Delicious when paired with sweets, dried culinary lavender gives a slightly flora, peppery punch to Lavender Crème Fraîche Cupcakes coated with creamy royal icing.
Lavender Crème Fraîche Cupcakes
Makes 18 cupcakes
- 1½ cups sifted all-purpose flour
- 2½ teaspoons baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar, divided
- 1 teaspoon clear vanilla extract
- ¾ cup heavy whipping cream
- ¼ cup Lavender Crème Fraîche (recipe follows)
- 4 large egg whites
- ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
- Royal Icing (recipe follows)
- Garnish: dried lavender sprigs
- Preheat oven to 350º. Line 3 (6-cup) muffin pans with desired liners; set aside.
- In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine butter, ¾ cup sugar, and vanilla extract. Using an electric mixer at high speed, beat until smooth and creamy, about 4 minutes.
- In a small bowl, combine cream and crème fraîche; whisk until smooth.
- Add flour mixture to butter mixture gradually, in 3 parts, alternating with cream mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture.
- In a large bowl and using an electric mixer at medium speed, beat together egg whites and cream of tartar until soft peaks form. Increase mixer speed to high; add remaining sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time. Continue to beat until stiff peaks form. Carefully fold egg whites into batter gradually, in 4 parts.
- Divide batter among muffin pan wells. Bake until a wooden pick inserted near the centers comes out clean, 15 to 18 minutes. Let cupcakes cool in pans for 10 minutes; remove to wire racks to let cool completely.
- Frost with Royal Icing, using approximately 2 tablespoons per cupcake; garnish with dried lavender sprigs, if desired.
Lavender Crème Fraîche
Makes approximately 1 cup
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 2 tablespoons buttermilk
- 2 tablespoons puréed dried culinary lavender
- Combine cream, buttermilk, and lavender in a glass jar; cover with a tight-fitting lid. Let stand at room temperature (approximately 70º) until thickened, 8 to 24 hours. Stir well and refrigerate. Use within 10 days. Use remaining crème fraîche for additional recipes, if desired.
Note: Crème fraîche can be spooned over fresh fruit, puddings, and warm cobblers, and also used as a thickener for desserts and sauces.
Makes 2½ cups
- ¼ cup cold water
- 3 tablespoons meringue powder
- 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
- Food coloring*
- In a medium bowl and using a wire whisk, beat water and meringue powder until frothy.
- Whisk in sugar until smooth. Whisk in food coloring, if desired. If not using immediately, cover tightly with plastic wrap. Whisk before using.
*We used Wilton concentrated gel icing in violet.
For more ideas to use this beloved blossom throughout your home, see “Fragrant Lavender” in the May/June 2021 issue, available at Victoriamag.com, and find lavender spa products available in our online shop.