I love looking out my kitchen window this time of year and seeing the violet flowers blooming in my garden. These tiny flowers invoke very special memories for me. When I was a little girl I would pick tiny little bouquets of violet flowers and give them to my mom to be put in small glass cups that had once been pimento cheese jars. It was the 1980’s after all. My mom never threw anything away. Even a pimento cheese jar had charm when violet flowers were put into it.
Violets can transform a cake into something whimsical and elegant. The violet season is very short, so I like to make the most of it by adding violet flowers to my desserts and other dishes.
For this Violet Lemon Loaf Cake I wanted to create a recipe that I could decorate with these lovely seasonal flowers. This cake ended up being moist, crumbly and full of tart lemon flavor. The delicate violet flowers also paired nicely with the lemon cake. The violet glaze had a velvety texture and a subtle flavor violet liqueur I added to it for color. The cake looked absolutely beautiful with the tiny purple flowers spread out across the top.
I cut the cake into thick slices and served them with a big dollop of whipped cream and a drizzle of marionberry sauce.
I also brewed up a fresh pot of my favorite tea, a violet flavored black tea from Simpson and Vail tea makers. One bite of this cake and a sip of the perfumed tea and you’ll be floating off on a cloud to violet flower heaven.
I hope that you’ll make this lovely cake for your next tea party, or for any occasion and serve it with some of this violet tea. It’s absolutely heaven in a cup, and the perfect way to enjoy these lovely flowers on a sunny spring afternoon.
Violet Lemon Loaf Cake
Serves 8 people
- 2 1/2 cups flour
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened
- 3 eggs
- 3/4 cup sour cream
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1 tsp finely grated lemon zest
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 1 cup powdered sugar, sieved
- 1-2 tbsp milk (more or less as needed to make a thick paste)
- Small drop of violet food coloring
- 1 tsp violet extract (optional) *found on Amazon
- Fresh Violet flowers (optional) *candied violets from Amazon
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 1 1/2 tbsp powdered sugar
- 1 1/2 cups frozen marionberries (or blackberries)
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
- 1 tbsp cold water
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Spray a 9” x 5” loaf pan with non stick spray. In the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes.
Beat in the eggs one at a time until well combined. Mix together the flour, salt and baking powder in a medium sized bowl with a whisk.
Add to the butter mixture in three additions, alternating with the sour cream in two additions.
Beat in the vanilla extract. Reserve 3/4 cup of the batter (not all of the cake batter will fit in the loaf tin; use the remainder for another use, such as a few small cakes baked separately in glass ramekins).
Pour the rest of the batter into the prepared 9” x 5” loaf pan and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 30 minutes, then remove from the pan and cool completely on a wire rack.
To make the glaze, stir together the powdered sugar and milk in a small bowl, adding milk as needed to create a thick paste (the thicker the better). Add a few drops of the violet food coloring (I use a toothpick to add just a small bit of paste at a time). Pour the glaze over the cake and decorate with the violet flowers or candied violets.
To make the whipped cream, beat the heavy cream with the powdered sugar in the bowl of a mixer fitted with the whisk attachment until soft peaks form, about 2-3 minutes. Gently whisk in the sour cream.
To make the marionberry compote, combine the berries with the sugar and the lemon juice in a medium sized saucepan. Bring to a simmer and cook until the berries are defrosted and the sugar is completely melted, about 5-8 minutes. In a small bowl combine the cornstarch with the cold water. Add to the pan with the berries and cook over medium high heat until it just starts to thicken and bubble. Remove from the heat and cool completely.
Cut the cake into thick slices and serve with the whipped cream and marionberry compote. Enjoy with a freshly brewed pot of violet black tea!
You can find the violet black tea here: http://www.svtea.com/Violet-Black-Tea/productinfo/T0658/
*This isn’t a sponsored post. I just really love this tea and want you to be able to enjoy it too!