Lavender Blackberry Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting and a Piped Floral Wreath


 
Lavender Blackberry Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting and a Piped Floral Wreath. Layers of delicately flavoured lavender cake are filled with a cream cheese frosting and blackberry jam, and topped with a beautiful floral wreath made from piped swiss meringue buttercream flowers. #pipedflowers #lavendercake #swissmeringuebuttercream #icingonthecakebook
Lavender Blackberry Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting and a Piped Floral Wreath. Layers of delicately flavoured lavender cake are filled with a cream cheese frosting and blackberry jam, and topped with a beautiful floral wreath made from piped swiss meringue buttercream flowers. #pipedflowers #lavendercake #swissmeringuebuttercream #icingonthecakebook
Lavender Blackberry Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting and a Piped Floral Wreath. Layers of delicately flavoured lavender cake are filled with a cream cheese frosting and blackberry jam, and topped with a beautiful floral wreath made from piped swiss meringue buttercream flowers. #pipedflowers #lavendercake #swissmeringuebuttercream #icingonthecakebook
Lavender Blackberry Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting and a Piped Floral Wreath. Layers of delicately flavoured lavender cake are filled with a cream cheese frosting and blackberry jam, and topped with a beautiful floral wreath made from piped swiss meringue buttercream flowers. #pipedflowers #lavendercake #swissmeringuebuttercream #icingonthecakebook
Lavender Blackberry Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting and a Piped Floral Wreath. Layers of delicately flavoured lavender cake are filled with a cream cheese frosting and blackberry jam, and topped with a beautiful floral wreath made from piped swiss meringue buttercream flowers. #pipedflowers #lavendercake #swissmeringuebuttercream #icingonthecakebook
Lavender Blackberry Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting and a Piped Floral Wreath. Layers of delicately flavoured lavender cake are filled with a cream cheese frosting and blackberry jam, and topped with a beautiful floral wreath made from piped swiss meringue buttercream flowers. #pipedflowers #lavendercake #swissmeringuebuttercream #icingonthecakebook
Lavender Blackberry Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting and a Piped Floral Wreath. Layers of delicately flavoured lavender cake are filled with a cream cheese frosting and blackberry jam, and topped with a beautiful floral wreath made from piped swiss meringue buttercream flowers. #pipedflowers #lavendercake #swissmeringuebuttercream #icingonthecakebook
Lavender Blackberry Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting and a Piped Floral Wreath. Layers of delicately flavoured lavender cake are filled with a cream cheese frosting and blackberry jam, and topped with a beautiful floral wreath made from piped swiss meringue buttercream flowers. #pipedflowers #lavendercake #swissmeringuebuttercream #icingonthecakebook
Lavender Blackberry Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting and a Piped Floral Wreath. Layers of delicately flavoured lavender cake are filled with a cream cheese frosting and blackberry jam, and topped with a beautiful floral wreath made from piped swiss meringue buttercream flowers. #pipedflowers #lavendercake #swissmeringuebuttercream #icingonthecakebook
Lavender Blackberry Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting and a Piped Floral Wreath. Layers of delicately flavoured lavender cake are filled with a cream cheese frosting and blackberry jam, and topped with a beautiful floral wreath made from piped swiss meringue buttercream flowers. #pipedflowers #lavendercake #swissmeringuebuttercream #icingonthecakebook
Lavender Blackberry Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting and a Piped Floral Wreath. Layers of delicately flavoured lavender cake are filled with a cream cheese frosting and blackberry jam, and topped with a beautiful floral wreath made from piped swiss meringue buttercream flowers. #pipedflowers #lavendercake #swissmeringuebuttercream #icingonthecakebook

Hi hi! Happy Friday! I am super excited to share this recipe from my amazing friend Tessa’s book - a Lavender Blackberry Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting and a Piped Floral Wreath. This is Tessa’s second book, and is called “Icing on the Cake”, and is filled with not only a whole lot of incredible layer cakes, but other amazing desserts - there’s macarons, pies, marshies, eclairs, tarts, the whole nine yards. It’s an incredible go-to book if you need a show stopping dessert, whether it needs to be a quickie to whip up, or a more labour intensive recipe such as this cake!

I taught myself how to make buttercream flowers a while back, and did a quick wee 2 hour course with a friend a few years ago, and they are kind of something that I always forget that I can do, then get excited to make, spend a whole afternoon making them, get mad at myself for not making them more often because they really are learnt by repetition and I need to just sit down and make them more to learn, then do the exact opposite and not make them for ages. However, when I do sit down and take the time to do them, I am reminded how fun they are once you get the hang of them! They can be a teeny bit tricky to start off, but once you get going, they are a really fun and effective way to decorate cakes and cupcakes! I’m definitely going to make them more often if I can! I promise it’s worth all the little piping bags and couplers and tips. Tessa has a whole section in her book about how to make the different flowers, and how to pipe them directly onto cupcakes!

The flowers are great and pretty, but the cake underneath also deserves some spotlight time - it’s so, so good! It’s a pretty simple vanilla cake, but the milk in the cake is infused with lavender, giving it a super subtle floral taste. The lavender is then emphasised in the lavender syrup which is brushed on the layers, then the whole thing is stacked up with a cream cheese frosting and a blackberry jam filling. Lavender and blackberry go so beautifully together, and cream cheese icing is just the best in literally any occasion. There’s a fine line between not being able to taste lavender in desserts and accidentally adding too much and it tasting like hand cream (I’ve done both before), but when it’s good it’s AMAZING, and Tessa has absolutely nailed this one. Congrats lady - I’m so proud, and I can’t wait to bake my way through this bad boy! x

A few wee tips:

  • I’m not going to lie, the buttercream flowers on this take bloody ages. But, they are so, so worth it - It’s amazing seeing how you get better with practice, and I think that it’s a really fun thing to know how to do!

  • Tessa has a great tutorial on her instagram of how to make the flowers she used for this cake! I pretty much just followed that.

  • If you don’t want to pipe the flowers, Tessa has another cake topped with buttercream swirls and blobs that I love, that would also be perfect for this!

  • You need the Swiss buttercream to be slightly on the firm side for this - to help with this I kept the whisk attachment on my mixer and the bowl of buttercream in the fridge until I was ready for it, then gave it a quick whip to help smooth it out. I worked with one colour at a time. AC in your house will help too if it’s summer, but our foster cat has her bed on the AC, so we are still kinda working out how to let her know that she’s going to have to move. We aren’t there yet.

  • I made the cake and the lavender syrup the day before, which really helped to break up the process a bit.

  • Buy yourself a copy of Tessa’s book. Just do it - there’s so so many beautiful things in there!

 

 

Lavender Blackberry Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting and a Piped Floral Wreath

- Makes one Three Layer, 8” cake -

Reprinted with permission from ‘Icing on the Cake’ by Tessa Huff

Lavender Milk
1 cup (240ml) whole milk
2 tsp dried culinary lavender

Lavender Cake
1/4 cup (60ml) sour cream
2 1/4 cups (325g) cake flour
1 1/2 cups (300g) granulated sugar
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup (2 sticks / 225g) unsalted butter, diced, at room temperature
1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
4 large eggs

Lavender Syrup
1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
1 1/2 tsp dried culinary lavender

Cream Cheese Frosting
1 cup (2 sticks/225g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
4 oz (115g) cream cheese, at room temperature
5 to 6 cups (625g to 750g) powdered sugar
3 to 4 Tbsp heavy cream or whole milk
2 tsp vanilla bean paste or pure vanilla extract

Swiss Meringue Buttercream
4 large egg whites
1 1/3 cups (265g) granulated sugar
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 cups (4 sticks / 450g) unsalted butter, at room temperature

To Assemble
1/2 to 1 cup (120ml to 240ml) blackberry jam
Gel Food colouring

 

- PROCESS -

LAVENDER MILK

In a small saucepan, slowly bring the milk to a simmer over low heat. Add the lavender and remove from the heat. Let steep for about 20 minutes. Strain the milk through a fine mesh sieve set over a bowl and discard the lavender. Let cool completely.  

LAVENDER CAKE

Preheat the oven to 350°f / 180°c. Grease and flour three 8-inch (20cm) cake pans and line the bottoms with parchment paper.

In a small bowl or liquid measuring cup, stir together 3/4 cup (180ml) of the lavender milk and the sour cream.

Stir together the flour, baking powder, and salt into the bowl of a stand mixer. Using the paddle attachment, beat the ingredients on low speed until just combined. Add the butter, vanilla, and about 1/2 cup (120ml) of the lavender milk mixture. mix on medium until evenly distributed and the dry ingredients are moistened, about 1 minute. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl.

Add the eggs to the remaining lavender milk mixture and stir to combine. With the mixer running on medium speed, add the egg mixture in three additions, mixing for about 15 seconds after each addition and stopping the mixer between additions to scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl.

Evenly divide the batter among the prepared pans. Bake for 20 to 22 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of each cake comes out clean. Let the cakes cool on a wire rack for 10 to 15 minutes before removing from the pans. Allow the cakes to cool completely, right-side up, on the wire rack before removing the parchment. Level the tops of the cakes with a long serrated knife as needed.

LAVENDER SYRUP

In a small saucepan, combine the sugar and 1/2 cup (120ml) water and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to low and add the lavender. Simmer the syrup for 5 to 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and let steep until cool. Strain the syrup through a fine mesh sieve set over a bowl and discard the lavender.

CREAM CHEESE FROSTING

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or in a large bowl using a handheld mixer), beat the butter and cream cheese on medium until smooth. Meanwhile, sift the confectioner’s sugar. With the mixer running on low, gradually add 5 cups (625g) of the confectioner’s sugar, 3 Tbsp of the cream, and the vanilla and mix until incorporated. Turn the mixer to medium high and mix until fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the remaining 1 cup (125g) confectioner’s sugar, 1/2 cup (65g) at a time, and / or the remaining 1 Tbsp of cream until the desired consistency is reached. It should be spreadable and creamy, not runny.

ASSEMBLE THE CAKE

Generously brush the cake layers with the lavender syrup. Place one cake layer on a cake board or serving plate. Place about 1/3 cup (80ml) of the cream cheese frosting on top and spread it with an offset spatula. Fill a piping bag fitted with a plain round tip with some of the cream cheese frosting. Pipe a ring around the outer top edge of the cake to create a “dam”. Pipe a second ring of cream cheese frosting a couple of inches in from the outer ring, to create a “bulls-eye”.

Use a spoon to fill in the gaps between the rings of the cream cheese frosting with 1/4 to 1/3 cup (60 to 120ml) of the blackberry jam. Top with a second cake layer and repeat; place the final cake layer on top.

Crumb coat the cake with the cream cheese frosting and chill for 15 minutes. Frost the cake with the remaining cream cheese buttercream.

SWISS MERINGUE BUTTERCREAM

Put the egg whites and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer. Gently whisk them by hand to combine. In a medium saucepan, bring an inch or two (2.5 to 5cm) of water to a simmer over medium-low heat. Place the mixer bowl on top of the saucepan to create a double boiler (be sure the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water). Heat the egg mixture, whisking intermittently, until it reaches 160°f / 70°c on a candy thermometer.

Carefully affix the mixer bowl to the stand mixer (it may be hot) and fit the mixer with the whisk attachment. Beat the egg white mixture on high speed for 8 to 10 minutes, until the mixture holds medium-stiff peaks and the outside of the bowl has cooled to room temperature.

Turn the mixer down to low and add the vanilla. Add the butter a couple of tablespoons at a time, mixing until each is incorporated before adding the next. Stop the mixer and swap out the whisk for the paddle attachment.

Turn the mixer to medium high and beat until the buttercream is silky smooth, 3 to 5 minutes.

Note - If your buttercream is a little soupy, refrigerate for 15 minutes then re-whip. You need it to be firm enough to pipe with.

DECORATE THE CAKE

Tint a small amount of buttercream green for the leaves. Tint the remaining buttercream the colors of your choice for the flowers. Cut about 30 2-inch (5cm) squares of parchment paper. Dab a small amount of buttercream on a flower nail and secure a square of parchment on top. Fill piping bags fitted with various piping tips with the tinted buttercream (I like to use a coupler so that I can switch out the tips). I used a petal Wilton #103 and #104 tip, a Wilton #81 tip for the Mum flower, and a small round tip for the little blobby flowers. Tessa has a great tutorial , and there are lots online!

Pipe various buttercream flowers on top of the parchment squares, then transfer the flowers to a baking sheet or cutting board. Chill the piped flowers in the fridge until firm, at least 15 minutes.

To create the flower crown, pipe a ring of buttercream around the top of the cake, about 1 inch (2.5cm) from the edge. Carefully peel the chilled flowers off their parchment squares and use a small offset spatula to arrange them on the ring of buttercream, angling them slightly in and away from the center of the cake.

Fill a piping bag with a leaf tip with the green buttercream and pipe leaves to fill in any gaps between the flowers.

Chill in the fridge until 30 minutes before serving. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge.

Lavender Blackberry Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting and a Piped Floral Wreath. Layers of delicately flavoured lavender cake are filled with a cream cheese frosting and blackberry jam, and topped with a beautiful floral wreath made from piped swiss meringue buttercream flowers. #pipedflowers #lavendercake #swissmeringuebuttercream #icingonthecakebook

Mini Banana Bundt Cakes with Coffee Salted Caramel


 
Banana mini bundt cakes, made in a mini brilliance pan, finished with a coffee infused salted caramel. The perfect treat to have with your coffee. #bananabundt #bananacake #coffeecaramel
Banana mini bundt cakes, made in a mini brilliance pan, finished with a coffee infused salted caramel. The perfect treat to have with your coffee. #bananabundt #bananacake #coffeecaramel
Banana mini bundt cakes, made in a mini brilliance pan, finished with a coffee infused salted caramel. The perfect treat to have with your coffee. #bananabundt #bananacake #coffeecaramel
Banana mini bundt cakes, made in a mini brilliance pan, finished with a coffee infused salted caramel. The perfect treat to have with your coffee. #bananabundt #bananacake #coffeecaramel
Banana mini bundt cakes, made in a mini brilliance pan, finished with a coffee infused salted caramel. The perfect treat to have with your coffee. #bananabundt #bananacake #coffeecaramel
Banana mini bundt cakes, made in a mini brilliance pan, finished with a coffee infused salted caramel. The perfect treat to have with your coffee. #bananabundt #bananacake #coffeecaramel
Banana mini bundt cakes, made in a mini brilliance pan, finished with a coffee infused salted caramel. The perfect treat to have with your coffee. #bananabundt #bananacake #coffeecaramel

I am an absolute shocker at buying bananas and then not eating them, which results in more banana baked goods than bananas being eaten in this household. I always have good intentions to make smoothies, or have them as a snack with some nut butter (which I love, I just always forget), so they inevitably end up weird and spotty, and I bake with them. It’s not the worst problem to have, seeing as I am married to someone with a banana bread addiction, so we always have some on hand in the freezer, pre-sliced, so rich can just pop it in the toaster when the need arises.

I’ve been wanting to work on a banana bundt cake for a while now, and a week or so ago we had an intense backlog of brown bananas, so I started testing. The testing process was actually quite quick, as my go-to banana cake recipe, which I use for a regular layer cake (super old photos, please excuse) and also a sheet cake, bundted like a champ, and I hardly had to make any tweaks. It’s always a little hit and miss when you try baking a recipe you know in a bundt pan - it either is a spectacular fail (like the first test of this cake), or it works first time and all is right with the world (this devil’s food bundt did exactly that and it was just the best day ever).

I topped these mini banana bundt cakes with a coffee caramel - infusing caramel is super easy as it is cream based, so to inject flavour all you have to do is infuse the cream. This time I steeped it with some coffee, and it came out great. Always remember that the flavour will be diluted once it is made into a caramel - I always get a bit worried for a second when the cream is super strong! The caramel was so lovely against the banana, and the coffee flavour complimented it perfectly. You definitely don’t need a caramel topping, but it looks amazing and is a little something extra!

I originally tested this in a regular sized bundt pan (I used this one), and it worked great, so if you don’t have these mini babies, then you can double the recipe - I have popped some instructions in the notes.

A few wee tips:

  • I made a single batch of this recipe twice so that I had 12 little cakes. I found flour settled in the grooves, so I just used some baking spray to help prevent sticking. I used this pan!

  • If you would like, you can double it and put it in a 10 cup bundt pan (I tested it in this), and bake for 55-60 minutes. Leave to stand for 10 min before turning out. Make sure the pan is well greased with baking spray and flour.

  • I like to give the caramel an overnight rest, which means it will likely have to be microwaved to get to the right texture once you are ready to use it, but if you like you can also make it before you make the cakes and leave it to cool while you bake them - if you put it in a shallow container to cool (rather than a jar) it will cool quicker because it has more surface area! I usually just pop it in a jar and leave in the fridge overnight because #lazy.

  • You want your bananas to be waaay on the ripe side for this if possible. Like, if you look at them and are like “ooooh that’s almost rotten” - that’s great. Regular spotty bananas work too!

  • This recipe has a slightly weird step in it - it gets you to dissolve baking soda in milk. This is how I’ve always done it, because this cake is adapted from the banana cake I grew up on. I think it may be to reduce the risk of baking soda bombs in the cake (when you bite into a lump), I guess NZ bakers are bad at sifting their baking soda, or it is to help it disperse? Anyway, it’s there because that’s how I’ve always done it, would love to know if you know the reason! If you don’t want to do this step you can probably just add the baking soda to the dry ingredients, and add the milk along with the vanilla and banana.

 

 

Mini Banana Bundt Cakes with Coffee Salted Caramel

- Makes 6 cakes -

Note: I made this recipe twice in order to give me 12 cakes - I baked them, then let the pan cool while I mixed up the next batch.

Cake adapted from "Edmonds Cookbook"

Coffee Salted Caramel
230g heavy cream
30g coarsely ground coffee
200g sugar
90g butter, at room temperature
2 tsp kosher salt

Banana Mini Bundt Cakes
125g butter, at room temperature
150g sugar
2 eggs, at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
225g very ripe bananas (about two bananas), mashed
40g whole milk
1 tsp baking soda
250g all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
 

- PROCESS -

COFFEE SALTED CARAMEL

Place the cream in a small saucepan. Heat over gentle heat, until you start to see movement around the edges. Remove from the heat and add the ground coffee, stirring to combine. Cover, and steep for 20 minutes. Strain the cream through a fine mesh sieve, pressing down to get as much infused cream out as possible. Clean the saucepan. Weigh the cream, and top up to 120g if needed. Place over a low heat while you prepare the caramel.

Place the sugar in a medium sized heavy bottom saucepan. Heat on medium, stirring constantly. The sugar will start to form clumps, then begin to melt. Cook until is it amber in colour, then remove from the heat and immediately add all of the butter. Be careful as the caramel will bubble rapidly. Once the butter is incorporated, add the infused cream and stir well. Stir in the salt, and pour into a glass jar. Allow to cool completely - either in the fridge overnight, or for a few hours.

BANANA MINI BUNDT CAKES

Preheat the oven to 350°f / 180°c.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar on high speed until light and fluffy, 3-4 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing until incorporated before adding the next. Add the vanilla bean paste and mashed bananas, and mix to combine.

Warm up the milk either in the microwave or in a very small pan, then add the baking soda and mix to dissolve. Add to the mixture and beat to combine.

In a small bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add to the mixer, and mix on low until just combined.

Spray a 6-well bundt cakelet pan with baking spray (see notes on making this a full sized bundt cake), and evenly divide the batter between them. Tap firmly on the bench to help remove any air bubbles. Place on a sheet pan.

Bake the mini bundt cakes for 30 to 35 minutes, until golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to stand for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack and allowing to cool completely.

ASSEMBLY

Place the cooled bundts on a wire rack over a baking sheet. If your caramel has cooled, warm it up in the microwave slightly until it is a pouring consistency.

Drizzle the cakes with the coffee caramel, and finish with sea salt if desired.

Store leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature. If you aren’t planning on eating them all at once, you can store the caramel and cakes separately and assemble before eating to prevent them going too soggy.

Banana mini bundt cakes, made in a mini brilliance pan, finished with a coffee infused salted caramel. The perfect treat to have with your coffee. #bananabundt #bananacake #coffeecaramel

Olive Oil Layer Cake with Meyer Lemon Curd and Rosemary German Buttercream


 
Olive Oil Layer Cake with Meyer Lemon Curd and Rosemary German Buttercream. Fruity olive oil cake is filled with a zesty meyer lemon curd, and finished in a semi naked style with a rosemary german buttercream and spring flowers. #nakedcake #oliveoilcake #meyerlemon
Olive Oil Layer Cake with Meyer Lemon Curd and Rosemary German Buttercream. Fruity olive oil cake is filled with a zesty meyer lemon curd, and finished in a semi naked style with a rosemary german buttercream and spring flowers. #nakedcake #oliveoilcake #meyerlemon
Olive Oil Layer Cake with Meyer Lemon Curd and Rosemary German Buttercream. Fruity olive oil cake is filled with a zesty meyer lemon curd, and finished in a semi naked style with a rosemary german buttercream and spring flowers. #nakedcake #oliveoilcake #meyerlemon
Olive Oil Layer Cake with Meyer Lemon Curd and Rosemary German Buttercream. Fruity olive oil cake is filled with a zesty meyer lemon curd, and finished in a semi naked style with a rosemary german buttercream and spring flowers. #nakedcake #oliveoilcake #meyerlemon
Olive Oil Layer Cake with Meyer Lemon Curd and Rosemary German Buttercream. Fruity olive oil cake is filled with a zesty meyer lemon curd, and finished in a semi naked style with a rosemary german buttercream and spring flowers. #nakedcake #oliveoilcake #meyerlemon
Olive Oil Layer Cake with Meyer Lemon Curd and Rosemary German Buttercream. Fruity olive oil cake is filled with a zesty meyer lemon curd, and finished in a semi naked style with a rosemary german buttercream and spring flowers. #nakedcake #oliveoilcake #meyerlemon
Olive Oil Layer Cake with Meyer Lemon Curd and Rosemary German Buttercream. Fruity olive oil cake is filled with a zesty meyer lemon curd, and finished in a semi naked style with a rosemary german buttercream and spring flowers. #nakedcake #oliveoilcake #meyerlemon

Hi! I am super excited to be sharing this recipe today for this super springy Olive Oil Layer Cake with Meyer Lemon Curd and Rosemary German Buttercream! I have a wee list at the front of my diary (planner for anyone in the US), full of all the things that I want to make for the blog. It can be recipe ideas, concepts, or fully written out ideas, depending on how far along in the thought process I am before I write things down. I’ve had “Semi naked cake with flowers” written on it for the longest time, so I am excited to be sharing this with you, and crossing it off the list! Naked cakes came onto the scene a good few years ago now - I love them for how easy they are to decorate, how versatile they are, and how beautiful they look when they are decorated with flowers!

I’ve been wanting to try my hand at an olive oil cake for a while now - I love the flavour and texture that the oil lends to baked goods. After many tries, and a few weirdly domed cakes that looked like Harry from Home Alone’s burnt bald head, I found a combo of ingredients that made a cake that is the perfect texture. It is fruity from the olive oil and a little lemon zest, and then has a beautiful texture thanks to a little bit of cornmeal I snuck into the batter! It comes together super quickly with no mixer needed - even if you weren’t going to layer this cake up, you could bake it off just as one 9” cake, finish it with some icing sugar, and you would have the perfect quick dessert!

I couldn’t help myself though (as per usual), and went all out, turning this into an amazing layer cake situation. I paired the soft cake layers with a meyer lemon curd, which is a little more mellow than curd made with regular lemons, and then finished the whole thing off with a German buttercream, which I infused with some fresh rosemary. I was initially a little hesitant about the rosemary buttercream because it’s a delicate line of a nice infusion and something tasting like hand cream, but it is super subtle, and goes perfectly with the zesty curd and olive oil cake.

The taste of an Olive Oil cake really does come down to the quality of the oil that you use, as it is the main flavour that is carried through, so you want to use a great quality oil that you love the taste of - one that you would have by itself. I used Filippo Berio’s California Extra Virgin Olive Oil in the cake - It is fruity, with a little peppery aftertaste, which makes it the perfect addition to a cake. It is great in baking, but we also use it for eating with bread and oil, and for finishing salads. Fun fact - my childhood best friend’s family owns an organic olive grove back in NZ, so I spent time as a kid sitting in on olive oil tastings, learning all the different flavour profiles in oil!

A few wee tips:

  • I find it easiest to bake layer cakes in three individual layers. I have three of these pans - they are amazing!

  • I put flowers on this cake - ensure that your flowers are either food safe, or you need to wrap the ends of the stems in floral tape so that they can go on the cake safely.

  • I used bake even strips to help stop my cake from doming. You can either use them, or you can make your own like this! They can be a pain to put on, but it made a huge difference in how much cake needed to be trimmed, giving slightly thicker layers.

  • As I mentioned before, make sure that you use a high quality oil in this cake that you love the taste of, or its going to come out tasting weird. Filippo Berio oil is great for this - I love both the California and the Italian for baking where you want the flavour to shine!

  • I used meyer lemons in the curd. You can absolutely just use regular lemons if you can’t get hold of meyer lemons!

  • It will seem like quite a bit of fresh rosemary needed to infuse the milk for the pastry cream. Don’t worry if it seems super strong - remember that it is going to be mellowed out by the pastry cream ingredients, and again by the butter when you whip up the buttercream.

  • If you can, make the cakes, pastry cream for the buttercream, and the lemon curd ahead of time. I like to wrap the cakes tightly in plastic wrap and freeze overnight to make them easy to frost, but if you are making them the same day, just make sure that they are totally cooled. The pastry cream and curd need time to thicken and cool - either overnight, or if you are in a pinch, pop them into a shallow dish, cover the surface with plastic wrap, and place in the fridge or freezer. A larger surface area helps to cool them quicker.

 

 

Olive Oil Layer Cake with Meyer Lemon Curd and Rosemary German Buttercream

- Makes one 6” layer cake -

Olive Oil Layer Cake
300g sugar
300g all-purpose flour
80g fine cornmeal (fine polenta)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
300g Filippo Berio California Extra Virgin Olive Oil
320g whole milk, at room temperature
3 large eggs, at room temperature
Zest of 2 lemons
1 tsp vanilla bean paste

Meyer Lemon Curd
Zest of 3 lemons
180g Meyer lemon juice
135g sugar
8 egg yolks
90g unsalted butter (can be straight from the fridge), cut into small cubes

Rosemary German Buttercream
190g whole milk
20g fresh rosemary leaves
110g sugar
12g corn starch
1 egg
1 egg yolk
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
340g unsalted butter, at room temperature

 

- PROCESS -

OLIVE OIL LAYER CAKE

Preheat the oven to 350°f / 180°c. Grease three 6” cake pans, and line with parchment paper rounds.

In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, flour, cornmeal, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. In a medium bowl, whisk together the Filippo Berio California Extra Virgin Olive Oil, whole milk, eggs, and lemon zest.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, and whisk together until combined. Finish with a rubber spatula to ensure that there are no dry parts at the bottom of the bowl.

Divide the batter evenly between the three pans. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, until a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack and cool for 10 minutes, then remove from pans, peel parchment from the bottom, and allow to cool completely. These can be made ahead - store tightly wrapped in plastic until ready to use if making ahead.

MEYER LEMON CURD

Place a heatproof bowl over a pot of simmering water, ensuring that the water does not touch the bottom of the bowl. Combine all of the ingredients, whisking often. Watch the edges of the mixture carefully to ensure that it does not catch and go lumpy, switching to a flexible rubber spatula as needed to help clear the sides of the bowl.

Heat, stirring often, until the mixture is thick enough that when you coat the back of a spoon or spatula with curd, you can drag a finger through it, and leave a clear track. Once it is at this point, continue to cook for a further 5 minutes. It will thicken more when it cools. Transfer to a bowl or container, straining through a sieve if you can see any small pieces of egg, then press a piece of plastic wrap directly against the surface of the curd. Place in the fridge to cool completely.

ROSEMARY GERMAN BUTTERCREAM

In a medium saucepan, heat the milk to just shy of a simmer.  Remove from the heat, add the rosemary, stir well, and steep for 30 minutes. Strain through a very fine mesh sieve, and re-weigh the infused milk and top up to 375g. Wipe out the saucepan, and return to the milk mixture to the heat. Bring to just shy of a simmer. Meanwhile, In a bowl, whisk together the sugar and corn starch to remove any lumps, then add the egg, egg yolk, salt, and vanilla bean paste.

Using one hand to whisk constantly, pour half of the hot milk mixture into the egg mixture. This helps to temper the eggs and stop them from scrambling. Whisk until incorporated, and then pour the whole lot back into the saucepan.

Heat the milk and egg mixture over medium heat, whisking constantly, until it begins to bubble. It will thicken quickly. Once it has thickened, cook for one minute, then remove from the heat. Pour into a shallow container or bowl of a stand mixer and press some plastic wrap over the surface to avoid a skin from forming. Refrigerate until cold - at least four hours, preferably overnight. If you need to speed this process up, you can place the pastry cream in a bowl, then place the bowl in an ice bath, or use a shallow container. Stir frequently.

Fit your mixer with the whisk attachment, and place the pastry cream in the bowl. Whip the mixture on medium until creamy and lump-free. Begin adding the butter, a few cubes at a time, until fully incorporated. It may look curdled at some point but just keep whipping - it will come together! Whip for a further 2 minutes.

FILLING AND ASSEMBLY

If the cakes domed in the oven, level them a little with a sharp bread knife. Transfer some of the rosemary buttercream to a piping bag fitted with a medium round tip - this will be used to make a buttercream dam to hold in the lemon curd between the layers.

Secure one of the layers of cake to a cake turntable or cake stand using a little buttercream. Add about half a cup of rosemary buttercream onto the first layer of cake, and smooth using an offset spatula. Create a buttercream dam using the buttercream in the piping bag by piping a ring around the outside edge of the first layer. Fill in the ring with approximately 6 Tbsp of the lemon curd. Place the second layer of cake onto the first, pressing very lightly to secure, and sealing the joins with a thin layer of buttercream. Repeat the layering process - add half a cup of buttercream, make a dam, fill with 6 Tbsp lemon curd, then top with the third layer of cake - I like to put this one upside down to ensure that the top of the cake is flat.

Coat the sides of the cake by applying a thin layer of buttercream over the surface of the cake, and smoothing with a bench scraper or icing smoother. I gave this cake a semi naked look - so added buttercream to the sides, then scraped off to get my desired look. Smooth the top edge of the cake using an offset spatula.

Add flowers as desired (see notes about making flowers safe to use on cakes), and refrigerate until ready to serve. Remove from the fridge about an hour before serving to allow it to come to temperature.

Store leftovers in an airtight container.

Olive Oil Layer Cake with Meyer Lemon Curd and Rosemary German Buttercream. Fruity olive oil cake is filled with a zesty meyer lemon curd, and finished in a semi naked style with a rosemary german buttercream and spring flowers. #nakedcake #oliveoilcake #meyerlemon

Thank you so much to Filippo Berio for sponsoring this post! All opinions are my own.