Have you seen that new Target commercial with the supermodel “Mom” strutting her stuff, whisk in hand? She catwalks through a maze of exploding boxed baking mixes in her white designer frock and 5″ heels towards the camera. She outstretches her arm revealing a delicate egg. The voiceover declares, “Dominate that PTA bake sale” as she crushes it in her hand, egg exploding slo-mo style. It’s brilliant! The first time I saw it I stood there in my sweats, entranced, and thought: A. I want to look like that!, and B. Oh c’mon, boxed mixes, really?!
Now, for those of you who really do want to “dominate that PTA bake sale”, I have a suggestion. So many people have food allergies these days, so why not bake something gluten and dairy-free? It’s becoming pretty easy to find alternative baking ingredients like rice flour blends, rice and nut milks, and coconut oil…and even Target carries them now! Here’s a bake-sale worthy recipe for you. A sweet/tart lemony pound cake flecked with delicate bits of lavender flowers, infused with lemon syrup and topped with a sweet coconut butter glaze. This cake is out-of-this-world delicious and no one would ever guess that it’s gluten and dairy-free! Plus, it contains the added health benefits of coconut oil.
A friend of mine had raved about the one that she had made back in June and I had been wanting to concoct my own version ever since. During my vacation in August, I discovered a phenomenal farmer’s market in Mt. Pleasant, SC. There was a spice vendor there who just happened to have some cute little packets of dried lavender flowers, so I bought them with this cake in mind. Citrus season is upon us and affordable juicy organic lemons abound. When using lemon rind in a recipe, I always use organic to avoid the pesticide residue found on the conventional. So, now is the perfect time of the year to whip up this treat, which is loosely based on Ina Garten’s famous Lemon Pound Cake recipe. If you don’t have coconut butter on hand for the glaze, you can improvise by using coconut milk.
Recipe for Lemon-Lavender Pound Cake:
1 1/2 C. Gluten Free Flour Blend
2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
1 c. So Delicious coconut yogurt, plain
2/3 c. sugar
3 large eggs
2 T. lemon zest or zest of 2 lemons
1 1/2 t. dried lavender flowers, lightly chopped
1 t. vanilla extract
1/2 c. coconut oil, melted
For the syrup:
1/3 c. fresh lemon juice
1/3 c. sugar
For the glaze:
3 T. coconut butter (I use the Artisana brand)
6 T. powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 350°. Spray a loaf pan with oil of choice. Mix the flour blend, salt, and baking powder in a bowl with a whisk. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs, yogurt, sugar, coconut oil, lemon zest and vanilla together. Whisk the dry ingredients into the egg mixture. Pour into loaf pan and bake in the center of the oven for approx. 50 min. When you can stick a toothpick in the center and have it come out clean, then the cake is done. When just cool enough to handle, carefully invert onto a cooling rack.
For the syrup: While the cake is baking, prepare the syrup by combining the lemon juice and sugar in a small saucepan over med. heat. Allow to come to a low boil. Once the sugar is dissolved, it’s ready. Set aside.
Turn the cake right side up on the rack. Poke holes all over the top with a toothpick. If you want to envision someone you dislike intensely while you do this, then go for it. (Yes, cooking IS therapy!) Now, spoon that yummy syrup all over the cake. Some of it will run off of the sides and that’s OK.
For the glaze: In that same saucepan in which you made the glaze, lightly soften the coconut butter over low heat, stirring. Whisk in the lemon juice and the powdered sugar until frosting consistency. It will be thick. Remove from heat.
With a spatula, carefully spread the coconut butter glaze over the top of the cake. It’s fine if the cake is still warm, which will help the glaze to spread.