Lavender Cupcakes with Vanilla Bean Frosting


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!

PS sorry for the shortage of pictures lately, I’m trying to get used to my new camera. It’s a whole new learning experience :).


Lavender Cupcakes with Vanilla Bean Frosting

Yield: 12 Cupcakes


  • 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


  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


  • Averie @ Averie Cooks: Just yesterday I got a book in the mail called Cooking with Flowers. It’s an amazing new release. Have barely looked thru it but the photography is stunning alone. This recipe would fit right in! Vanilla Bean Frosting. Wow. And the lavender. Yes! April 17, 2013 at 9:41pm Reply

  • Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious: I’ve never tried lavender before but you totally sold me on it! April 18, 2013 at 1:23am Reply

  • sally @ sallys baking addiction: I’ve never baked with lavender before JAclyn. Like you were, I am hesitant! I only like it in candles and hand soap. :) But lately I’ve been seeing a few lemon/lavender recipes and now these cupcakes – You are intriguing me to try it! Love the tinted vanilla frosting as well. What new camera did you get? I just bought the canon 5d mark iii and this weekend will be my first testing it out! April 18, 2013 at 3:30am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Hey Sally! I got the 5d mark iii too and I got the 100 mm macro and the 24 – 70 mm lenses. I haven’t even gotten the 24 – 70 out because for the last week I’ve been trying to get the hang of the 100 macro and I love it! It is an awesome camera I just need to learn how to use it =). I’m sure you’ll love it. April 18, 2013 at 9:38am Reply

  • Jessica @ Portuguese Girl Cooks: These look so beautiful, and almost to good to eat! April 18, 2013 at 8:36am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks Jessica :)! April 18, 2013 at 5:52pm Reply

  • Kala: WOW, these look amazing! Does this recipe yield enough batter and frosting to make a four layer 6-inch cake? Thanks in advance! April 18, 2013 at 9:03am Reply

    • Jaclyn: You would probably need to double it for a four layer 6 inch. I’ve actually never made a 6 inch so I don’t know for sure, sorry! April 18, 2013 at 9:13am Reply

      • Kala: Okay! Thanks for your input. How many cupcakes does this recipe as is yield? April 25, 2013 at 12:25pm Reply

        • Jaclyn: Mine made 12 but they were barely spilling over the sides so you could probably do 13 or maybe even 14. April 25, 2013 at 7:45pm Reply

  • Curry and Comfort: I never worked with lavender before… but if they make anything look this beautiful… I must try. This is such a crisp, clean and beautiful photo. Your pictures still make me want to learn how to get there in my food photography. :) April 20, 2013 at 4:53pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: You are so nice! Thanks for your nice comment, I still need to learn how to get there in my food photography! I have so much to learn but thank you! April 25, 2013 at 6:50pm Reply

  • Rosie @ Blueberry Kitchen: I’ve never tried lavender cupcakes – just lusted after them in photos! For some reason I’ve been hesitant to bake with it, but I think I really need to give it a go! Your cupcakes look divine, I love the look of your perfect frosting :) April 21, 2013 at 3:28pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks so much Rosie! I hope you do try lavender cupcakes soon, they are sooo good. Aw and mine are gone. April 25, 2013 at 6:56pm Reply

  • Heidi Medina: It’s funny. I was reading this and just started laughing because Savory Spice Shop is my favorite go-to spice shop here in Denver and my husband put dried lavender in my stocking for Christmas because he always is getting me new things to try out. I ran across your cupcakes on Pinterest, as I was looking for something to use the lavender. These are now on the list to make this week, thanks for sharing :) April 23, 2013 at 8:34am Reply

    • Jaclyn: The Savory Spice Shop is amazing, I wish I had one where I lived. I hope you love these cupcakes! Thanks for your comment Heidi! April 24, 2013 at 6:57pm Reply

  • Justine@cookingandbeer: Yum! I’ve had lavender once before in a gluten-free cake and I was pleasantly surprised at how much I liked it. I however love the fact that there is actually flour in this recipe! I will definitely be trying this recipe out this spring. They look absolutely fantastic. April 25, 2013 at 8:46am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks Justine! Aren’t lavender baked goods delicious? Thanks for your comment, I hope you love the cupcakes! April 30, 2013 at 8:07pm Reply

  • Dina: i felt the same way when i tried a lavender cupcake but they are very nice! April 25, 2013 at 5:40pm Reply

  • Debbie: Our wedding cake was lavender and we loved it! I am going to make these cupcakes for our anniversary this year! They look so yummy! April 27, 2013 at 10:58am Reply

    • Jaclyn: I hope you love them Debbie! What a delicious wedding cake, wonderful idea you had :). May 2, 2013 at 8:41pm Reply

  • Nona: What tip did you use when icing the cupcakes? Thanks! :) April 27, 2013 at 7:27pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: The Wilton 2D its my favorite. Sometimes if the frosting is fairly thick I will bend the prongs out with a butter knife just a bit. April 28, 2013 at 9:18am Reply

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  • Tia: I just made these without the frosting and they were really delicious! I used a tea grade lavender, I’m not sure if there’s a difference though.

    For the frosting, would you be able to do it without the vanilla bean? How could I substitute vanilla extract?

    Thank you! May 10, 2013 at 4:19pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m glad you like them Tia! For the frosting you can just increase the vanilla to 2 tsp if you don’t want to add the vanilla bean but yes it would definitely be okay to make it without. May 10, 2013 at 5:13pm Reply

  • Nikki: I could only find lavender leaves rather than flowers, which did you use? If you used the flowers, would you not recommend trying it with leaves? I’ve seen a few other cupcake recipes using the leaves, but I’m not sure.

    Also, should we not strain the lavender from the milk? May 16, 2013 at 12:30pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I used the lavender flowers. I think the stems have a different flavor but I could be wrong because I haven’t actually eaten the leaves before :). I would just recommend that you taste a little leaf (as long as it is edible) and if you like the flavor then go for it, if not you can buy the dried lavender flowers online here (which is who I bought mine from):
      And no I chose not to strain the lavender just for a stronger flavor so it could bake into the cupcakes, I’d say if you let it rest in the milk several hours then you could strain it and get a similar effect. Hope that helps Nikki! May 16, 2013 at 10:22pm Reply

  • Laura: Hi there! I just wanted to thank you for posting such a wonderful recipe. :)

    I tried it out today with the frosting, and it’s just amazing!

    Thanks so much. :)

    Laura May 25, 2013 at 3:29pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m so glad you liked these Laura, it’s funny reading your comment because I was actually craving them today :). Thanks for your comment! I may have to make these again tomorrow :). May 25, 2013 at 9:06pm Reply

  • Kristen T-D.: I just finished making these for my own birthday and they are WONDERFUL! Thanks for the fabulous recipe! June 17, 2013 at 12:29pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Happy Birthday Kristen!! I’m so glad you like them!! June 17, 2013 at 8:18pm Reply

  • hannah: this looks amazing i have a lavender plant (lavendula x intermedia grosso) and i wanted recipes sounds yummy with a cup of hot tea:) June 25, 2013 at 9:17pm Reply

  • Raquel: Just curious what you used to tint the frosting? I don’t see lavender in the frosting recipe and we don’t use artificial dyes in our house. Tx! July 10, 2013 at 2:57pm Reply

  • Vanessa: I loved making these cupcakes and they tasted heavenly! Using this recipe, I was able to make 36 mini cupcakes. August 7, 2013 at 10:05am Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m so glad you liked these cupcakes Vanessa and thanks for letting me know how many minis they’d make (I might just be doing that next time)! August 11, 2013 at 6:26pm Reply

  • Rhi: I was wondering how many cups of frosting this makes? I love the frosting recipe and want to use it on a cake but forgot to measure it out when I made the recipe. August 23, 2013 at 6:59am Reply

    • Jaclyn: I wish I knew but I can’t remember even an estimate, I make so many different frostings then I forget to measure it out before I frost the cake or cupcakes, sorry! September 1, 2013 at 12:41pm Reply

  • Tori: These were amazing! I tried a few different recipes and while these were being frosted with the super yummy frosting, the others were in the trash. Even my husband and toddler, who hate cupcakes, ate two each! September 5, 2013 at 9:36am Reply

    • Jaclyn: That’s great to hear Tori! I’m so glad you and your family enjoyed these cupcakes! Now I wish I had another one… or maybe two :). Guess I’ll have to make them again soon. They are one of my new favorites. September 14, 2013 at 8:29pm Reply

  • Liz Cowans: I want to say I think you and your baking is just wonderful. I can not wait to try many of them. I want you to know this post is so simple and beautiful. I have been stressed to the max and just reading your comments and the recipe and the beautiful picture-just has calmed me down-so thank you. I appreciate it and you. September 14, 2013 at 7:36pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m so happy to hear that Liz!! I hope the stress calms down for you, if not maybe spend some time in the kitchen :) it always reduces stress for me. September 27, 2013 at 6:46am Reply

  • Bean: I may just have to try making this one day, maybe for my mother since she’s crazy for lavender. :) If I may ask, though: what type of piping tip was used for the frosting? October 6, 2013 at 2:25pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I used the Wilton 2D – it’s the one I used most often. I hope your Mom loves them if you make them :)! October 8, 2013 at 7:27am Reply

  • Dani: I would love to try these cupcakes! My only question though: there is a line that says “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.” Maybe I’m just reading it wrong, but what does this mean? I can’t figure it out. Would love to make these tonight for a Christmas party, thanks! December 24, 2013 at 11:11am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Sorry I was trying to figure out the easiest way to word that without making it too long – just add 1/3 flour mixture and mix, then 1/2 milk mixture and mix, then 1/3 flour mix, 1/2 milk mixture mix, then end with remaining 1/3 of the flour and mix. Hope that helps and I hope you love them! December 24, 2013 at 2:23pm Reply

  • Beth Scheer: Jaclyn, I can say I’ve had lavender ICE CREAM at an Ice Cream Parlor in New Hope,PA and must say I was amazed with the delicate, yet powerful taste. I was amazed with Violet also and wished at the time I could work on a Cake or candy recipe for those ingredients. But demands of our lives put it on the back burner. I WILL be making these. It has been a long time waiting and glad I didn’t have to do the hard work…LOL. Thank you so much for posting a ” I ALWAYS WANTED TO TRY THAT RECIPE”. December 28, 2013 at 1:48pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I hope you love them Beth! I would love to try lavender ice cream! Definitely going on my list :). December 28, 2013 at 3:22pm Reply

  • Shayna Harris: Hello! I am a HUGE lavendar fan (scent AND food) and am really excited to try this recipe! My question is regarding the butter in the cake recipe. Is that salted or unsalted? I am assuming unsalted but I wanted to make sure. I hope you are having a lovely day and look forward to trying more of your recipes out! April 16, 2014 at 7:29am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Yeah that would be unsalted in the cupcake portion – sorry I didn’t put that! I hope you love them Shayna! April 16, 2014 at 8:03pm Reply

  • jennifer: These are gorgeous! I look forward to trying them…..possibly for a wedding this summer. Regarding the liners you used in the pics…..these are what they request for the wedding, but all I can find are white. What would I call these & where might I find them online? Thanks so much! Jennifer May 6, 2014 at 10:27pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: These actually where a white I believe they were just rather thin. I think they just came out of the pastels of a no name brand. I wish I could tell you exactly, sorry! May 7, 2014 at 10:28am Reply

  • Annie: these look delicious! can’t wait to make them this week for a coworker’s birthday! i just have to know: how did you get that lovely lavender color for the frosting? red and blue food coloring? what ratio? May 10, 2014 at 12:19pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Sorry I don’t remember the ratio at all but yes it was red and blue, I believe more red than blue. May 10, 2014 at 12:20pm Reply

  • Lynn: These turned out perfectly for me and they were so delicious! The icing to cupcake ratio was just right as well. I didn’t have vanilla bean so I added a couple tablespoons of honey (along with the vanilla extract) to make it a Honey Vanilla frosting and it was a success. I liked that it made exactly 12 nice sized cupcakes as well. Kudos on the recipe! May 18, 2014 at 7:25am Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m happy to hear you enjoyed this recipe Lynn! Thanks for leaving a review and for the tip! May 30, 2014 at 6:20pm Reply

  • Erika: Hello. I am making these for a bridal shower this weekend. I need about 24 cupcakes. Do you recommend that I double the recipe or make 2 separate batches? I know sometimes doubling can thrown things off. Thanks :) August 18, 2014 at 9:42am Reply

    • Jaclyn: I think they’d be just fine to be doubled since it’s a small batch. I hope everyone loves them! September 1, 2014 at 5:17pm Reply

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  • 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 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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  • 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

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

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