Lavender Cupcakes with a Lavender Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
Lavender infusions are my new favorite thing. It took me awhile to come around, though. Lavender? That’s supposed to be in room spray and massage oils. I said “heck no”, until I stumbled upon the Hummingbird Bakery lavender cupcake recipe. I was intrigued enough to try it out (because, hello cupcake!). Lo and behold, it was amazing. Lavender brings such a subtle and unique flavor. Combine that with a soft, airy cupcake, and it’s like you’re sleeping on a lavender scented cloud. I just close my eyes and enjoy the moment.
The basis of my cupcake still comes from Hummingbird Bakery. With one exception. I used cake flour instead of all purpose flour. Ok, I also forgot to put half a teaspoon of the baking powder in….but the 1 teaspoon I did remember to add seemed to do the trick. I have developed a slightly different recipe for my frosting, but I used the same “steep lavender buds in your milk” trick. It is sweet buttery goodness with a hint of lavender. To bring it all together, I made some candied lavender buds to sprinkle on top!
The reason for this baking sesh? It’s my dear friend’s birthday and she and I share this deep love of lavender. We’ve stuck together since middle school, so we’re going on like 15 years of friendship now. She’s worth her weight in cupcakes.
Seriously, this is such a delightful dessert. Can’t fathom the thought of eating a lavender treat? No problem. Skip the steeping, and just make the cupcake. The texture is fluffy and perfect, and you won’t regret it. But I highly recommend the lavender infusion. As my uncle would say, won’t you just live a little?!
Candied Lavender Buds
3 Tbsp dried lavender buds
1 egg white
2 Tbsp granulated sugar
Preheat oven to 200 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment. Spread lavender buds on parchment and cover with egg white (I started with a pastry brush but ended up mostly using my hands). Sprinkle sugar over buds and combine with fingers. Use two forks to spread lavender buds apart (or however you find is easiest! They like to stick to everything!). Place in oven for 1-2 hours.
Lavender Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
3 Tbsp milk
1 Tbsp dried lavender buds
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
3 cups powdered sugar
¼ tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
Combine milk with lavender buds and let sit in the refrigerator for at least several hours, but overnight is best. When ready to make the frosting, strain out the buds from the milk, and set aside. Beat butter in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment on medium speed. Decrease mixer speed and slowly add powdered sugar. Once the sugar and butter are incorporated, increase speed and add salt, vanilla extract, and milk. Continue to beat for 3 minutes.
(adapted from the Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook’s Lavender Cupcakes)
½ cup milk
3 Tbsp dried lavender buds
1 cup + 2 Tbsp cake flour
¾ cup sugar
1 ½ tsp baking powder (or just 1 if you’re like me and forget)
3 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and butter in the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment and beat on slow until a sandy consistency is reached. With the mixer remaining on low, strain the buds out of the milk, and slowly pour milk into the flour mixture. Add egg and increase speed slightly. Beat until well combined. Scrape sides of bowl and continue to mix for another 30 seconds. Line cupcake tin with paper cups. Using a large ice cream scoop, fill each cup two thirds full. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean. Makes 9 cupcakes.
Once the cupcakes are cool, it’s time to assemble! Spread frosting on each cupcake and sprinkle on a few lavender buds for garnish! Voila! Lavender Infused Cupcakes with a Lavender Vanilla Buttercream Frosting and Candied Lavender Buds.