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Lavender Pound Cake

Serve this delightful treat with afternoon tea or lightly toast and butter for a mid-morning snack. You can also make a simple glaze by mixing a cup of powdered sugar with a little buttermilk and a few drops of vanilla extract to drizzle over the top.

1 stick unsalted butter, softened

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

¾ teaspoon baking powder

¼ teaspoon baking soda

¾ cup cane sugar

2 teaspoons lavender buds

4 teaspoons lemon zest

½ vanilla bean, split

2 large eggs

½ cup buttermilk

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Preheat oven to 350’ F.

Whisk together flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda in a medium-sized bowl; set aside. Combine the sugar, lavender and lemon zest in a food processor. Scrape seeds from the vanilla bean and add to the sugar mixture (save the bean to infuse sugar or chop and add to black tea). Process for 1 minute, or until lavender buds are finely chopped.

In a large bowl, cream together the lavender sugar mixture from the food processor and the butter with an electric hand mixer for 5 to 7 minutes until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, scraping down sides of bowl as needed.

Combine the buttermilk and lemon juice in a small bowl; set aside.

With the mixer running on low speed, add the flour mixture to the creamed lavender sugar and butter mixture in thirds, alternating with buttermilk and lemon juice mixture two times so that dry ingredients are added first and last. Stop just before all the flour mixture is incorporated. Finish mixing by hand with a wooden spoon just until blended.

Pour batter into a greased loaf pan lined with parchment paper – leave a few inches of overhang on long ends of the pan. Smooth out the top of the batter with a spatula.

Bake 55 to 60 minutes, or until a butter knife or cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Let the cake cool on a wire rack for 20 minutes before turning out. Carefully peel off paper and let cool completely. Sprinkle with powdered sugar, if desired.

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