Lilac Cake – Lilac and Vanilla Victoria Sandwich Cake with Lilac Honey and Mascarpone Frosting

Lilac honey mascarpone
Lilac cake with mascarpone and lilac honey frosting

Lilac and Vanilla Victoria Sandwich Cake with Lilac Honey and Mascarpone Frosting

This Lilac and Vanilla Victoria Sandwich Cake is early summer on a plate!  It tastes wonderful – creamy, buttery and floral – and looks beautiful with its decoration of edible flowers.  I made my Lilac Cake for a special family tea, which thanks to recent surprisingly sunny weather, we were actually able to eat in the garden, close to the tree that had provided the blossoms.

This is a simple Victoria Sandwich cake, which is flavoured with lilac through the use of Lilac Sugar in the cake mix and Lilac Honey in the frosting.     It is really easy to make both the flavoured Sugar and Honey but you need to do this around a week before you plan to make your Lilac Cakee to allow the lilac flavour to be absorbed.   If you don’t have the time, inclination or opportunity to do this, you can make the cake without the lilac flavour – just use ordinary sugar in the cake mix and ordinary honey in the frosting.  The cake will still be delicious but, personally, I think it is worth going down the lilac route as the taste is unusual and results in a beautiful floral cake (to taste and to look at!) which captures the spirit of an early English summer.

Lilac honey for frosting
Lilac honey
Equipment

2 x 21 cm  or containers

Lilac cake
Eggs
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Lilac mascarpone and honey

Lilac and Vanilla Victoria Sandwich Cake with Lilac Honey and Mascarpone Frosting

  • Author: Tastebotanical
  • Prep Time: 60
  • Cook Time: 35
  • Total Time: 1 hour 35 minutes
  • Yield: for 10 people 1x
  • Category: Cake
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: English

Description

This is a fabulous Lilac Cake which celebrates the taste of English lilac.  It looks and tastes amazing and would be fantastic for an early summer birthday or special party.


Scale

Ingredients

For the cake:

  • 450 g butter (softened)
  • 450 g Lilac Sugar (or caster sugar)
  • 8 eggs
  • 450 g self-raising flour
  • 7 tablespoons of milk
  • 2 teaspoons of [amazon_link asins='B00DUF3D9C|B0046EJ570|B00DUF3D9C|B00DUF3D9C|B007TA9ONI' text='Vanilla Essence' template='ProductLink' store='tastebotanica-21success|tastebotanica-20|tastebotani0c-21success|tastebotani0a-21success|tastebotani01-21success' marketplace='UK|US|IT|FR|DE' link_id='9c5499ff-68a6-11e8-a321-8188ded5e5dd']

For the frosting:

  • 500 g mascarpone
  • 2 tbs of Lilac Honey (or ordinary honey)
  • Fresh lilac flowers from two flower heads

Instructions

Method:  Cake

  1. Set your oven to 180 degrees centigrade or Gas Mark 4.
  2. Cream the butter with the sugar.  (I usually soften the butter for about 30 seconds in the microwave first as it makes it much easier!)
  3. Gradually add the eggs to the butter and sugar mixture.  If it looks as if it is going to curdle, add some of the self-raising flour.
  4. Once the eggs have been incorporated add the rest of the self-raising flour.
  5. Add the milk and the vanilla extract.  It really makes a difference if you use a good quality vanilla extract – as opposed to vanilla essence – as this will give it a much more intense flavour.
  6. Grease your Victoria Sandwich tins or containers and then add the cake mixture.
  7. Bake your cakes in the oven for around 35 minutes.  They are done when they are golden brown, springy to the touch and have shrunk away from the edge of the tin.  You can test this by inserting a skewer in the middle of the cake – if it comes out cleanly with no mixture attached, your cake is done.
  8. Allow your cakes to cool on a rack before removing them from the tins or containers.

Method:  Frosting

  1. Beat the mascarpone and honey together in a food processor or using a hand blender until the mixture has thickened slightly.
  2. Use a third of the frosting to sandwich together your two cakes.
  3. Spread the remaining frosting over the top and sides of the assembled Lilac Cake.
  4. Take the small lilac flowers off the flower heads and wash them in cold water.   Allow to dry off on kitchen towel and then use them to decorate the top of the cake.   You need to complete this part of the decoration just before you are ready to serve the cake to ensure that the flowers look fresh and lovely!
  5. In the (unlikely) event that there is any Lilac Cake left over, this needs to be stored in the fridge due to the mascarpone icing.  It will keep for a couple of days but, like all sponge cakes, it tastes better when it is freshly made.

Notes

Make sure that the lilac you use has not been treated with chemicals.  The best place to get it is from your garden or that of a friend or neighbour.  Shop-bought lilac is not suitable for this recipe.

Keywords: lilac cake, lilac and vanilla cake

Mascarpone and lilac honey frosting
Spread the frosting on the Lilac Cake
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Lilac Sugar, Lilac Honey and Lilac Syrup

Jars of lilacs
Lilac Sugar

Lilac Sugar, Lilac Honey and Lilac Syrup – three easy ways to capture that wonderful fragrance for culinary use!

I love lilacs!  The lilac bushes are just coming into bloom now and we have bushes flowering in our garden and neighbouring gardens in a range of shades from white to palest mauve to rich purple.  Whatever the colour, they all have a fantastic, sweet, floral perfume, strongest when the sun has been shining as it has for the last few days.   Who wouldn’t want to catch a drift of the scent of lovely lilacs on a late spring day?

As well as making your garden more beautiful, lilacs are also edible and their wonderful scent can be captured in a range of ways and used in cooking and in summer drinks.  The flavour is not as strong as some highly-scented edible flowers, such as rose or lavender, but I think its delicacy matches the mood of late spring perfectly.   The flowers can also be used straight-off to decorate cakes, cookies and puddings.

I have included three ways in which the fragrance of lilac can be easily captured to create scented ingredients that can be put to culinary use.   The methods are really straightforward, particularly for the Lilac Sugar and Lilac Honey, and make a great project for children (and they can give the jars as gifts!).

sugar and honey
Lilac sugar and honey
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Lilacs and sugar

Lilac Sugar

  • Author: Tastebotanical
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Total Time: 15
  • Yield: 1 jam jar
  • Category: Baking ingredients
  • Cuisine: English

Description

Making Lilac Sugar is a really simple way of capturing the floral fragrance and making an ingredient that can be used to add it to a range of baked goods and puddings.


Ingredients

  • Caster sugar
  • Lilac flowers (as with any edible flowers, make sure that you know that these have not been sprayed with pesticides etc)

Instructions

  1. Wash your lilacs and pull the little flowers off the stems.
  2. Sterilise your jam-jar.
  3. Put a layer of caster sugar in the bottom of your jam-jar (about 1 cm deep).  Next add a similar layer of flowers.  Repeat until you have filled your jar.
  4. Put a lid on your jar and leave it in a cool place (larder or cupboard) for at least one week.  At the end of this time, the sugar will have been infused with the perfume of the flowers.
  5. When you wish to use your sugar, you can sift it through a wide-meshed sieve to remove the flowers.

Notes

You can sterilise your jam-jar by washing it in warm, soapy water, rinsing well and then drying off for 15 minutes in an oven set at 140C/120C fan/gas 1.

Although preparation time is only 15 minutes, you will need to leave the sugar for around a week to allow the lilac flavour to infuse.

 

Keywords: lilac sugar

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Honey jar

Lilac Honey

  • Author: Tastebotanical
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Total Time: 15
  • Yield: 1 jam jar
  • Category: Baking ingredients
  • Cuisine: English

Description

This is a way of infusing honey with the scent and taste of lilac.  It can be used as a spread on bread or toast or as a culinary ingredient.


Ingredients

  • A small jar of honey (avoid honey that is strongly flavoured and, if there are any small producers near you, try and use that and support your local bees!)
  • Lilac flowers (as with any edible flowers, make sure that you know that these have not been sprayed with pesticides etc)

Instructions

  1. Wash your lilacs and pull the little flowers off the stems.
  2. Sterilise your jam-jar.
  3. Fill your jam-jar with the flowers.
  4. Pour in honey into your jam-jar until it reaches the top.
  5. Put a lid on your jar and leave it in a cool place (larder or cupboard) for at least one week.  At the end of this time, the honey will have been infused with the perfume of the lilac flowers.
  6. When you wish to use your honey, you can strain it through a wide-meshed sieve to remove the flowers.   If the honey is too viscous, you can strain it more easily if you warm it slightly by putting the jar in a bowl of hot water for a few minutes.

Notes

You can sterilise your jam-jar by washing it in warm, soapy water, rinsing well and then drying off for 15 minutes in an oven set at 140C/120C fan/gas 1.

Although preparation time is only 15 minutes, you will need to leave the honey for around a week to allow the lilac flavour to infuse.

Keywords: lilac honey

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Jars of lilacs

Lilac Syrup

  • Author: Tastebotanical
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Total Time: 15
  • Yield: 1 jam jar 1x
  • Category: Baking ingredients
  • Cuisine: English

Description

Making syrups is a traditional way of capturing the flavour of herbs or flowers, in this case lilac, so that they can be used as culinary ingredients.   This syrup can add flavour to baked goods, puddings and cocktails.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 350 g caster sugar
  • 500 ml water
  • Around 30 g of Lilac flowers (as with any edible flowers, make sure that you know that these have not been sprayed with pesticides etc)

Instructions

  1. Put the water and sugar into your small saucepan and heat gently until the sugar has dissolved.
  2. Add the lilac flowers and simmer uncovered for around 15 minutes.
  3. Sterilise your jam-jar.
  4. Remove the pan from the heat. Pour the liquid into your jam-jar through a sieve to remove the flowers.
  5. Allow to cool and it is ready to use.

Notes

You can sterilise your jam-jar by washing it in warm, soapy water, rinsing well and then drying off for 15 minutes in an oven set at 140C/120C fan/gas 1.

Keywords: lilac syrup

Uses for Lilac Sugar, Lilac Honey and Lilac Syrup

Sprinkle the Sugar over pancakes or waffles or drizzle with the honey or syrup

Use syrup to make soft drinks (one part syrup to four parts water) or as a basis for cocktails

All can be included as an ingredient in baking – cakes, cookies and scones – or puddings and making icing.  Just replace normal sugar or syrup in your recipes with flavoured versions.

The honey and syrup can be used to sweeten whipped cream – lovely with scones or pastries!

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