We are BACK from our Hawaiian vacation! It was an amazing trip! Though I'm still in a jet-lagged fog, I'm inspired and ready to get back in the kitchen! In the meantime, I do have one recipe that I was *supposed* to share before our trip that's finally ready! You're going to love these Honey Lavender Cupcakes!
These little cuties are honey cakes topped with the smoothest, creamiest lavender buttercream EVER. Lavender is a new ingredient for me, as I recently shared when I posted my recipe for Lemon Lavender Madeleines. It's SO good! I'm obsessed. I love the delicate, floral flavor that lavender lends, and lavender and honey make the perfect pair! <3
The cupcake recipe uses buttermilk, which gives the cakes both moisture and flavor. While I prefer to use buttermilk, I included a quick substitution in the recipe notes if you don't have it on hand. I also use vanilla bean paste in the cupcakes (soooo surprising, I know). I LOVE this ingredient! Easier/cheaper than whole beans and tastier than extract! If you don't have vanilla bean paste, you can find it [here]. If you prefer to substitute, you can use vanilla extract.
Just get used to seeing vanilla bean paste in all my recipes and me telling you to use it. 😀 The only reason that I used extract in the buttercream instead of paste is because I didn't want the vanilla to overpower the delicate flavor of the lavender.
As for the lavender, you want to make sure that you're using culinary lavender. Other lavenders could have been sprayed with harmful chemicals, as they aren't meant to be eaten. The lavender wasn't flowering yet at our local lavender farm, so I bought my lavender [here].
The method for the buttercream recipe is one I'd never seen before, and that's saying something! You essentially make a custard, let it cool, and then beat in butter. The process takes some time, so I suggest making the buttercream first! Read through the recipe, have faith, and hang on tight. Seriously. This buttercream is call-your-momma-amazing. (That's a thing, because I did.)
I have more ideas for recipes using lavender, but I'll try to share a few non-lavender ones first. I make no guarantees. 😉
Other posts you may like:
Honey Lavender Cupcakes
- In a medium saucepan, combine milk, cream, and lavender (see note). Over medium heat, warm until just beginning to simmer. Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature. Refrigerate the mixture for at least two hours (up to overnight).
- Once chilled, use a fine mesh strainer to strain the lavender from the mixture.
- In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar, flour, and salt. Whisk to combine. Add the milk mixture and whisk until combined.
- Cook the mixture over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture has thickened, 10-15 minutes.
- Transfer the mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer and mix on medium speed with the whisk attachment until the mixture cools to room temperature. Alternatively, you can also cool the mixture to room temperature in the refrigerator, 30-40 minutes. (This is a good time to start the cupcakes!)
- Once the mixture is at room temperature, beat with the whisk attachment, adding the butter a few pieces at a time. Allow the butter pieces to incorporate before adding more. Add vanilla and mix to combine. Beat buttercream on medium speed another 4-5 minutes, or until light and fluffy.
- Preheat oven to 350° F. Spray cupcake pan with nonstick spray or line with paper liners. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, combine dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, and salt). Set aside.
- In another small bowl, combine buttermilk (see note), honey, and vanilla bean paste (see note). Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine butter and sugar. Beat until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- Add eggs, one at a time, waiting to add the second egg until the first is incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- Add half the dry ingredients, mixing until just incorporated. Add the buttermilk mixture and mix to combine. Add the second half of the dry ingredients, and mix just until incorporated.
- Divide the batter between the wells of the prepared cupcake pan (recipe makes 12 cupcakes). Bake 17-19 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow cupcakes to cool in the pan for about 10 minutes before turning them out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
- Frost cooled cupcakes with the buttercream. Garnish with additional lavender buds, if desired.Enjoy!