any great recipes and vanilla cake recipes would be greatly appreciated
Here are 2 recipes from Martha Stewart that might be worth looking at. The first is coconut cupcakes:
The second is for a lavender icing
I've made both and they are very good. Didn't know how you wanted to use the lavender but if you can make coconut cupcakes with lavender icing; these may work for you
Thank you so much !!!!!! you are amazing!
And for the vanilla cake, sdebrango's Tender Yellow Cake https://food52.com/recipes...
Joanne Chang's Coconut Cake recipe is a good one that I've successfully made as cupcakes, http://krumbli.blogspot.com/2013/04/fluffy-coconut-layer-cake-with-coconut.html
It was light, flavorful without being overpowering, not dense at all.
I would add a couple of drops of food-grade lavender essential oil to the frosting and/or crushed organic dried lavender flowers (the one for eating, not potpourri) for decoration. Or make a simple Italian buttercream and a few drops of that lavender oil. Go easy on the lavender or it will overpower the flavor of the whole cupcake.
I've also purchased lavender extract, from Whole Foods: http://www.starkaywhite.com/#!page3/cee5
I have found that the best way to control lavender's potency in baked goods is to candy the herbs/flowers, and grind that fine to make a sugar. That way I can season to taste.
My trick to making cake, custards, etc. taste more of coconut without having to add more coconut milk and/or oil (which can make your cake dense), is to use one of these sugars instead of white sugar (which can cancel out or obliterate the taste of coconut):
jaggery, light brown sugar, coconut sugar (which you can find in liquid, near liquid, or granulated form), raw/demerrera sugar, muscovado, and Lyle's Golden Syrup. If your recipe calls for melted butter, substitute 10 - 25% in coconut oil - it has a much stronger taste than coconut milk - which tends to create a denser crumb.
Also, you could make a coconut syrup to soak your cake layers with and/or make a coconut pastry cream that would enhance the cake's overall coconut taste without weighing down the actual cake. Also don't skimp on the sea or kosher salt (do not use table salt) - coconut's flavor ALWAYS benefits from a pinch of salt.
Depending on how many tiers your cake will eventually be, yellow cake might be a bit heavy and you may want to look at cakes with more whole eggs or whites. The Cake Bible, by Rose Levy Beranbaum is my favorite source for wedding cake recipes.
No more worrying - have fun and you're going to make a delicious, wonderful creation.