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Lavender and Lemon Loaf

I recommend using the gorgeous Shipton Mill cake flour to get a beautiful tender crumb. This recipe has been adapted from the hummingbird bakery cookbook. They have so many wonderful cake recipes but I think this is one of the best. The original is flavoured with just lemon and vanilla, which is of course delicious.


320g castor sugar
3 large eggs
grated zest of 2 unwaxed lemons (I use a microplane for this)
350g plain flour (cake flour)
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
250ml whole milk
1 tbsp dried lavender
220g unsalted butter

For the syrup

freshly squeezed juice and zest of 1 lemon
100ml water
50g castor sugar
1 tbsp dried lavender


Preheat the oven to 170˚C.
In a small saucepan melt the butter with the lavender. Once the butter has melted leave to infuse.

Meanwhile sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl.

Put the sugar, eggs and lemon zest into a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer until well mixed. Whisk for 5 minutes to incorporate air into the mixture. It will become light and fluffy.

Add one third of the flour mixture and one third of the milk to the sugar mixture. Beat well. Repeat this process until the ingredients have been added. Beat on a high speed until the mixture becomes light and fluffy.

Strain the butter through a sieve to get rid of the lavender.

Turn the mixer down to low and pour in the melted butter. Beat until well incorporated.
Pour the cake batter into a loaf tin greased and lined with baking paper (22cmx12cm) and bake for about 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until golden brown and the sponge bounces back when touched.

When the cake is baking make the syrup. Put the lemon juice, lavender, sugar and 100ml water in a small saucepan and bring to the boil over a low heat. Raise the heat and boil until it has reduced by half, or until it has the consistency of a thin syrup. Strain this through a sieve to get rid of the lavender.

When the cake comes out of the oven spoon the syrup over the cake. Leave to cool completely. If you are having trouble lifting the cake out of the tin you can put it in a hot oven for 1 minute. This will make it easy to remove from the tin.