Here’s to you Jess…
As I’ve mentioned before, I’m not a huge lavender-lover. Its okay… don’t mind the flavour, but its not exactly my go-to flavour of choice. I don’t know how long now, but my friend Jess has been asking me to make a lavender-inspired dessert, specifically a lavender tart. I was trying to search up lavender tart recipes, and a number of different recipes came up… ranging from chocolate to lemon. None of them really caught my eye though.
But… once I expanded the search to lavender desserts, these beautiful lavender purple cupcakes caught my eye… not to mention they were topped off with vanilla bean buttercream! Followed this recipe from Cooking Classy to the tee… almost.
Lavender Cupcakes with Vanilla Bean Buttercream
- 1/2 C milk
- 1 tbsp dried food-grade lavender
- 1 1/3 C cake flour
- 1 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 C butter, softened
- 1/2 C + 2 tbsp granulated sugar
- 3 tbsp honey
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 sticks unsalted butter
- seeds of 1 vanilla bean
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 2 Tbsp heavy cream (didn’t have any heavy cream, so I used milk)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- dash of salt
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
- In a blender, combine milk and lavender – blend for about 1 minute or until lavender is finely chopped. Transfer into a liquid measure, while scraping out all the lavender. Set aside and allow to rest
- In a small bowl, combine sifted cake flour, baking powder and salt, set aside.
- In a medium bowl, beat butter and sugar on medium speed until pale and fluffy (approx 4 minutes) occasionally scraping down sides of bowl.
- Add in honey and mix until incorporated. Next, add eggs one at a time and mix just until combined after each addition. Stir in vanilla. Incorporate flour mix and milk in 3 separate alternating additions, beginning and ending with flour mixture. After each addition, mix until just combined.
- Fill paper lined muffin cups 2/3- 3/4 full and bake in preheated oven 18 – 21 mins until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean (original recipe makes 12, but I filled mine a little more, so it made 10) Allow to cool a few mins in muffin tin before transferring to a wire rack to cool. Cool completely then frost Store in an airtight container.
- Vanilla Bean Frosting: in a medium bowl, beat butter and vanilla bean seeds on medium-high until pale white and fluffy (approx 7 – 8 mins) – don’t forget to scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl. Slowly add in icing sugar, heavy cream (or milk) and vanilla extract and mix on low until blended – gradually increase speed to medium and beat until light and fluffy (approx 5 – 6 mins).
Honestly, I don’t know what I was expecting with the lavender cupcake but I was pleasantly surprised by the fragrance, taste, and crumb of the cake – very soft, moist, light, and fluffy. The buttercream was also quite good and paired well with the cake. I had a little taster sample just after I had made and piped the buttercream, and it didn’t taste very sweet; however, I also tried them cold after they had sat a little bit and for some reason they tasted much sweeter. I hardly eat cupcakes, so I’m not sure if it was just the temperature that had attributed to the increased sweetness. Strange, but still tasty and even better with a glass of milk.
I ended up bringing the cupcakes to a dinner out with friends. I don’t know about you, but I always find it extra challenging to transport a small amount of cupcakes… I don’t want to bring a huge cupcake carrier to a restaurant but I don’t want the icing to get smushed up all over the sides of a container… Stay tuned for my next post where I share how I came up with an easy DIY transportation solution for individual cupcakes!
Happy Birthday Jess – hope you have a fabulous day!
PS – you can find these cupcakes, along with other amazing treats at The Novice Gardener’s 50th Fiesta Friday! Check it out here!