Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Almond-Lemon-Lavender Cupcakes

It feels like Christmas Eve...except its Cupcake Camp Eve!! I just finished up my cupcakes for tomorrow and I am psyched!

My friend Christina of All's Fare Food Blog & I will be joining the ranks of amateur bakers for tomorrow night's cupcake fiesta.  She put together some super cute Red Velvet Baseball cupcakes (hopefully they'll be good luck to our Sox) and I just finished up my Almond-Lemon-Lavender cupcakes.  They are a heavy white almond cake, with lemon curd filling and topped with some homemade lavender buttercream.  Perfect for spring, right?

I have to say, this is one of the messiest cake recipes I've followed yet!  To be fair I was kind of rushing the fun part so I could make it to my girls night dinner on time, but sheesh, next time I will be sure to use my splatter guard on the KitchenAid and stir slowly with a nice big spatula!

The batter comes together very thick, and bakes into a fairly dense, but still moist cake.  I was initially concerned that the eggs whites were too prominent in the cake, based off of my miniscule toothpick test to make sure they were done. 

So I went to town with my new cupcake corer and tried a "tastie" as my hubs and I are calling them, which made me confident that the over-eggy-ness was just my paranoid imagination.  This cupcake corer is amazing...and affordable.  Only $5.00 at Williams-Sonoma!  Highly recommend if you like to fill your cupcakes.

To make sure I'd be brining something worth sharing, I topped some tasties with a dollop of lemon curd and a dot of lavender buttercream.  So good, and a great way to keep me from "testing" a whole cupcake at 11PM!

I definitely had a blast making these for tomorrow night and my husband can't get enough of the lavender buttercream.  You know it's good when your sweetie goes back for seconds, thirds, fourths... Do you have a recipe that is a super hit? 

Also- for anyone who made it this far, were you at Cupcake Camp too? Let's trade notes!

White Almond Cake (adapted from Martha Stewart's white cupcake recipe)

  • 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 tablespoon pure almond extract
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (2 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 1/4 cups sugar
  • 7 large egg whites

  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake or muffin tins with papers; set aside.
  • Stir together flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl.
  • Mix milk & almond extract together (Martha suggests a glass measuring cup...I used a plastic measuring cup and it was fine.)  Once mixed, set aside. 
  • Place butter in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, and beat until pale and creamy. With the mixer on medium speed, gradually add sugar in a steady stream; continue beating until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Reduce speed to low.
  • Add flour mixture to butter and sugar bowl in three batches, alternating with the milk/almond liquid, and starting and ending with the flour. Do not overbeat. **This is serious!  Mine got TOO thick...I highly suggest stopping beating as soon as your final batch of flour is completely mixed in.**
  • Wash out your electric mixing bowl really well- make sure there is NO butter left anywhere!  Put on your whisk attachment, and beat egg whites on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form.
  • Take one third of the egg whites and fold into the batter.  This should help lighten it up a little bit. Fold in the remaining egg whites in two batches, and be gentle!  This is where it can get messy, and you also don't want to flatten your eggs.
  • Pour batter into prepared tins, filling cups to about 1/2 inch from the tops. Bake until a cake tester inserted near the centers comes out clean and the tops spring back when pressed lightly in the center, 18 to 20 minutes. Remove from oven; let cool completely before removing the cores.
  • Once cooled and cored pipe in lemon curd filling.  You can make your own, but I used Dickinson's brand from Stop & Shop.

Lavender infused buttercream:

  • 1/4 c. water
  • 2 tbsp. dried lavendar
  • 2 sticks of room-temp butter
  • 1/2 c. vegetable shortening
  • 2 tbsp. milk (i used skim)
  • appx. 5-6 cups confectioner's sugar
  • food coloring

  • In a small saucepan or microwaveable bowl, heat water to boiling.  Add in dried lavender and let simmer for a good 15-20 min or so. 
  • Strain lavender water into another bowl, removing the lavender and leaving just the hot infused water.  Put the water in the fridge for another 20 minutes+ to cool.
  • Beat the butter and shortening together until nice and light.  
  • Beat in milk then add confectioner's sugar 1 cup at a time until it comes together into a nice buttercream.  You may need to add a splash of milk or more sugar to reach your desired consistency.  I always eyeball my buttercreams and never keep track of how much sugar I actually end up using.  The key is to watch the consistency and TASTE! 
  • Once you like how it's looking, add in your cooled lavender water and food coloring.  To make the pretty purple color in mine, I used probably 16 drops of blue, 8 drops of red...and then 1/4 teaspoon of violet gel color too.  The drops were just creating a not-so-pretty greyish color, and then when I added the violet gel it finally turned the pretty purple I was hoping for.   Mix your buttercream until all of the infused water and color is combined.  Give it a taste, make sure it feels right to decorate with (not too smooth, not too stiff) and either use immediately or save in an air-tight container for up to one week. 


  1. I was nibbling on some lavender buttercream last night. It is so tasty. I thought it would be really flowery or fruity, but it was just Perfect! Where do you get the Lavender?

  2. Glad you like it! I got a container of dried lavender somewhere in Inman Square in Cambridge...sadly don't remember the name :(