Blueberry Lavender Cake

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    I’m dedicating this cake to my grandfather. As most of you know, he recently passed away and his funeral was two weeks ago. This cake reminds me of him because of how simple and elegant it is and it brought me a sense of serenity when I was making it. It makes me sad that I never got to see him that often. Taiwan isn’t the easiest (or cheapest) to get to and even though we went back every two years, every two years to see all your relatives is still not enough. Don’t take for granted all your relatives and family members that live near you. See them as often as you can. It’s really true when they say that life is very short. Although my grandfather was so far, we were still close. Him and my grandmother were the closest sets of grandparents to my brother and I. My dad’s parents passed earlier on in our lives so we didn’t get to spend too much time with them. It sometimes makes me angry that I live so far away from my relatives. Every single aunt, uncle and cousin and their children are 7000 miles away from me. I have cousins who don’t even know who I am. I’m just “that aunt” when I go back to Taiwan. They’ll see me for like two days and then they won’t see me for another two years or more. What makes them really remember me, you know? I’m never there. I miss my grandfather so much. It’s really hard losing a grandparent, especially one that you’re close to. I’m just thankful I got to talk to him a week before he passed. If I didn’t make that phone call, I would’ve regretted it the rest of my life. To hear him say how proud of me he was and to hear him say that he was able to see my wedding photos – that really meant the world. It was so incredibly hard to hold back tears and have my voice not break up when I was talking to him. You wanted to stay positive for him. You couldn’t let him know that you were sad or that things weren’t going well. I had to keep saying, “take care of yourself, grandpa, I can’t wait to see you next year.” Well, there is no next year. I won’t ever get to see or hug him again. The last time I saw him was almost four years ago. It’s so hard to have family so far.

    This also brings me to what I have been thinking about all weekend: life is short, keep the ones you love and that support and care about you, the closest. The ones that don’t matter, don’t mind. This is how I’ve been feeling a lot about my friendships lately. A lot of friendships in my life are such one-way streets. They expect you to make the plans. All. the. time. It’s frustrating. And you know, some of the friendships I have, are the ones where if you don’t make the effort to try to talk to them, you’ll NEVER hear from them, so in a sense, why do I bother trying? What is the point? Just cut the cord. If they don’t really care about me, then why should I always been so keen to care about them and want to hang out with them? I just feel that nothing should be a one-way street, and if it is, then maybe it’s time to rethink some aspects in your life. Not sure if this is how you guys feel about friendships, and maybe I just see things differently. I’m sorry if I’m being “too harsh” or “too abrasive” with the way I deal with these issues, but you know, after years of trying, there’s a point where you re-evaluate everything in your life. Like I said earlier, life is short. Why keep ones around that don’t support you and why keep trying to be friends with someone that doesn’t really want to keep in touch with you and always throws the ball in your court to make the plans? It shouldn’t always be on me. Why keep the ones around that always come to you when something good in your life happens? Shouldn’t they be around for the good and bad? I can’t deal with the “friends” that hear you’re doing well for yourself and then they suddenly come around, as if to mooch off you or to get in on it just so they can say they know you.

    My grandfather will always be apart of me and I’ll always keep him near and dear to my heart. Knowing how great of a man he was and how ambitious he was as a businessman is what keeps me going & striving to make my own dreams come true. He made his dreams come true with his hard work and positive attitude, therefore, so can I! :)

    Blueberry Lavender Cake

    Simple, elegant, fresh, and delicious: this blueberry lavender cake is one of a kind. It's moist and has incredible flavor!
    Prep Time: 30 mins
    Cook Time: 1 hr
    Total Time: 1 hr 30 mins
    Servings (adjustable, but please note that results, timing, and cookware may vary when adjusting servings): 1
    Calories: 905kcal
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    Ingredients

    For the cake:

    • 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, room temperature, 3 sticks
    • 2 cups granulated sugar
    • 3 eggs
    • 3 egg yolks
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract
    • 3 cups + 2 tbsp. cake flour
    • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
    • 1/8 tsp baking soda
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 1 cup 2% milk
    • 1 1/4 cup fresh blueberries, do not use frozen

    For the lavender simple syrup:

    • 1/4 cup water
    • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
    • 2 tbsp dried lavender, muddled

    For the blueberry buttercream:

    • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature, 2 sticks
    • 2 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
    • 2 tbsp 2% milk
    • 15 fresh blueberries, do not use frozen

    Instructions

    • Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and butter and flour two 8" round baking pans. Place a 8" round piece of parchment paper into the bottom of each cake pan, as well. Set aside.
    • In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. In the meantime, whisk together the egg, egg yolks and vanilla extract together in a small bowl. With the mixer on low, gently pour in egg mixture and mix until just incorporated.
    • In a large bowl, whisk together 3 cups of cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
    • Add 1/3 of the flour mixture to the butter mixture and gently mix until incorporated. Then add half of the milk and mix until incorporated. Add 1/3 of the flour mixture then add the rest of the milk. Mix until incorporated. Add the final 1/3 of the flour mixture and mix until everything is well incorporated.
    • Using the remaining 2 tbsp. of cake flour, toss the blueberries in the cake flour until they're all coated. Gently fold the flour covered blueberries into the batter with a spatula, careful not to burst them.
    • Divide batter evenly amongst the prepared baking pans. Bake for 50-60 minutes. Let cool for 15 minutes then invert onto a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
    • In the meantime, make the lavender simple syrup by combining sugar and water in a small sauce pot and bringing to a gentle simmer until sugar has dissolved. Add the lavender and with the back of your wooden spoon, crush the lavender to release more of the fragrance and flavor. Remove from heat and let steep for 30 minutes.
    • While the cakes are cooling and the lavender syrup is steeping, make the butter cream by mixing together butter, confectioners sugar, milk in a bowl of a stand mixer. As the mixer is going, on low, throw in the blueberries. They will burst and create a nice light purple color to the buttercream and you'll see flecks of the blueberries in the buttercream. If your buttercream is too thick, add more milk, 1 tsp. at a time. If your buttercream is too runny, add more confectioners sugar.
    • Once your cake layers have cooled you can begin to assemble them. Gently grab one layer of the cake and place it on your cake stand. Place pieces of wax paper under the cake, all around the cake stand, so when you finish icing the cake, you can remove the wax paper and have a clean cake stand :)
    • Pour half of the lavender simple syrup on the top of the cake, let soak into the cake for a few minutes.
    • Take your offset spatula and place a generous amount of buttercream in the middle. Working from the middle out, spread the buttercream all over the layer, leaving a 1" border.
    • Gently grab the top layer of your cake and place it on top of the bottom layer. Pour the remaining half of the lavender simple syrup on the top of the cake and let soak into the cake for a few minutes. Place a generous amount of buttercream in the middle, and again, work from the middle out and go all down the sides and all over until you cover the entire cake.
    • Cut and serve! You can keep this cake in an airtight container for up to 5 days. I would keep it in the fridge and let it come to room temperature before eating again.

    Notes

    Yellow Cake base recipe adapted from The Daily Meal
    Nutrition Facts
    Blueberry Lavender Cake
    Amount Per Serving (1 slice)
    Calories 905 Calories from Fat 441
    % Daily Value*
    Total Fat 49g 75%
    Total Carbohydrates 110g 37%
    Dietary Fiber 2g 8%
    Sugars 82g
    Protein 8g 16%
    * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
    Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate. Based on 10 slices per cake. 

     

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  • 112 Comments
    Julie Wampler of Table for Two
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    Comments

  • Jamie @lifelovelemons says:

    Gorgeous. What a great flavor combination!

    • Julie says:

      Thanks Jamie!!

  • Tracey says:

    It is so hard to lose grandparents. I lost the ones I was closest to over 5 years ago, and still miss them all the time. This cake is lovely, and such a wonderful flavor combo!

    • Julie says:

      Aww *hugs* it’s definitely hard but as long as we can remember the happy times and moments we got to spend with them, their memories will live on!

  • Sommer @ ASpicyPerspective says:

    This is such a gorgeous cake, Julie! Oooh, it makes me want to grab a big slice right through the screen! :)

    • Julie says:

      Thanks, Sommer!

  • Beth says:

    I think your version of this cake looks even better than the one we had at Fido!

    • Julie says:

      *blushes* thanks Beth!! Hopefully we can go to Fido again sometime and actually get to order off their specials menu! haha

  • Ali | Gimme Some Oven says:

    Your grandfather sounds like an amazing man. Thinking of you as you are missing him!

    This cake is an absolutely beautiful dedication. Love the blueberry and lavender combination!

    • Julie says:

      Thanks so much for the kind words, Ali! xoxo

  • Gina @ Running to the Kitchen says:

    Beautiful post, beautiful cake :)

    • Julie says:

      Thanks, Gina :)

  • Tieghan says:

    What a cool grandfather. He sounds like an amazing man!!

    This cake is just STUNNING! Really, it is beautiful and so delicious looking. Wow and yum!

    • Julie says:

      Aw thanks Tieghan!! Congrats on the FoodieCrush Magazine feature!

  • Maria says:

    Such a pretty cake!

    • Julie says:

      Thanks Maria!!

  • Kevin @ Closet Cooking says:

    What a pretty cake! I do not use lavender nearly enough!

    • Julie says:

      I don’t use lavender nearly enough either! It’s such a great flavor!

  • Rachel @ Baked by Rachel says:

    I’m sure he was and if there is a way… he’s still looking down on you proud of all you’ve done and are doing. Always keep the ones that matter close, even if distance keeps us apart physically. :) And obviously gorgeous cake. So glad it turned out!

    • Julie says:

      Aww I wish we lived closer :( every day I swear we wish that. I’d keep you very close ;) haha

  • Laurie {SimplyScratch} says:

    MMMMMMmmmmm! I love it Julie! Gorgeous shots toooo! I hope you saved me a slice? :)

    • Julie says:

      Request taken! Slice saved :)

  • marla says:

    What a perfect flavor combo for cake!

    • Julie says:

      Thanks, Marla!

  • Maggie @ A Bitchin' Kitchen says:

    Totally agree about not taking relatives for granted. My family is 200 miles away which seems insanely far, so I can’t imagine how difficult it is having family all the way in Taiwan.

    This cake looks beautiful by the way…I bought some culinary lavender from Dean and Deluca a few months ago to make lavender-lemon shortbread, and have been looking for some other uses for it!

    • Julie says:

      I’m trying to find more uses for lavender too! That lavender-lemon shortbread sounds divine. We should switch recipes :)

  • Meagan @ A Zesty Bite says:

    What a beautiful post Julie! Thanks for sharing it with us and this lovely cake.

    • Julie says:

      Thanks, Meagan. Means a lot to me! xoxo

  • Heather Christo says:

    I am so sorry about your grandfather. I lost my grandmother this past year and it was really hard. I still think about her all the time. But there was great comfort in thinking about what a full life she lived. As far as the friends, it goes like clockwork. When you get married, you have to weed the garden. Your life is too full to be tending to the dandelions Julie. Sometimes it is better to just focus on those that are not so high maintenance and let the others go, because your life will not get any less full, you know? And no one needs to get sucked down :) Your cake is just gorgeous by the way. The texture looks perfect!!

    • Julie says:

      *hugs to you* Heather! Seriously so happy to know you and have you in my life! xoxo

  • Jenny Flake says:

    Gorgeous gorgeous cake and touching story! xoxo

    • Julie says:

      Aw thank you Jenny! xoxo

  • Pamela @ Brooklyn Farm Girl says:

    Super gorgeous, you’re a pro! Lovely words you wrote, sending you great big hugs (just hug your monitor back). :)

    • Julie says:

      Haha, you’re funny :) hope my coworkers don’t look at me funny for hugging my monitor! ;) xo

  • alexandra @ sweet betweens [blog] says:

    Julie, I can’t say I know how it feels to not be able to see my family on a somewhat regular basis. Though I have dear friends scattered across the globe, many of them at my ‘home’ in Hong Kong, my family is all within a 2 hour flight from me here in Nashville. I am sure your grandfather knew how much he was loved by you, so to have this lovely cake as a testament to your memories is just beautiful.

    I’ve not had the Fido version yet [as I always get swayed by the delicious savory dishes and fill up before I can have dessert!] but now I think I’m going to have to make this and never even try the Fido version. This looks absolutely delicious!

    Thanks so much for sharing. Not only the recipe, but your stories.

    • Julie says:

      Aww, Alex, thank you so much for your comment. So sweet of you. Thank you for reading and taking the time to comment! I hope we can both go back to Asia soon to visit!

  • Shaina says:

    What a beautiful post, Julie. I’m so sorry about your loss and hope you and your family are doing well. It is so important to keep the people you care about close , this really pulled at my heart strings.

    • Julie says:

      Aw, Shaina, I’m glad/happy to share my stories. I’m glad it made an impact on you and that you were able to take away something from it. Thank you for reading :)

  • dixya| food, pleasure, and health says:

    I am sorry about your grandfather again Julie. I live on the other side of the world and havent been home for almost 5 years now and its extremely difficult to be away from families esp. during time of happiness and distress. I am very touched by this post on both friends and families. I have had to rethink my relationship with friends recently and have cut off few of my really good friends – its sad and hurtful but sometimes its good for both parties I guess.

    • Julie says:

      It’s always so so hard to be away from family. I’m so glad this post touched you. Definitely weed out the bad even if it hurts. Pull that bandaid off – I’m sure you’ll be happier in the end :) xoxo

  • Annalise @ Completely Delicious says:

    This is one seriously gorgeous cake!

    • Julie says:

      Thank you so much Annalise! Means a lot coming from you because you make very stunning and beyond gorgeous cakes! I love your photography :)

  • Sophie says:

    wow! What a beautiful cake!

    • Julie says:

      Thank you, Sophie!

  • Lauren @ Climbing Grier Mountain says:

    What a beautiful post, Julie! I think your grandfather is smiling down and wishing you nothing but success. You are right that we need to enjoy every moment. Life is so precious.

  • claire @ the realistic nutritionist says:

    Um, yes. I’d take that cake to the bahamas.

  • Kathleen MT says:

    Love the flavor combo…. but what do you do with the lavender simple syrup? I’ve read through the recipe several times (thinking I’m missing something) but I’m not seeing where it goes?

    • Julie says:

      Ahh I’m SO sorry!! I’ve modified the directions and added that step in! Thanks for looking out!! I’ll have to modify the print instructions shortly.

  • Carolyn says:

    Your cake looks gorgeous! My son just sent me a jar of culinary lavender from New Mexico. As I was looking at the steps for the cake I don’t see where the lavender simple syrup is used. Help! :)

    • Julie says:

      Ahh I’m SO sorry!! I’ve modified the directions and added that step in! Thanks for looking out!! I’ll have to modify the print instructions shortly.

  • Robyn Stone | Add a Pinch says:

    So yummy and beautiful!!! Love it!!!

    • Julie says:

      Thanks, Robyn! :)

  • Zainab @ Blahnik Baker says:

    I love the combination of blueberry and lavender and your pictures are beautiful. Your post is also very touching and I am very sorry to hear about your grandfather. I agree life is too short to waste and we have to enjoy every moment and not waste time on two-faced friends.

    • Julie says:

      I completely agree! Thank you for your kind words!

  • Laura (Tutti Dolci) says:

    Such a pretty cake, and such a sweet tribute to your grandfather. Hugs! xo

    • Julie says:

      Thanks Laura :) *hugs*

  • Mr. & Mrs. P says:

    Julie- the combination of lavender and blueberry sounds amazing!!! Beautiful looking cake!

    • Julie says:

      Thanks so much!

  • Mimi @ Culinary Couture says:

    It was very touching to read all that Julie, I’m so sorry for your loss. And for the record, I have never thought that you were too harsh or abrasive, I actually really admire how straightforward you are about things. You just tell it like it is, and honestly, more people could benefit from being like that. Your pictures are absolutely stunning today; they just keep getting better and better! You should really look into doing a photography post, we could all learn a thing or two! :)

    • Julie says:

      Thanks, Mimi. That means a lot. I sometimes don’t know how my tone comes across and there have been some people who have written me emails saying they’re tired of being “yelled” at. Well, I’m sorry! This is my blog! Haha :) I always hope to tell it like it is and to be HONEST and upfront. Thank you for accepting that.

      I do want to do a photography post but I honestly don’t know where to start. I feel like I’m not even that good to be giving professional advice! Thanks for thinking I am though – I’ll definitely consider it. I’ve gotten quite a few requests. I’m just timid about it :)

  • cassie says:

    I think food is one of the best ways to remember loved ones when they are no longer with us. This is touching!

    • Julie says:

      Thanks, Cassie! Food definitely is the best way to pay tribute and to remember loved ones.

  • Leah | So, How's It Taste? says:

    Aw, so sweet to read you talking about your grandfather so lovingly. I’m glad this cake reminded you of him. I agree on the friendships. I have several where if I don’t call or email, I’d never hear from them again. I’m kind of ready to stop calling and emailing. Sigh.

    • Julie says:

      *sigh* I could go on and on about the friendship situation…more of a reason you should move to Arlington :)

  • Angelyn @ Everyday Desserts says:

    So sorry to hear about your grandfather :( Losing a family member is always so difficult.
    Your cake is beautiful though and this post is just touching!

    • Julie says:

      Aw, thank you Angelyn!

  • Des | Life's Ambrosia says:

    So sorry about your grandfather. I remember how hard it was when I lost my grandfather a few years back. I didn’t get to see him that often either so having those regrets were kind of hard. I turned to cooking to to help. It can be so calming can’t it? This cake is beautiful. I just made a blueberry cake not too long ago but used lemon. Now I have to make another one and try lavender. Not that I’m complaining :)

    • Julie says:

      Thanks Des! Yes, one of the reasons I love to cook is because of the calming effect, haha not to mention the lavender in this made it somewhat calming too ;)

  • Nessa says:

    Really nice post. And the cake is beautiful!

    • Julie says:

      Thanks, Nessa!!

  • DessertForTwo says:

    I’m so sorry for your loss. I was incredibly close with my grandfather, and I can tell you that years later, it still hurts. Grandfathers are a gold mine of wisdom, laughs, and support. I don’t think sweeter hearts exist.
    Thinking of you & your family
    xo
    Christina

    • Julie says:

      Aw Christina *hugs* wish we could have coffee together and share stories about our grandfather. I swear there’d be so many fun stories and happy tears to share. xoxo

  • Kiran @ KiranTarun.com says:

    So sorry for your loss, but I’m sure he’s smiling down at you and how much hard-work you are putting in realizing your dreams :)

    Gorgeous cake!

    • Julie says:

      Thanks Kiran :) you’re too sweet!

  • Aimee @ Simple Bites says:

    It sounds like your grandfather was very special, and I’m happy you had that last call with him. I am so very sorry for your loss, Julie. Life is indeed short.

    My entire family lives on the other coast of Canada and I have a host of nieces and nephews that are growing up so fast. Skype helps to keep in touch and when we DO see them, I try to have a ‘date’ with them. Kids remember! It’s worth making that effort.

    Beautiful cake. I’ll accept a slice in honour of you and your new motto on friendship. Hear, hear.

    • Julie says:

      Thanks Aimee. Skype is such a wonderful way to keep in touch. I’m glad you do that with your nieces and nephews! xoxo

  • Stephanie @ Girl Versus Dough says:

    I know just how you feel — the grandfather I was closest to passed away almost two years ago and the pain is still so fresh sometimes. But this is such a wonderful dedication to his life — doing something you love and are so good at. :) Lovely recipe, Julie!

    • Julie says:

      Thanks so much Stephanie :)

  • Gaby says:

    oh man, I am so into this~!!!

    • Julie says:

      Wish I could mail you a slice!

  • Kathryn says:

    Such a lovely post Julie and I’m so sorry for your loss. I’m so glad you got to speak to him that last time, I bet it meant the world to him to hear your voice too. Lots of love xx

    • Julie says:

      Thanks, Kathryn. Much love to you too!

  • Averie @ Averie Cooks says:

    This cake is stunning, Julie! Wow. I have been in love with blueberries lately and have 3 prewritten drafts (b/c I can’t keep posting blueberry recipes every other day..lol) I would adore this cake.

    And your brutal honesty is appreciated! And I am sorry for your loss.

    • Julie says:

      I have so many blueberry recipes too! I love how abundant it is right now. Thanks for the affirmation about brutal honesty – I love telling it like it is, even if some people don’t like it lol

  • Audra | The Baker Chick says:

    This is such a beautiful cake Julie! I have never baked with lavender but I feel like I’d love it so I really should give it a try. What a sweet tribute to your grandfather as well.

    • Julie says:

      Thanks so much Audra!

  • Angie | Big Bear's Wife says:

    Wonderful cake and post for your grandfather. <3

    • Julie says:

      Thanks darling!

  • Jackie {Domestic Fits} says:

    First, this cake is stunning.
    Second, you are so right. We get so caught up in blogger drama, first world problems, DMCA notices, that we can waste our days feeling awful when we should realize that we are throwing away time would be spending with people we love rather than on stupid petty things. It’s nice to step back and remember what is real and what is important and what is NOT important! Well done lady :)

    • Julie says:

      Some days, it just totally gets to ya and you just gotta enjoy life for it’s way too short. I’m so glad you liked this post and that you were able to take something away from it. Much love to you, Jackie. You’re wonderful! xo

  • Marta @ What Should I eat for breakfast today says:

    This cake is beautiful and your dedication makes it even more beautiful. You made me think about my grandma, I need to visit her more often. She lives in a different country as well so it’s not easy, but she’s an amazing person.

    • Julie says:

      I’m so glad this sparked a memory and I hope you visit your grandma soon. It’ll be worth it and the memories will live on and on :)

  • Ash- foodfashionparty says:

    It’s hard to lose anyone, PERIOD. Such a nice way to think of your grandpa.
    Hi, nice to meet you, I stumbled upon your Holy Yum chicken and heck yes, it was HOLY COWW Yum….we all licked it clean.
    This cake is gorgeous looking…
    Tc and stay happy.

    • Julie says:

      Thanks so much Ash! Glad you enjoyed that chicken dish!!

  • Jaclyn says:

    I’m so sorry to hear about your grandpa! My grandpa just passed away several months ago too. I wish you the best Julie and hope all of your family is doing well! This cake looks gorgeous and delicious by the way! I love the foods that remind me of those that have passed on :).

    • Julie says:

      Aw i’m sorry to hear about your loss, too, Jaclyn. Thank you for your sweet words about the cake!

  • Carla @ Carlas Confections says:

    I think your grandpa would be very proud of and touched by you making this cake for him. It is so gorgeous. Love you friend! Xoxo

    • Julie says:

      Aww love you too my darling friend!! xoxo

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