Friday, March 29, 2013

Lemon & Lavender Cupcakes

Sunday would have been my dear friend Natalie's 22nd birthday. She was the sunshiniest person I've ever known, so to honor her, I made the sunshiniest cupcakes I could find- Sweetapolita's La La Lavender Lemon Cloud Cupcakes.

It's funny to think about sunshiney weather and Easter (and my birthday) being this Sunday, since I'm currently sitting in front of a fire in the fireplace at my parents' house about to play Assassins Creed 3 with my dad, because I have a snow day.

These cupcakes really are delightful. I usually use words like "awesome" and "insane" but I think delightful works very well. The cupcakes are light, the lemon curd is tangy, and the lavender buttercream is unique and the perfect complement to the other flavors.

It's funny that when I was making these pretty,
sunny cupcakes on a Snow Day :)
***NOTE: read the Lavender Buttercream directions FIRST! I always really sucked at reading the directions ahead of time, and it tends to bite me in the butt when it comes to baking.
Sidenote: Did anyone else ever have a teacher in elementary school give you an exercise with, like, 16 directions, and the very last one said "don't do any of the above directions"? I think it was in second grade for me, my teacher gave us that activity and I think the directions included getting up and writing your name on the chalkboard. I don't remember how many kids actually read the full directions, but I was NOT one of them. Oooops!

Lemon & Lavender Cupcakes
Yield: ~18 cupcakes
Lemon Buttermilk Cupcakes
Buttermilk- 1 c, room temp
Eggs- 2 whole, 1 yolk, at room temp
Vanilla extract- 1/4 tsp
Cake flour- 2 c, sifted
Sugar- 1 1/4 c
Baking powder- 1 1/2 tsp
Baking soda- 1/2 tsp
Salt- 1/4 tsp
Unsalted butter- 1/2 c (1 stick), room temp
Lemon zest of 2 medium-large lemons
1. In a small bowl, combine and stir the eggs, 1/4 c of buttermilk, and vanilla. Set aside.
2. Sift the cake flour 3 times into the bowl of an electric mixer (paddle attachment). Add the sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, and combine on low speed for 30 seconds.
3. Add the butter and blend on low speed for 30 seconds, then add remaining 3/4 c of buttermilk, and mix on low speed until just moistened. Increase to medium speed and mix for 1 1/2 minutes.
4. Scrape sides of the bowl and add egg/milk mixture in 3 separate batches. Beat on medium speed for 20 seconds after each addition. Stir in the lemon zest.
5. Bake at 350 in lined muffin pans for ~15 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool completely before frosting.

Lavender Buttercream Frosting
Whipping cream or whole milk- 3 tbsp
Culinary lavender- 1 tbsp
Unsalted butter- 1 1/2 c (3 sticks), softened and cubed
Powdered sugar- 3 1/2 c, sifted
Vanilla extract- 1 tsp
Pinch of salt
1. THE NIGHT BEFORE you want to make the cupcakes, stir the whipping cream and lavender in a small bowl or glass. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit overnight, or at least for several hours.
2. (The next morning/day) Strain the lavender cream into a small bowl. Set aside.
3. In the bowl of an electric mixer with the paddle attachment, whip butter for 8 minutes on medium speed until it becomes very pale and creamy.
4. Add lavender cream to the butter and beat. Add powdered sugar one cup at a time, and beat well after each addition. Add vanilla and salt and beat well.
5. Swap out the paddle for the whisk attachment, and beat frosting for a minute to make it fluffy.

Lemon Curd (my favorite recipe)
Unsalted butter- 1/2 c (1 stick), cut into cubes
Granulated sugar- 1/2 c
Lemon juice- 1/2 c
Zest of 1 1/2 lemons
Egg yolks- 5

1. Add 1/4 c butter, 1/4 c of the sugarlemon zest and lemon juice to a wide saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally.
2. In a large, heat-safe bowl, combine the egg yolks and the rest of the sugar. Slowly add the heated mixture to egg yolks, whisking continuously.
3. When fully combined, return the mixture to the saucepan and continue to cook until the whisk leaves a trail in the curd. Whisk in the remaining 1/4 c of butter until it's melted and smooth.
4. Remove from heat and strain into a dish. Place plastic wrap directly on top of the curd and set in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before serving.

1 comment:

  1. I can't wait to see your next post! Heads up, folks: It's amazing!!!


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