Are you ready for this? Lavender. Cupcakes. No, it will not taste like soap and no, it will not feel like you are sticking your face in a bouquet of flowers. The flavour is, luckily, much more subtle than that. I actually took the cupcakes into work with me and asked my colleagues to guess what the flavour was. (Because I’m annoying like that.) Their guesses were all along the lines of ‘honey’ and ‘rosewater’ and not ‘a bar of soap’. Very promising indeed!
I guess the subtlety has a lot to do with the fact that you just don’t straight up put lavender flowers in the batter. You actually have to take dried lavender and then let it soak in milk, preferably overnight. Instead of putting both the milk and lavender in the batter, you use only the sieved milk.
What did annoy me about this recipe is that the cupcakes do not rise that much in the oven (despite the presence of both egg and baking powder). I think this is mostly due to how the ingredients are mixed. I followed the recipe below but if I make it again (which I will because I have heaps of dried lavender, courtesy of my godmother’s garden), I would first whip the egg and sugar together before adding the other ingredients. It feels kind of weird to add the flour that early on. You usually don’t do this because it can make the cake very dense.
You can of course make frosting to go on top of the cupcakes but I did not make it this time. The cupcakes have such a nice and subtle flavour on their own and I don’t think they need it.
Make this and be (kind of) amazed!
Lavender cupcakes (makes 10-12)
(recipe from: Malouf, Tarek. “Lavender Cupcakes.” Het Hummmingbird Bakboek. Utrecht: Veltman, 2010.)
120 ml milk
3 tbsp dried lavender
140g caster sugar
1.5 tsp baking powder
40g butter, room temperature
- Put the milk in a bowl or jug and add the lavender. Cover it and place in the fridge for a couple of hours, preferably overnight.
- Preheat the oven to 170 °C .
- Put the flour, sugar, baking powder and butter in a bowl. Mix everything together slowly until it has the consistency of sand.
- Sieve the lavendermilk and add it to your bowl while slowly mixing.
- Add the egg and ensure everything is mixed well.
- Fill the cupcake liners about two thirds of the way. Bake them for 20 – 25 minutes.
- Let them cool on a wire rack.