This chocolate lavender cake is beyond cute and delicious. Rich chocolate cake with a silky smooth frosting that isn’t overly sweet, easy to prepare but doesn’t taste overly sweet.
I am a huge chocolate cake fan… as a kid I’d never opt to eat vanilla cake, chocolate was always my favorite. Now I’d have to say I’m divided evenly between the two.
I love lavender and making a cake with lavender color and lavender flavored frosting was high on my list to make. And I knew it would go wonderfully with chocolate cake, so stay tuned for an easy layer cake recipe with the perfect frosting.
Funny quick story about the frosting…
I wanted it to be a soft pretty lavender color without being highly saturated (like you’d see in bakery/grocery store cakes) As I got my bin of food coloring out all the purple colors were either empty, dry, or had turned brown. What are the chances, well with me… that’s how things go. I really didn’t want to run around town to find lavender/purple food coloring.
So I scooped out a small portion of frosting and began mixing up colors to make the color myself. It took me a few tries, a little blue, a little burgundy red, deep pink, and whamo, it looked quite grey in color going in.
But once mixed with the whitish/yellow from butter frosting it was lavender… and it did get a little darker as it sat, which was just perfect. It started out a little light, but as usual with food coloring, a little goes a long way, colors deepen the more they sit.
I often have an item I’d like to match item too, for this frosting was matching them to these roses, they helped me realize I needed some bright pink like the outer edges to make sure the frosting had plenty of color and didn’t just end of being grey-ish in color.
As you can see my coloring project worked. Don’t be like me… buy lavender food coloring, save yourself time, energy, and stress, and add a little coloring to the frosting let it rest for an hour, add more if needed.
Don’t shy away from making a layer cake, even this 3-layer cake can look intimidating, but rest assured if you can bake 1 cake you can bake 3!
I prep my cake pans (8″x 2″) with wet baking strips so the cakes bake evenly. Baking strips save time, energy, and frustration since the last thing I want to do is trim the cake and create more crumbs… so be sure all the items you need are ready, it’ll make baking and assembling the cake easier.
I didn’t frost the cake in any fancy way, I just piled frosting in between the cake layers and spread it out, then piled some on top and swirled it with an offset spatula and finished it off by swirling the back of a spoon into the frosting to create a nice swirled effect.
I bake the cake the day before (well night before) I don’t mind baking at night, it saves tons of time and stress the day I’ll be assembling and serving the cake. It also allows time to clean up so everything can remain neat in the kitchen.
Cutting a round cake into thin slices that are rectangular is a great idea, makes for portioning the cake nicely. Triangle slices on a 3-layer cake are big pieces, the rectangles make it nice for serving and for sharing and to put them into containers or wrap for individual portions.
I use this style container 22-24 oz is a great size, I also scoop out any extra frosting and place that into small 2 oz containers in case someone has a sweet tooth and wants more frosting, it makes a great item to bring to a friend.
I added some rosemary sprigs that I twisted together at the top with floral wire to create the look of bunny ears. The option for ears is endless, you can use just about anything. Cardboard painted or slather them with frosting, use some glitter. Use melted chocolate and pipe ear shapes, or use some other herb, lavender, thyme, or glue together some green leaves.
This cake is fun for any occasion, certainly not just around springtime!
You can top the cake with some flowers, edible lavender pieces, or some fun sprinkles!
I forgot to mention some fun notes on the frosting:
It’s not as sweet as American Buttercream, it’s smoother and silkier but is made in the same way. It reminded me of Swiss Meringue Buttercream without all the fuss. So give this Creamy Frosting Recipe a try and see what you think. It’s dairy free, uses simple ingredients and if you don’t like overly sweet frostings use salted butter or a pinch of salt so there is balance in the sweetness.
- Lavender Scones
- Lavender syrup
- Chocolate lavender cake
- Lavender Iced Tea
- Chocolate Lavender Cookies
- Lavender Chocolate Chunk Frozen Yogurt
If you prefer your cake “fluffy” don’t refrigerate your cake, just keep it at room temperature, you can put it in the fridge for 15 minutes to set the frosting if it seems soft. Don’t over-fill the frosting on a three-layer cake to prevent the layers from slipping. You can put a couple of long wood picks in the center of the cake to keep it stable… my preferred method is below.
Refrigerated cake will have a more dense texture, great for layer cakes, so they don’t slide, for a bakery texture refrigerate or freeze cakes to lock in the moisture before stacking and frosting (this is my preferred method) I don’t prefer an extra fluffy cake that cuts and crumbs are everywhere… but the choice is yours.
Chocolate Cake Lavender Frosting
- 1 cup unsweetened cocoa
- 2 cups boiling water or coffee add 1 tablespoon instant coffee if using water
- 2 3/4 cups sifted flour
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup butter room temperature
- 2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1-2 teaspoons lavender extract
- Preheat oven 350°.
- In a medium bowl combine cocoa with coffee/water and instant coffee mixing with a wire whisk until smooth.
- Allow this mixture to cool.
- In a large bowl of a mixer, beat on high the butter and sugar, until pale in color and smooth.
- Add in the eggs, and vanilla and lavender extracts and mix on medium until well blended together. Stopping to scrape down the sides as needed.
- In another medium bowl whisk flour with baking soda, salt, and baking powder so there are no lumps.
- Add in the eggs, and vanilla and mix on medium until well blended together.
- On low-speed mix in flour mixture and cocoa mixture.
- Do not overbeat.
- Prepare 3 8" baking pans with parchment on the bottom and baking spray on the sides for easy removal of the cake after it's baked.
- Divide the batter evenly in the 3 pans.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
- Cool the cakes in the pans for 5-10 minutes.
- Then turn the cakes out on a cooling rack until completely cooled.
- Then wrap cakes in plastic wrap and refrigerate until cold or ready to frost.
- I refrigerate the cakes so they don't slide, fall apart or crumble when layering them. Cold cake is firmer to work with and the frosting will spread easier without getting crumbs in the frosting as well. A couple of hours or overnight. You can also freeze the cakes. If you're freezing for more than a day or so, wrap them in plastic wrap then foil, so they'll hold their shape well and prevent air from getting to them. Cakes can be frozen for up to 2 months.
Ultra Creamy Buttercream Frosting
- 1 1/2 cups salted butter 3 sticks room temperature (pinch of salt if using unsalted butter
- 1 cup powdered sugar + up to 1/2 cup if needed
- 1/3 cup french vanilla creamer room temperature
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- optional:1 teaspoon lavender extract
- optional: lavender food coloring
- in the bowl of a mixer beat butter until smooth and light in color.
- in a separate medium bowl whisk powdered sugar so there are no lumps, then add the creamer and extract(s), mix until it's a really thick syrup (add an additional tablespoon or two of creamer if needed) pour or spoon into the butter in mixer bowl and beat on high until combined.
- Add food coloring.
- Then turn the mixer on low speed for 5-10 minutes, pause and scrape down sides after 1 minute, then continue mixing on low. This will allow the frosting to be fluffy and creamy without whipping air into it creating bubbles.
What a perfect cake for Easter and Spring Time!