lavender jam & lemon layer cake

This almost didn't happen, folks. It definitely did not turn out on the first try. But thanks to the directions inside no-sugar-needed Sure Jell, it firmed up into jam eventually. We filled a large bowl with what ended up being enough blossoms for 3 batches of jam, 9-10 packed cups. The following proportions work best with no-sugar-needed pectin.


  • 3 cups packed lavender blossoms
  • 3 cups water
  • juice of one lemon
  • 1-1.5 cups unbleached sugar or sucanat
  • 1 box no-sugar-needed pectin


  • sterilize jars by directions on the pectin box; if they're already hot then pouring jam into them won't cause them to crack. Always use new canning lids to make sure they vacuum seal.
  • boil blossoms with water 10-15 min, the smell will be overwhelming so use open windows & an exhaust fan
  • strain out blossoms, add lemon juice, stir in sugar, bring back to a boil
  • add pectin & bring to rolling boil that can't be stirred down for 3 min
  • ladle mixture into mason jars & following canning directions on the pectin box

After chilling the jars to make sure it was really jam, I experimented combining lavender with lemon & vanilla flavors. The most satisfying results were: atop Stone Ridge Creamery's vanilla Tart frozen yogurt & in between layers of this Lemon Cake (yields 8-10 servings).


  • 2 1/3 cups cake flour (I triple sifted King Arthur)
  • 2 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened (we crave Minerva's Amish butter)
  • 1 1/3 cups unbleached, granulated sugar
  • 2 1/4 tsp finely grated lemon zest
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 2 cups Greek yogurt or sour cream (I used one cup of each)
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 11 ounces white chocolate chips (one bag)
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped toasted almonds
  • 2/3 cup lavender jam
  • lavender blossoms for garnish


    • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter 2 (9-inch) cake pans and line with parchment paper; butter and flour sides of pan and parchment paper.
    • In a medium sized mixing bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and salt. 
    • In a large mixing bowl, using a mixer on medium speed, beat butter, sugar and lemon zest until creamy, about 2 minutes. Beat in vanilla extract, egg yolks and lemon juice. Reduce mixer speed to low, and gradually beat in flour mixture, alternating with yogurt, until ingredients are incorporated. Beat an additional 2 minutes to insure ingredients are well combined.
    • Divide batter evenly into prepared pans, smooth surface with a spatula, and bake at 350 degrees F, for 30-35 minutes, or until golden brown around the edges, and a toothpick inserted into cakes comes out with moist crumbs attached.
    • Cool for 12 minutes on wire racks, run a knife around outside edges, and invert cakes onto wire racks (removing parchment paper) to cool completely.
    • To make the white chocolate ganache, heat the cream in a small saucepan, over medium heat, until hot. Pour the cream over the white chocolate chips, set in a large bowl, and stir until melted. Chill in the refrigerator until a good spreadable but pourable consistency.
    • To assemble, spread some white chocolate ganache on one of the cake layers. Sprinkle the almonds over the white chocolate. Layer generously the lavender jam atop the ganache. Sprinkle the almonds over jam layer. Top with additional cake layer, and pour/spread ganache over the sides and top. Garnish with blossoms & more almonds to taste.

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