I had hoped to make something with lilacs this year, but with the late season for flowers and craziness that has been my life over the last few months with this house build, it didn’t exactly happen.
I didn’t get a dish infused with lilacs in any way, but this Blueberry Lavender Angel Food Cake was certainly inspired by their simple beauty.
I love cake that is beautifully decorated in a fuss-free way. A simple glaze tinted lavender with reserved blueberry juice and topped with fresh lilac blossoms does just that, letting this cake be a rustic and simple celebration of Spring.
The cake itself is a simple angel food, tender and fluffy.
I used this cake as a base for this blueberry version. It’s ever so lightly scented with lavender – you can control the strength of the lavender flavor by adding more or less drops. Lavender is strong, so you’ll want to use caution as well as make sure that you’re using a food grade oil. If it’s not high quality it may contain impurities that you certainly wouldn’t want to eat.
The key to baking a blueberry filled cake where the blueberries are suspended perfectly throughout the cake with no purple streaks, and no berries sinking to the bottom of the cake(a little difficult in this instance, as the batter is very light and delicate) is to use frozen wild blueberries. They are not expensive, nor have I found them difficult to locate, but they are absolutely essential for perfect suspension.
They are itsy bitsy in size, yet still full of flavor.
Their small size means that they are light enough to not sink into the batter as it cooks.
Another important trick for a clean, berry dotted cake is to let the berries sit on a paper towel for 5-10 minutes so that the excess juices are soaked up and the berries don’t bleed into the batter.
Make sure the cake cools completely before cutting it away from the pan. This will give the cake time to reabsorb all the juices that will be released when the blueberries bake inside of it and will strengthen the overall structure so that it does not cave in, fall, or dent when released from the pan.
I hope you all have a wonderful Sunday and enjoy this cake as much as I did – it’s been one of my favorites so far this year!
Blueberry Lavender Angel Food Cake
Serves: one 9" cake
- FOR THE CAKE:
- 1 cup Cake Flour
- 1⅓ cup Sugar, divided
- 12 Egg Whites (be very careful that no yolk bits make it into the whites or they won't whip)
- 1 tablespoon Lemon Juice
- ¼ teaspoon Salt
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla
- 1-2 drops Lavender Essential Oil(food grade)
- 1 cup Frozen Wild Blueberries (wild blueberries tend to be tiny which is ideal for this cake as they won't sink to the bottom)
- FOR THE ICING:
- 2 cups Powdered Sugar
- 2 tablespoons Whipping Cream
- 3-4 tablespoons Blueberry Juice (can be easily drained from a bag of frozen blueberries)
- Edible Blossoms (I used lilac blossoms)
- FOR THE CAKE:
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- Sift the flour and ⅔ cup of sugar into a bowl and set aside.
- Add the egg whites, lemon juice, and salt to a large bowl. Beat with an electric mixer until foamy, soft peaks form. Slowly beat the remaining ⅔ cup of sugar in on medium speed. Up the speed to high and continue to beat until stiff peaks form (you'll know the whites are ready when you lift the beaters out of the bowl and flip them upside down - the egg whites on the beaters should stick straight up).
- Add the flour/sugar mixture, vanilla, and lavender oil( 1 drop for a lighter scent, 2 for a little stronger flavor) to the bowl and beat on low speed until only just barley mixed in.
- Place the blueberries on a paper towel and gently soak up any liquid - this will help the blueberries to not sink into the batter and to not streak it with purple color.
- Use a rubber spatula to fold the batter in 10-12 times, scraping the bowl as you go so that the flour and egg whites are gently mixed together.
- Pour the batter into an ungreased tube pan. Drop the pan on the counter once to remove air bubbles.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 30-35 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and cracked.
- Remove from the oven and set upside down on the counter to cool.
- When the cake has cooled completely, run a knife along the sides of the cake and pull the base up from the sides. Run a knife along the bottom of the cake and invert onto a serving plate.
- TO TOP:
- Whisk the powdered sugar and cream together in a mixing bowl. Whisk in 1 tablespoon of blueberry juice at a time until desired consistency is reached - The icing should be thick, yet still run easily off the spoon.
- Drizzle the icing over the top of the cake, letting it run lightly down the sides. Place blossoms on top of the cake just before serving.
- Use a serrated knife to carefully cut slices. Cake can be refrigerated until it's ready to be served. Will keep in the fridge for several days.