Yield: 6 lemon lavender cupcakes // Total Time: 1 hr. // Disclaimer: This post includes affiliate links. //
Lemon Lavender Cupcakes
Lemon Lavender Cupcakes with Lavender Buttercream
Hello hello! I’m here today with a light, floral cupcake. These lemon lavender cupcakes start out with a light and fluffy vanilla lemon cupcake base that’s flavored with lemon zest and lavender extract. After baking, we’ll poke the cupcakes with a toothpick and brush some lemon simple syrup made from fresh lemon juice on them for some extra flavor, and then we’ll top them all off with a lavender buttercream. These cupcakes are light, bright, refreshing, and perfect if you’re looking for a little something different for your next cupcake flavor.
Small batch lavender cupcakes
I love making small batch bakes because they are the perfect size myself and others who don’t have a lot of people to bake for in their home. These lemon lavender cupcakes are small batch and yield just 6 cupcakes. If that’s not your style and you need some more then no worries at all! Simply double or triple the recipe as you need. I do highly recommend using grams if you are scaling up for the best results.
Weigh your ingredients
- Weighing your ingredients is important for getting the recipe perfect and getting consistent results. Not weighing your ingredients can lead to adding too much or too little of an ingredient. In a small batch recipe it is especially important to get those correct measurements because there is less room for error. If you haven’t already, I highly recommend purchasing a kitchen scale. This one is super cheap and worked well for me when I was starting out!
Mix the batter carefully
- It is super important to not overmix the cupcake batter. Overmixing the batter leads to more gluten development which will make the cupcakes super tough and chewy. Only mix just until the last bit of flour is incorporated.
Room temperature ingredients
- It is important for the ingredients to be at room temperature so that they properly incorporate with each other. Take out the egg, butter, and buttermilk at least 30 minutes and up to 1 hr 30 min. before starting the recipe. Here’s how to get room temperature ingredients FAST if you’re in a time crunch or forgot to take the ingredients out (like I often do):
- Egg: place the egg in a bowl and run hot water over it for 1 continuous minute, or let it sit in a bowl of warm water for 5 minutes.
- Butter: slice the butter into 1 tbsp. slices and place them flat on a plate. Microwave in 5-second intervals until the butter is soft to the touch, but not melting.
- Buttermilk: microwave in 5-second intervals until it is no longer cold, but is not warm (room temp!)
Keep an eye on those cupcakes!
- Cupcakes like to go from under-baked to over-baked super quickly so it is important to keep a close eye on them. Start checking at 15 minutes with a toothpick. If the toothpick comes out wet, check them again in 2 minutes and so on until only a few moist crumbs stick to the toothpick.
A tip on keeping the lemons upright
- The lemons tend to want to fall down when placed on the frosting. My solution is to stick a toothpick into the cupcake and lean the lemons on to the toothpick. Just be sure to warn any unsuspecting cupcake eaters!
Ingredients and substitutions
For the lemon lavender cupcakes:
All purpose flour: gives the cupcakes their structure.
Baking powder: for helping the cupcakes rise.
Salt: for balancing and bringing out the sweetness of the batter.
Unsalted butter: for tenderizing the cupcakes and adding that nice buttery flavor to them. You can substitute salted butter, just be sure to omit the extra salt in the batter.
Vegetable oil: for tenderizing the cupcakes. If you don’t have vegetable oil on hand, you can use another neutral oil such as canola.
Granulated sugar: for adding sweetness and for locking in moisture.
Lemon zest: fresh lemon zest brightens up the cupcakes and compliments the floral lavender flavor.
Egg: for binding the batter together and adding moisture.
Lavender extract: for some nice floral notes in the cupcakes.
Buttermilk: for tenderizing the cupcakes and adding moisture. I recommend using full fat buttermilk for the best texture. I highly recommend using buttermilk but I know it can be hard or annoying to purchase, especially if you don’t plan on using it for anything else. It won’t be completely the same, but you can make a homemade buttermilk substitute. For this recipe, simply combine 35g sour cream with 55g whole milk.
For the lemon syrup:
Lemon juice: we’re going to use the juice from the lemon we zested.
Granulated sugar: an equal part of granulated sugar to lemon juice makes a simple syrup – it’s also to sweeten up the lemon so you’re not having straight sour lemon in your cupcake!
For the lavender buttercream frosting:
Unsalted butter: the base of the buttercream. Feel free to use salted butter here as well.
Powdered sugar: sweetens and thickens up the buttercream. If you are looking for more of a melt-in-your-mouth texture, use organic powdered sugar!
Lavender extract: adds a nice floral note to the buttercream.
Heavy cream: helps to thin out the buttercream a little bit so that it’s pipeable. You can use your favorite dairy or non-dairy milk here as well.
Purple food dye: optional but you can add a little bit of purple food coloring for a soft lavender color.
How to make lemon lavender cupcakes
Here’s a basic rundown on how to make these cupcakes. You can find the complete recipe (which is printable!) at the end of this blog post.
Rub the zest with the sugar
Use your hands to rub together the granulated sugar and lemon zest. This helps release oils from the zest and adds more flavor into the cupcakes.
Beat the butter into the dry ingredients
Add the flour, baking powder, salt, and butter into a medium-sized mixing bowl. Beat the mixture together until no clumps of butter remain.
Add in the wet ingredients
Add in the egg white, oil, lavender extract, and buttermilk. Whisk the mixture together just until a cohesive batter forms.
Portion out the cupcakes into six parchment cupcake liners. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of them comes out clean.
Make the lemon syrup
Juice the lemon you zested to get ~25g/2 tbsp. of juice (it’s okay if it’s a little less – just add an equivalent amount of sugar.) Add in the sugar, then microwave in 20-second intervals, stirring after each, until the sugar has dissolved. Use a toothpick to poke holes in the top of the cupcakes and brush the syrup over each cupcake.
Make the buttercream
In a medium bowl, beat the butter until smooth, then slowly beat in the powdered sugar, followed by the lavender extract, cream, and purple food dye.
Assemble the cupcakes
Frost each cupcake generously with the lavender buttercream, then garnish with a lemon slice and fresh lavender. Serve and enjoy!
Small Batch Lemon Lavender Cupcakes Q & A
Can I double this recipe?
- Of course! Obviously they will not be small batch anymore but small batch isn’t always what we need! Simply double all of the ingredients in the recipe to make 12 delicious cupcakes. I even more strongly recommend measuring by weight if you are going to double the recipe for the best results.
Can I make these cupcakes ahead of time?
- Definitely! I would recommend making the cupcakes no more than two days ahead of time. Store the unfrosted cupcakes in an airtight container at room temperature. I’d recommend waiting to make the buttercream until the day you want to serve them.
How to store the cupcakes
- Like most baked goods, these cupcakes will definitely taste the best on the day that they are baked. You can store the frosted cupcakes in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days, or in the fridge for up to a week.
Why do you measure in grams?
My recipes are all written in grams because it is the most accurate way to bake. When you use a kitchen scale, you ensure that your baked goods turn out as close to the written recipe as possible. Plus, the cleanup is way easier when using a scale! I will provide standard cup measurements but please note that I have not tested the recipe using cup measurements and therefore can not guarantee your recipe will come out how mine did. Here is my favorite kitchen scale, and here’s an article about why I use a kitchen scale, and why you should too!
A note on oven temperature
Ovens vary and fluctuate in temperature. For example, I always have to set my oven to 330°F if I want it to bake at 350°F. If you love to bake like I do, I highly recommend getting an oven thermometer. They are super helpful for letting you know when your oven might be lying to you! I use this one.
Tools and Ingredients
You can find all my favorite tools and ingredients that I use on my Amazon Storefront page, here!
Did you make these lemon lavender cupcakes?
If you made these lemon lavender cupcakes I would love to see them and know your thoughts! Please leave a comment and review down below, and tag me on Instagram @freshbeanbakery. If you have any questions about the recipe I will gladly do my best to answer them in the comments below!
Lemon Lavender Cupcakes
Lemon Lavender Cupcakes
- 100 g granulated sugar (½ c.)
- zest of 1 medium lemon (~1 tbsp.)
- 90 g all purpose flour (¾ c.)
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- ¼ tsp. salt
- 41 g unsalted butter (3 tbsp.) cubed, room temperature
- 32 g vegetable oil (2 ½ tbsp.)
- 1 egg white room temperature
- 1 tsp. lavender extract
- 90 g buttermilk (3 oz.) room temperature
- 25 g lemon juice (2 tbsp.)
- 25 g granulated sugar (2 tbsp.)
- 113 g unsalted butter (½ c.) room temperature
- 200 g powdered sugar (1 ⅔ c.)
- ½ tsp. lavender extract
- 1 tbsp. heavy cream
- small amount of purple food coloring optional
- Preheat the oven to 350°F / 175°C. Line a muffin tin with 6 parchment liners.
- To a medium sized mixing bowl, add the granulated sugar. Zest the lemon into the bowl, then use your fingers to rub the zest and sugar together until the mixture resembles wet sand.
- Add in the flour, baking powder, salt and cubed butter. Use a hand mixer or stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment to beat the mixture together until the butter has completely combined with the dry ingredients and no lumps remain.
- Add in the oil, egg white, lavender extract, and buttermilk. Whisk the ingredients together just until a cohesive batter has formed.
- Distribute the batter evenly between the six liners. Bake for 15-18 min., or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cupcakes comes out clean.
- Juice the lemon you zested to get ~25g/2 tbsp. of juice (it's okay if it's a little less – just add an equivalent amount of sugar.) Add in the sugar, then microwave in 20-second intervals, stirring after each, until the sugar has dissolved.
- Poke some holes in the tops of each cupcake with a toothpick, then brush some of the lemon syrup over them.
- In a medium sized mixing bowl, beat the butter for 1 minute to remove any lumps.
- Slowly beat in the powdered sugar until all of it has been used.
- Add in the lavender extract, heavy cream, and purple food coloring (if using). Beat for an additional minute.
- Once the cupcakes have completely cooled to room temperature, transfer the frosting to a piping bag and frost each cupcake. Garnish with fresh lavender and lemon slices if desired. Serve and enjoy!
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