Tea cake, pound cake, loaf. Whatever you want to call it, it is a mouthful of lemony, lavendery goodness! Of course if you have citrus allergies you could probably sub out the lemon zest in the cake for vanilla beans, and use vanilla extract to make the glaze instead of lemon juice. Or if you dislike lavender you can leave that out, too. Really just go with whatever feels right for you.
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp. Baking powder
½ tsp. Salt
¼ cup half-and half
½ cup of butter
1 cup of sugar*
grated zest of two lemons
juice from lemons
1-2 tablespoons (more or less to your taste) of dried lavender flowers, culinary grade.
Prepare the sugar (make sure to do this 48 hours ahead of time) by lightly crushing or grinding the lavender flowers and then stirring them into the sugar. Let sit around for 48 hours in an airtight container before in order to let the flavors from the lavender of sugar to mix together. A few hours before you make it, add in some of your grated lemon zest and stir vigorously so no little clumps of zest stick together and the zest is well distributed. Let it sit for a few hours so all the flavors can combine into the sugar. I let mine sit around for about five. This is a good time to let your butter reach room temperature and get soft.
Take your soft butter and cream it together with the sugar until it is light and fluffy. Martha Stewart suggests a full eight minutes with an electric mixer so your cake will have a better texture, which I agree with.
Beat in the eggs one at a time.
Beat in the milk.
Beat in the salt and baking powder.
Gently fold in the flour one half cup at a time. I tried using the mixer for this but I found that the lavender buds just love sticking themselves all up in the corners of the beaters and getting into clumps. Using a spoon makes separating and redistributing them evenly into your batter easier. If you need to loosen up the batter a bit, I suggest using lemon juice.
Pour your mixture into a greased loaf pan and bake at 350 for 40-60 minutes until it is done. Note that all ovens are a little different, so please adjust your oven's temperature and time to what you feel would work best.
Combine your leftover lemon zest, lemon juice, a bit of lemon extract in a shallow bowl and whisk to combine. Add in powdered sugar until your glaze has enough sugar put into it so that it will harden.
When the cake is cool remove it from the oven and our the glaze over the cake and let it harden. It has a triple punch of lemon zest, extract, and juice, and really adds a nice sour kick to the soft flavor of the cake.