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May 2, 2011 05:18 PM

Gramercy Tavern Lavender Lemon Pound Cake

I'd like to make this for Mother's Day. Have any of you made it and if so, what did you think?

If feedback is good, I'd like to double the recipe and make a large bundt cake instead of a 9 x 5-inch loaf (bundt is 12 cup capacity). I think I'll have to increase baking time, not sure by how much. Any suggestions would be a great help, I'm never sure about changing pans and doubling the volume. If I have the time and everything I need I'll probably have a go at it this Saturday. What do you think?

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  1. For baking pan substitutions I always check

    Haven't tried the Gramercy Tavern Lavender Lemon Pound cake but if it's on the same level as the Gingerbread it'll be fantastic. I look forward to seeing/reading about your success with it (:

    Lemon is one of our favorite cake flavors around here and in case you're looking for another to try - my go to that I've made several times is Ina Garten's Glazed Lemon Loaf, which makes two loaves.

    4 Replies
    1. re: maplesugar

      Great! I wish I'd known about that website sooner, I usually just wing this sort of thing. Thanks for the link.

      I haven't tried the gingerbread yet, looking forward to trying that one too. Hoping a few other CHers have tried and liked the lavender/lemon combination since I may use it for another event as well.

      1. re: maplesugar

        What a cool substitution website! Thanks maplesugar!

        1. re: THewat

          You're welcome although I can't take credit for the find. I'm just sharing a fellow hound's excellent tip - just wish I could remember who it was so I could thank them properly :)

          1. re: maplesugar

            great resource, isn't it? i stumbled across it years ago before i discovered CH, and the first time i saw someone post it here i knew i was among kindred souls :)

      2. well it certainly *looks* wonderful!

        looking forward to hearing how it turns out for you...

        2 Replies
        1. re: goodhealthgourmet

          Thanks for posting that Ghg. I'll go ahead and post the ingredients for Claudia's original recipe which is what I'll be using :

          1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
          1 Tablespoon dried lavender
          5 large eggs
          1 cup Sugar
          1 1/2 cup plus 2 Tablespoons cake flour
          1/4 tsp salt
          1 Tablespoon grated lemon zest (from about 2 lemons)
          1 tsp vanilla extract (I might scrape a vanilla bean)

          1/2 cup Sugar
          1/4 cup Water
          1/4 cup strained fresh lemon juice
          3 Tablespoons Dried Lavender

          As for how it 'looks', I thought I'd pull up some pictures this morning and came across this one, just posted a few days ago:

          Well, this is the exact recipe doubled in a bundt pan looking very nice, no extra baking time required. What was interesting was the author of the blog was supposedly 'inspired' by the lavender fragrance at a local farmers market, which brought to mind an old clipping dated 2002 from the LA Times with the recipe. It is the same exact recipe doubled. No credit for Claudia it seems...

          1. re: lilgi

            Do you still have the recipe for the bundt pan? This link goes to an asthma site. TY

        2. I made the loaf to try first and it is in the oven now while my head is throbbing from an amazing headache at the moment, but binge day is tomorrow so it's totally worthwhile (totally!).

          The pound cake couldn't be simpler to put together. I had simple syrup in the fridge, added the lemon juice and lavender, and gently heated the mixture in a small saucepan. The aroma from the syrup (and the cake) is incredible. It reminds me of herbal tea (particularly chamomile) with lemon, only much more fragrant and appealing.

          I'll be able to try this tomorrow and share some feedback after a few others besides me have tried it.

          1. I thought it was okay, sounding and looking better than it tasted. I also didn't add the full amount of syrup (she says in her recipe to finish it), so it might be the reason why I thought it could use more flavor. I feel strongly it needs 1/2 teaspoon salt (recipe specifies only 1/4 teaspoon) since the cake is sweet and rich. I would also add 1/2 cup lemon juice to the simple syrup (not 1/4) as I thought the cake could have used more tartness and lemon flavor.

            I loved the idea of a lemon lavender cake for Mother's Day and really enjoy the flavor combo, but next time I'll try another recipe for the cake and add the lavender. Ina's might be a good one to start, maplesugar posted above.

            19 Replies
            1. re: lilgi

              Lilgi, thanks so much for reporting back. Sounded perfect for mother's day! Good to know about the syrup. I actually pulled out my Claudia book last night....want to try this in 4 mini loaf pans I have.

              1. re: apple342

                Apple if you get around to it please report back. I'll be trying this one again soon with a little tweaking and the bigger bundt pan; would be great to get more feedback!

                1. re: lilgi

                  I will defintiely report going to make this week with some adjustments. Thanks so much for the feedback and suggestions...hopefully we can get some kinks ironed out, so you can enjoy a great graduation cake!! :)

              2. re: lilgi

                thanks for the report, and i'm guessing you're spot-on with the adjustments that need to be made. i'm always a fan of tart over sweet, so the addition of juice would be a necessity for me to amp up the lemony fact, i'd probably add some finely grated zest to the batter.

                1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                  I am so with you on the tart over sweet. With regards to the batter, her recipe does include the zest in the batter (from about 2 lemons or 1 tablespoon, recipe above). Will be trying this again since I'll be making a larger one for a graduation party (one of the girls, since it's such a girly/summery dessert ;))

                  1. re: lilgi

                    I baked this pound cake (following the 9x5 loaf recipe) this morning. Instead of the lemon-sugar syrup I made a light lemon icing and drizzled it over the top with a light sprinkle of the lavender buds once the loaf was cool. It created a nice thick coating of icing on each slice and amps up the lemon flavor without being sticky. My main reservation about syrup soaking is the stickiness.

                    1. re: HillJ

                      I'm giddy over here ;D

                      I love the syrup part of it and regret not using it all. I thought texture-wise the cake would have benefited much more from the syrup since I found it to be a little on the dry side. I also liked the way the lavender from the syrup infuses the cake this way. So I wonder now how you found the texture/moistness of the cake (as far as pound cakes go)? I was also in a bit of a hurry when I did my loaf and simply brushed the syrup on, but I get a much better result when I poke holes and use the spray bottle. I'm rolling up my sleeves this weekend and have the bigger one planned with a few other changes.

                      I'm so glad you tried it HillJ! Thanks for letting me know how it turned out.

                      1. re: lilgi

                        During the five eggs and sugar whip, I whipped it a full 10 mins in the KA. Lots of air! Then gently folded the dry ingred. in three quick fold-batches. Then the butter-lavender went in and also three quick wide folds. Baked off for 42 mins.
                        The cake is moist and a very fluffy crumb. The lemon icing I prefer is just lemon juice and powdered sugar ratios so I have a thick drizzle and the lav. buds over it.

                        1. re: HillJ

                          I'll whip the eggs and sugar much longer this time; I'm pretty sure I only whipped about 5 minutes worth (only until I saw the color lighten in the egg mixture and the fluffiness, but not further). I didn't think to fold in the butter/batter mixture, but I was careful when I blended it in and made sure it would incorporate and not sink. I'll spend more time with it this weekend.

                          With the timing I gave it 45 minutes and the center had barely cracked, so the skewer was saturated coming out. I had to cover it with aluminum (the sides pressing against the glass were browning) and gave it 10 minutes more. But in my oven this is normal, even though my oven temp is running where it should be.

                          1. re: lilgi

                            Sounds like you're more than on the right track with this cake. And the syrup is your preference. The only other tip is using lemon extract in addition to the zest, juice if you really want a strong lemon flavor.

                            I wonder how cupcakes would work? I love the use of lav. buds in lemon.

                            1. re: HillJ

                              I feel the same way about the lavender w/lemon so I'm fixated with this. And you know how cupcakes get bashed here, but they have their place. I can see myself finding an excuse to make those with sugar daisies on top.

                              I'll try to post pictures this weekend after I make the cake, I haven't done that yet here.

                              1. re: lilgi

                                i confess, i'm a habitual cupcake-basher...but it's because i don't really like frosting, and because i was subjected to far too many bad cupcakes in childhood. now if one was to make the lavender-lemon recipe in cupcake form but cover it with a generous drizzle of tart lemony icing instead of standard buttercream, i'd be all over it ;)

                                1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                  I am with you on the icing, I'm a cake gal. But oddly enough I came to accept them at this late stage of my life and regret it because I wish I had seen their value sooner. I'm just glad that nowadays an average cupcake doesn't necessarily mean a mountain of frosting. One dessert that gets requested many times over are my Boston Cream pie cupcakes; simply one serving size in individual form. I like them this way much better than the cake but some here prefer it otherwise. That's okay, different strokes :)

                                  eta: Just to clarify, when I mention requests, I usually mean extended family and friends and over the holidays when it gets busy I bake for friends and neighbors, so not just my boys (who would probably eat the same thing over and over again if I let them).

                                  1. re: lilgi

                                    you had me at Boston Cream Pie Cupcakes! i'll take pastry cream and ganache over frosting ANY day :)

                                    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                      I'm saving one in your name over the holidays ghg :)

                                      1. re: lilgi

                                        aw, thanks doll :) and please make sure that whomever enjoys it for me truly relishes every last glutenicious morsel!

                                  2. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                    oh I'm with you there. I'm not a basher but I am very particular about cupcakes. Very.

                  2. I reread the posts that night and went back to look at the cake. It was velvety/cottony and tall, so I realized I've second-guessed myself as usual, and looking at the photo it looked as it should. I made the bundt cake tonight using twice the recipe and changed very little, except for the syrup. I was ecstatic with the syrup, and ghg it made a huge difference to the tartness. I used 1:1 sugar and freshly squeezed lemon juice with 1/8 cup water just to loosen up the syrup. Since I doubled the recipe I added 6 Tablespoon of the lavender. The syrup turned a beautiful lilac color, not that you would see this, and I felt the flavor was perfect.

                    ghg, is there anyway you can do this with different flour? I'm posting the other small changes I made to the batter (for 2X), the only big change here was an increase to the salt and the zest of 6 large lemons which for me yielded 6 heaping Tablespoons. Again, I didn't use all the syrup but the cake is drenched now and as it sits I'll see if it needs to soak up more as time passes.

                    This is double the recipe and enough for a 10-12 cup bundt pan. I baked for close to an hour:

                    2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter
                    2 Tablespoons dried lavender
                    10 large eggs
                    2 cups sugar
                    3 cups + 4 Tablespoons cake flour
                    1 teaspoon fleur de sel
                    Zest from 6 large lemons (or 6 heaping Tablespoons)
                    2 teaspoons vanilla extract

                    6 Tablespoons dried Lavender
                    1 cup sugar
                    1 cup fresh lemon juice
                    1/8 cup water

                    I took some pictures but I don't think the cake looks nice after it's drenched. I didn't focus on esthetics, just wanted to get the texture and flavor right and it worked out beautifully. The aroma here tonight is awesome.

                    HillJ, I so wish you liked syrup ;( Let me know if you try the cupcakes soon, I may try them along with you.

                    14 Replies
                    1. re: lilgi

                      This one didn't post above:

                      1. re: lilgi

                        so happy to hear the second time was the charm!

                        i make a GF lemon cake with lemon glaze that i think would take well to the lavender syrup. i still haven't started baking again, but when i do, i'll probably try it as mini bundts or loaves.

                        in the meantime i'll just continue to live vicariously through all of you :)

                        1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                          Thanks, at least you don't have to worry about your waist for a while right? Let me know how they turn out when you make them. I thought this was deelish :)

                          1. re: lilgi

                            don't hate me for saying this, but that's never been a problem...i tend to enjoy the baking process more than i enjoy eating the results (granola being the one exception). when it comes to sweets i've usually had my fill after a few bites, so i tend to give away everything i make.

                            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                              I have to be careful with tatsing, while raising the boys I was strict on sugar because of the addictive qualities. Now that they're older I started baking again. Now that I have a binge day it makes it easier because I have to be able to taste, but it's been manageable.

                              I have to agree though, I enjoy doing it and what's even better is that when the aroma fills the house I'm already sated, much like Thanksgiving before you sit down and eat.

                        2. re: lilgi

                          What a beauty! Even tho I don't enjoy the sugar syrup my family does. I'm going to try a mini cupcake version for July 4th celebrations.

                          1. re: HillJ

                            Will probably try on these HillJ since I have the pan:

                            But I am really tempted to get the rose cakelet pans which I've wanted for a while.

                              1. re: HillJ

                                Thanks so much, I've saved that link and I'll be doing some shopping soon for a few things I need, but among them I was looking at these:


                                I really love these, the roses I think even more. I didn't see them there right away but I'll keep looking. Thanks again!

                                1. re: lilgi

                                  Oh the lavender-lemon mini pound cakes would be so pretty in the rose pattern.

                                  1. re: HillJ

                                    See? I bet we have the same pointy shoes in our closets too ;D

                                    1. re: lilgi

                                      Oh you are too funny....and not all that far off either.

                          2. re: lilgi

                            Yay!!! Lilgi, your cake is gorgeous!! Thanks for posting the photos and so happy to read that this time worked for you! I am sure you could use a different flour. I want to try w/ AP flour that has been sifted a few times and try a gluten-free version of this beauty. Thanks again for sharing the info---this is awesome!

                            1. re: apple342

                              Thanks! I mentioned the different flour for ghg who needs to be gf. I'm sure with the ap flour it would be great. I'm really excited about this cake, was happy to share.