Lavender adds a lovely warmth and floral essence to baked goods. I find myself using it more and more, and is actually the main ingredient in my most requested recipe. I sell baked goods to friends and small businesses in Indiana, and have the largest request for my iced lavender oatmeal cookies.
I know the thought of tasting lavender may not seem appealing at first, but I assure you most who try it end up loving it. The key is to not use too much to ensure it is not overpowering. I linked the type of lavender I use on my baking products page. I purchased the lavender stems for decorating here. You can take the buds off the stem also rather than ordering buds and stems separately.
These are my vanilla bean cupcake recipe with lavender added – no other difference :). I feel so strongly about this vanilla cupcake recipe it is hard for me to use anything else. I have been experimenting and will absolutely share if I create or find anything I think surpasses these :).
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 18 cupcakes
• 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
• 1 3/4 cup sugar
• 2 teaspoons baking powder
• 2 teaspoons baking soda
• 1 teaspoon table salt
• 1 1/2 teaspoons dried lavender buds, minced
• 1 cup vegetable oil
• 1 cup hot, but not boiling, water
• 1 cup milk, preferably whole milk
• 2 eggs, at room temperature
• 1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste
LAVENDER BUTTERCREAM FROSTING
• 8 ounces unsalted butter (2 sticks), softened
• 4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
• 3-4 tablespoons whole milk
• 2 tablespoons vanilla bean paste
• 1/2 teaspoon dried lavender buds, chopped
• 1/8 teaspoon table salt, small dash
• 1 teaspoon titanium dioxide, dissolved in 2 teaspoons water (see notes below)
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spread a thin layer of Crisco or soft coconut oil over the top of the cupcake pan to prevent sticking in case cupcakes rise over edge. Fill with parchment liners and set aside.
2. Sift the dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl, or the bowl of a stand mixer. Make sure to spoon flour into the measuring cup to avoid packing flour. This can dry out your cupcakes.
3. Add oil, hot water, and milk to dry ingredients. I know this backwards from the traditional way of combining ingredients :). Mix flour and liquids together for one minute over medium speed. Scrape down sides of bowl with a spatula to ensure even mixing. Many times excess flour will hang out on the bottom of the bowl.
4. Add eggs one at a time, followed by vanilla bean paste. Beat on medium-low speed for another minute.
5. Lastly, add chopped lavender buds. You batter should look thin at this point. I know it may seem really thin, but you’ve got it right.
6. Pour batter into a 2 or more cup measuring glass with pouring spout. If you do not have one no worries, you can use any large container with a pouring spout, 1/4 cup measure or a large cookie scoop. I find it easier to pour the batter in because it is rather runny, but can easily fill with other methods mentioned above. Fill each liner approximately 2/3 of way full to allow some room for rising. This will be about 1/4 cup of batter.
7. Bake for 13-15 minutes. A wooden toothpick should come out clean or with a few moist crumbs when inserted.
VANILLA BEAN BUTTER CREAM FROSTING
1. Place butter in stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, or large bowl if using hand mixer. Beat butter until smooth, ~ 30-60 seconds.
2. Add vanilla bean paste and lavender buds. Mix another 30 seconds.
3. Slowly add the sifted powdered sugar 1-2 cups at a time. The mixture will become rather thick. Start adding milk 1 tablespoon at a time to help mixer along. Add food coloring and titanium dioxide at the end of mixing if using.
4. Once all ingredients are combined beat on medium high speed for 2 minutes.
• I prefer to use vanilla bean paste instead of extract in cupcakes. The paste adds a nice richness, as well as vanilla bean flecks throughout cake and icing. May also use a vanilla bean. 1 bean is equivalent to approximately 1 teaspoon of extract.
• Titanium dioxide helps brighten your icing. It will also make white icing brighter. Make sure to look for organic and non -GMO versions. I linked the type I use in my baking products page.
• I like to roughly chop my lavender to ensure I do not have any large pieces. If the lavender is somewhat fresh, like the stems I linked above, this will help release some of the natural oils to enhance the taste.