The Zion Canyon Farmers Market is in its eighth glorious year and located just outside of Zion National Park. Although we are quite small, we have some of the most spectacular produce and goodies in the area! Our market is held just under The West Temple on the lawn of a wonderfully supportive local restaurant called The Bit and Spur.
Every week we’re asked to bake for our Farmers Market Bake Sale Fundraiser. And since lavender is in season right now, I decided to make my locally famous Lavender Pound Cake and proceeded to use as many locally produced products as possible.
An important note about this recipe: It has been designed for a very dry climate (high desert) at a relatively high altitude—4,000 feet. Not only do I add a bit of extra baking soda and baking powder—anywhere from ¼ to ½ teaspoon—but I also add a bit more liquid. Hence the addition of vodka, which adds moisture but will evaporate faster and cleaner than water or additional milk. And I cook my baked goods 25 degrees higher than what most recipes call for, in this case 375°F instead of 350°F. (The recipe does include measurements for those who live in lower altitudes as well.)
Zion Canyon Lavender Pound Cake
- ½ pound unsalted butter, softened
- ½ cup lard
- 2 cups brown sugar
- 6 eggs
- ½ teaspoon fine salt
- ¾ teaspoon baking powder (½ teaspoon if making at lower altitude)
- ½ teaspoon baking soda (½ teaspoon if making at lower altitude)
- 2 teaspoons cayenne (if desired)
- ½ cup local milk
- ½ cup honey yogurt
- ¼ cup vodka (add this ingredient only if making recipe at high altitude)
- 1 cup raw, lavender-infused honey, prepared several days ahead (See how to make it below)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
How to Make Lavender-Infused Honey
- Place ¼–½ cup dried lavender blossoms in a clean quart jar.
- Fill jar with 1 to 1 ½ cups local honey.
- Seal tightly and set aside, occasionally mixing/stirring before resealing.
- Let sit for several days.
Note: You can strain the honey—but holy cow is that a messy, time-consuming process! So I keep the blossoms in the infused honey. And the little bit of lavender looks quite lovely in the cake.
Pound Cake Directions
- Preheat oven to 375°F (adjust to 350°F if at lower altitude).
- Grease and flour tube pan.
- In large bowl, with electric mixer on medium speed, mix butter and lard until creamy (about 2 minutes).
- With mixer on medium-low speed, add brown sugar a half cup at a time. Once all brown sugar is added, turn mixer on medium to medium-high speed to fully incorporate sugar (4-5 minutes).
- With mixer on low speed, add eggs one by one. Gently beat mixture after each addition.
- In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cayenne.
- In another bowl, briefly whisk milk, yogurt, and vodka (if using).
- In mixing bowl, with mixer on low, alternate adding flour-mixture and milk-mixture until all ingredients are combined. Then add vanilla.
- Once ingredients are fully incorporated, gently fold lavender-infused honey into mixture.
- Pour into prepared pan, and bake for 1 to 1 ½ hours, or until golden brown. (A toothpick inserted in center of cake should come out clean, and cake should spring back if pressed with finger.)