I have nearly 500 recipes on my site (500!) and not one of them is a layered cake post. Why is that? Firstly, because I'm not a professional baker and cannot decorate a cake beautifully. Secondly, it's so much work. And thirdly, I will be tempted to eat the entire thing if it's good. Well, I decided to finally ignore those excuses and bite the bullet. And let me tell you, I'm glad I did because this blackberry lavender chiffon cake was a winner. Imagine light and airy lavender lemon chiffon cake layered with blackberry curd and covered with honey buttercream. Dreamy, right?
Blackberry Lavender Chiffon Cake
- 18 ounces blackberries
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- ½ cup granulated sugar (100 grams)
- 3 large eggs
- 1 large egg yolk
- ¼ cup butter, cut into small chunks (57 grams)
Lavender lemon chiffon cake
- 3 tbsp lavender divided
- ¾ cup boiling water (188 ml)
- 7 large eggs
- ½ tsp cream of tartar
- 2 cups cake flour (224 grams)
- 1 ½ cups granulated sugar (300 grams)
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ cup neutral oil (125 ml)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp lemon zest
- ½ tsp lemon extract
- 1 ½ cups butter softened (339 grams)
- ½ cup honey (125 ml)
- 4 cups powdered sugar, sifted (480 grams)
- 2 tbsp milk (30 grams)
- 6 ounces blackberries for garnish
- Make the blackberry curd. Combine the blackberries with 2 tbsp lemon juice in a medium saucepot over medium heat. Simmer the berries until they soften, about 5-7 minutes. Remove from heat and puree the berries. Strain the mixture and discard the seeds.
- Whisk together the 3 eggs, 1 yolk, and ½ cup sugar until well combined. Slowly add the blackberry puree, whisking constantly. Return the berry mixture to heat in a medium saucepot over low heat. Simmer the curd until thickened, stirring frequently, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and add the butter a little at a time, stirring until the butter is fully incorporated. Transfer the curd into a bowl and place plastic wrap directly on top of the curd to prevent a skin from forming. Let cool completely.
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line two 9-inch cake pans with parchment paper.
- Prepare the lavender lemon chiffon cake. Combine the boiling water with 1 tbsp lavender and let sit for 10 minutes. Strain the lavender and let cool completely. Grind the remaining 2 tbsp lavender until finely ground.
- Seperate the eggs and place the egg whites in a the bowl of a stand mixer. Add the cream of tartar and whisk the eggs until stiff peaks form.
- Meanwhile, sift the ground lavender with the cake flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt into a large bowl. Create a well in center and add the wet ingredients including the oil, egg yolks, vanilla, lemon extract, lemon zest, and lavender infused water. Mix the ingredients until well combined.
- Gently fold in the egg whites to the batter until fully incorporated. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pans and bake the cake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool completely on wire racks.
- While the cake cools, make the honey buttercream. Beat the softened butter until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the honey and beat for another minute. Slowly add the sifted powdered sugar and beat until fully incorporated. Add the milk and beat until well combined.
- Cut the cakes in half to form 4 individual layers. Pipe the buttercream around the edge of the first layer and fill the center with the blackberry curd. Stack a layer on top and repeat. Place the last layer on top and spread the frosting on the top and around the edges to cover the cake. Place dollops of the curd on the top of the cake and swirl it in with the buttercream to create a pretty pattern. Top with fresh blackberries and serve.
**Helpful tips and common mistakes
If I told you that this blackberry lavender cake was a cinch to make, I would be lying. But then again, what layered cake is? I feel like it's one of those desserts you only make once in a blue moon but when you do, you're so proud of what you've created. I hope you feel the same when you prepare this beauty.
Okay so let's jump right in. This cake has several flavor components including the lavender lemon cake, the blackberry curd, and the honey buttercream. Start by making the blackberry curd which can be made up to 2 days in advance.
Simmer the blackberries with lemon juice until the berries soften and release all of its juices. Puree the berries and strain the mixture, discarding the seeds. I recommend using fresh blackberries if you can for the best flavor.
Then, slowly add the blackberry puree to the egg and sugar mixture, stirring constantly. You're adding hot fruit puree to cold eggs so you want to slowly combine the two to prevent the eggs from scrambling. Continue to simmer the curd over low heat until it thickens, then add the butter a little at a time until it's fully melted. Cool the blackberry curd and get ready to bake the cake.
For this dessert, we're going to make a chiffon cake. A chiffon cake is incredibly light and airy because you're folding in whipped egg whites to the batter. It's a wonderful cake if I do say so myself.
To infuse the lavender flavor, first, steep 1 tbsp dried lavender in the boiling water. Let it cool, then strain the lavender and discard. Finely grind the remaining lavender and sift that together with the dry ingredients. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the wet ingredients.
Now, whip the 7 egg whites with a touch of cream of tartar until stiff peaks form. When you lift the beater from the egg whites, stiff or firm peaks should stand straight up. If the peaks curl slightly at the top, continue beating.
Gently fold in the beaten egg whites into the remaining cake batter until well combined then divide the batter into 2 lined (but not greased!) cake pans. You don't want to grease the cake pans because the grease will prevent the cakes from rising.
Bake the lavender lemon chiffon cakes for about 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. To make sure the cakes maintain their height, cool them upside down on a wire rack.
While the cakes are cooling, make the honey buttercream. This buttercream still has powdered sugar but also includes honey for a subtle but delicious honey flavor. Beat together the softened butter with the honey and slowly add the sifted powdered sugar until well combined. You want to sift the powdered sugar to avoid big clumps in the frosting. Add a touch of milk to make the frosting even creamier.
Next, remove the cakes from the pan and cut them in half to create 4 layers. Place the first layer on your cake stand or plate and pipe the honey buttercream along the edges to create a border. This border will help keep the curd stay in place and not spill out on the outside. Fill the center with the curd and repeat with the remaining layers.
Place the last layer on top and cover the cake with the honey buttercream. This recipe makes just enough frosting for you to thinly cover the cake. It's sweet so you don't want too much frosting.
For the finishing touch, swirl in extra curd on the top and decorate with fresh blackberries.
To best completely honest, I imagined this cake to be prettier. However, I am very pleased with the flavors. The chiffon cake is incredibly light and airy with just a hint of lavender and lemon. The curd is a punch of blackberry flavor and the buttercream is the perfect sweet compliment. All in all, I would consider this a success!
For more cake inspiration check out this blueberry lemon baked alaska!