Casual Baking: Honey Lavender Pound Cake

When I was in culinary school I remember feeling so pressured during the cake mod. My main interest was bread because it involved a lot of hand skills and physical labor, but I was stuck making cakes for the next few weeks – the best challenge ever. In the beginning of the mod we were given very simple one to two step recipes – there was a recipe for a high ratio cake (pound cake) created by Chef Nick Malgieri that blew my mind. This is my take on Chef Nick Malgieri magnificent recipe and I hope you enjoy.


  • 228g cake flour
  • 228g sugar
  • 3.5g baking powder
  • 7g salt
  • 170g butter (make sure to pieces are the same size = easier mixing)
  • 175g almond milk 
  • 175g eggs
  • 10g vanilla powder (extract will work here as well)
  • 10g honey
  • lavender (I used about a half of handful, but how much or how little is up to you)

The steps you must follow are super simple: mix the red ingredients in one bowl until uniform, mix the black ingredients in a separate bowl, slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, then fold in the lavender to the final mixture and sprinkle on top. Set your oven to 350 and let it bake for about 45-55 minutes. 

Casual Baking: Weekly Recipes



Baking does not have to be difficult. For the past few weeks, I have been writing down what people find most troublesome. Starting this week, I will begin featuring recipes (created by chefs that inspire me) of my favorite treats that you can prepare under 60 minutes. Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day, so the first couple of series will feature breakfast treats. If there is any question you have or a pastry you would like to see, email: ovenfreshdreams.com@gmail.com



“Bread Is For Eating”

   “Good bread is the most fundamentally satisfying of all foods; and good bread with fresh butter, the greatest of feasts.”

 -James Beard

bread There is one thing you should  know about me – I love bread. From the crackling sound it makes when it leaves the oven to smell that fills the room as it is cooling, bread is my everything. In a perfect world, I would travel across the world learning about bread from masters of the craft. Bread’s history is humble yet important and many people are unaware of its beauty. However, there is no need to worry because I found one of the greatest things imaginable, a video that includes LeVar Burton (Reading Rainbow) and the history of bread.

Nature: A Cake For A Friend

There is something about baking for a friend; a reminder of why baking is so important to me. It may sound strange to you, but when I get requested to bake for a special occasion it is easy to keep my cool. When the request is coming from a friend it adds a different layer to the scenario, a sense of nervousness sets in. In this case nerves work in my favor, they allow me to focus on a level that is hard to explain.

I take pride in everything I do; from selecting ingredients I can stand by to brainstorming with clients to develop the picture perfect cake (cupcake, cookies, etc). That is why I was honored to bake for Thiru Kumar of NY Dosas fame, he is also someone who takes great pride in what he does. Rain or shine, Thiru feeds the hungry people of New York nearly every day of the week. Over the past year, we developed a friendship that I am very grateful for. He was celebrating a very special day in his life, a wedding anniversary, and wanted me to contribute to the celebration. After a few days of talking to him, I had a simple and pure design in mind – nature.

“Plant seeds of happiness, hope, success, and love; it will all come back to you in abundance. This is the law of nature.” 


There is something to be said about the feeling a connection gives us – hope and inspiration. I had the pleasure of experiencing a connection this weekend when I went strawberry picking with a friend. It may come as a surprise to most of you, but I have never picked a berry or an apple. If you have not either, try to go as soon as you can.


When I have a recipe in mind (which is quite often), there is no better feeling than going to a farmer’s market for all my ingredients. I can not stress the importance of supporting our farmers – especially the young agricultural visionaries just getting started. Travelling a few hours to  Lyman Orchards this past weekend was life changing. While picking strawberries was entertaining, it also opened my eyes to the beauty of farming and connection with food.  There is a state of zen that one reaches when being on a farm – so much time goes into the cultivating land and when a fruit or vegetable comes into season, magic is revealed.



After handpicking strawberries, we spent the day on the farm and purchased a bunch of preserves and jams. It was the perfect day. Once we returned to New York, we decided to put our reward into muffins. Did I mention they were apple cider muffins?


Thank you Naomi for making this possible.