Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Lavender

PolkaCake

I was recently given a bag of lavender sugar by a very generous co-worker. She might have also been the person who told me that lavender in food is an up and coming food trend but I can't say for sure.

Either way, she sparked my experimental juices and I decided that lavender cupcakes needed to be baked. I searched through a few cookbooks and couldn't settle on just one recipe.

Lavender Cupcakes

In the end, I decided to base my experimentation on "White Cupcakes with Coconut Frosting" from 125 best Cupcake recipes by Julie Hasson and I do have to say that this book really has the best cupcake recipes. I haven't had a bad one yet.

I decided to use lavender extract with the vanilla extract while replacing half the sugar with the lavender sugar. I also left out all coconut since I was aiming for lavender and not coconut.

Unfortunately I did not have enough powered sugar on hand for the frosting but then I remembered that powered sugar is just corn starch and regular sugar so I used those items and the frosting turned out great. I also added some food coloring to the frosting to make it look more lavender-ish.

Delightful Cupcake

Lavender-Vanilla Cupcakes with Lavender Cream Cheese Frosting
Makes 12 cupcakes

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup lavender sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 eggs
1 1/2 tsp lavender extract
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2/3 cup milk

1. Preheat oven to 350 F
2. Mix flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl and set aside.
3. Beat together sugars, butter, eggs and extracts until smooth.
4. Alternatively mix in flour mixture and milk, beating until smooth.
5. Spoon batter into prepared cupcake pan and bake for 20-25 minutes.
6. Let cool for 10 minutes before frosting with Lavender Cream Cheese Frosting.

Lavender Cream Cheese Frosting

6 oz cream cheese, room temp.
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temp.
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp lavender extract
2 1/2 cups sifted powdered sugar

1. Mix cream cheese, butter and extracts together until light and fluffy.
2. Slowly beat in 1 1/2 cup of powdered sugar. Gradually beat in remaining amount until you reach desired consistency.
3. Add red and blue food coloring to the frosting to make it "purple" if desired. I had a hard time getting the color just right but I think they turned out.
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