Is it spring yet? I thought it was, the way February was shaping up to be in the Pacific Northwest. Then we had snow and school was cancelled for two days. With the temperature desperately trying to get above 30 degrees, spring is all I can think about.
To me, lavender is spring and it is one of the most heavenly scents I can think of. In fact, I love it so much that I planted two lavender plants in my front yard. And I would have planted more, but we live in a neighborhood that is known for all its trees, and unfortunately, there is not a lot of sunny spots in our yard. (The year before I planted lavender, I tried blueberry plants. They made it one year and then, the magical year when they were supposed to produce fruit, they promptly died. I blame the abundant shade.)
It was about six months after I planted lavender that I realized it wasn’t the culinary lavender I had wanted. That is English Lavender and I planted Spanish Lavender. But the plant did supply enough buds to dry and make sachets out of, so not all was lost. And it’s still alive! That’s another bonus.
For these cupcakes, I added lavender to the batter, but only sprinkled it on top of the frosting. It is really fragrant, so a little does go a long way, and I didn’t want to overpower the frosting or the cake with it. A hint of lavender was what I was going for. I paired these cupcakes with a cream cheese frosting and the hint of sweetness in the cream cheese creates a nice balance. Sprinkle or no sprinkle, these lavender cupcakes will certainly be a hit wherever you bring them. And, of course, it’ll bring a touch of spring. Enjoy! xoxo
Lavender Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour (includes time for cake to cool to room temperature)
1 ¾ c cake flour
1 ¼ c flour
2 c sugar
1 T baking powder
¾ t salt
1 t dried culinary lavender
2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
1 c whole milk, room temperature
1 t pure vanilla extract
Cream Cheese Frosting:
8 oz. (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
12 oz. cream cheese, room temperature (NOT NON-FAT)
4 c powdered sugar
2 t pure vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line two muffin tins with cupcake liners or spray with cooking spray. Set aside.
In a large bowl, combine both flours, sugar, baking powder, salt, and lavender. Mix on low speed for about 2 minutes. Cube the butter and then add one bit at a time, until all the butter is mixed in the dry ingredients and batter is crumb-like.
With the mixer still on low, add the eggs, one at a time. Once the eggs are dissolved, add the milk and vanilla slowly. Scrape down the bowl at least once. Once the batter is mixed and there are no large clumps, fill in cupcake liners to about ⅔ full.
Bake for 17-20 minutes, or until lightly golden and toothpick entered in the center comes out clean. Cool on cooling rack fully before adding frosting.
Cream Cheese Frosting:
Beat the butter and cream cheese with a mixer on medium speed for 2-3 minutes, until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Reduce the speed and add the powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time. Add the vanilla and beat until smooth.
Using a piping bag or a knife, spread frosting over cooled cupcakes. Sprinkle with lavender.
Any leftovers can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Recipe Source: cupcake batter adapted from Paula Deen