Makes one three-tier six-inch cake
Ingredients for the Lemon Cake:
3 cups cake flour, sifted
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 lemons, zest freshly grated
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
4 large egg whites
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 cup milk
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
Ingredients for the Lavender Frosting:
3 sticks unsalted butter, softened and cut into cubes
3-1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
3 Tablespoons whipping cream
1 Tablespoon dried culinary lavender
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
a pinch of salt
violet gel food color
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour 3 6-inch cake pans.
In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Zest the lemons and set the zest aside.
In the bowl of your electric mixer, beat the butter until creamy. Add in the sugar and beat on medium speed, scraping down the sides if needed and increasing it to high speed for 2 to 3 minutes, until the sugar and butter is fluffy. Beat in each egg and white until incorporated, then add the vanilla, almond extract, and lemon zest until combined. Beating on low speed, add in half of the dry ingredients until combined, then add in the milk and lemon juice. Add in the remaining dry ingredients and beat until combined.
Distribute cake batter evenly between the three prepared cake pans. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until a toothpick or cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool for about 10 minutes; remove from the pan and cool completely before frosting.
To make the frosting, in a small bowl, stir the dried lavender into the whipping cream. Cover with plastic wrap overnight (or for at least several hours).
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whip butter for 8 minutes on medium speed until butter becomes very pale and creamy. Strain the lavender cream and add to butter, along with all remaining ingredients and mix on low speed for 1 minute, then on medium speed for 6 minutes. Frosting will be very light, creamy, and fluffy. Add a few drops of violet gel color and mix until blended.
To assemble cake, place layer on serving platter. Using an offset spatula, spread top of layer with 1/2 inch of frosting. Top with trimmed layer and repeat frosting until all three layers are stacked.
Top cake with fresh lavender and flowers.