Charmed Chamomile Honey Cake Paired with Chill Out Herbal Tea
Chamomile is soothing and nurturing all year round, but especially when it's blooming fresh and aromatic in the late spring/early summer, its power is quite intoxicating. The floral, earthy, aromatic quality of chamomile is highlighted by infusing the herb in milk for several hours to really capture its delicate fragrance and flavor profile.
I find old-fashioned references the language of the flowers - floriography - fascinating. In the 19th century, chamomile flower symbolized the fulfillment of dreams and wishes, so this chamomile-forward cake makes a perfectly charmed birthday surprise for the herb lover in your life. It's as full of meaning as it is flavor!
This recipe takes advantage of the calming, placid benefits of chamomile to balance the energy rush of a sweet treat. Pair a cup of Chill Out Tea - which stars chamomile - along with a slice of this charming cake and you have yourself a match made in herbal heaven.
Charmed Chamomile Honey Cake
- 2 cups milk or milk alternative
- 3 tbsp dried chamomile flowers or 6 chamomile tea bags
- 5 cups cake flour
- 3 tsp baking powder
- 2 tsp powdered chamomile flowers
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 cups honey or 2 cups coconut sugar
- 6 eggs or egg alternatives
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 1 1/2 cups oil (avocado, olive, or hempseed work well)
Pour the milk into a small saucepan and heat on low until hot to the touch. Infuse the milk with chamomile tea (both loose leaf and tea bags will work) by adding about six chamomile tea bags or three tablespoons dried chamomile flower and letting this mixture sit and steep for two hours. Once it is lukewarm, place the infusing milk in the fridge to further infuse and cool, then strain.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Combine flour, baking powder, chamomile powder (grind your own from dried chamomile flowers if you prefer - a mortar and pestle works well for this, or a coffee grinder), and salt in a large mixing bowl for a stand mixer and whisk together.
Beat in the eggs, honey or coconut sugar, and vanilla in the mixer until the mix is thickened and has doubled in volume, about 4-6 minutes. Slowly add the oil and beat the fluffy mixture for another minute or so.
Carefully add the dry ingredients to the mixture in the stand mixer, lightly mixing these two combinations. Strain the infused milk and add that in to this mixture until the batter becomes uniform and there are no lumps.
This recipe makes two 9" greased (coconut oil works well for this) springform pan cakes, which you can serve as singles or double layers according to your preference.
Bake at 350°F for around 45-50 minutes or until a knife comes out clean. Cool before topping with a frosting of your choice - my favorite is this honey cream cheese icing. Brew a pot of floral, delicately flavored Chill Out Tea to perfectly complement and enhance the sweetness of a slice of this chamomile cake.
Adorn the top of your charming chamomile cake with edible blossoms like red clover blossoms, (wild or unsprayed) rose petals and buds, nasturtium, violets, calendula, or - yes - chamomile itself to add to its herbal appeal. I made this cake for a dear girlfriend's birthday recently - someone who appreciates the finer floral things in life - and it was very well-received.