While mulling over recipes of cupcake flavors for an upcoming girls gathering that my friend Jess was hosting, she expressed she wanted something light and “zesty.” While we didn’t nail down the cake flavor, we both landed on lavender icing.
Lavender is an ingredient I’ve always wanted to try using. Ever since I saw It’s Complicated and Meryl Streep had that gorgeous bakery and made Lavender Honey ice cream (next on my lavender creation list). There is a great place in Old Town Alexandria called The Spice and Tea Exchange (http://www.spiceandtea.com) that carries all sorts of amazing ingredients that you can’t always find at your local grocery store. I was able to find plenty of culinary lavender there for my needs.
After much debating I opted to do a lemon cupcake. I thought the citrus of the lemon would be a nice balance to the flowery icing. The product is the beautiful and tasty creation above and below 🙂
Lemon Cake Recipe (adapted from Martha Stewart) – makes 24 cupcakes
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- zest of 1 lemon
- 1.5 cups sugar
- 2 large eggs plus 3 large egg yolks
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp lemon extract
- 1 cup low-fat buttermilk
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line cupcake pans with paper liners.
- In a medium bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and lemon zest.
- Using a standing mixer, beat butter and 1 1/2 cups sugar until light and fluffy.
- With mixer on low, beat in eggs and yolks. Beat in lemon juice and extract.
- Alternately beat in flour mixture and buttermilk beginning and ending with flour mixture.
- Fill muffin tins about two-thirds full and bake for about 20 minutes rotating the tray half way through.
- Let cool in pan for about 5 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
- 1 cup milk
- 3 tablespoons lavender
- 1 cup butter, softened
- About 4-5 cups confectioners sugar
- Pinch of Salt
- Purple food gel
- Place the lavender and milk in a sauce pan over low heat. Bring to a simmer then let stand and steep for about half an hour and let cool.
- Strain the lavender from the milk and discard.
- In a standing mixer beat butter, 3 cups of confectioners sugar and salt until fluffy
- Add in about 4 tablespoons of lavender milk
- Gradually add more sugar and a tablespoon at a time of lavender milk until desired consistency and flavor is reached
- Add purple food gel to desired color