Lemon Lavender Cupcakes with Limoncello Cream Cheese Frosting
This recipe appeared in Happy V–Day! on 13 Feb 2009
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon dried lavender flowers
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 large eggs
1–1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest (preferably Meyer lemon)
16 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter
4 cups confectioners’ sugar
1–1/2 tablespoons freshly grated lemon zest (preferably Meyer lemon)
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons Limoncello
Preheat the oven to 350° F and line a muffin tin with 12 paper liners.
Process the sugar and lavender flowers in a food processor for about a minute. The sugar will appear slightly finer and the lavender will grind down a bit.
Using an electric mixer, blend the lavender sugar and the butter together using low speed until just combined. Increase the speed to medium–high and continue beating until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the milk, vanilla extract and lemon zest and continue mixing. Set aside.
Sift the baking powder, salt and flour together. Add to the other bowl and mix until just combined.
Spoon the batter into the paper liners and bake for 15–18 minutes (or until wooden toothpick tests clean).
Allow the cupcakes to completely cool before frosting them.
Beat the cream cheese and butter together with an electric mixer until softened. Add the sugar (one cup at a time), zest, juice and Limoncello and continue beating until creamy, about 3 minutes. This produces a semi–stiff icing that should maintain its shape nicely if piped onto the cupcakes. Be sure to keep the finished cupcakes refrigerated.
WI wine recommendation: A Champagne or sparkling wine pairs best with these cupcakes. We enjoyed them with a bottle of Bailly Lapierre’s Crémant de Bourgogne Brut Réserve sparkling wine.