Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Spring is in the air...Lavender Honey Cupcakes with Honey Cream Cheese Frosting

Wheww do you ever have one of those weeks where you are so busy with different things that it feels like you literally need to remember to eat and even breathe?  To seriously take five minutes to sit down and not be thinking about what you have to do next?  It is only Wednesday and it feels like Thursday.  Or maybe I am just wishing so hard for Thursday, because then Charles will be arriving back finally and well 2 dozen cupcakes will magically have been made for an engagement party that night.  It has just been one of those weeks between real work, life work and just life.  BUT at the same time it has been great.

Oh and p.s. I am moving this week!  If I have two boxes full of cookbooks, does this mean I have too many?  Especially if I still want more!

So last Friday, before life got crazy, and since baking didn't occur over the weekend due to moving and painting, these cupcakes were made.  These were a special request and a thank you all in one.  James was nice enough to both buy the lavender for the cupcakes and come out at 6:30 in the morning with Caroline and my mom to cheer me on during the marathon the other weekend.  He wanted to see how lavender would go with the cupcakes, and it all really came about because last June my friend Meghan asked for a vanilla lavender birthday cake, but neither one of us could find the lavender at the time.  These cupcakes are very unique, and you can definitely taste the lavender in them.  The honey cream cheese frosting complements them well, but next time I am going to add honey too the cake batter and not use quite as much lavender.  They had great texture though and both the cake and frosting were definitely light and fluffy.  So, if you like the taste of lavender these cupcakes might just be right up your alley.  Enjoy!

Lavender ready to be chopped...this smells amazing.  As my roommate put it, our kitchen smelled like a spa.

Laying it all out.

First things first, cream the butter and sugar, then add in the eggs and vanilla.  You can totally get out your mixer for this, a normal baker would.  For some reason, I just really like mixing my cake batter by hand.  I mean it totally counts as an arm workout right?  Oh an P.S. I am adding honey to the recipe below, the cake would be delicious with just a little honey.

Dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, salt and lavender sifted.

Batter gently mixed and then ready for the muffin liners/ the oven.

Perfect...check out the pretty bits of purple lavender.

Frosting time...first beat the cream cheese and butter, then add in the powdered sugar.  Lastly the vanilla extract and honey in the frosting to finish this off.

Perfect honey drizzle on top.

Lavender Cupcakes with Honey Frosting: (recipe adapted from Jessie's Kitchen Chronicles)
*Makes a dozen cupcakes
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoons vanilla extract 
1 tablespoon teaspoon honey
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 tablespoons dried lavender buds
2/3 cup cold milk

For the frosting:
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
4 cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 tablespoons honey, plus a little extra for drizzle

1.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line muffin tins with a dozen cupcake liners.

2.  In a large mixing bowl, using a fork or hand mixer, cream together the softened butter and sugar together. Then add the eggs one at a time, beating after each egg, and stir in the vanilla and honey.

3.  In a separate bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, and salt. 

4.  Chop the dried lavender buds into fine, small pieces. Stir into the flour mixture.

5.  Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture. Stir in the milk.  Scoop batter evenly into lined muffin tins. Bake for 18-24 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Let cupcakes cool in the tins for 3-5 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

6.  In the large bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter and cream cheese together. Add the powdered sugar 1 cup at a time, mixing on low, until the frosting is smooth and creamy. Beat in the vanilla extract and honey. Then liberally frost using a piping bag or frosting spatula.  Drizzle with just a little honey on top, serve and Enjoy!

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