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Chocolate Lavender & Earl Gray Bundt Cake

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Chocolate Lavender & Earl Gray Bundt Cake

If Taylor’s whiskey bundt cake was the manliest of bundt cakes (if one could ever call a bundt cake manly, that is), then this is definitely the girly version.

I guess purple flowers or whatever make lavender seem feminine. However, that doesn’t mean that boys can’t enjoy lavender-scented sweets sometimes too. Likewise for girls and whiskey. That whole girls and boys and sugar and spice nonsense is seriously outdated.

Chocolate Lavender & Earl Gray Bundt Cake

Just pretend there’s Earl gray in that teacup, ok?

Because there’s actual earl gray tea in this cake. Not imaginary tea like the empty teacup might indicate.

Why earl gray? I don’t know. It just sounded fancy. And seemed like it’d be a good combination with the lavender. Basically, I thought that adding a whole cup of hot water to this cake was a waste of precious flavor space. So I used hot tea instead.

Dried Culinary-grade Lavender Flowers

And ignore that price sticker still on the teacup (man, I just can’t win with this one, can I?)

The cake recipe itself is almost identical to that of the whiskey bundt cake, just with a modified flavor profile and (obviously) no whiskey. It really is one of my favorite chocolate cakes. Moist and tender and deeply chocolate. It can also be made as a layer cake if you choose, like another one of Taylor’s birthday cakes, the Blackberry Red Wine chocolate cake. Yep, same basic recipe.

If it ‘aint broke, don’t fix it, right?

Lavender Sugar for Chocolate Lavender & Earl Gray Bundt Cake

Since the lavender in this cake is so subtle (intentionally so – the last thing I wanted was a cake that tasted like soap), I chose to sprinkle a little bit of lavender sugar on top. Lavender sugar is not nearly as fancy as it sounds. It’s basically some lavender smushed together with sugar.

Powdered sugar glaze for Chocolate Lavender & Earl Gray Bundt Cake

This is one of those surprising and sophisticated flavor combinations that just works. The lavender and tea bring out the complex, floral notes in the chocolate that you never knew were there. I’m actually surprised you don’t see more lavender chocolate things around, seeing as how well they work together. The earl gray is a nice added touch too. On first bite you’ll taste something different there, something beyond ordinary chocolate, but unless you’ve got an impeccable palate probably won’t be able to pinpoint exactly what that something is. Of course, if you’re observant, the dried lavender flowers on top are pretty much a dead giveaway, otherwise, you won’t know until someone tells you what mysteries this cake holds.

Chocolate Lavender & Earl Gray Bundt Cake

It’s way more than sugar and spice, that’s for sure.

Chocolate Lavender & Earl Gray Bundt Cake

Ingredients:

For Cake:

  • 1 cup hot water
  • 1 earl gray tea bag
  • 1 tablespoon culinary-grade dried lavender flowers
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup dark or dutch-processed cocoa powder, sifted
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil

For Glaze:

  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1-2 tablespoons milk, as needed
  • purple food coloring (optional)
  • lavender sugar*

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Generously butter a standard (12-cup) bundt pan. Dust with 1 tablespoon each flour and cocoa powder, and tap and turn until pan is completely coated. Dump out excess.
  2. Steep tea and lavender in hot water for 5 minutes, then strain and discard flowers and tea bag.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine the sugar, flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt, whisking until thoroughly combined. Add eggs, milk, sour cream, and oil and mix with an electric mixer on medium-low speed until dry ingredients are almost incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add lavender tea mixture and stir until just combined and no dry ingredients remain (do not overmix). Pour into prepared pan.
  4. Bake for 50 to 55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the deepest part of the pan comes out clean. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack until cool enough to handle, then gently invert onto a wire rack. Allow to cool completely.
  5. To prepare glaze, place sugar in a bowl. Add 1 tablespoon of milk and whisk until smooth. Add food coloring (if desired). Continue adding milk, 1 teaspoon at a time, until glaze flows off the whisk in thick ribbons, and melts back into itself in 5 seconds. If the glaze is too thin, you can add additional powdered sugar as needed.
  6. Pour glaze over the top of cake, letting it drip down the edges and pool at the base. Sprinkle with lavendar sugar. Slice and serve and drizzle with additional glaze as desired. Cake will keep, stored in an airtight container, for up to 3 days.

*To make lavendar sugar, crush 1 teaspoon of lavender flowers with a mortar and pestle. Mix with 1/4 cup granulated sugar, using your fingers to smash and rub the flowers with the sugar granules.

All images and text © Lindsay Landis /

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34 Comments Leave a Comment »

  1. I absolutely love everything to do with lavender! this looks delicious! 

  2. Lavender and earl grey? Sounds perfectly girly and lovely. I just bought lavender scented laundry soap and I’m hoping my whiskey-loving husband doesn’t mind. I don’t he’d mind either cake though! 

  3. I love everything about this cake… Everything!!

  4. This is such a neat flavour!! Love this idea!

  5. What an elegant bundt cake! Sounds and looks just amazing!

  6. That is STUNNING!
    Pinned for sure!

  7. i have every ingredient and this is my kind of cake,so I’m off to the kitchen…..right now!

  8. It’s a good thing I didn’t know when you made this or I would have invited myself over. It looks and sounds amazing!

  9. Pretty amazing cake,  I am trying to imagine the flavor of lavender and if my beloved husband would like it – although I would probably bring 90% of the cake to the department, and be a very famous person for that day and a few more as the memories last… ;-)

  10. So smart to have a stellar base recipe, then mix it up with different flavors. This one is for the girls! (But tell Taylor I’d still love an enormous slice of the whiskey bundt.)

  11. This looks fantastic. I love pairing sinful chocolate with more delicate (but potent) flavors like lavender and earl grey. Perfect pairing with an afternoon tea!

  12. This sounds lovely! I’ve tried an earl gray-lavender macaron before, which was heavenly. What a great flavor combination. Thanks for sharing!

  13. I love this! Lavender, chocolate and tea are three of my favourite things. My fourth favourite thing is cake, so this it right up my alley :)

  14. I have a jar of lavender sitting in my pantry, now I know what to do with it. Thanks, your cake looks delicious! Pinning now.

  15. Looks fantastic and am sure that it tast the same;-)

  16. Wow! This cake looks decadendent, even if the lavender is supposed to be delicate! By the way, I’ve yet to notice the price sticker on the teacup… ;) You are very right to be careful with lavender, I tried to use it in ice cream once and I put two teaspoons. It was hardly edible! First time ever that I couldn’t eat ice cream… But I learned from my mistake and when I made a Peach, Honey and Lavender Sorbet, I was careful to use just a light tea infusion of lavender! That one turned out just fine ;) I can’t wait to try your chocolate cake!

  17. this is beautiful! I love it!!

  18. Wow this is one outstanding and interesting cake . Very special. Good job!

  19. This cake is beautiful. I love this flavor combination!

  20. The color of that glaze is beyond gorgeous! Beautiful, as always, Lindsay! 

  21. I think I like lavender in a cup more than earl grey :) The cake looks amazing, beautiful colour. 

  22. Beautiful photos, Lindsay. I wouldn’t have noticed the sticker if you hadn’t said it!! XO

  23. Your Whiskey Bundt Cake was one of the best desserts I’ve ever made. And I make a lot of dessert! :) I can’t wait to try this one, too. Thank you for your awesome recipes!

  24. I completely agree that lavender and chocolate go very well together. That gives me so many ideas right now…
    PS: Thanks for posting something other than pumpkin spice at this time of year! 

  25. Oh, I love lavender and I rarely cook with it. Thanks for sharing the recipe! 

  26. I am a sucker for a good bundt cake and this one looks like a keeper! I will be making it ASAP!!

  27. Absolutely perfect cake.  It’s become my “go to” recipe for chocolate cake.  Never fails to surprise and delight folks who I serve it to.

  28. Good idea! The bergamont in Earl grey is actually related to lavender. Super excited to try this out!

  29. Hi Lindsay, I just wanted to thank you for sharing this bundt cake recipe. I recently hosted a small tea party for some girlfriends and your cake was the centerpiece. Your directions must’ve been perfect because the cake turned out wonderful – my best cake yet! It was so moist, I loved the texture. I couldn’t taste the lavender and earl grey myself, but I’m sure they contributed somehow to the delicious flavor. Thanks so much for sharing this creative recipe with us. Oh, and it plated beautifully with the purple frosting and lavender sugar on top! My only disappointment was that my glaze job didn’t look as pretty as yours, but that’s ok ;) Just wanted to share my good experience, thanks again and keep up the good baking! P.S. I wish I could attach a picture of my cake here, but I don’t see an option to do that.

  30. I made this cake today, the batter looked extremely runny for a cake but after cooking turned out beautifully. It looks super moist, but not fudgy or runny. Can’t wait to taste it. (Yeah, I just took it out of the oven.) #CoolIt

  31. I just made this for my husband’s birthday, but glazed the top with sugar dissolved in the Earl Gray/lavender tea. I served it with topping of whipped mascarpone and cream infused with lavender and vanilla. So good!

  32. I am doing this tonight, for my son’s school party. It will be a great hit, paired with a lavander lemonade.
    I am planning to use the lavander tea for the glaze, like Megan did.
    Thanks for the recipe (from Italy!)!

  33. This recipe is divine! It is so rich and chocolatey and so moist. The earl grey and lavender are such a unique balance to the chocolate cake. It is so deliciously different and just what one needs to reawaken one’s sweet tooth!!

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