Lemon Elderflower Cake with CA Grown
This cake pays homage to our great state of California. In November, I had the opportunity to attend a virtual Agriculture Tour of California with California Grown. As an aspiring gardener and food production nerd, let’s just say I had a very good time. The growers here in California have their craft down to a science, and are integrating the latest technology and sustainability measures to provide food that is shipped all around the world.
This cake is lightly scented with elderflowers, which can be foraged or grown all over the state, and baked with olive oil, almonds and delicious lemons, some of California’s most popular crops. Today I am going to share some incredible statistics about the specialty crops California farmers produce. Starting with almonds, California produces 80% of the world’s almond supply! Next up, lemons. If you know me, lemons are my favorite fruit. California grows 92% of the lemons available in the U.S., that is a lot of lemons! And then of course California is known for flowers! Elderflowers and roses, both of which are highlighted in this cake are grown here. You guessed it, 75% of cut flowers and greens are grown in California! I feel so blessed to live in this great state, and bake locally with California Grown crops. Hope you enjoy this cake from my California kitchen to wherever you may be. Xoxo, Laurel
Yield: Makes three 6-inch layers, or two 8-inch layers
For the Cake –
1⁄4 cup olive oil or melted coconut oil, plus more for greasing the pans
4 cups almond flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1⁄2 teaspoon Himalayan pink salt
3 large eggs
3/4 cup honey
1⁄4 cup fresh lemon juice Grated zest of
2 cups Coconut Whipped Cream (see recipe below)
1 cup Lemon Spread (see recipe below)
Lemon Spread –
Makes 1 cup
3 large eggs
2 tablespoons grated lemon zest
1⁄3 cup honey
1⁄2 cup fresh lemon juice
1⁄4 cup plus 2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
2 tablespoons lemon elderflower syrup (recipe below)
Elderflower Syrup –
1 cup honey
1 bunch (roughly 1 cup) elderflowers (dried or fresh)
1/2 cup water
Coconut Whip Cream –
Two 13.5-ounce cans full-fat coconut milk or cream, refrigerated overnight
2 tablespoons maple syrup or honey
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line three 6-inch cake pans or two 8-inch cake pans with parchment paper rounds, then grease the sides of the pans with oil.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, olive or coconut oil, maple syrup, lemon juice, and zest. A little at a time, add the dry ingredients to the wet, stirring until a batter forms.
3. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans and bake for about 30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Invert the cakes onto racks and allow to cool completely.
4. Remove cakes from pans after about ten minutes of being out of the oven, and set aside to cool.
5. Place one layer on a cake plate and top with 2 tablespoons of the lemon spread and 1⁄2 cup of the coconut whipped cream, smoothing each evenly over the entire surface. Add another cake layer, and repeat. Continue until all layers have been used, and top the cake with the remaining whipped cream and lemon spread. Finish with a sprinkling of toasted coconut. For two 8-inch layers, do the same build of coconut whipped cream and lemon spread. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
To make the elderflower syrup –
Put all ingredients in a saucepan and bring to simmer. Continue to simmer until the syrup is fragrant and honey is cooked down, about 20 minutes. Using a sieve, separate the Elderflower from the syrup. Pour into glass jar and refrigerate for about a week.
To make the lemon spread –
1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, lemon zest, and honey. In a small bowl, stir together the lemon juice and coconut oil.
2. Pour the egg mixture into a medium saucepan and cook over low heat, whisking constantly, until it begins to thicken, 10 to 15 minutes. Do not overcook, as the eggs will become lumpy. Slowly stir in the lemon juice and coconut oil and cook, constantly whisking, until the mixture thickens further, another 10 to 15 minutes. If you’re not sure if it’s thick enough, stop stirring for a few seconds and see if large, slow bubbles form on the surface. It should have the texture of loose pudding. Do not boil.
3. Remove the pan from the heat and pour the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a glass jar. Let cool, then slowly fold in the elderflower syrup. Store in a glass jar for up to one week.
To make the coconut whip –
1. Remove the solid coconut cream that has risen to the top of the can, and spoon it into a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat the coconut cream on high speed until it begins to thicken and peaks form. The remaining coconut water can be added, a teaspoon at a time, if the whipped cream is too thick. Otherwise, discard it.
2. Using a rubber spatula, slowly fold in the maple syrup and vanilla. Transfer the whipped cream to a metal or glass bowl, cover, and refrigerate until ready to use.
NOTES: For filling cakes, we like to chill the coconut whipped cream in the fridge overnight, covered. This will stiffen the cream and make it stronger for holding layers of cake together. However, it becomes more difficult to style the cream on top of the cake, so we tend to do this only for the filling between cake layers.
The brand of coconut milk you purchase (see page 249) is not the only thing that can affect the final outcome. If coconut milk has accidentally been frozen or overheated, it can struggle to separate properly. For this reason, we recommend your not ordering coconut milk online, but buying it from a store familiar with storing the product properly, like Whole Foods.