lemon, lavender and thyme cake

I wanted a more hearty cake to go with the very light meringue frosting.

lemon, lavender and thyme layer cake

vanilla and thyme spelt cake

A riff off of the 1:1:1:1 ratio cake. Makes 3 5″ cake layers. As always, with only one cake pan, it’s best to mix the batter for each layer separately to avoid it becoming too tough.

175 g butter, room temperature

75 g granulated sugar

1/2 vanilla bean

handful thyme sprigs

4 large eggs (~200 g), room temperature

125 g all purpose flour

75 g spelt flour

2 tsp baking powder

generous pinch salt

3/8 – 3/4 c milk

1/2 lemon

Preheat oven to 350F.

Cream butter and sugar until light. Split the vanilla bean, scrape out the seeds, and add them to the butter mixture. Pick the leaves from the thyme sprigs and add those as well.

Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Divide the butter mixture, by mass, into three bowls.

Whisk together the flours, baking powder, and salt. Divide by mass into three bowls.

Add one flour mixture to one butter mixture, and mix in 2 – 4 tbsp of milk (I think 4, what I did, was too much, and 2 should be sufficient) until you have a nice consistency for the batter.

Scrape into a 5″ cake pan, buttered, floured and the bottom lined with parchment.

Bake each layer for around 25 minutes or until an inserted skewer is removed clean. Repeat two more times for the remaining layers.

While layers are still warm, squeeze a bit of the lemon juice from the half lemon overtop.


lemon curd

Adapted from Baking by James Peterson. I think it has the perfect amount of sweetness. 

juice of 1 large lemon (~65 mL)

zest of 1 lemon

1 egg + 2 egg yolks

3 tbsp sugar

large pat of butter

Whisk together all ingredients in a small saucepan.


lavender meringue

Not adapted from anywhere in particular. I think I read somewhere that the proportions for a meringue should be around 2 sugar: 1 egg white. The meringue starts to collapse bit by bit, so if you don’t frost the cake immediately it won’t spread so glossily and will lose the fine texture. 

2 egg whites (70 g)

140 g granulated sugar

1/2 tsp lavender water

dried lavender flowers

Whip egg whites until stiff. Meanwhile, cook sugar and a bit of water to help get it started until it reaches ~240F (softball stage).

Whisk the eggs a bit to refresh them before adding the sugar mixture.

Slowly pour the sugar in while whisking. I like to finish it in the stand mixer because I’m not sure how capable I am of whipping the meringue to stiff peaks.

Once the meringue is at stiff peaks, add lavender water to taste and crumbled dried lavender flowers.

Use meringue immediately.


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