New Mexico’s arid, sunny climate is ideal for growing lavender. The fragrant flowering plant flourishes throughout the state, in private gardens and on lavender farms like Los Poblanos Historic Inn & Organic Farm, in Los Ranchos de Albuquerque, and Purple Adobe Lavender Farm, in Abiquiú. This recipe from Los Poblanos, published in several New Mexico Magazine cookbooks, makes a perfect treat for a late-spring picnic. Take care to use only culinary lavender; others can taste soapy. English lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) is a chefs’ favorite.

1¼ cups (2½ sticks) butter (room temperature)

1½ cups sugar

¾ teaspoon vanilla

6 eggs

¾ teaspoon salt

2⅔ cups white flour

2 tablespoons culinary lavender petals

Lavender syrup (recipe right)

Mint leaves for garnish


1 cup water

1 cup sugar

½ cup culinary lavender petals

Makes 1 loaf

  1. Preheat oven to 325°. Cream butter and sugar. Stir in vanilla and eggs and, when smooth, add salt, flour, and lavender petals until just combined.
  2. Pour batter into a prepared loaf pan and bake for about 1 hour. If cake is getting too dark on top, turn the oven down to 300°.
  3. Cool for 10 minutes in pan, then remove and brush top and sides with lavender syrup while cake is still warm. Garnish with mint leaves.


  1. Bring water and sugar to a boil. Once sugar has dissolved, remove from heat and stir in lavender petals.
  2. Let cool to room temperature, then transfer to an airtight container.
  3. Chill overnight, then strain. Syrup will keep for 2 months in refrigerator.

In this landmark cookbook from America's oldest state magazine, fifty recipes showcase classics from the archives and groundbreaking creations of contemporary chefs. Purchase the New Mexico Magazine Centennial Cookbook today!