You’d think, of all the things I make on this blog that I’d have cupcakes on lockdown. Like LOCKED. THE HECK. DOWN. I mean, cupcakes are the kiddie end of the baking pool, right?
For some reason, cupcakes are just one of those things that I underestimate EVERY. TIME. It’s almost as though their size and cuteness make them too inconspicuous to be complicated. I always think I know what I’m doing, that I have it all figured out, only to have my baking ego completely deflated at the (metaphorical) hands of tiny cakes. Why you gotta do me like that, cupcakes?
I like to think, nay, I tell myself, it’s really because I’m currently baking at 3,000ft so it’s kind of, sort of, almost high altitude baking. Definitely not me just blowing off my OWN recipe. <— Anyone else do this? Meticulously read new recipes, but when it comes to your own tried and true ones, you’re just like “Nah, I got this,” but you totally don’t got this? Yeah, no, not me either…
Consider this your public service baking announcement for the day: READ YOUR RECIPES. I know, ain’t nobody got time for that, but it’s SO much better to put in that little bit of extra time so you don’t have to pull sunken, leathery, cups-of-definitely-not-cake out of your oven. RIP would be lemon cupcakes, RIP.
But, thankfully, my second (well-read) attempt was rewarded with delicious, fluffy, tender lemon cupcakes. SCORE! Virtual high fives all around. And oh-so-conveniently in time to raid my Mum’s giant lavender bed. Because what’s the use of visiting your parents if you can’t raid their garden?
I kid, I kid, don’t make me sleep on the sidewalk tonight Mum!
But I’m not even kidding when I say I’ve been watching these lavender plants for a month now, willing them to bloom. FYI, attempted telepathy does not, in fact, encourage plants to grow. But with this recent bout of ultra-hot weather (Norway’s ruined me. Ultra-hot for me these days is anything over 80F…) it finally happened. Finally, I could make the lavender lemonade cupcakes I’d been plotting… er, planning…
By the way, some of you may have noticed some new social buttons following you down the screen including a Yum button for Yummly, giving us yet another way to connect (just ’cause we’re virtual baking besties and all). If you’re not familiar with Yummly, it’s a virtual recipe box where you can save recipes by “Yumming” them. For those of you that already have Yummly, you can stop on by and see what’s in my virtual recipe box here!
- ½ stick (4tbsp) salted butter, at room temp.
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- ½ cup milk
- ¼ cup fresh lemon juice (1 large lemon)
- 1 tbsp. freshly grated lemon zest
- ½ cup boiling water + ¼ cup
- 10-15 stems fresh organic lavender
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 3 egg whites
- In a large bowl (or in a stand mixer), cream the butter until smooth. Add the granulated sugar and continue beating until light and fluffy (about 2-3 minutes). Add your eggs one egg at a time, beating between each new addition until just combined. In a small bowl, whisk together your all purpose flour and baking powder. Using a spatula, fold half of your flour into the batter. Add the lemon juice, milk, and lemon zest, gently folding that in until just combined. Add the remaining half of the flour to the batter, and fold that in until incorporated.
- Pour your batter into a lined cupcake pan, and bake at 350F/175C for 16-18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cupcake comes out clean.
- To make the extract for your frosting, combine ½ cup boiling water and 10-15 stems of fresh organic lavender in a cup. Allow to steep for about ½ hour.
- For the frosting, combine the remaining ¼ cup water and 1 cup of granulated sugar in a small saucepan over low-medium heat. Bring the syrup to a boil, and allow to boil until clear. While the syrup heats up, whip you egg whites to stiff peaks in a stand mixer. Slowly pour the syrup into the egg whites with the mixer on low. Add 3 tablespoons of the lavender water and increase the speed to high. Whip until the frosting has cooled and holds it form. For a purple colored frosting, add a few drops of purple gel food coloring.