Lavender Sunshine Cupcakes for Valentine’s Day

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You may hold my hand for a while, but you hold my heart forever…(unknown author).

It’s that time of year when we can all spread love even if it’s just a simple gesture, touch of your hand or a warm hug. Some of the best ways to show love is spending quality time with someone close to you. I like to make handmade cards and bake a special delightful treat to share with my special sweeties.

Today I’m baking these simple, yet elegant “Lavender Sunshine Cupcakes”! We don’t see the sunshine as much at this time of year, so I’m craving it!! With Valentine’s Day coming up, I wanted to combine the floral aroma of my garden with the yellow of lemons, “sunshine”, making a perfectly delightful flavored cupcake 🙂 IMG_4815IMG_4817IMG_4817IMG_4815IMG_4815IMG_4854

Lavender Sunshine Cupcakes

3 cups pastry flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
6 ounces (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon grated orange zest
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons finely ground culinary lavender
(I used 1 Tblsp English & 1 Tblsp Provence Lavender)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups buttermilk

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line 12 muffin cups with paper liners. This batter makes a lot of cupcakes. Just use your regular muffin pan and bake the cupcakes in batches. Makes 18-20 cupcakes.

Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, & salt into a medium bowl.

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Combine the sugar and butter in a large mixing bowl. Beat with an electric mixer until smooth. Add 1 egg at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the orange zest, lemon zest, lemon juice, lavender and vanilla.

Beginning with the dry ingredients, alternately beat in the flour and the buttermilk in three additions each.

This is a crucial part of this recipe. I leave the mixer running continually on lowest speed, while I add one third of the dry ingredients, and allow it to mix a short while, then I add one third of the buttermilk, while it’s still running. Continue adding alternately until it’s all incorporated in and mixed well.

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Using an ice cream scoop, scoop out the batter into the muffin cups until three-quarters full. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until light golden and springy to the touch. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack for 8-10 minutes, then transfer the cupcakes to the rack to cool completely.

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I filled a few with a little too much, but I just cooked them a bit longer..easy problem to solve. If you want your cupcakes uniform in size, which is a good idea, then just add one scant scoop full. 😉 I think my scoop is larger than the average ice cream scoops, but it’s a “Cool” Scoop!  😉

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Bake more batches to use all the batter. Frost each cupcake when completely cooled with Lavender Cream Cheese Frosting *recipe follows, or any Butter Cream Frosting of your choice. I like piping on the icing in little stars, however you could spread it with a table knife also. And of’course add your choice of color to the icing, I prefer to keep it as natural as possible.

*Lavender Cream Cheese Frosting

1 (8oz) package plus 1(3oz)
package cream cheese, at room temp.
1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
IMG_48542 teaspoons grated lemon zest
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon finely ground English
Culinary Lavender
1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 3/4 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted

In a large bowl, combine the cream cheese, butter, lemon zest, lemon juice, lavender, and vanilla. Beat with an electric mixer until smooth. On low speed, gradually beat in the confectioners’ sugar and continue beating until smooth. If you plan to pipe on the icing, you might want to add less lemon juice. I just watched the consistency as I added small amounts of lemon juice at a time, leaving out a few drops. 🙂 Recipe adapted from: The Lavender Cookbook by Sharon Shipley

Enjoy a lovely Valentine’s Day with your special person or persons!!

<3 Love is the enchanted dawn of every heart. <3 Love is the power that heals the soul and mends hearts. Jill Harrison <3

XX Lavender Lady

 

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