Lavender, Pistachio and Lime Cake

Lavender has been used since ancient times for medicinal uses, herbal baths and perfumes. However, the flower buds were also used in the kitchen, for both savory and sweet dishes.
While the use of the flower buds in savory dishes can seem more challenging to many, using them in desserts, jellies and jams is accepted more easily, as long as it is not overpowering.
This was my aim when I created the cake here. I used a small amount of lavender and balanced it with lime and lemon, and with the rich texture and flavor of pistachio nuts.
This tasty, dairy-free cake, has a wonderful texture, a subtle lavender and lime scent and nutty pistachios flavor. It is not too sweet and is the perfect cake for serving with herbal tea. Try it and enjoy.

Notes:
* For best results, make sure to use culinary grade lavender, found at the spice section.
* Use the minimum amount of lavender, as otherwise the aroma will be overwhelming.

* Check out THIS wonderful version of the cake, in which Judi makes her own infused lavender honey! In her fine blog, you will also find wonderful recipes, including quite a few that use fresh lavender from her garden. Highly recommended!

Makes: 1 X 10”(25cm) loaf pan
Prep time: 15 minutes
Baking time: 50-55 minutes

Ingredients:
For the lavender sugar:
1 Tbs edible dried lavender buds
¼ cup sugar
For the cake:
½ cup mashed very ripe banana (from 1 large)
¾ cup sugar
2 Tbs honey (preferably lavender honey)
2 XL eggs
¼ cup fresh lime juice
2 Tbs fresh lemon juice
1 Tbs lime zest
½ cup oil
½ cup coarsely chopped natural pistachios
2 cups flour
1 Tbs baking powder
¼ tsp salt
For the glaze:
½ cup powdered sugar
About 1 tsp lime juice
For garnish:
1 tsp edible dried lavender buds, lightly crushed
Thinly sliced lime zest, kept in ice water for 5 minutes and drained

1. Preheat the oven to 340F (170C). Brush the pan with oil and dust with a bit of flour. Keep in the fridge until using.
2. In a spice grinder, mix the lavender buds and ¼ cup sugar and process to a fine mixture.

3. In a large bowl, whisk together the banana, sugar, honey, eggs, lime and lemon juice, lime zest and oil. Add the pistachio and lavender sugar and mix. Add flour, baking powder and salt and whisk together.

4. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out almost clean.
5. Let the cake cool in the pan for 2-3 minutes, before turning it upside-down on a rack. Turn the cake up again and let cool completely before adding the glaze.

6. The glaze: in a small bowl, whisk the powdered sugar with a few drops of lime juice. Add more juice as needed, to form a thick glaze.

Pour over the cooled cake and garnish with lavender buds and sliced lime zest.
Let set before slicing.

72 thoughts on “Lavender, Pistachio and Lime Cake

  1. judilyn says:

    Boo-ti-ful! I’d try this, but the citrus-y flavors are more my style! Without the icing, it would be a good snack cake.

    I saw a nifty little device yesterday that you use for a brownie-type treat. It’s kind of like the old-fashioned ice cube tray inserts, and keeps the batter in place in the pan while it bakes. I can’t imagine buttering and flouring all those surfaces, but it sure looked neat!

    Virtual hugs,
    
    Judie
    

    Like

    • Tasty Eats Ronit Penso says:

      Thank you Judie, glad you liked the cake. The citrus in there is crucial, as otherwise the lavender will be too overpowering.
      I’ve seen such brownie pan devices. It didn’t feel worth the effort for me either. After all, how difficult it is to cut brownies??? :)

      Liked by 1 person

  2. judilyn says:

    It would be neat to have a whole passel of little portable goodies, but one commenter asked about the integrity of the side of each treat, and the answer was that it was not an “edge”. Only the edges of the main pan provided that stability.

    So, yes, it seemed to solve only the problem of aiming a knife in the proper direction to get evenly-spaced cuts.

    When I want “hand-held” treats, I bake the whatever-it-is in an eight-section pan that is somewhat like a popover pan, except they are rectangular. Each little pan has air circulating around it, and produces a fabulous tiny loaf of whatever. It works great, but it is in a cabinet apart from my usual baking tools, so I forget about it. Maybe a re-ordering of “toys” is in order! ;->

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    • Tasty Eats Ronit Penso says:

      The whole purpose of brownies is the gooey texture, so I still don’t see the point. I do love using small pans for baking and have a decent collection of them. Some I’ve used only once or twice, but still hope to reuse them one day… :)

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  3. Victo Dolore says:

    I am definitely going to try this one. I made a stone fruit tart a couple of months ago when they were in season and mixed a bit of lavender into it. I was surprised with the tasty results as to that point my experience with lavender extended solely to the use of it in herbs de Provence on steamed carrots. :-)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Tasty Eats Ronit Penso says:

      Thank you Mary, this is cake turned out tasty and moist indeed!
      Though I’m definitely not an expert when it comes to the different varieties of lavender, I’m quite sure you can use lavender from your garden. I do know that the dried form is more potent that the fresh, so I guess you’ll need to experiment with the quantity. I’m now curious about it! :)

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  4. cookingwithauntjuju.com says:

    Wow Ronit – I have to make this without even reading your recipe. What a lovely combination of lavender (my favorite herb) the nuts and lime. I use lavender a lot and still have some lavender sugar and buds. Perfect – will print and make this soon and let you know :)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Tasty Eats Ronit Penso says:

      Thank you Judi, I’m glad you liked the recipe and plan to make it. I hope you’ll enjoy the cake and I’ll be happy to hear your comments.
      I still have your lavender/rosemary walnuts and lavender lemonade on my “to try” list, so now that I’ve got some decent lavender, I plan to make both for Thanksgiving. Will keep you posted as well. :)

      Like

  5. cookingflip says:

    I can almost imagine the lovely scent and the taste! Hhhmmm…! And the presentation is v.v. pretty!

    Chef Ronit, can I ask two questions: 1) the greased and dusted pan–why does it have to be kept in the fridge, and 2) why does the lime zest need to be kept in ice water? Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Tasty Eats Ronit Penso says:

      Thank you, I’m glad you liked the cake. It indeed has such a nice scent and the flavor was so tasty.
      As for your questions:
      – I keep the prepared pan in the fridge as a way to prevent the oil from warming up, which will result lumps instead of an even coating.
      – Keeping the sliced zest in ice water for a few minutes firms and curls it up a bit, which I find to be more attractive.
      I hope it helps and if you have any other questions, feel free to ask. :)

      Liked by 1 person

    • Tasty Eats Ronit Penso says:

      I’ve only used lavender in savory dishes as part of the Herbs de Provence mix, so I’ll check your blog for more ideas.
      This is my first time trying it in a cake. It definitely motivated me to try it in other sweet dishes. I hope you’ll enjoy it too. I’ll be happy to hear your comments. :)

      Liked by 1 person

    • Tasty Eats Ronit Penso says:

      Thank you Mollie! I was very happy with how this cake came out. The lavender worked so well with the lime and the pistachio.
      Judi made it even better, with infusing her home grown lavender with honey. It’s always great to see other people’s versions. :)

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