Lavender Cupcakes with Vanilla Bean Frosting

04.17.2013

If you have not yet tried lavender cupcakes now is the time. I was hesitant to try these myself, because I’m so used to lavender simply being a scent for candles, body lotion and air fresheners so to mix that with food and make something with lavender seemed somewhat risky. I’m telling you these are unbelievably delicious!

lavender cupcakes with vanilla bean frosting.

I bought some dried lavender several months ago while I was at the Savory Spice Shop in California (awesome store by the way, you can buy stuff from them online too) and decided to get some lavender so I could see what it’s all about. It sat in my cupboard several months as I was waiting for fresh lavender to be in season so I could add some to the tops for garnish, but I simply couldn’t wait any longer for that. I’m so glad I finally made these cupcakes. I just created a basic yellow cupcake and blended in some honey, lavender and whole milk to compliment as well as mellow out the flavors from the lavender. I read somewhere soaking lavender in milk helps tone down the flavors (and I’d have to agree with this which is why I let the lavender and milk mixture rest while preparing the rest of the ingredients for the cupcakes).

These delicate and dainty cupcakes are perfect paired with the fluffy vanilla bean frosting, it makes them fancy with a gourmet touch. I colored my frosting with some pink and sky blue wilton gel colors (just because that’s what I had on hand), if you have violet and pink that would  work great too. Also, you may notice that I did garnish the tops of these with the dried lavender, I think I may prefer them more without that and like I said before I would use fresh lavender sprigs just to garnish them for looks (not eating) otherwise I would use white or purple sprinkles. Enjoy!

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Lavender Cupcakes with Vanilla Bean Frosting

Yield: 12 Cupcakes

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1 Tbsp dried edible lavender
  • 1 1/3 cups (158 g) cake flour
  • 1 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup butter , softened
  • 1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp granulated sugar
  • 3 Tbsp honey
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Vanilla Bean Frosting

  • 1/2 cup salted butter*
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • seeds of 1 vanilla bean
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 Tbsp heavy cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a food processor combine milk and lavender and pulse about 1 - 1 1/2 minutes until lavender is well chopped, scrapping down inside of processor once during processing. Pour into liquid measuring cup (be sure to scrape out all of milk and lavender from sides and lid), set aside and allow to rest.
  2. In a mixing bowl whisk together cake flour, baking powder and salt for 30 seconds, set aside. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, whip butter and sugar on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 4 minutes, occasionally scraping down sides of bowl. Blend in honey. Add eggs one at a time and mix just until combined after each addition. Stir in vanilla. Working in 3 separate batches beginning and ending with flour mixture, add dry ingredients alternating with milk mixture, mixing just until combined after each addition. Fill paper lined muffin cups 2/3 full and bake in preheated oven 19 - 21 minutes, until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Allow to cool several minutes in muffin tin before transferring to a wire rack to cool. Cool completely then frost with Vanilla Bean Frosting. Store in an airtight container.
  3. For the Vanilla Bean Frosting:
  4. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whip butter and vanilla bean seeds on medium-high speed until nearly white and very fluffy, about 7 - 8 minutes, frequently scrapping down the sides and bottom of the bowl. Add in powdered sugar, heavy cream and vanilla extract and mix on low speed until blended, then increase speed to medium and beat until very light and fluffy, about 5 - 6 minutes, frequently scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl. Pipe or spread over cupcakes. For best results use the day prepared.
  5. *I recommend using a salted butter containing no more than 100 mg sodium per 1 Tbsp serving.
  6. Recipe Source: Cooking Classy

71 comments

  • Jodie Paradis: Is there a specific reason why the frosting would have to be used the same day that it is made?
    Also, is this a very soft frosting? Wondering how well piping designs would hold up. August 20, 2018 at 9:56am Reply

    • Jaclyn: It’s just the fluffiest the days it’s whipped up but you could refrigerate then bring to room temp later and use. August 20, 2018 at 3:21pm Reply

  • Shawn: if i cant find vanilla beans can i use a vanilla paste instead and if so how much would that be, my sister is getting married in Oct and I need to perfect this before June 27, 2018 at 7:31pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: The back of the vanilla bean paste jar should say the equivalent as concentrations can vary, if it doesn’t I’d start with 1 tsp. July 9, 2018 at 8:30pm Reply

  • Linda P: Can you replace the lavender leaves/flowers with Lavender Essential oil? If so, anyone know how much to use. June 23, 2017 at 6:55pm Reply

    • Linda: Check DoTerra. There use to be a recipe for Lavender cupcakes using their Lavender EO September 20, 2018 at 8:01am Reply

  • Cherie: Can I use lavender flavor (extract) instead of the dried lavender? And how much?
    Thank you! March 2, 2017 at 6:56pm Reply

  • Amanda: This recipe is wonderful. I’ve made it three times now (and will be starting my fourth time tomorrow) and they are always a HUGE hit, especially with kids, which surprised me. I did start adding some orange zest(about a teaspoon) and I use orange blossom honey when I can find it. I think that the added floral components really bring out the lavender flavor while helping tone down that “soapy” flavor that using lavender can have. July 6, 2015 at 4:27pm Reply

  • Lavender & Vanilla Bean Cupcakes | the quiet baker: […] 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 […] January 11, 2015 at 11:09am Reply

  • Lauren: Hi Jaclyn, I am making these cupcakes for a baby shower this weekend. I found a recipe to make lavender vanilla sugar (Joy the Baker http://joythebaker.com/2010/10/lavender-vanilla-sugar/). Do you think the lavender flavor would be too overwhelming if I substituted the regular granulated sugar with this lavender sugar? Also, if used, should I omit or decrease the vanilla extract since vanilla beans are used in the sugar? Thanks for your help! September 15, 2014 at 7:26am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Sorry for the late response! I wouldn’t recommend using both the lavender sugar + more lavender it would probably be a bit to much. October 6, 2014 at 1:21pm Reply

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