I got to make a little dessert table for my birthday and I was lucky enough to celebrate with my friends and family. I decided to make a cake I personally would love to make/eat, but I chose flavours most people probably wouldn’t order. I’m the birthday girl so I get to choose the cake flavour this time *rubs hands together mischeviously*. I decided to make a chocolate cake with earl grey infused buttercream and lavender shortbread cookies in between the layers.
I would say this cake was very me, because I have a huge obsession with earl grey and lavender… and chocolate of course. I also decided that I wanted to practice my buttercream flowers and what better time than now?
The cake starts off with a classic chocolate cake recipe, Earl Grey Italian meringue buttercream (recipe below), and to that, I added chopped up lavender shortbread cookies to put in between the cake layers. This cake was super fun to make, I always love experimenting with other textual/flavour elements you normally wouldn’t put into a cake (aka shortbread in this case). The crunch and floral flavour of lavender in the shortbread, suspended in the smooth buttercream and moist chocolate cake adds a nice, almost refreshing surprise when you bite into a slice of cake. I hope you enjoy this as much as I did.
So here it is, the recipes and the video tutorial.
This makes 2 8×3″ round pans.
For the cake
180g (3/4 cup) unsalted butter (At room temperature)
350g (1-3/4 cup) sugar
3 eggs (at room temperature)
275g (2-1/8 cup) flour
82g (3/4 cup) cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
390mL (1-1/2 cup) milk (or buttermilk — omit the vinegar if using buttermilk)
1 1/2 tsp vinegar
For the cake:
1. Preheat the oven to 350F/180C
2. Grease two 8″ cake pans
3. Cream the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy.
4. Add eggs one at a time, until pale and fluffy
5. Sift and combine flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, salt. Set aside
6. Add vinegar to milk if making your own buttermilk. Set aside
7. When the butter, sugar, egg mixture is fluffy, add 1/2 dry ingredients, mixing on low speed until the flour absorbs the butter slightly.
8. Add all the wet ingredients, mix a few times
9.. Add the rest of the dry ingredients. Mixing on slow speed until the batter is mostly combined for 1 min. Turn the mixer up to high speed for 10 seconds. Do not overmix!
10. Pour batter into cake tins and bake for 30-40 min until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Assembling the cake:
1. Cut the cake into even layers
2. Brush simple syrup over the cake layers
3. Spread a small amount of buttercream over the cake layer
4. Cut up about 2 lavender shortbread cookies into centimetre cubes, and put a layer of the cookies into the buttercream.
5. Spread more buttercream over the cookies until there is a flat and even layer of filling
6. Repeat steps 1 – until you have reached your last cake layer
7. Brush the top with simple syrup
8. Mask the cake using the rest of the buttercream and decorate as you’d like
London Fog Italian Meringue Buttercream
note – you will need a candy thermometer for this recipe!
2-3 earl grey tea bags
150g egg whites (5 eggs)
1 pound of butter (454g)
1. Steep your tea in water for about 10 minutes.
2. Put your egg whites into a clean stand mixer with a whisk attachment
3. Add your sugar and tea in a saucepan, bring to a boil on high heat and using a sugar thermometer, watch the temperature. When it reaches 234F/112C, turn on the mixer on medium speed. When the sugar reaches 242F/117C take it off heat.
4. Lower the speed of your mixer and pour the sugar syrup in a slow and steady stream into the mixer. Once all the sugar syrup is in, turn the mixer to medium high and mix until the meringue is stiff and has cooled completely.
6. Add your softened butter in chunks and let it whip until it starts to curdle, and then come together.
Basic Simple Syrup
100g (1/2 cup) sugar
100ml (1/2 cup) water
boil the sugar and water until the sugar granules dissolve
Feel free to decorate and assemble as you’d like, but if you’d like to see how I put this cake together, check it out in the video below. Enjoy!! 😋