This July my family welcomed our first 4th-generation member, a little baby boy. I have never experienced such a profound feeling of awe, wonder and love in a single moment. Oh, to be an aunt! I have a lifetime ahead to look forward to as an auntie for all of my siblings’ children, but first and foremost to my sweet baby nephew. I will love you forever baby A.
On June 5, almost one month prior to Baby A’s July 3rd birth, we celebrated my sister and brother-in-law’s expanding family with a fun backyard Baby-Q bash. Pulled pork was heaped onto fresh buns from Bigsby’s Bake House, sunshine-beer flowed by the glass, and boozy punch was ladled out with generosity (for all except for a certain mama-to-be of course!)
Food was savoured, laughter was contagious and the baby’s fan-club bonded over a shared anticipation for the little one’s arrival. The cake made a grand appearance near the end of the night when jokes started being thrown about that there just might be some extra space for cake. ;)
I decorated the cake with a toy fox and deer found at a childrens’ store on South Granville earlier on in the day. I thought that they added a beautiful whimsical quality to the cake. Since the baby’s mama and papa were avid lovers of nature, I thought that the cake should reflect the imminent woodland adventures that awaited the future Baby A.
I garnished the scene with baby’s breath, lavender springs, wildflowers plus some scrabble tiles that I found at Stepback on West Broadway. I loved decorating this cake. My favourite part? The drippy lavender glaze-frosting reminiscent of a snowy winter-scape, and the secret knowledge that one day my little nephew would play games with the toy fox and deer. :)
Citrus Olive Oil Cake with
Yield: 3 layer 7 inch cake. Temperature: 350 F Time:
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour 1 1/4 tsp baking powder 1 tsp baking soda 1/2 tsp salt 1/2 tsp ground cardamom 3/4 cup high quality extra virgin olive oil 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar 1 tbsp finely grated lemon zest 3 large eggs 3/4 cup buttermilk
1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease and flour three 7 inch pans and set aside.
2. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cardamom and set aside.
3. In the bowl of a stand up mixer with a paddle attachment, mix the oil, sugar, and lemon zest on medium speed until combined. Turn the mixer to medium-low and add the eggs one at a time. Stop the mixer and scrape down the bowl.
4. Turn the mixer to low and add the flour mixer in three batches alternating with the buttermilk, beginning and ending with the flour. Mix on medium for no more than 30 seconds after the last dry ingredients are combined.
5. Evenly divide the batter between the three pans and bake for 24-26 mins or until toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean. Cool for 10-15 mins, then invert the cake pans onto a wire rack.
Lavender Whipped Frosting*
2 cups cold heavy cream 2 tsp dried culinary lavender 2 tbsp granulated sugar 1 tsp vanilla extract
1. In a saucepan, combine the cold cream and lavender. Slowly bring them to a simmer over medium-low heat. Cook for about 5 mins, then remove the pan from the heat and let the lavender steep for 20 mins.
2. Strain the cream though a fine-mesh sieve and set over a bowl and discard lavender.
3. Cover the cream mixture and refrigerate until absolutely chilled again. (At least 2 hours!)
4. Once cold, transfer cream to bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment and whisk on medium speed until it begins to thicken. Add the sugar, vanilla, then whisk on high until it holds medium peaks.
*Note: Make frosting hours ahead!! It takes at least 3 hours to make the frosting when you include chilling time. My cream was not cold enough and my glaze ended up being really drippy. I made-do with my drippy glaze because I ran out of time and liked the effect, but the intent of the recipe is to make a whipped cream! I think this would look lovely as well, and would add even more magic to a woodland snowy scene. ;)
Recipe Credit: Tessa Huff’s Layered cookbook.
I hope you have a wonderful day! Check back in a couple days for the next post in Blue Owl Treat’s Time for Cake web series! Lots of fun, great cake recipes coming up. :)
PS: The Pie Shoppe Part 2 is about to open!(insert heart-eyed emoji)
PPS: Main Street is the main drag for Vancouver’s best coffee.. Matchstick is about to open its third location! Visit for a cappuccino and some of the best sour dough bread that Vancouver has to offer.
PPPS: I love my mustachioed cat
This is seriously one of the most beautiful cakes I’ve ever seen. You should do wedding cakes!
Thank you so much for your sweet message! I think that a future of wedding cakes is something I’d love to do :) I baked two wedding cakes this year so far and each one was such a beautiful challenge (especially since they were each for my sisters’ respective weddings!) I will post the recipe of the most recent wedding cake soon. :)
Oh yeah!! You’ll have to post those!!
Hey Heather, my (my secret soul mate, out-of-control, baking friend). What is the difference between the lavender we pick in our gardens, (mostly over now), and…’culinary’ lavender?
I have been wanting to use the lavender in something. Maybe scones, as I don’t have any upcoming events to bake a whole cake for.
Your sweet nephew is indeed a dream child. Being a Auntie is the best thing in the world! It’s a relationship some parents would die for. (I know that sounds radical…but it’s true) XOX R
Hey Reidun :) I just looked it up, and all lavender is edible and can be used for baking/cooking but the lavandula angustifolia (English Lavender) is the most aromatic and best for baking. So you can definitely use the beautiful lavender from your Bowen garden but it sounds like plucking the flower buds off to use is the best technique. More info here! http://whatscookingamerica.net/Q-A/LavenderCulinary.htm xxx
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