Okay, so when I was at Whole Foods grabbing my gluten free stuff for the last cupcakes, my eye caught this beautiful pot of fresh lavender. It attracted me because lavender had been on my mind all of August when I was in France. I was determined to buy lavender in France, but ridiculously enough I couldn’t find any!!!! So anyway, in Whole Foods, I saw the lavender and got it on my brain yet again.
Once the gluten cupcakes were done, I was back in Whole Foods. Hello, friend 🙂
So that is how lavender vanilla cupcakes were born:
The key to this, as I have learned from a blog called cupcake project which is AMAZING, is infusing the butter with the herb. So I made lavender butter by clipping the fresh buds of the lavender [most people recommend using dry lavender, but I used fresh and I thought it worked out very well!].
Try to make the butter a day in advance, because the longer you let the lavender infuse into the butter, the more lavender scent you’re going to get. So then you cream the butter with your sugar and make the yummy batter.
Fill the cupcake pan 3/4 full. Bake at 350 around 25-30 minutes. Let cool completely.
While you’re waiting for your cupcakes to bake/cool, you can make your decorations!!!!
So I made waaaay too many little lilac/lavender flowers out of royal icing. I still have this much left after a little more than two dozen cupcakes:
I then made a batch of buttercream and saved a 1/2 c to stay white and then took a 1/4 of what was left and tinted that lavender and tinted the rest light green. I tint with gel color because you can get a lot more color with a lot less actual dye and it’s not watery so it won’t ruin the texture of your frosting. 🙂
I also melted green candy melts and piped vines and leave to dry.
Now for the most fun part: assembly! You can either pipe on or slather on a little bit of the light green buttercream on the tops of the cooled cupcakes.
Then use a larger shell tip and pipe some of the lavender buttercream on like a shell across the top.
I used the white buttercream that I saved to pipe little dots on some of the lavender flowers. Now plop on the sugar flowers on the lavender shell you piped on the cupcakes and try to place them tightly next to each other.
Once that’s done, place the candy melt vines and leaves onto the cupcakes, and voila!!!!
Soooo pretty! And now for the recipes:
LAVENDER VANILLA CUPCAKES
- 2 3/4 C flour
- 1 1/2 t baking soda
- pinch of salt
- 2 sticks of lavender butter
- 2 C sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1 t vanilla
- 1 C milk
- Sift flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
- Cream butter and sugar until well mixed and airy.
- Add eggs, one at a time, making sure each is fully incorporated before adding the next.
- Slowly add in flour mixture a little bit at a time until it is fully incorporated.
- Stir in vanilla and milk.
- Fill cupcake liners 3/4 full.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until top bounces back when touched.
- 1 stick of butter (8T) – Room temperature
- 1.5 tbsp fresh/dry lavender
In a food processor, cut the lavender into the butter until it is fully integrated. Wrap the lavender butter in parchment paper and store in the fridge.
SWISS MERINGUE BUTTERCREAM
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 6 large egg whites
- Pinch of salt
- 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Heat sugar and eggs: Bring a saucepan filled with about 2 inches of water to a simmer. Meanwhile, combine sugar, egg whites, and salt in a large heat-proof mixing bowl. Set bowl over (not in) simmering water, and whisk until whites are warm to the touch and sugar is dissolved, 2 to 3 minutes. (Heating the eggs relaxes their proteins, enabling the eggs to whip up higher and more quickly; the sugar also melts, for a silky smooth consistency.) Test by rubbing between your fingers; the mixture should feel smooth.
- Whip meringue: Attach bowl to a standing electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, and beat on low speed until foamy. Add cream of tartar, and beat on medium-high speed until stiff, glossy peaks form and mixture is cooled completely, about 10 minutes.
- Mix in butter: Reduce speed to medium-low; add butter 2 tablespoons at a time, beating to incorporate fully after each addition. Don’t worry if the buttercream appears curdled at this point; it will become perfectly smooth again with continued beating. After all the butter has been incorporated, beat in vanilla.
- Finish: Switch to the paddle attachment. Beat on the lowest speed to reduce air bubbles, 3 to 5 minutes. Let stand, covered with plastic wrap, at room temperature. (If not using the same day, transfer to airtight containers and store in the refrigerator up to 3 days or the freezer up to 1 month. Before using, bring to room temperature; beat with paddle attachment on the lowest speed until smooth and pliable, about 10 minutes.)
ROYAL ICING FLOWERS
- 3 tbsp meringue powder [they sell this at Michaels]
- 4 cups (about 1 lb.) confectioners’ sugar
- 6 tablespoons warm water
Beat all ingredients until icing forms peaks (7-10 minutes at low speed with a heavy-duty mixer, 10-12 minutes at high speed with a hand-held mixer).
If you don’t have access to meringue powder use this recipe:
- 4 egg whites
- 4 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
- 1 teaspoon lemon extract
Beat egg whites in clean, large bowl with mixer at high speed until foamy (use only grade A clean, uncracked eggs). Gradually add sugar and lemon extract. Beat at high speed until thickened.
Just remember, royal icing gets really hard really fast. Work quickly with it. The nice thing about it is that whatever you make will last for a long time as long as you keep it in a dry air tight place.
Green candy melts
- melt candy melts
- put in pastry bag
- line pan with wax or parchment paper
- pipe in whatever shape you like
- let dry. if impatient, like me, put in your fridge and wait a few minutes 🙂
Hope you guys enjoy!!!