Lavender and Cupcakes

June 28, 2009

It is lavender season in the Pacific Northwest.  I haven’t yet made a trip this year to visit one of the lavender farms in the area, but my single lavender bush is thriving in my garden right now.

Lavender in the morning light

Lavender in the morning light

I haven’t done much cooking with lavender, but I was intrigued when I came across this recipe for Lavender Cupcakes in The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook by Tarek Malouf.  I have to admit that I wasn’t paying proper attention, so instead of straining out the lavender flowers from the milk infusion, I just poured the whole mixture, buds and all, into the batter.  The cupcakes tasted wonderful in spite of the added fiber.  I also made just 8 cupcakes instead of the 12 suggested in the recipe, but I didn’t think they were too big.

Lavender Cupcakes
(Makes 12)

1/2 c whole milk
3 Tbsp dried lavender flowers
1 c all-purpose flour
a scant 3/4 c sugar
1-1/2 tsp baking powder
3 Tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 egg
12 small sprigs of lavender (optional)

Put the milk and dried lavender flowers in a measuring cup, cover, and  refrigerate for a few hours, or overnight if possible.  Do the same with the milk and lavender flowers for the frosting in a separate cup.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

Put the flour, sugar, baking powder, and butter in a freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attachment (or use a handheld electric whisk) and beat on slow speed until you get a sandy consistency and everything is combined.

Strain the lavender-infused milk (for the cupcakes) and slowly pour into the flour mixture, beating well until all the ingredients are well mixed.  Add the egg and beat well (scrape any unmixed ingredients from the side of the bowl with a rubber spatula).

Spoon the batter into the paper cases until two-thirds full and bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, or until the cake bounces back when touched.  A skewer inserted in the center should come out clean.  Let the cupcakes cool slightly in the pan before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Lavender Frosting

2 Tbsp whole milk
1 Tbsp dried lavender flowers
2 c confectioners’ sugar, sifted
5 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
a couple of drops of purple food coloring (optional)

Beat together the confectioners’ sugar, butter, and food coloring, if using, in a freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attachment (or use a handheld electric whisk) on medium-slow speed until the mixture comes together and is well mixed.  Turn the mixer down to slow speed.  Strain the lavender-infused milk and slowly pour into the butter mixture.  Once all the milk is incorporated, turn the mixer up to high speed.  Continue beating until the frosting is light and fluffy, at least 5 minutes.  The longer the frosting is beaten, the fluffier and lighter it becomes.

When the cupcakes are cold, spoon the lavender frosting on top and decorate with a sprig of lavender, if using.

Lavender-infused milk

Lavender-infused milk

Lavender-studded batter

Lavender-studded batter

Batch of lavender cupcakes

Batch of lavender cupcakes

5 Responses to “Lavender and Cupcakes”

  1. Lynne Says:

    Yum! I’ve had success with the lavender shortbread recipe that follows, too:


    Preheat oven to 325 degrees

    1 ½ C. butter
    2/3 C. sugar
    2 T. lavender
    2 1/3 C. flour
    ½ C. cornstarch
    ¼ t. salt

    1. Beat together butter and sugar.
    2. Add all the other ingredients and mix.
    3. Divide the dough in half and chill until firm.
    4. Roll dough to 3/8 inch thick and cut.
    5. Put cookies on parchment-lined cookie sheet about one inch apart.
    6. Prick with a fork and back at 325 degrees for 10-15 minutes.

    Makes 4 dozen

  2. Thanks for posting this recipe! Beautiful picture of what looks like Lady lavender?

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