In a Vase on Monday: Coffee n’ Cake

Regular visitors to Rambling in the Garden will have guessed from the title what is being featured in today’s vase, without even seeing the photo: Dahlia ‘Café au Lait’.

This distinctive decorative dahlia has large heads in a milky coffee colour with a hint of pink at the tips of the petals, sometimes producing a noticeably pink tint to the coffee. It was the dahlia’s size that nearly deterred me from purchasing the tuber, as the blooms are sometimes HUGE rather than large, and the plants VERY tall rather than a little tallish; in its first year here, mine is still acceptable in size and stature, and a single bloom sits comfortably in a Denby ‘coffee’ cup with a further bud popped into a Caithness Glass bud vase in the same Moss colour as Mum’s vase that held Brian’s dahlias a couple of weeks ago. The accompanying cake is a piece of freshly baked lemon drizzle.

Until the vase was put together, the  bud vase was home to some ‘Vanilla Ice’ sunflower  snippings, leftover from a posy given to a friend a couple of days ago; rather than chuck them out, I stretched up the 6 or 7 feet required to cut some more to join them in a bright green vase bought very cheaply some years ago when I was buying green ephemera to add to new shelves in the kitchen. I like all stages of sunflowers, from bud to bloom to spent head, and this extra vase includes all three. I am not sure if I have used this particular vase on a Monday before – it is made from very thin glass and could easily become top-heavy with an ill-advised choice of blooms but these fairly delicate sunflowers work well in it today.

With the quantity of dahlias blooming in the garden, using just one-and-a-bud in today’s modest main vase could be seen as uninspiring, but it is such a statement dahlia, receiving nearly as many complements as my lemon drizzle cake (self praise may be no praise, but it’s still the truth!), thus earning this Coffee n’ Cake combo its place on IAVOM. Will you be joining us today, with your own pickings? It would be lovely to see your own vase or jam jar, so do share it with us if you can by leaving links to and from this post in the usual way.

This entry was posted in Gardening, Gardens, In a Vase on Monday and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

71 Responses to In a Vase on Monday: Coffee n’ Cake

  1. Eliza Waters says:

    ‘Cafe au Lait’ is such a beautiful dahlia that it needs not share the stage with any other. It deserves the spotlight! The lemon drizzle cake offers a fine supporting role. 🙂

  2. Pingback: Monday Mandala | Wild Daffodil

  3. Anna says:

    Now Cathy if that lemon drizzle cake is as delicious as your Bakewell tart I on my way over right now for elevenses. ‘Cafe Au Lait’ is a subtle beauty. I must give it a go next year. Sweet sunflowers too. Thanks as always for hosting. My vase today is here :

    • Cathy says:

      Delicious in a different way, Anna 😉 I know people enthuse over C au L but it is never going to be favourite dahlia (not that I have one!) for me, pretty though she is 😉

  4. What a spectacular dahlia! Here’s my contribution this week (still not enough flowers for a ‘Vase’ in my garden):

  5. Pingback: In a Vase on Monday – Freesia alba ‘Burtonii’ – Absent Gardener

  6. Cath says:

    Yum, I’m not sure which I like more, the cake or the coffee – lemon drizzle is my favourite! I think I have lost my Cafe au Lait. It was just the right size and I loved it. Perhaps it’s been overtaken by the fig tree. Your vase is a good reminder to find a safer place for it and try again. Here’s my simple vase today.

  7. pbmgarden says:

    Your ‘Café au Lait’ is exquisite–sheer perfection. The lemon drizzle cake has my mouth watering.
    Thanks for hosting each week Cathy.

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Susie, although I have to say that all 3 blooms I have had so far have been slightly ‘misshapen’, so not really perfect after all. The lemon drizzle was, though, because if there’s an indentation in the top, the drizzle just puddles in the middle, but it was fine this time 😉

  8. Cafe au Lait is the perfect coffee to me. Happy IAVOM.

  9. Joanna says:

    The Cafe au Lait is a very nice color! Never heard of it before!
    My flowers actually are in a jar this week!

  10. Cake and cafe au lait seems a divine combination. Not sure what I like better, but wish you had posted the cake recipe! My vase this Monday

    • Cathy says:

      Thank you – it’s just a basic Victoria sandwich mixture with lemon zest added to it, and then a lemon juice and sugear mix poured on when it comes out of the oven. It’s a favourite in the UK, but what about the US?

      • Well, I haven’t ever heard of a Victoria sandwich mixture! so, unknown in the US. Or to me! Cake mixes are common here (I don’t use them – except for Rum Cake)

        • Cathy says:

          Gosh, well a Victoria sandwich is a basic sponge with equal quantities of SR flour, sugar and butter/marge – for 2 7″ cakes to sandwich together I would use 6 ounces of each, and 3 eggs. What would that be called in the US?

          • I bake my own bread, however,I think in the UK it is more common to bake cakes from scratch. I do to a certain extent, but don’t know what SR Flour is? We have All Purpose, Bread and Cake Flour and various wheat, rye, etc. This is why your cakes look wonderful – they are and we don’t know how to make them!

          • Cathy says:

            Self Raising flour in the UK is plain flour plus baking powder – so US all purpose plus baking powder would do the job. I will email (at your ShrubQueen email address) the recipe in due course. Cake baking in The UK has seen a bit of a revival with several popular baking programmes on television.

          • Thank you! I would love to try it. We have self rising flour here, didn’t get the abbreviation. I think food television has spurred many people to cook. I watch Nigella sometimes.

  11. Noelle M says:

    Love your cake and coffee theme this week Cathy. I write my entry before I ever view yours, but its amazing how I manage to weave in the connection with yours most weeks. Was that Vanilla Ice slice cake? How about hybridising a sunflower and then naming it Lemon Drizzle, share the seed, and then we could all bake Lemon Drizzle Cake and have a cake and Lemon Drizzle Flowers and invite one’s friends and neighbours for cake, coffee, and flowers morning in aid of your favourite charity? Towards Autumn, is the name of the game this week for me:

    • Cathy says:

      Haha – what a great idea, Noelle, but why stop at lemon drizzle? What flower should try to breed for a Battenburg pairing, do you think…?! 😉 And yes, Vanilla (sl)ice could have taken the post in down a different baking route, if I had thought of it 🙂 Oh, I DO enjoy Monday and IAVOM!!

  12. Pingback: In a Vase on Monday: September Sparklers | Words and Herbs

  13. Cathy says:

    Cafe au lait is gorgeous, and theanks for sharing the cake with us too! Here is my vase for today Cathy:

  14. Pingback: In a Vase on Monday: sunshine on a rainy day | acoastalplot

  15. Sam says:

    What a beautiful dahlia. Could do with a slice of that cake, too! I’m really happy to be joining you this week, Cathy. My vase is here: Thank you, as always. Sam x

  16. LisaDay says:

    Beautiful and delicious.

  17. Hi Cathy – I am just checking in from our Florida holiday & am delighted to see that you are growing Cafe Au Lait this year! This is still my favourite dahlia although there are a few others I have grown this year that are very close. I find that I get a mix of bloom sizes growing at the same time so the smaller blooms can be used in mixed vases but the largest are best displayed as you have – on their own. Sadly I missed sowing sunflowers this year & know that I will miss them. Hope you are well & enjoying your garden! xx

    • Cathy says:

      Hello Julie – hope you are enjoying your holiday and that is not too hot, nor too stormy… It was interesting to read what you said about the different sizes of bloom on C au L – mine is a first year plant which may make a difference too I suppose. I am not sure if I will grow Vanilla Ice again as they are SO tall and Italian White is very similar. I fogot about growing dwarf sunflowers though, which I like because I can put them in a pot – need to start a seed list for next year perhaps! All well here with both of us, thank you

  18. Peter/Outlaw says:

    Delicious arrangements. Hopefully it’s dry and warm enough that you can enjoy your coffee and cake outside today. You’ve convinced me to make room in my garden for a few dahlias next year. My vase is here:

  19. Your lemon drizzle cake looks scrumptious, particularly as I haven’t yet had breakfast – my stomach actually grumbled at the sight of it so I best get to that. Dahlia ‘Cafe au Lait’ is always a delight. My post is all – or well, mostly – about dahlias this week too:

  20. ‘Cafe au Lait’ is such a beauty! No wonder brides everywhere lust after her for their bouquets.
    My IAVOM post:

  21. Cathy the breakfast is superb. The “Cafe au Lait” is beautiful and the lemon drizzle cake I have never tried but I would if I could. Sunflowers are beautiful, I love the color they have. Greetings from Margarita.

  22. Alison C says:

    Mmm, your cake looks as good as your dahlia. It’s time I made Lemon Drizzle again. It is a beautiful flower and deserves it’s reputation and I can see how it got it’s name. Lovely pale sunflowers, I am definitely growing them next year. I keep seeing them around. I put certain vases on my kitchen windowsill behind the draining board so they are safe from being knocked over. I am very clumsy.
    Here is my link:
    Thanks as ever. x

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Alison. I think one of the reasons I don’t have several vases on the go at the same time is because I haven’t got clear surfaces to put them on – I would be elbowing them over otherwise, as I recently did with the nice matte green mug which I sometimes use as a vase and often use as a holding container when blooms are being conditioned 😦

  23. Lindy Le Coq says:

    What a lovely blossom! Time for me to clear out more space for more flowers!!

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Lindy – that’s the joy of th cutting beds, as I can cram lots of different plants in a relatively small space. Some of the dahlias I have had in big pots next to the cutting beds and they have done well in them so I shall continue that next year

  24. Pingback: In a Vase on Monday – Need a cuppa? | Frogend dweller's Blog

  25. Yummy, your drizzle cake looks very inviting. Cafe au Lait is a wonderful flower, but I had no idea it was so big. I don’t think I’ve seen it in the flesh anywhere.

    I’ve also gone with a drinks theme: Thanks for hosting!

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Allison – I have seen larger blooms of C au L which is why I was in two minds about buying the tuber as I don’t really like huge dahlias…

  26. Loved the article. Loved the look of the cake even more! Fastest way to my heart is through a good slice of cake, not sure about the coffee though, might taste a bit flowery!

  27. Pingback: In a vase on Monday – late! – Creating my own garden of the Hesperides

  28. Christina says:

    I admire this Dahlia and it makes me think I will have to order my Dahlias from the UK next year to get some of the varieties I admire so much in vases (on Monday). I have found some good dahlias here but never the ones I really want. The bloom looks so perfect. Do you stake your dahlias and if so how? Sorry I’m late this week, you’ll read why in my post:

    • Cathy says:

      Do you not get your dahlias from Peter Nyssen as well as your other bulbs? And how will ‘Brexit’ affect buying plnats and seeds from the UK?. I add support as and when needed, using stakes with a ring at the top that I had purpose made for me by a local firm – I then tie either individual stems or encircle the whole plant, depending how bushy the plant is

      • Christina says:

        I haven’t been doing spring orders from Peter Nyssen because they arrive a bit late. I’ve used a local supplier and while the Dahlias I’ve bought have been good value, there hasn’t been the choice.

        • Cathy says:

          Yes, of course, that makes sense as I have to plant up any new ones of mine as soon as they come which wil be rather late for you. After seeing Brian’s dahias I may be ordering some from other suppliers too!

  29. D > Living in Germany in the mid 1990s, Kafee und Kuchen on a weekend trip out was a ritual we delighted in. These days we make do with coffee and toast, mid-morning whilst discussing plans for the rest of the day. Still a lovely ritual, and not as fattening, but defintely not quite the same sort of treat!

    • Cathy says:

      Ah, memories!! As students, a friend and I drove down the course of the Rhine in the early 70s, visiting the schloss(es) and indulging every morning in coffee with whipped cream on the top, and a slice of Black Forest Gateau… these days I like my cake in the afternoon and with a cup of tea!

  30. Ah, beautiful dahlias and an amusing pun to boot. Adore the color but have never grown dahlias myself. Shall constant myself with your arrangements though.

  31. Certainly a single bloom of cafe au lait is all that is needed. A full on statement piece. Lovely. Cake looks good too!

  32. rickii says:

    Your whole arrangement and caption speak to your creative spirit…beautiful!

  33. Tuan Tran says:

    Serving is very nice,,, flower and vase are suitable! Beautiful , thank for your photos 🙂

Comments are closed.