to better soak up the lavender simple syrup. (Note: remember to save the removed cake tops to garnish the cake later).

Now you are ready to torte your cake! It is very helpful to have some sort of turn table in order to frost your cake efficiently, but you can manage without. Make sure you have a 6″ cardboard underneath your cake as well for better maneuvering. Place your first layer of cake on top of the cardboard circle and soak the crumb with the lavender infused simple syrup with a pastry brush or squeeze bottle. (recipe below). Then put roughly 1/2 cup of lavender infused buttercream on top and spread evenly over the crumb with your offset spatula. A general rule for the ratio of buttercream to cake is no more than 1/2 the width of the cake for the buttercream. It’s all about balance, in flavors, mouthfeel and structure.

“It’s all about balance in flavor, mouthfeel and structure…”

The first layer of frosted evenly with buttercream.

Now you can finish torting your cake by adding the second and third layer of cake and buttercream, making sure to soak each cake before applying the frosting.

This is what it should look like once you’ve completed the layers.

At this point, you are ready to make your “crumb coat” or first layer of frosting on the outside. This initial layer keeps the crumbs locked inside so you don’t have a mess trying to make a pretty finish! I use a mini offset spatula thats perfect for this job, it allows you to move the buttercream around the cake smoothly with ease. (pictured below) After doing this, chill the cake in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes to stiffen the outside to prepare for the final coat of frosting.

The crumb coat is a very important step in creating a nicely shaped and clean finished cake. All good things take time.

Once you’ve allowed your crumb layer to set, you can pull it out and start your final coat of frosting. First, give your frosting another good mix with the paddle to incorporate more air at this point and then start frosting again!

Along with the offset spatula, this scraping tool is also very handy in creating perfect 90 degree angles on your cake.
Use the spatula to make a flat surface and clean edges.

Using your turn table, continue to rotate the cake in slow steady circles with your left hand, while frosting with your right, to make nice even strokes around the sides and top of your cake, stopping when you feel good about the finished look. Now that you have finished frosting your cake, place it in the fridge to set while you prepare for the finished look.

Take the cake tops that were set aside earlier, crumble them up with your hands and scatter evenly across a sheet tray with parchment. Bake in a 300 degree F oven until they are golden brown. This should take about 20 minutes. I recommend doing this even before you start frosting the cake so the crumbs have enough time to cool. Once they have cooled out of the oven, place then in a food processor and pulse until you have a fine crumb. You will get something like this…

Now take the remaining Lavender buttercream that you have and scoop it into a pastry bag with your desired pastry tip. You can always freestyle it too and create a nice decorative look with the offset or a teaspoon.

Very carefully, lift the cake from the turn table using the spatula and place the base of it gently on the palm of your left hand. Take the cake crumbs in your right hand and gently press them in to frosting in an upward motion starting from the base side of the cake and rotating around until you’ve covered the sides completely with the toasted cake crumbs( for less of a mess, use the sheet pan to catch the crumbs while you do this).

Next, gently place the cake back onto the turn table or counter top and pipe desired frosting design onto the top. Then take some dried Lavender, crush it slightly with your fingers and garnish the top with just a touch of it to finish off the look. Viola! Its Done! 🙂

Lavender gently garnishes the piped shells around the border and it looks lovely doesn’t it?

A simple, delicious and beautiful vegan treat that tastes just as good as it looks!

This is my very first blog post and I hope you liked it! It’s just the beginning to so much more… Thank you and Enjoy!

Published by lmel7

I'm a Pastry/chocolate chef passionate about creative expression, flavor, nature and the ever-expanding journey of life. With over 15 years experience in the baking and pastry industry, the trade, for me, never gets old and is constantly evolving! I love the work and strive to do my best every time, creating beautiful, edible works of art for everyone to enjoy!

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