Rich Chocolate Lavender Cake

This decadent chocolate lavender cake comes out perfectly moist and is a delight to the senses!  Rich and creamy chocolate cake meets the lovely lavender infused buttercream and it’s all a wonderful combination of flavor, texture and aroma. 

Put your mind at ease, if you don’t have a lavender plant you can find herbed lavender flowers at most grocery stores. 

What you will love about this chocolate lavender cake

I know what you are going to love about this delicious chocolate cake with lavender buttercream frosting… it’s an easy recipe to make, but it tastes like a million bucks! 

I cheated a little bit in this recipe, since I use the aid of a chocolate cake mix. 

I give you full permission to cheat a little too! I promise, no one will EVER know that you used a box mix, because we add some things to it that makes it WAY better than just a Plain Jane box mix recipe.  

When you serve this to your friends, people are going to be asking you which gourmet bakery you got it from.  It’s that good!

Tips

This recipe is not over complicated, the only thing you need to do is allow time for the infusing of the buttercream.  When you make lavender infused buttercream, or any infused frosting at all, you need to allow time for the lavender to steep in your liquid (in this case milk).  

You can’t add hot milk to your buttercream without ruining the texture.  The butter and the milk both need to be at room temperature before making your lavender frosting. 

Ingredients

Before we list off the ingredients, let’s take a moment to discuss the use of lavender buds.  If you have a lavender plant available, feel free to use fresh flower buds in this recipe.  It gives off a divine aroma and it also has health benefits to it.  However, if you use fresh lavender buds, you need to use about 3 times the amount of what the recipe calls for.  Dehydrated lavender buds are much more potent in aroma and flavor, so don’t overdo it.  

Lavender is one of those multi-purpose herbs that God has blessed us with.  It’s known for its calming effect and is used as a sleep aid for babies and adults alike.  There are even studies out there that associate lavender with having anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial and anti-oxidant properties according to the National Library of Medicine

So needless to say, the calming benefits of lavender combined with the de-stressing properties of chocolate, makes for the perfect pair in this dessert!

If you don’t have access to fresh lavender, you should be able to find lavender flowers in the spice section of your local grocery store.  I found mine at my local Kroger. 

So here are the ingredients for chocolate lavender cake:

  • Devil’s food cake mix (like Duncan and Hines 16.5 oz or something similar)
  • Instant chocolate pudding (3.9 oz)
  • Eggs
  • Water
  • Vegetable oil
  • Chocolate chips
  • Butter (room temperature)
  • Lavender flower buds
  • Vanilla extract

How to make lavender chocolate cake

Just for the record, I make this chocolate lavender cake in a bundt pan.  I think bundt cakes are easier to make than a layered cake and I’m all about ease when it comes to baking. If you want to make a layered cake, feel free to use 2 cake pans instead and layer it up.  

Preheat your oven to 350°F. Butter and flour your bundt cake pan so your cake doesn’t stick when you try to remove it from the pan.

In a large mixing bowl add the devil’s food cake mix, the chocolate pudding powder, eggs, water and vegetable oil. 

With an electric hand mixer (or you could use a stand mixer with a whisk), mix if for 2 full minutes.  You want to really mix this, that’s what gives it its lovely texture.  

Fold in a handful or two of semi-sweet chocolate chips.  I probably used 1/3-1/2 cup of chocolate chips.  This also adds to the richness and texture of our cake. I use normal size chocolate chips, but mini chocolate chips would also work great. 

Pour the batter into the prepared bundt cake pan. 

IMPORTANT NOTE: don’t forget to lick the beaters and the mixing bowl after you pour the batter into the pan.  You have to enjoy yourself while baking. 

Bake the cake in the preheated oven for 50-60 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. 

Remove the pan from the oven and allow it to cool for at least15 minutes before carefully flipping it upside down onto a cake plate.

While the cake is baking, we are going to prepare the lavender buttercream frosting.  In a small saucepan, add the milk and the lavender buds and turn it onto low to medium heat. 

Stir it constantly until it just begins to bubble on the sides.  You do not want to bring this to a boil!  Just a little simmer, then remove it from the heat and let it sit for 15 minutes and steep.

After it has steeped for 15 minutes or so, strain the milk and lavender mixture with a fine mesh strainer and remove all of the lavender buds.  Please allow for your milk to come back to room temperature before making your buttercream frosting.  You can put it in the fridge in order to do so.  

Take your room temperature butter and add it to the mixing bowl of a kitchen stand mixer.  With the whisk attachment, cream your butter for 2-3 minutes until it is light and fluffy.

Slowly add the powdered sugar a little bit at a time and let it mix together.  Add the lavender infused milk, vanilla and food dye (optional) and mix it all until incorporated.  

If you want your lavender buttercream to have a purple/lavender hue, you can add 2-3 drops of food dye.  

Make sure your chocolate cake is completely cooled before generously frosting the top and sides with your beautiful and aromatic lavender infused frosting.  I love to add a few sprigs of fresh lavender around the cake plate for presentation.  

If you happen to have leftover buttercream, you can refrigerate it for up to 10 days in an airtight container, or you can freeze it for up to 3 months in a deep freezer.

You know what was strangely good with this lavender frosting???

Vanilla wafer cookies!  It was actually delicious, and you should try it.

Serving Suggestions

This rich cake goes very well with coffee. 

For presentation sake, I recommend putting some fresh sprigs of lavender around your cake. 

Everything about this recipe is beautiful, from the flavor to the aroma and the presentation itself.  Don’t serve it on paper plates, please.  It deserves better. 

Variations

One popular way to add some depth to your chocolate cake is by adding espresso powder or instant coffee. 

I recommend adding the instant powder to your water before mixing your cake together.  Or if you have leftover brewed coffee, you can substitute that in place of the water. 

Equipment

  • Electric hand mixer or stand mixer with whisk attachment
  • 9.5-10 inch bundt cake pan (preferably non-stick)

FAQ’s

Can you use lavender essential oil in baking?

While lavender essential oil is technically food grade, I do NOT recommend using it in this recipe.  Lavender essential oil can have a bitter or “essential oil” taste to it that may overwhelm your recipe.  I recommend sticking to the culinary lavender buds from the spice isle at your grocery store.

How do you make lavender colored buttercream?

If you do not use food dye, your buttercream will be an off-white color.  In order to get the lavender hue, you need to add equal parts blue and red food dye.  I recommend just starting out with one drop of blue and one drop of red.  Evaluate your color after mixing it and then add more if need be. 

Rich Chocolate Lavender Cake

Print Recipe
Rich Chocolate Lavender Cake w. Mascarpone Earl Grey Buttercream
Course Dessert
Keyword buttercream, cake, chocolate, lavender
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes

Ingredients

For the Cake:

  • 1 package 16.5 oz. devil’s food cake mix (like Duncan Hines or something similar)
  • 1 package 3.9 oz. instant chocolate pudding
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 ¼ cup water
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 1/3-1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips regular size or mini

For the lavender infused buttercream frosting:

  • 4 Tablespoons whole milk
  • 3 teaspoons dried lavender buds
  • 3 ½ cups powdered sugar
  • 1 cup 2 sticks salted butter room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2-3 drops purple food dye optional

Instructions

  • Pre-heat the oven to 350°F and prepare the 9.5-10 inch bundt cake pan by generously buttering it and flouring the bottom and sides.
  • Add the devil’s food cake mix, instant pudding powder, eggs, water, and vegetable oil to a large mixing bowl and beat together for 2 full minutes with an electric mixer.
  • Fold in the chocolate chips and pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and bake in the oven for 50-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • Remove it from the oven and let it cool for at least 15 minutes before inverting it onto a cake plate.
  • While the cake is baking prepare the lavender buttercream.
  • In a small saucepan, add the milk and the lavender buds and turn it onto low-medium heat.
  • Stir it constantly until bubbles begin to form on the sides of the pan. Don’t bring it to a boil, but as soon as it starts to bubble, remove it from the heat and let it steep for 10-15 minutes.
  • Strain the flower buds from the milk and discard them. Allow the milk to come back down to room temperature.
  • With a whisk attachment on a stand mixer, cream the room temperature butter in the mixing bowl for 2-3 minutes until it is fluffy and lighter in color.
  • Slowly add the powdered sugar, then add the infused milk (room temperature), vanilla and food dye (optional).
  • Generously frost the top and sides of the cooled chocolate cake. Serve and enjoy