La La Lavender & Lemon Cloud Cupcakes
Yield: 18 standard cupcakes
Lemon Buttermilk Cupcakes
adapted from Canadian Living
1 cup (250 mL) (8 oz) buttermilk, at room temperature
2 eggs + 1 egg yolk, at room temperature
1/4 teaspoon (1.25 mL) pure vanilla extract
2 cups (230 grams) cake flour, sifted
1-1/4 cups (250 grams) (9 ounces) granulated sugar
1-1/2 teaspoon (8 grams) baking powder
1/2 teaspoon (2 grams) baking soda
1/4 teaspoon (2 grams) salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) (115 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
Finely grated lemon zest (rind) of two medium-large lemons
1. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Prepare two standard muffin pans with your favorite baking liners and set aside.
2. In a medium bowl or measuring cup, combine and stir the eggs, 1/4 cup of buttermilk, and vanilla. Set aside.
3. Sift the cake flour three times.
4. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the dry ingredients, including the sugar, together on low speed (I use the “stir” setting on my mixer) for 30 seconds.
5. Add the butter and blend on low speed for about 30 seconds, then add remaining 3/4 cup of buttermilk, and mix on low speed until just moistened. Increase to medium speed and mix for 1 1/2 minutes.
6. Scrape the sides of the bowl and begin to add the egg/milk mixture in 3 separate batches; beat on medium speed for 20 seconds after each addition. Stir in the lemon zest.
7. Divide the batter into your prepared liners (I always use a Stainless Steel Scoop (50mm/3 tablespoons) for perfectly even cupcakes), no more than 2/3 full.
8. Bake until a toothpick comes clean when inserted into the center of the cupcake (~15 minutes). Be so careful to not over bake.
9. Place hot baking pans on wire racks, then carefully (they’re hot!) remove the cupcakes from the baking pans immediately to let cool. Let cool completely before frosting.
Whipped Lavender Frosting
3 sticks (340 grams/12 ounces) unsalted butter, softened and cut into cubes
3.5 cups (400 grams/14 oz) confectioners’ sugar, sifted
3 tablespoons (45 mL) whipping cream (35% cream), or whole milk
1 tablespoon dried Culinary Lavender
1 teaspoon (5 mL) pure vanilla extract
a pinch of salt
1. In a small bowl or glass, stir the dried lavender into the whipping cream (or milk); cover with plastic wrap overnight (or for at least several hours).
2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whip butter for 8 minutes on medium speed (I use “4″ on my KitchenAid). Butter will become very pale & creamy.
3. Strain the lavender cream and add to butter, along with all remaining ingredients and mix on low speed for 1 minute, then on medium speed for 6 minutes. Frosting will be very light, creamy, and fluffy.
4. Add a few drops of Violet gel color (I used Grape Violet by Sugarflair and a drop of Americolor Electric Purple) and mix until blended. *see notes
Sweetapolita’s Notes About the Frosting:
- Best used right away (for ideal spreading consistency).
- To get frosting super smooth (no air bubbles), use a silicone spatula and in an aggressive side-to-side motion, pushing the frosting back and forth against the sides of the bowl (you will hear a sort of paddling sound). Do this every so often while you use the frosting–it keeps it super smooth. You can also add a few drops (just a few!) of water for ideal spreading/piping.
- Just a note about purple—all purple gel colors will yield a very different color by nature, for example, Americolor Violet is much more blue than purple (when compared), and Americolor Electric Purple is more magenta than blue. Those differences in addition to the fact that you’re adding it to an ivory base (this butter frosting), can really alter the look of the finished cupcake, so you’ll want to play around with small frosting samples in bowls before tinting the entire batch. (I ended up making the frosting all over again to achieve the shade I liked best). Just be careful not to go too far with these concentrated colors, because it can get too intense quickly.
Lavender & Lemon Shortbread Clouds
adapted from Joy of Baking
Yield: ~20 shortbread cookies (eg. these clouds)
1-1/2 cups (190 grams) all-purpose flour
1/2 cup (75 grams) cornstarch (corn flour)
1/4 (2 grams) teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) (227 grams) good quality unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup (60 grams) confectioners’ sugar (powdered sugar/icing sugar)
1 teaspoon (5 mL) good quality pure vanilla extract (such as Nielsen-Massey Vanillas 8-oz. Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla Extract)
1 tablespoon dried Culinary Lavender
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest (rind)
1. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat on medium speed (I use #4 on my KitchenAid mixer) the butter until it is smooth and very creamy, about 1-2 minutes.
2. Add the confectioners’ sugar and beat for another 2 minutes.
3. Beat in the vanilla extract, then stir in the dried lavender and lemon zest.
4. Stir in the dry ingredients until they are incorporated. Make a ball of the dough and seal in plastic wrap. Once in the wrap, flatten the dough into a disk and chill for one hour (at least—can be longer).
5. When you’re ready to roll and cut the cookie dough, preheat oven to 350°F and place the oven rack in the middle position. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or two Silpat Non-Stick Baking Mat.
6. Roll the dough 1/4” thick on a lightly floured surface or between two sheets of parchment paper. Cut desired shapes, place on baking sheets and chill in the refrigerator or freezer for about 15 minutes.
7. Bake until very light golden brown, about 8-10 minutes. Let cool on cookie sheets on wire racks.
*Cookies will keep in an airtight container for about 1 week, or can be frozen.
Assembly of the La La Lavender & Lemon Cloud Cupcakes
1. Add 1 tablespoon of Lemon Curd on top of Lemon Buttermilk Cupcakes and gently spread (be careful to not put more than this, or it will ooze).
2. Fill a small pastry bag fitted with pastry tip of your choice (I used a plain large round tip) about 1/2 full with Whipped Lavender Frosting and pipe a generous swirl on top of the Lemon Curd.
3. Top with a Lavender & Lemon Shortbread Cloud.
4. Finish with a scalloped cupcake wrapper or design of your choice. You can find the cupcake wrapper template that I used over at Skip To My Lou.