I like experimenting with cupcake flavors.
The flavor combinations are endless--so many possibilities! Cupcakes are quick and easy to make, you don't have to feel guilty by eating an entire cupcake in one sitting (see you can't say that about eating an entire cake) and with the right recipe they are oh-so-tasty!
Ideas or inspiration can come from different sources. Today it was the direct approach when my Mom made the comment "You should make lavender cupcakes," because I had some extra lavender-colored buttercream from a Birthday Gift Cake I had made for a client earlier today.
And as it just so happens, we grow lavender in several varieties, including English Lavender, which is the best one for baking (aka Culinary Lavender).
After doing some quick research online and reading about the different ways you can incorporate the lavender, I decided to use the lavender we had gathered in bunches and hung from a rod to dry out (we have this in a very small closet-like space which stays warm and is perfect for drying out flowers and herbs).
Next, I used a small coffee grinder that I use solely for grinding herbs and spices and it worked perfectly. I wanted the lavender seeds to be small, but not too small that it turned to a powder. I made my favorite white cake recipe, adding some lemon zest, lemon juice and towards the end of mixing, I added the ground lavender. I also tinted the batter a pale lavender color.
As I mentioned before, I had a White Chocolate-Vanilla Buttercream to frost the cupcakes with and I added some freshly cut lavender for decoration. Ta da!
*Although I love the smell of lavender, when it comes to incorporating it in my food, I tend to appreciate just a hint of lavender flavor, rather than it being the main focus. I added about 1 Tbsp. of the ground lavender for 1 dozen cupcakes, and for me, it was perfect. If you like a stronger flavor, I would maybe double or triple that amount.