Embrace the Flavours of Spring with Elderflowers!

As the days grow warmer and the countryside bursts into bloom, there’s no better way to celebrate the arrival of spring than with a delightful, fragrant elderflower cake. Elderflowers, with their delicate aroma and subtle sweetness, are a wonderful ingredient to incorporate into your baking. This recipe for Elderflower Polenta and Rye Flour Cake is not only delicious but also highlights the beauty and versatility of these seasonal blossoms. As always, harvest respectfully – wildlife needs the blossoms and the berries later in the year as well!

Ingredients:

  • 150g rye flour
  • 150g polenta (cornmeal)
  • 200g coconut sugar
  • 200g unsalted butter, softened
  • four large eggs
  • one teaspoon baking powder
  • one teaspoon vanilla extract
  • zest of one lemon
  • two tablespoons elderflower cordial (optional)
  • a handful of fresh elderflower blossoms (ensure they are free from pesticides)

Glaze ingredients:

  • 100g icing sugar
  • 2-3 tablespoons elderflower cordial or lemon juice
  • extra elderflower blossoms for decoration

Method:

  • Preheat your oven to 180°C (350°F). Grease a 23cm (9-inch) round cake tin and line the base with baking parchment.
  • In a medium bowl, combine the rye flour, polenta, and baking powder. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, cream together the softened butter and coconut sugar until light and fluffy. This will take about 3-4 minutes with an electric mixer.
  • Beat in the eggs, one at a time, ensuring each egg is fully incorporated before adding the next. Add the vanilla extract, lemon zest, and elderflower cordial (if using).
  • Gradually add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients, mixing until just combined. Be careful not to overmix.
  • Gently fold in the fresh elderflower blossoms.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared cake tin and smooth the top with a spatula. Bake in the preheated oven for 35-40 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.
  • Allow the cake to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before transferring it to a wire rack to cool completely. Once cool, mix the icing sugar with elderflower cordial or lemon juice to make a glaze. Drizzle the glaze over the cake and decorate with extra elderflower blossoms.
  • Slice the cake and enjoy with a cup of tea or as a lovely springtime dessert. The combination of rye flour and polenta gives the cake a unique texture, while the elderflower adds a fragrant and floral note that is rather irresistible!

TIPS!

  • Pick elderflowers on a dry, sunny day when the blossoms are fully open. Avoid flowers near busy roadsides or those that have been sprayed with pesticides.
  • Use the elderflowers as soon as possible after picking. They can be stored in the fridge for a day or two but are best when fresh.
  • I used coconut sugar as it causes less blood sugar level fluctuations.
  • You can infuse the butter with elderflowers for an even stronger scent/taste.
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