I needed to make dessert for a family reunion this past Saturday. I was thinking of lemon bars, or lavender lemon cupcakes but couldn’t decide. I ended up with something new. On my honeymoon I had an absolutely decadent dessert at a fabulous restaurant (1111 Mississippi), called Gooey Butter Cake. They served it with a glass of cold, cold milk. It has lived on in my memory ever since.
Why lemon lavender flavor? You see, a couple years ago I was obsessed with trying cake recipes to include the dried buds. I tried dark chocolate with it, vanilla bean, but nothing was a perfect match until I paired it with lemon. I recalled this while thinking of options. So I made my final choice- Lavender Lemon Gooey Butter Cake, and hoped it would turn out my first try. And it more than did. My husband said it was one of the best desserts I’ve ever made. He was totally right, if I do say so myself. It was light, yet sweet, fragrant, and lovely.
Now, finding a base recipe to go from was a little hard. Most recipes use cake mix, which I just cannot do. I’m fine with canned cheese food, but homemade cake is the only kind made in this house 😉
Anyway, I adapted this great recipe here.
2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 tbsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1/2 cup dried, Organic (food safe) lavender
1/2 cup salted butter, softened, cut into chunks
3 eggs (1 in dry mix 2 in wet)
8 oz cream cheese, softened
3 1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 lemon, zested and juiced
-Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a 9×13 dish, or two smaller sizes.
-Blend flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, lavender, butter, and 1 of the eggs until it resembles corse crumbs. Press with your fingers into prepared pan.
-In the same bowl (because, why not?) mix cream cheese, powdered sugar, vanilla, zest, and lemon juice with the 2 remaining eggs until light, fluffy, and pale yellow. Pour onto the lavender crust.
-Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until very light golden brown along the edges. Cool. Serve with cold milk or coffee. Enjoy it. I know you will!
-Swap orange for lemon
-Omit lemon, and lavender and do a vanilla option. Double vanilla, and add vanilla beans, too.
-Serve with a scoop of ice cream