Rosemary Lavender Cake
March 20, 2015
Naked cakes have been popping up all over the place in the past year, and it turns out, I am pretty obsessed with them. In theory, you would think a naked cake would look sloppy or unkempt, because by definition, it is an unfinished cake. But, for some reason, naked cakes actually turn out looking pretty beautiful and elegant. This is especially true when they are paired with natural elements like colorful flowers or simple greenery.
So, we decided to try it out for ourselves. This is our Vanilla Vanilla Cake recipe filled with a delicious Honey Buttercream and decorated with a little Lavender and Rosemary. All we did to make the honey buttercream was add a little honey to the original vanilla buttercream recipe until it tasted the way we wanted it to. It was super easy and turned out really well!
What better way to welcome the first day of Spring?!
Rosemary Lavender Cake
- 1 lb (2 cups) room temperature butter
- 5 egg whites
- 1 cup sugar, divided
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon lavender extract
- candy thermometer
- 5 large egg whites at room temperature
- 1 cup whole milk at room temperature
- 2 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 3 cups cake flour, sifted
- 1 3/4 cups sugar **If you do not have cake flour just lying around you can use all purpose flour. Cake flour is obviously betterâ€¦but this works too. 1 cup of cake flour = 1 cup of all purpose flour â€“ 2 TBS.
- 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature and cut into cubes
- 3-4 springs of fresh rosemary (optional)
- 3-4 sprigs of fresh lavender (optional)
- 3 teaspoons fresh rosemary, chopped
for the cake:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare three 8" cake pans with pam and parchment.
- In a medium bowl combine the egg whites chopped rosemary and vanilla set aside.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt together on low speed for 30 seconds.
- Add the butter, and mix on a low speed until just combined.
- Add milk and mix until just combined. Increase to medium speed and mix for 1-2 minutes.
- Scrape the sides of the bowl and begin to add the egg mixture in 2 separate batches, beat on medium speed until it is just combined.
- Divide the batter between the three cake pans.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
- Let cool on racks until cooled completely.
for the buttercream:
- In a small sauce pan put 3/4 cup of sugar. Cover the sugar with a little bit of water until the sugar looks like wet sand. Cook on a stove top over high heat until it reaches 248 degrees (you will need a candy thermometer).
- While the sugar is cooking, whip eggs whites in a bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment at a high speed until they reach soft peaks.
- Once the egg whites reach soft peaks add the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar and mix on a high speed until the egg whites reach stiff peaks. You can keep mixing the egg whites at a high speed until the sugar is done cooking.
- Once the sugar reaches 248 degrees, place the mixer on high speed and stream sugar into egg white mixture. Mix on a high speed for 30 minutes.
- After 30 minutes, add the room temperature butter and mix on a high speed for 5-10 minutes until the butter is fully combined and the mixture resembles buttercream.
- Add honey, vanilla and lavender and mix until just combined.
- Once cakes are cool, take them out of the pans, and place one layer onto a cake plate. Using an offset spatula, spread 1 cup of frosting on the cake.
- Turn the second layer upside down (so the bottom is face up) and gently place it on top of the first layer. Spread another cup of frosting on the cake.
- Turn the third layer upside down and gently place in on top of the second layer.
- Spread a generous amount of frosting on the top of the cake. Spread the frosting to the edge of the cake and then start to work your way down the sides.
- Using a bench scraper or an offset spatula, scrape some of the frosting off the sides of the cake so you can see the cake layers.
- Using twine or string, tie together a couple of springs of rosemary and lavender and place on top of the cake.
* Serves 10-14 people depending on how big you cut your cake slices.
07/12/17 04:16 PM
Has anyone tried this recipe? How did it turn out? How difficult was it? Thanks for the advice! Considering making it for my mother-in-law's 70th birthday party!!!
07/18/17 10:25 AM
Hi Deanne! I have had a lot of people make this recipe and they all tell me they loved it!
11/16/16 11:34 AM
HI. Just checking, for the cake mixture, are the egg whites combined and not whipped?
11/16/16 05:05 PM
Yes. No need to whip the egg whites before adding them into the cake. Just add them in as they are!
10/27/16 03:48 AM
By far one of the most confusing cake recipes ever! Wasn't sure if I was literally just supposed to combine the egg whites with the vanilla or whisk it until it formed peaks, as a normal recipe would... then as I'm oddly combining the eggs and milk to the flour mixture, I realized I never added the sugar because it never directed so!! I begrudgingly added it at the very end, which is a complete fiasco in my book! It is baking in the oven now and am praying that it comes out decent as it's for a good friend's bridal shower and will be extremely upset if it doesn't come out correctly due to poor instructions! I reread these instructions over and over and am thinking of you meant to add the sugar as part of the dry ingredients? But sugar is never really called out as a dry ingredient in baking so I am really confused and anxious....
10/27/16 04:48 AM
Hi. I'm so sorry you were confused. This is one of the first recipes I wrote so I guess I wasn't that great at explaining myself thoroughly. I will go back and fix it. Hopefully the cake still turns out!
09/05/16 10:08 PM
the recipe called for three pans but you said divide between 2 pans. Is it two or three pans?
09/05/16 11:31 PM
Sorry that is my mistake! I will fix it. But you can do it either way. Doing it in three pans will give you an extra layer of frosting in the middle!
09/05/16 04:07 PM
How many does this serve? Thanks...
09/05/16 11:27 PM
Great question. It serves about 10 - 14 (depending on how big you cut the pieces).
09/01/16 08:09 PM
Hi, I am confused by step 5 for directions for the cake' "Scrape the sides of the bowl and begin to add the egg mixture in 2 separate batches, beat on medium speed until it is just combined". With the 2 separate batches, do I need to make another batch of of batter to add the other half of the egg mixture to?
09/01/16 08:50 PM
If you're able to respond asap that would be great! (:
09/01/16 08:57 PM
Sorry that was confusing! You don't need to make another batter. You just need to add the egg whites a little bit at a time. I divide my egg whites in half and then add one half at a time. Does that make sense?
11/30/15 04:25 AM
I'm looking forward to making this cake! Question - If I make it the day before my wedding, will I need to place it in the refrigerator, or will leaving it out (house will be about 64 degrees) be okay?
11/30/15 07:54 PM
Hi Heather! I am so excited you are making this for your wedding! If it were me, I would place it in the fridge overnight, and then take it out the morning of. Good luck! And congratulations!
June @ How to Philosophize with Cake
07/02/15 03:11 PM
Wow, what a cake! I've used both lavender and rosemary in desserts, but never together...I'm sure they're just fabulous in this cake :) Love the way you frosted it too, naked cakes are the bomb!
07/02/15 06:04 PM
Thanks you for the nice words! The rosemary/lavender combination is really great- you should give it a try!
04/15/15 05:29 PM
Lindsay, LOVE your website - I love breakfast + sprinkles, so you're a girl after my own heart. This cake looks delicious, so I'm going to make it a goal to make it for a dinner party my husband and I are having next week. Any suggestions about how to incorporate more of the lavender flavor? Is it crazy to add a drop of lavender oil to the icing? What about lemon??
04/15/15 10:05 PM
Hannah - Thank you so much for your kind words! I think adding some lavender oil in with the honey buttercream is the perfect way to add some lavender flavor! But make sure you use lavender oil or extract and NOT lavender essential oil. And make sure to use just a drop at a time until it tastes the way you want it to - it can be very strong and overpowering! Good luck, and have fun at your party!
04/12/15 03:04 AM
It looks amazing! But why did you not post the recipe? Or do we have to buy a cake mix and a can of buttercream frosting?
04/17/15 09:32 PM
The recipe is just my Vanilla Vanilla Cake with the buttercream flavored with a little bit of honey and then decorated with rosemary and lavender. You can find the recipe here -
04/11/15 05:32 PM
where is the recipe? Is it just the vanilla cake recipe then decorated differently??Jody McKeever
04/11/15 04:55 AM
Where is the recipe?