This vanilla lavender cake is the perfect cake to make for a spring party or ladies brunch! It’s frosted with three pastel colored icings, and it’s then topped with a rich dark chocolate ganache! It’s easy to make and assemble ahead of time too!
(This post is sponsored by Chocolove! Thank you so so much for reading and supporting the brands that I love!)
Making cakes is something I have grown a huge love for over the past six months or so. To be honest, they have always intimidated me, and I’ve always opted for cupcakes or bundts or less-intimidating cake-like desserts! Ever since I bit the bullet and make one for my birthday last year, I was instantly hooked on how fun they are to make, and how therapeutic the process is!
I wanted to make a cake with light and springy flavors, but something that still had chocolate in it! I am so hooked on Chocolove’s dark chocolate, and I have a hard time making desserts without it now!
I decided to go for a vanilla lavender cake, and to top it with dark chocolate ganache. Because everything is better with ganache, right?
I’ve grown to have such a love for lavender in my desserts and drinks especially! It’s so perfectly floral and light without being too flower-y. If that makes any sense!
The icing is SO fluffy and perfectly vanilla-y too. And possibly the most fun part of this cake!
I decided to split the frosting into thirds and to dye each a pretty pastel color, and then ice the cake in a “tie-dye/sunset” pattern. No need to be exact here AT ALL. Just alternate your colors around the outside of the cake, and it will turn out beautifully, I promise! Way easier than it looks.
I also love making “naked” cakes because they are so much easier for impatient people like me. Icing a cake to perfection and making it smooth sounds really difficult and I’m not sure I could ever make it perfect! Hence, my love for naked cakes. They’re so gorgeous and don’t have to be perfectly, fully iced!
I’m not much of a frosting person anyway. The less, the better.
Are you team cake or team frosting?
This drippy chocolate ganache though. It’s SO delicious. The cake is light and springy with the lavender and vanilla, and the dark chocolate flavor pairs with it so beautifully. And it gives you your chocolate fix, for all of you who can’t have dessert without it!
I’m a big fan of using flowers on top of my cakes and desserts, because it’s such an easy way to make things look super pretty. Totally optional, but I love it!
Such a perfect dessert to ring in Spring!
Vanilla Lavender Layer Cake with Dark Chocolate Ganache
This vanilla lavender cake is the perfect cake to make for a spring party or ladies brunch! It's frosted with three pastel colored icings, and it's then topped with a rich dark chocolate ganache! It's easy to make and assemble ahead of time too!
For the cake
- 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 large eggs
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup light brown sugar, loosely packed
- 1 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 1/3 cup canola or vegetable oil
- 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup sour cream
- 3/4 cup whole milk
- flowers for garnish, optional
For the buttercream
- 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 5 cups powdered sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon whole milk
- pinch of salt
- pink food coloring
- yellow food coloring
- purple food coloring
For the lavender syrup
- 3/4 cup water
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup dried culinary lavender
For the chocolate ganache
- 1 (3.2 ounce) bar dark Chocolove dark chocolate, chopped
- 4 tablespoons heavy cream
Make the lavender syrup. Add the water, sugar, and lavender to a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil and stir for 30 seconds or until dissolved. Remove from heat and let cool completely. Once it has completely cooled, pour syrup through a fine mesh strainer into a bowl and discard the lavender.
Preheat oven to 350℉. Grease and flour three 8'' cake pans and line the bottoms with parchment paper. Set aside.
In a medium mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Whisk to combine and set aside. In a large mixing bowl, combine the eggs, granulated sugar, and brown sugar and whisk until smooth. Add the butter, vegetable oil, vanilla, and sour cream and whisk again until smooth. Add the milk and whisk until combined.
Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix with a rubber spatula until just combined. Pour the batter evenly into the pans and smooth out the tops with a spatula. Bake for 22-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let the cakes cool for 10 minutes, then remove them from the pans and let cool the rest of the way on a cooling rack.
Make the buttercream. Add the butter to the bowl of a stand mixer and whip on medium high for 2-3 minutes until light and fluffy. Reduce speed to low and gradually add the powdered sugar until combined. Add the vanilla and milk and increase speed to medium-high and whip for 2-3 minutes. Add the salt and whip for another 2-3 minutes or until super fluffy. Scoop buttercream evenly into three bowls and add a drop of pink food coloring to one, a drop of yellow to another, and a drop of purple to the third. Mix each until completely combined.
To assemble the cake, place one layer on a plate or the cooling rack (just so you don't mess up the plate you are serving on!). Spoon several spoonfuls of the lavender syrup over the cake, spreading it around and letting it soak into the cake. Let sit for a minute or two. Next, spread the top with one color of the frosting. Top with another layer and repeat with lavender syrup and spread top with the next color of frosting. Top with the third layer and repeat step with lavender syrup again (you won’t use all of the syrup) and spread with the third color of frosting, leaving a little bit left for the sides of the cake. Use the leftover frosting to "half" frost the sides, to create a "semi-naked" effect, using all three colors. I dotted the frosting randomly all over, so that the colors were evenly dispersed all over the cake. Use an offset spatula or bench scraper to smooth out the sides of the cake.
Make the chocolate ganache. Place chopped chocolate in a medium bowl. Set aside. Place cream in a small saucepan over medium heat and bring to a simmer (do not boil!). Pour over the chopped chocolate and let stand until chocolate has softened, about 2-3 minutes. Stir until smooth and pourable. Let cool for a few minutes, then pour over the cake and let it drip down the sides. Decorate the cake with flowers if desired, and serve immediately!
*If you want to make the cake ahead of time, the cake can be baked the night before, and the lavender syrup can be made several days before and stored in the fridge in a sealed container!