It’s been many months since I participated in the Avid Baker’s Challenge. Some of the challenges I had done already in previous published posts, while others were too labor intensive for me. With the new year, the baker’s have switched from King Arthur to baking lots of delicious goodies from a fabulous blog called Scientifically Sweet. After perusing through the blog, I love her writing style and with great photos and delectable sweet delicacies, I can’t wait to try her recipes.

Here’s the first one. The only major change I did was add lavender. I didn’t find the cake especially lemony, but with the fragrant flavor of lavender, I really was so in love with this cake, the understated lemon didn’t bother me at all. Maybe the lemon would have been more pronounced without the lavender? Will have to test that theory out…

Before we get to the recipe, let’s talk a little about cornmeal…

My parents are from the Caribbean and cornmeal is a staple grain of our diet. I grew up eating Cornmeal Porridge for breakfast instead of oatmeal, even though I was brought up in NYC. Cornmeal is used in everything like beverages as in this Akasan from my dad’s birthplace to savory side dishes like Coo-Coo and intoxicating desserts like Cornmeal Pudding. Needless to say, I love cornmeal. While some of out ABC bakers did not like the cornmeal and found it made the cake too dry, I love the texture of cornmeal based cakes and since this is really more a quick bread with the use of oil instead of butter, I found the crumb to be perfect…it is not meant to be as tender as a pound cake or the like. It’s perfect with a cup of tea…or as they would say in England…a cuppa.

Do enjoy a cuppa with this delicious tea cake.

Lemon Lavender Tea Cake

Yield: 1 loaf cake

  • 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/3 cup cornmeal
  • grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup oil
  • 1 teaspoon lavender

Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray a loaf pan with non stick spray.
In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and cornmeal. Using a whisk or wooden spoon, stir to remove any lumps.
Using an electric mixer, combine eggs, yolk, lemon zest, salt and sugar. Beat well for about 5 minutes on high speed until light in color, barely yellow and doubled in volume.
In a small bowl, whisk together lemon juice and oil until thoroughly combined.
Add lavender and half of the flour mixture and then half of the lemon mixture, mixing well after each addition. Repeat.
Transfer to prepared loaf pan.

Bake for 50-60 minutes, until knife inserted comes out clean.
Leave to cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan.
Cool completely and slice.

If you’d like to try some of my other tea cakes, do check them out:
Passionfruit Coconut Tea Cake
Papaya Tutti Frutti Cake
Upside Down Kumquat Lavender Tea Cake
Chocolate Chestnut Tea Cake

Chef Mireille

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