Recipe Sarah Phillips and Anita Chu © 2008 Sarah Phillips, CraftyBaking.com
Cupcakes and photo by Anita, Premium Member © Sarah Phillips
SARAH SAYS: Guest Chef, friend and cookbook author, Anita, who owns the beautiful blog, Dessert First, shares her recipe with us!
It'’s not quite spring, but signs of its impending arrival are showing up with increasing frequency: pale blue skies peeking through wispy little clouds; days slowly growing longer; a few stray pink flowers on the trees. After a chilly, rainy winter, there'’s nothing like the prospect of sunshine and flowers to cheer one up.
I also find my thoughts turning towards from the rich warming desserts, like cobblers and puddings, of winter, to lighter, more airy concoctions to match the delicate etherealness of spring. With that in mind, I created these Meyer Lemon Lavender Cupcakes with Lavender Buttercream to celebrate the coming season. These cupcakes, made of a fluffy white cake flavored with the sunny tartness of lemon, topped with a sweetly floral buttercream, are as gorgeously pastel-hued as an Easter dress and an elegant harbinger of spring.
I used Meyer lemons, my favorite variety of lemon, for the cupcakes. These lemons have smoother skins than regular lemons and a milder, sweeter flavor. If you can't find them, regular lemons work just as well. The lemon juice and zest give the cupcakes a subtle lemon flavor, but if you want a more pronounced, vibrant taste you can add some lemon extract.
For the frosting, I used a Swiss Meringue Buttercream, which comes together in a snap and works wonderfully for frosting cupcakes. I’ve always loved the distinctive, soothing scent of lavender, and its flavor pairs wonderfully with lemon to make an unusual but very spring like dessert. Be sure you use culinary lavender and not lavender from plants that might have been sprayed. You can also sprinkle the lavender over the frosted cupcakes like I have for a beautiful decoration.
Cupcakes and photo by Anita Chu, Premium Member © Sarah Phillips
This recipe takes well to adaptation. You can change the flavor of the buttercream to lemon, for example, to make the cupcakes wholly lemon. Or you can top the cupcakes with a chocolate ganache frosting or a light glaze instead. Any way you make them; these cupcakes are a lovely way to welcome spring!
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