In a land far, far away, I made cupcakes dainty enough to be featured in a fairytale.
Or at least that is what my sister, who will henceforth be known as ‘Bear’, thinks. Yesterday, I was chatting with her on Whatsapp (one of my favourite inventions, EVER) and telling her about my latest cupcake concoction – lavender, with a honey & lemon glaze. Her response was “they sound like something from a fairytale”. So here you have it… Fairytale cupcakes. The best bit is, that just like fairytales, they aren’t just for kids :)
“here’s your sweet lavender
sixteen sprigs a penny
that you’ll find my ladies
will smell as sweet as any”
Lavender Sellers’s Cry, London England CA 1900
Lavender is an amazing herb. Yes I said HHHERRRRB. It is instantly calming and soothing. I have been known to take baths with it, sleep with it on my pillow and buy scented massage oil in the hope that a tall, dark, handsome rugby player will offer to slather it all over me. Erm, moving on…
It is not something that I have cooked with before, and I was in two minds about whether a lavender cupcake would be delicious, or just taste too floral. After some research I found a recipe that I liked, and only adjusted it a little.
I decided to top the cupcakes with a honey and lemon glaze. I think honey and lemon are a wonderful combination, and felt that they would pair nicely with the lavender scent.
The freshly baked baby cupcakes greeted Neon as she arrived back from her adventures in the Galapagos, and she had a hard time guessing what flavour they were. Hopefully this means the lavender is subtle, and not a flowery smack in the face.
I don’t think they will become a regular flavour (I know too many chocolate lovers), but I am happy to discover that I have something to do with my leftover lavender after creating copious numbers of cocktails.
I think the only thing that would improve these baby bites of deliciousness is edible glitter A.K.A fairy dust! Next time, next time.
Serves: This recipe made 48 mini cupcakes
Cupcakes (adapted from Kitchen Chronicles)
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp dried lavender buds
- 1/2 cup of cold milk
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line baking trays with cupcake liners.
- In your Pink KitchenAid mixer, cream the softened butter and sugar together. Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each one. Stir in the vanilla.
- In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Chop the dried lavender buds into fine, small pieces. Stir into the flour mixture.
- Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture. Stir in the milk and sour cream.
- Scoop batter evenly into lined muffin tins. Bake for 10 – 12 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean.
- Let cupcakes cool in the tins for 5-10 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.
Honey & Lemon Glaze (adapted from Jesicakes Blog)
- 8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
- 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar, sifted
- 2 tbsp honey
- 1 tbsp lemon zest
- In a mixer, beat the cream cheese on medium-high until softened. Gradually add the butter a tablespoon or so at a time. Mix well.
- Begin to gradually add the powdered sugar with the mixer on low allowing each addition to mix in before adding the next.
- Add the honey, zest, and lavender. Scrape down the sides and the blade to make sure everything is incorporating. Continue to beat for around 5 minutes to give it some body.
I wasn’t expecting the frosting to be thick – I was looking for a glaze rather than mounds of icing. If you would like it to be thicker you could add more powdered sugar, but I find it is then far too sweet. Sometimes less is more! This also applies to food colouring… I didn’t fancy eating purple cake, or lilac frosting, so I kept the cupcakes a food colouring free zone!