Lavender desserts have always felt so fancy to me and I finally got to make my very own with these lavender cupcakes with lemon elderflower frosting. Infusing lavender into the milk gives these cupcakes a light floral flavor that pairs beautifully with the citrus notes of lemon and elderflower..
This page contains affiliate links which means I may earn a commission as an Amazon Associate (or other affiliate program) from qualifying purchases. I only recommend products that I use and trust.
This recipe/ post was originally published on February 13, 2020. It was republished on July 28, 2021 with updates.
I first made these lavender cupcakes with lemon elderflower frosting a year and a half ago. They were such a fun flavor combo that I knew I’d have to make them again. And while they were delicious, I knew I wanted to make some tweaks in round two.
Last time, I used this recipe to make a small cake and cupcakes, but I stuck to just cupcakes this go round. I nixed the lavender simple syrup (it wasn’t necessary), added more purple color to the cupcake batter, and changed the frosting recipe drastically.
Would You Rather Do Cake?
I have a ton of cakes on Bakes & Blunders, but I don’t actually post a lot of cupcake recipes. So, I decided today I would share this recipe for cupcakes. But you can just as easily turn this into a layer cake.
That’s the beauty of cake batter. You can use almost any pan you want. Just adjust the time and keep an eye on the oven. To make life easy, there’s a Bake Time By Pan Size cheat sheet in the Resource Library. All of my subscribers have free, unlimited access to the many baking tools in there.
Once I settled on this dynamite combo of lavender cupcakes with lemon elderflower frosting, I had to choose recipes. I ended up with a cake recipe fromSally’s Baking Addiction. In order to get the floral flavor of lavender, you steep lavender in hot milk. This is going to make your house smell ah-mazing.
This lavender cake recipe uses the reverse creaming method, which gives you a very tight crumb. It’s also important that you use cake flour. Otherwise, the batter will develop too much gluten and your cupcakes will be dense and have a weird texture.
As you’ll see, this is not a white cake, so adding color can be a bit risky. I added 9 drops of Chefmaster violet gel color to the lavender milk while it steeped. The heat deepens the color so that you don’t need to use a ton.
The yellow from the yolks does tone down the purple a bit, but I still got a lovely shade. If you want a bright purple lavender cupcake, I suggest using a white cake recipe (like the one I used for my fault line cake) and flavor the milk the same way we did here.
I used the same elderflower drink concentrate in this frosting that I used to make the elderflower custard in mymille feuille. Elderflower has a mild citrus flavor that I thought would be a perfect addition to the lemon frosting. It’s very subtle though. If you don’t have elderflower concentrate, simply skip that and you won’t miss a thing!
Last time, I flavored a batch of easy buttercream, but the frosting was just too soft. I wanted to do some pretty piping, so I opted to go for a stiffer American buttercream. It’s a sweet frosting, but the tart lemon helps cut down the sweetness.
If you’re making lavender cupcakes with lemon elderflower frosting, it only makes sense to lean into the whole flower vibe. At first I tried doing Russian piping tips, but I’m just not a fan. And since I love making buttercream flowers, that was the right choice for me.
Buttercream flowers aren’t that difficult to make, but they do take practice. Make sure your frosting is stiff, but pipes easily. Blast your AC to keep the room cool and get piping! I made a video to show you exactly how I put these cupcakes together because it helps to see how it’s done.
It’s incredibly important to let yourself try something new and not be an immediate success. Success is phenomenal, but we all need to be comfortable with working to master a skill.
If you love floral flavors, these lavender cupcakes with lemon elderflower frosting are perfect for you. They make a wonderful treat to enjoy during the warmer months of the year, or for those days you just wish Spring were here already. And if you’d like to see more of these types of recipes, be sure to follow me onPinterest!
8ozunsalted butterdiced and soft, but still cool (1 cup)
Lemon Elderflower Buttercream
3- 5Tbspsmilk or cream
Yellow food gel
Purple food gel
Heat the milk in a small saucepan over medium- low heat, stirring occasionally. As soon as small bubbles begin to form along the edge of the pan, turn off the heat.
Add the dried lavender, stir, and cover. Let the mixture steep for 20 minutes.
Strain the milk to remove the lavender. Let the milk cool to room temperature before using. Or place in an air tight container in the fridge overnight.
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line cupcake pans with paper cases and set aside.
Combine the sour cream and lavender milk in a glass measuring cup. If the milk was cold, microwave for 30 seconds. Stir to combine and set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, sift the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Mix on low to combine.
Add the cubed butter, vanilla, and half of the milk mixture. Mix on medium- low until everything is moistened. Scrape the bowl down.
Add the eggs to the remaining milk mixture and whisk to combine. With the mixer on a medium- low speed, add the egg mixture in 3 additions. Beat for 15 seconds between each addition. Scrape the bowl down and fold by hand a few times to finish off the batter. Be careful not to over mix.
Use a #20 cookie scoop to fill the paper cases. Bake for 18- 20 minutes or until the tops spring back when lightly poked. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack. Cool completely before frosting.
Lemon Elderflower Buttercream
Place the softened butter in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat on a medium speed for 7- 10 minutes. Scrape the bowl down once or twice during mixing.
Add the sifted powdered sugar to the butter in 3- 4 additions. Mix to combine between additions, starting at a low speed to prevent sugar from flying everywhere.
Scrape the bowl down and add the lemon extract, elderflower concentrate (if using), and salt. Beat on low to combine, then medium for a minute.
Add milk or cream one tablespoon at a time until you have the desired consistency. You can also beat in the food color. I split my frosting into a large yellow batch (5 drops for 38 oz of buttercream) and a small amount of purple (2 drops for 10 oz of buttercream).
Taste and adjust flavor or color as necessary. Beat on medium- low for an additional minute. Pipe onto cooled cupcakes and enjoy!
This recipe will make 24- 26 cupcakes.
Make this as a cake --> A scant 2 cups of batter in 6 inch pans. Bake for 30 minutes, or until it springs back when poked.
Hi there! I’m Colleen, a novice baker with a passion for learning and improving my bakes… and blunders. On Bakes and Blunders, you can find all sorts of tasty recipes that range in difficulty, but most importantly, I’ll try to explain the reason behind important steps. If you know why a recipe works, you can tweak and adapt it to suit your unique tastes, and you’ll be able to reliably produce some very delicious treats. If you love baking and want to expand and grow your skills, or if you are a casual baker and just need some pointers, my blog is right up your alley! Join me on my baking journey and we’ll learn how to make more impressive recipes together.