Lavender has a potent flavor, but that doesn't mean it has to be overpowering in dessert. In these beautiful Lavender Cupcakes with Lemon Marshmallow Topping, the vibrancy of lemon both brings out and helps temper the musky floral qualities of lavender. The flavors harmonize beautifully and make for cupcakes much more interesting.
Note: Since different varieties of lavender have different strengths, make sure to taste the syrup. When the lavender is subtle or strong enough to suit your taste, it's time to strain it, even if it's a few minutes more or less than time frame in this recipe.
Makes: about 16 standard size cupcakes
For the cupcakes:
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 cup water
- 3 Tbsp. dried lavender
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup plain yogurt
- 1/2 cup grape seed oil or vegetable oil
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
For the vanilla lemon topping:
- 2 cups sugar
- 5 large egg whites, room temperature
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
- 1 Tbsp. pure vanilla extract
- 1 Tbsp. lemon zest
- melted chocolate for coating - optional
- food coloring - optional
Preheat an oven to 350°F.
In a small saucepan heat the water, sugar, and lavender until it comes to a simmer, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Simmer gently for 5 minutes. Depending on the color of your lavender, you may or may not get a pale lavender shade to your syrup. Let cool and then strain through cheesecloth. Disregard the flowers.
In the medium bowl mix together all dry ingredients. Add all wet ingredients and lavender syrup, to the mixture and mix well about two minutes. For standard cupcakes, fill two third full and bake for 15-18 minutes. Let them cool while you prepare a marshmallow fluff topping.
To make the topping: In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine sugar, egg whites, water, and cream of tartar. Whisk until foamy. Set bowl over a pan of barely simmering water and whisk until sugar is dissolved and mixture is warm to the touch, about 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer bowl to stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Beat on high speed until frosting forms stiff peaks, about 12 to 16 minutes. Add vanilla, lemon zest and beat until combined.
Transfer the marshmallow fluff to a large pastry bag fitted with 6B tip. Pipe a spiral of fluff into a 2-inch-high cone shape, using about 1/2 cup topping per cupcake. You may top with melted chocolate or lavender flowers.