Bay Leaf Pound Cake (Whole Wheat Flour)

We are on a post monsoon cleaning spree. Having cleaned the front, it is now our backyard that needs attention. This is where our vegetable patch will come up. It is time for winter vegetables and the beds have to be prepared. 

We found a medley of wild creepers and climbers with lovely flowers thronging our backyard. 

A large number of butterflies, big and small fluttered amidst the myriad flowers. 

It looked so colourful and festive that we could not uproot them and decided to leave them to complete their life cycle. We prepared another patch for winter vegetables.

Yesterday, I made Bay Leaf Pound Cake. A simple cake that has citrusy aroma and a hint of flavour of the bay leaves, is ideal with a cup of hot tea that is an elixir after a hard day’s work. 

I used I cup of whole wheat flour and avoided the glaze mentioned in the recipe.  Feel free to use all- purpose flour for a lighter crumb and visit the original recipe for glaze.

Bay Leaf Pound Cake
A David Lebovitz recipe adapted from
1 cup whole wheat flour
2/3 cup all purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
6 tablespoons (85g) butter
1 tablespoon butter for piping
½ cup sour cream*
3 eggs
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
½  teaspoon vanilla extract
10 fresh or dry bay leaves
Zest of an orange
*you can prepare sour cream at home. I made it at home. I read the method here 
Melt 85g of butter in a saucepan. Remove from the heat and add 3 bay leaves. Leave for an hour.
Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Line the base of one 8 inch round cake pan with a parchment paper. Grease and dust the sides. Take 4 bay leaves, butter one side and place the leaves with the buttered side down in the bottom of the pan.
Whisk together flours, sugar baking powder and salt.
Whisk together sour cream, eggs, vanilla extract and zest. If needed warm the butter barely to liquefy it. Remove bay leaves and add butter to cream –egg mixture.
Add dry ingredients to the liquid ingredients and mix till well combined. Do not over mix.
Spoon the batter into the prepared pan without disturbing the bay leaves.
Take one tablespoon in a plastic bag. Snip off a corner and draw a circle on the batter. Place remaining bay leaves on top of the batter. Bake for 35 -40 minutes or till a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes. Run a knife around the sides of the pan and invert the cake onto a rack to cool. Slice when cold. The cake tastes best next day.

My Notes: The cake is dense and flavourful. Citrusy aroma dominates the aroma of Bay leaves which is subtle. It tastes great on the second day.
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  1. This cake had a real old world feeling to it. It make you think of high tea and people with their pinky finger up, sipping tea from lovely porcelain cups and a selection of delicious cakes and small sandwiches laid out for the event. I love using bay leaves in sweet cooking. They lend a deep spicy peppery kick to anything that they are used in and add a really interesting flavour that people just can't quite put their fingers on when used in sweet cookery. Thank you for sharing this lovely healthified cake recipe and for sharing those beautiful flowers with us. I am thinking that your winter gardening is like my friends winter gardening in Queensland (the top of Australia and tropical) where summer is too hot to grow veggies but winter is their main veggie growing time? Have fun out in the soil. I have been reading about how beneficial soil is to our feeling of wellbeing and how we need to touch the earth with our hands and our feet in order to feel connected. Enjoy getting connected :)

  2. Bay leaf cake?!! Wow! How innovatively interesting! I cant even imgine the flavour... must be absolutely divine! Love the fragrance that bay leaves give, so the cake must be smelling fab too! I will bookmark this and try it sometime. Really curious! :) Lovely garden you have Namita and would love to see pictures of your winter vegetable patch too sometime :)

  3. Such an amazing cake...I can imagine the lovely flavour. Love to read and see snippets from your everyday life.