Lavender Chamomile Tiered Cake

A blue and white checked table set for teatime with a white cake inlaid with edible blossoms atop a blue cake stand.

Atop smooth layers of classic vanilla buttercream, a circlet of edible blooms crowns each layer of our Lavender Chamomile Tiered Cake to hint at the harmonious blend of flavors awaiting in each bite. This treat mingles the silky notes of chamomile tea with peppery lavender for an impressionable dessert to be savored.

Lavender Chamomile Tiered Cake
Makes 1 (8-inch) layer and 1 (6-inch) layer
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 6 chamomile tea bags
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3¾ cups granulated sugar
  • ¾ cup vegetable oil
  • 6 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 5¾ cups unbleached cake flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1½ tablespoons culinary lavender
  • 1¾ teaspoons kosher salt
  • ¾ cup cold heavy whipping cream
  • Classic Vanilla Buttercream (recipe follows)
  • Edible flowers*
  • Fresh herbs
  • 6 wooden dowels
  1. In a medium saucepan, heat milk over medium-low heat just until bubbles start to form around edges (do not boil). Remove from heat and add tea; cover and let steep for 20 minutes. Remove bags, squeezing to extract as much liquid as possible. Let cool to room temperature.
  2. Preheat oven to 350°. Spray 3 (8-inch) round cake pans and 3 (6-inch) round cake pans with baking spray with flour. Line bottoms of pans with parchment paper.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar at medium speed until fluffy, 4 to 5 minutes, stopping to scrape sides of bowl. Reduce speed to medium-low and pour oil in a slow, steady stream until incorporated. Increase speed to medium, and add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla extract.
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, lavender, and salt. With mixer at low speed, gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture alternately with chamomile-infused milk, beginning and ending with flour mixture, beating just until combined after each addition.
  5. In a separate medium bowl, whisk cold cream until soft peaks form. Fold into cake batter in two additions. Divide batter evenly among prepared pans (approximately 2½ cups in each 8-inch pan and 1½ cups in each 6-inch pan), smoothing tops. Run a wooden pick through batter to remove any large air bubbles.
  6. Working in batches, bake cakes until tops are dry and golden brown and a wooden pick inserted into centers comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes (see Note). Let cool in pans for 10 minutes. Remove from pans and let cool completely on wire racks.
  7. Level cooled cakes, if desired. Place 1 cooled 8-inch cake on a cake board. Spread 1½ cups Classic Vanilla Buttercream over top. Top with second 8-inch cake, spread 1½ cups frosting over top, and top with remaining 8-inch cake. Spread 1 cup buttercream over top and sides of cake to create a crumb coat; refrigerate for 10 minutes.
  8. Place 1 cooled 6-inch cake on a cake board trimmed to the size of cake layer. Spread 1 cup frosting over top. Top with a second 6-inch cake, spread 1 cup frosting over top, and top with remaining 6-inch cake. Spread ½ cup frosting over top and sides of cake to create a crumb coat; refrigerate for 10 minutes.
  9. Spread 2 cups frosting over top and sides of chilled 8-inch cake. Trimming to fit stems as needed, gently press desired flowers and herbs into sides of cake. Refrigerate until frosting is firm, about 20 minutes. Repeat process on chilled 6-inch cake with remaining 1 cup frosting and additional flowers and herbs. Refrigerate until buttercream is firm, about 20 minutes.
  10. To assemble: Gently imprint 8-inch cake with a 6-inch cake board in the center. This will act as a guide for wooden dowels and top tier placement. Trim wooden dowels to height of assembled 8-inch cake. Gently insert dowels into 8-inch cake, spacing approximately 1½ inches from edge of 6-inch cake imprint. Carefully place chilled 6-inch cake on top of 8-inch cake where imprint was previously made. Arrange remaining flowers and herbs around edge of 6-inch cake to hide cake board, if needed. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
*We used flowers from Gourmet Sweet Botanicals,

Note: While baking off cake layers, leave remaining batter at room temperature.

Classic Vanilla Buttercream
Makes approximately 10½ cups
  • 4 cups unsalted butter, softened
  • 1½ teaspoons kosher salt
  • 15 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1½ cups heavy whipping cream, room temperature
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and salt at medium speed until creamy, 1 to 2 minutes, stopping to scrape down sides of bowl. With mixer at low speed, gradually add confectioners’ sugar alternately with cream, beginning and ending with confectioners’ sugar, beating until fluffy and combined. Beat in vanilla
  2. extract. Use immediately.



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