Lavender Cupcakes with Honey Frosting

Before talking about these cupcakes, I need to tell you that I have just created a Facebook page for this blog, as well as a Twitter. You can find me on Facebook here, and on Twitter here. I would love to hear from you and get to know you more on those platforms!

Now, on to the inspiration for these cupcakes.

The calendar says that spring is here – I am ready! I am starting to see a few flowers. Even though they are blanketed by cloudy skies, it’s a step in the right direction.

In the spirit of the season, I decided to make cupcakes with a decidedly floral influence. These are inspired by Molly Moon’s honey lavender ice cream.

The process begins with dried lavender. It smells so good. You may be tempted to bag it up and tuck it away in your drawer of unmentionables – but be strong and wait! It will be worth it.

Food coloring marries with the dried lavender to give these cupcakes an eye-catching, unique personality and essence.

Top them with cream cheese frosting infused with honey, and drizzle a little extra honey on top. The lavender and honey go so well together – two gentle flavors.

The recipe was a bit of a risk but they turned out so well – probably my favorite cupcake recipe so far. I want to make them again right now. I hope you give them a try!

Lavender Cupcakes with Honey Frosting

Basic cupcake adapted from cooks.com
Cream cheese frosting adapted from foodnetwork.com

Makes 12 cupcakes

Ingredients
For the cupcakes:
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon red and 1 teaspoon blue food coloring*
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 tablespoons dried lavender buds
2/3 cup cold milk

For the frosting:
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
4 cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 tablespoons honey, plus a little extra for drizzle

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line muffin tins with cupcake liners.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the softened butter and sugar together. Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each egg. Stir in the vanilla and food coloring.

In a separate bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Chop the dried lavender buds into fine, small pieces. Stir into the flour mixture.

Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture. Stir in the milk.

Scoop batter evenly into lined muffin tins. Bake for 18-24 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Let cupcakes cool in the tins for 5-10 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

For the frosting:
In the large bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter and cream cheese together. Add the powdered sugar 1 cup at a time, mixing on low, until the frosting is smooth and creamy. Beat in the vanilla extract and honey.

Scoop frosting into a piping bag fitted with a 1M tip. To create the flower, begin in the center of the cupcake’s surface, and slowly swirl in wider circles. (It might be helpful to practice on a piece of parchment paper first, then you can just add the frosting back to the bowl.) You can also simply spread the cream cheese frosting over the top of the cupcakes with a knife.

Lightly drizzle a little honey on top of the frosting. Enjoy!

*Note: If you prefer a lighter color, just begin with 1/4 teaspoon of the red and blue and continue adding drops of each until you like the color. You can also use purple food coloring if you have it.

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  • http://coppercoinconnection.blogspot.com Penny

    I stumbled across your blog this afternoon, and I’m so glad I did. I love your blog! You have a wonderful way with words and the photos you take of the yummy looking food you make are lovely. I will be trying out many of the recipes you have posted and will certainly be following your blog. I hope one day my blog will be as polished as yours!

  • http://kitchengems.wordpress.com Gemma Derbyshire

    Wow, what a lovely colour those cakes! They are so pretty, I think I’ll definitely give this recipe a go! And actually to repeat what was said above – I really hope my blog can be as lovely looking as yours is – really need to work on my food styling though!

    If you have the time – I’d really appreciate if you could look at my blog and any pointers you can give me to improve?

  • http://ambikaskitchen.com Ambika

    Love the color of these cupcakes!! beautiful!

  • http://thenotoriousexperiments.wordpress.com tiedwithblue

    The cupcakes look so pretty :) I’ve never tried lavender but I’m tempted to :) What exactly does it taste like?

  • http://bubblybaker.wordpress.com bubblybaker

    The cupcakes look divine! and the frosting sounds delish too .. looking forward to trying them! And I second tiedwithblue’s comment above me – what does Lavender taste like?

  • tartlette

    I myself am not into eating the actual lavender. But, in the past I have used it to infuse liquids which gives the flavor of the lavender, which is lovely by the way. You could infuse the milk with the lavender by steeping it like tea. No need to boil it, just get it scalded.

  • Anonymous

    I have food grade lavender essential oil that I love to use. It was amazing in your recipe. :)

  • http://blueberriesandcream.com Jessie

    Penny – Thank you so much for your kind comment – it made my day!

    Gemma – Thank you as well! You are so nice to ask for my feedback – I feel like I’m still figuring this all out myself! One piece of advice I can give is to read a lot of other blogs, and simply study the photos/layouts you like. A great resource for that is foodgawker.com. There are also a couple posts that really helped me as I developed my blog initially: http://thepioneerwoman.com/photography/2011/01/ten-important-things-ive-learned-about-food-photography/ and http://thepioneerwoman.com/blog/2010/09/ten-important-things-ive-learned-about-blogging/. Hope these links help!

    To those who asked what lavender tastes like – to me it tastes just like it smells. It’s a similar experience to eating/drinking anything rose flavored…it’s almost like you’re breathing in the aroma. I love it.

    Interesting as well to hear about the different ways of using lavender! Thanks for the nice comments everyone! :)

  • http://rikkisnyder.com/blog Rikki

    I’ve always wanted to cook with lavender but never knew what to make. I’m so glad I found this recipe, I’m really excited to try these! The purple is so pretty [:

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  • http://pinterest paula

    Loved theses cupcakes thanks for posting

  • http://twitter.com/damn_delicious Chung-Ah (@damn_delicious)

    What gorgeous cupcakes. I have yet to try lavender cupcakes but I’m sure I will love them since I was over the moon when I tried lavender ice cream.

    Can’t wait to try these! :)

  • Anonymous

    where do you get the lavender?

  • Colleen

    Where do you get the lavender?

  • http://detroittokyo.wordpress.com detroittokyo

    Hi Jessie! I found a picture of these on foodgawker.com and came over to your blog to check out the recipe. They look delightful! I have some dried lavender from last summer that I have set aside for lemon lavender cupcakes, but these look so good they might give the other recipe a run for their money. Well, they are a little different so I’m sure I could justify making both, if I space them out enough ;-) I’m happy to have found your blog, it’s lovely! Please stop by mine if you have a chance: http://detroittokyo.wordpress.com/

  • Teri

    Where do you buy the dried lavendar? Would love to try these:)

  • http://blueberriesandcream.com Jessie

    For those who asked where to find dried lavender: I purchased mine at Whole Foods, so I think any store like that should have some.

    Thanks for the nice comments – I hope you all try these and enjoy them! I’m making them again for Easter :-)

  • http://www.elouisebates.blogspot.com Louise

    These cupcakes look amazing! My purple-loving baby’s turning three in May; these would be perfect for her Beatrix Potter party. One question – if I needed to avoid artificial flavoring, would adding a drop or two of blueberry juice for natural purple color affect the flavor of the cupcake?

    • http://blueberriesandcream.com Jessie

      Hmm I’ve never used natural food coloring, so I can’t tell you for sure. It seems like a drop or two wouldn’t make a huge difference…I will say that many lavender flavored desserts I’ve seen aren’t even colored at all, so you could just keep the color to a minimum, tasting as you go (if you’re comfortable tasting batter). If you try I would be curious to hear how it turns out!

  • http://mixmakegrow.wordpress.com mixmakegrow

    These are beautiful! Cannot wait to try this recipe :)

    • http://blueberriesandcream.com Jessie

      Thanks! I hope you enjoy them! :)

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  • Gabriela

    Hello! Wonderful post! Purple has been my absolute favorite color since I was a little girl and got my hands on crayons!!! So i feel in love with your cupcakes at first sight…
    I tried it yesterday, because I’m trying to get a hand on perfecting my food coloring skills (never used them before) so I can prepare some for my little cousins, but after I baked them they came out greenish, although the dough was purple.
    Don’t know where I went wrong… I read somewhere that vanilla extract can make the food coloring change.. Can you help me out? Should I try with more food coloring?
    Apart from that, the cupcakes are sooooo good. My dad is the biggest sweet tooth and he loved them and has been devouring them!

    • http://blueberriesandcream.com Jessie

      Hmm that is mysterious! I really don’t know what could have caused that. I used slightly different proportions of red and blue both times I’ve made these, and the cupcakes always turned out the same purple that the batter was. Maybe you are on the right track that it had something to do with one of the other ingredients? I wish I could help you out more! So sorry the color wasn’t right but I’m glad they were tasty!

      • Gabriela

        Well, I’ll just have to give them another try then…
        I’ve been making up some different flavors with your recipe, today I made fig and honey cupcakes with chocolate and red wine reduction frosting… yummy! Your recipe is the best I’ve tried so far, the proportions are perfect!!

        • http://blueberriesandcream.com Jessie

          Ooh that sounds so good…I’m glad you’ve been having good luck with some alternate flavors. I hope the lavender turns out this time! Good luck!

  • http://www.phatimasbox.wordpress.com therealphatima

    sounds beyond…can’t wait to try em out :D

  • Madie

    I was wondering if you know what kind of lavender you used or can use? I have English lavender in my garden and I didn’t know if I could use that instead of buying it.

    • http://blueberriesandcream.com Jessie

      I just purchased dried lavender buds in the herb section at the grocery store. However, I think that you are good with the English lavender – this article suggests it’s actually the best kind to use for cooking: http://whatscookingamerica.net/Q-A/LavenderCulinary.htm

  • http://shecooksandheeats.wordpress.com kat

    oh wow! that’s a beautiful cupcake! :)

    • http://blueberriesandcream.com Jessie

      Thank you! :)

  • Lew Lew

    Omg!!! My mom and I just made these and they are absolutely delectable!! Thank you so much for your recipe, I will be sure to use more recipes from you! Also, do this with a partner! It gives you great bonding time and its super fun :-)

    • Jessie

      I’m so glad you liked them! :)

  • Alicia

    Did you use storebought honey or wild honey? We have both and I’m going to try making these. I am curious whether the wild honey would try to compete with the lavender – i know storebought honey is much weaker in flavor.

    • Jessie

      I used storebought. My instinct is that it would be great with the stronger honey flavor. Maybe you could start with 1 tablespoon instead of 2, and then give it a taste and see what you think before adding the second tablespoon? If you do use wild I would love to hear how it turns out!

      • http://www.facebook.com/aliciargoodrich Alicia Goodrich

        thanks! If i try it I’ll let you know how it is!

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  • Brenna Courteau

    I just bought some dried lavender buds! I’m trying this recipe right now! So excited, thanks for the recipe!

    • http://www.jessienextdoor.com/ Jessie

      Oh good I hope you love it! :)

  • christine

    The uniqueness of this recipe caught my eye immediately. After a short hunt for dried lavender buds, I made these last night and WOW are they good! Thanks for posting…I will be making these again very soon!

    • http://www.jessienextdoor.com/ Jessie

      I’m so glad to hear that!

  • Warriorgal12

    I have a home growing lavender plant in my yard with tons of lavender buds, would it be bad to use the ones from my garden for this recipe?

    • http://www.jessienextdoor.com/ Jessie

      From what I understand, all lavender is essentially edible, but it is English lavender that’s recommended for cooking. I’m guessing that’s what you have in your yard, but if you want more info this site is helpful: http://whatscookingamerica.net/Q-A/LavenderCulinary.htm. good luck!

  • Beeankuh

    Just put mine in the oven and the smell is amazing.. Can’t wait to eat them. My mom and I have an obssession with lavendar. Thanks for the post.

    • http://www.jessienextdoor.com/ Jessie

      Oh good I hope you loved them! I love lavender too.

  • Quackers 2

    Nice but after a day they go hard and I can’t tast the lavender

    • http://www.jessienextdoor.com/ Jessie

      I’m so sorry to hear you didn’t care for them. From my experience most cupcakes are not very moist by the 2nd day, although I actually found these to be moister than most the next day. I just received another comment that there was too much lavender, so I suppose it is a taste preference? Again so sorry to hear they didn’t turn out :/

  • Grace

    Oh, these are LOVELY!!!! After attending our town’s annual Lavender Festival {and trying a lavender cupcake} I searched for a recipe on Pinterest and found yours! Thank you so much for sharing…this is quite perfect as I have a nice crop of Provence {culinary} lavender growing in my garden this year and I have been meaning to make something yummy with it but didn’t know where to start. ;) Thank you again!

    • http://www.jessienextdoor.com/ Jessie

      Oh I hope you love them! I’m starting to think I should grow some lavender too…it’s so nice to have around :)

  • Jules17

    I too have an obsession with lavender! i’m printing out some recipes with lavender and putting them together for when i go to college and have my own kitchen ! where did you get the idea, Jessie?

    • http://www.jessienextdoor.com/ Jessie

      I got the idea from a honey lavender ice cream flavor at Molly Moon’s here in Seattle :)

      • mad

        Oh my! thats where i gotb the idea to find lavender cupcakes to make

        • http://www.jessienextdoor.com/ Jessie

          That place is the best!

  • http://ladymercury-10.livejournal.com/ Maiasaura

    I just made these and they are amazing.

    • http://www.jessienextdoor.com/ Jessie

      I’m so glad!! Thanks for letting me know.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/dollpaper Noura Bee

    This recipe is fantastic. I’m not a lover of frosting, so I brushed them with warm honey after they cooled. The texture is perfect and the flavour is so amazing I can’t even begin to describe it. I shoved one in my mouth right after they came out of the oven, ya know, for testing :)

    • http://www.jessienextdoor.com/ Jessie

      I’m so glad to hear you liked them! Drizzling with honey sounds delicious…

  • http://www.facebook.com/ilovedeltaco Jessicat Marie

    For the cupcakes, is the butter to be salted or unsalted?

    • http://www.jessienextdoor.com/ Jessie

      I use salted for the cupcakes :)

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  • Kkillgore

    The taste was great but the cupcake was quite dense. dis this happen to anyone else?

    • http://www.jessienextdoor.com/ Jessie

      So sorry to hear this happened! I didn’t have this problem myself – cake denseness can be caused by overmixing the batter? Also, the way I measure my flour is to spoon it loosely into the measuring cup and then level it off, which uses less flour than scooping. Regardless, so sorry to hear the cupcakes didn’t turn out :/

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  • Katrina

    Has anyone tried substituting oil for butter (at least doing half oil and half butter)? Or using honey in place of sugar? Did they turn out alright with either of those substitutions?

  • Mack

    I made them and they are delicious! For the batter I used purple food coloring and a little bit of black to make it a more subdued color, and it ended up really pretty.

  • http://twitter.com/KhristinaDC Khristina Coffelt

    Just made these for a bridal shower! They look beautiful, the house smells incredible, and I can’t wait to try them! If nothing else the batter was good! ha! I made two batches of the cupcakes but only had to make one of the frosting.

    • http://www.jessienextdoor.com/ Jessie

      How fun! I’m so glad you made them for a shower!

  • Melissa

    can you use lavender extract instead of dried lavender ?

    • http://www.jessienextdoor.com/ Jessie

      I’ve never tried lavender extract myself so I don’t want to say for sure. If you try and it works out I would love to hear about it though!

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  • BakingGuy

    I stumbled upon your website and decided I would try this recipe. Although the cupcakes are beautiful, they are not good at all. I was disappointed after biting into one and it tasting like soap. Some might like these, but I did not. I look forward to trying some of your other recipes.

  • Jessie

    I’m so sorry to hear that. I’ve found that people either really like lavender or they don’t…I hope you enjoy my other recipes more!

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  • Lesley

    Should these cupcakes be refrigerated? I need to make them on a Friday night and they’ll be picked up that evening and served on Sunday. Thanks!

  • April

    Thank you for the recipe idea it was fun to make. Unfortunately they look prettier than they taste. The good thing is that the frosting with the adjustment of only 3 cups of confectioners sugar plus omitting the vanilla and adding 4 tablespoons of Lavender Chamomile tea (2 bags soaked for 10 minutes in a cup of hot water) was delicious and there is extra to find a better cake recipe to top. The cake was just too dry and almost muffin texture.

  • http://www.jessienextdoor.com Jessie

    Lesley – You would probably want to refrigerate them because of the cream cheese frosting. However, that does run the risk of drying them out. I’ve found that serving cupcakes more than a day later is a little risky regardless – I hope these turn out great for you though!

    April – So sorry to hear they turned out dry. They’ve been moist in my experience. The lavender chamomile addition sounds delicious!!

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  • Samantha

    Where do you get your dried lavender buds? I got some from our local health food store and they were flavorless in the cupcakes. I was so sad. I LOVE lavender. I was very excited for these. The frosting is SO yummy, though! So glad I found this recipe. (:

    • http://www.jessienextdoor.com/ Jessie

      I got mine at Whole Foods in the dried herbs section. Maybe give them a try if you have one close by – I hope it works better! I love lavender so much too…

  • ChefEsteph

    This is a great recipe, I being a pastry chef and working in many bakeries and with some of the top pastry chefs, am a huge critic when it comes to cupcakes. I did omit the 1.5 teaspoons of vanilla and added only half a teaspoon and added 1.5 teaspoons of lavender extract. Also did not use any of the food coloring and did not add the dry lavender. As for the frosting I added 1 teaspoon of lavender extract and 1.5 ounces of a local organic honey.
    All in all I made sure not to over bake the cupcake (over baking causes cupcakes to dry out faster) these were a tasty treat that I will be making again.
    Thank you!

    • http://www.jessienextdoor.com/ Jessie

      I’m glad you liked the cupcakes! I enjoyed hearing your adjustments as well – lavender extract in the frosting sounds soooo good.

    • Angie

      Where did you get the lavender extract? I would love to try this but can not find it at any of our speciality stores.

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  • Kim

    For the ones that turned out dry…did you add the milk? It says it in the ingredients list but doesn’t actually tell you WHEN to put it in. I’m making it now, and think I’m going to just add my milk to the sugar/butter mixture and see how it turns out.

    • http://www.jessienextdoor.com/ Jessie

      hi there! The recipe says to stir in the milk after adding flour to the butter (unless you’re asking about a different part?). Good luck I hope they turned out well! :D

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  • Noel

    These cupcakes look so interesting, is it ok to eat lavender?

    • http://www.jessienextdoor.com/ Jessie

      Yes! Some types are more edible than others, but I believe all are actually edible.

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