Sunday, October 21, 2012

Lavender Cupcakes with Honey Frosting

First post as a Mrs!  It's been absolutely insane with the wedding, the marathon, and work.  This weekend we finally got to take a breath and I was itching to bake.

We had simply amazing cupcakes at our wedding (I insisted on it!)  Everyone got a box of four mini-cupcakes: Vanilla Lavender, Pumpkin Spice Latte, Red Velvet with Cinnamon Frosting, and Chocolate Stout with Espresso Buttercream.  They were all wonderfully tasty (thank you Play Cake Bakers!), and a big hit with the guests.  Now that we're back home, I wanted to try and recreate the vanilla lavender cupcake, because I absolutely love lavender-flavored desserts.

The wedding baker was kind enough to tell me the ratio she used with lavender extract, so I felt confident it would be tasty and not taste like soap, which is always a fear when using lavender.  Lavender extract isn't a common ingredient (most lavender recipes use the edible buds), but I found it at Sur la Table.

I didn't have a standard vanilla cupcake in my back pocket, like some other recipes, but these that I found sounded perfect.  These cupcakes baked up wonderfully and had a nice crumb, were moist, flavorful and still tender.  Exactly what I was hoping for!  I knew vanilla frosting would work well with it, but I didn't want to use the standard butter-powdered sugar-milk frosting.  However, I was too lazy to spend time cooking up a frosting, and I didn't have any fancy ingredients.

After perusing the interwebs, I found a recipe that intrigued me - it used honey as well as mascarpone cheese.  Luckily, I had the exact amount in my fridge, so clearly it was meant to be.

While making the frosting it looked a bit strange as it mixed, sort of lumpy and separated, but adding in the powdered sugar helped and it came together well as a final product.  It is pretty tasty on it's own, but very rich, so not a lot is needed on the cupcakes.  And the flavors of lavender and honey meld beautifully.

It's not exactly like what we had at our wedding, but it is very, very, VERY good and I will be making these again, without a doubt!

Lavender Cupcakes
(Recipe adapted from Brown Eyed Baker)
Makes 12 cupcakes

1½ cups all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon table salt
8 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick), room temperature
½ cup sour cream
1 large egg , room temperature
2 large egg yolks , room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon lavender extract

Adjust oven rack to middle position; heat oven to 350 degrees F. Line standard muffin/cupcake tin with paper or foil liners.

Whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in bowl of standing mixer fitted with paddle attachment. Add butter, sour cream, egg and egg yolks, and vanilla; beat at medium speed until smooth and satiny, about 30 seconds. Scrape down sides of bowl with rubber spatula and mix by hand until smooth and no flour pockets remain.

Divide batter evenly among cups of prepared tin. Bake until cupcake tops are pale gold and toothpick or skewer inserted into center comes out clean, 20 to 24 minutes. Remove the cupcakes from tin and transfer to wire rack; cool cupcakes to room temperature before frosting.

Honey Frosting
(from M for Mommy)
Makes more than enough for 12 cupcakes - about a cup and a half

1/4 cup butter, softened
4 oz. mascarpone cheese, softened
2 Tbsp honey
Pinch of salt
1 cup powdered sugar plus more for preferred texture

Beat the first 4 ingredients at medium speed with a mixer until creamy.  Gradually add powdered sugar, beating at low speed until blended.  Beat at high speed 2 minutes or until creamy.  Add additional powdered sugar for your preferred texture/stiffness.  The frosting won't be as stiff as some more traditional frostings, but still pipes on fine and stays put on the cupcake and doesn't slide off.

Top off with some purple sanding sugar, edible lavender buds, or whatever you like.


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