Tag Archives: cupcakes

Lavender Almond Cupcakes

26 Jul

Background: The inspiration for these cupcakes were, surprisingly, pot brownies. While I won’t tell you how I came to know the method of making them, I will let you in on the secret of them: infusion. You simmer the weed in the oil or butter for as long as you can without burning said oil or butter to infuse it with the pot. The longer you simmer, the stronger the…effects. Walking around Hy Vee, I saw a package of lavender hanging by the basil and other herbs. I almost squealed with excitement: lavender is another one of my baking fantasies. And thus began another baking adventure…

Baking Disasters: While simmering the butter with the lavender, I found myself happily cleaning my brand-new apartment and forgetting all about my lovely lavender concoction. Bad idea. Before I knew it, I had brown butter and had to start all over again. Babysit your butter: it’s a slippery bugger.


Almond Cupcake Ingredients:

½ cup unsalted sweet cream butter, softened

2/3 cup of sugar

3 large eggs

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp almond extract

1 ½ cups flour

¼ cup of powdered almonds

1 ½ tsp baking powder

¼ tsp salt

¼ cup heavy whipping cream

2 tbsp milk, or more as needed


Lavender Frosting Ingredients:

1 cup unsalted sweet cream butter, softened

6 sprigs of lavender

2 ½ cups powdered sugar, or more as needed

2 tbsp heavy whipping cream, or more as needed




Melt the butter in a saucepan on low. Add in the leaves of the six sprigs of lavender. Simmer for about ten to fifteen minutes (it really depends on the stove you’re using and the pot you’re using). If you see any bit of brownness infecting your butter, instantly pull it off the burner. Strain the butter through a strainer, making sure to get all the lavender leaves out of it. Let cool.


Once your butter is solidified again, cream it until fluffy. Add the powdered sugar in slowly. Frosting is all about preference. I prefer it smoother, and thus with less powdered sugar. Some people prefer it stiffer, and thus with more powdered sugar. Do what you feel. Add in the whipping cream to give it a creamier texture once you’ve reached your desired thickness. It will taste delicious, I promise.


Set it aside and get to work on your cupcakes.



Preheat your oven to 350. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with cupcake liners.


Cream together butter and sugar until fluffy. Add in eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add in vanilla and almond extracts.


In another bowl, whisk together flour, almonds, baking powder and salt. To powder almonds, use a chopper and crush it as fine as you can get (if there are still weensy chunks, that’s okay).


Alternately beat in dry ingredients and cream to the butter mixture, starting and ending with the dry. The mixture should be thick. Add in the two tablespoons of milk. The mixture should get creamy. If it’s still too thick, add more milk until it is creamy.


Fill up the cupcake liners and throw them in the oven for about fifteen minutes (every oven is different). You’ll know they’re ready when you can lightly poke the top and it bounces back.


Let them cool and then frost with your lavender frosting. 


Mini Lemon Poppy Seed Cupcakes

4 Jun

Adorable, easy, delicious…

Background: Whenever I’m sitting at the intern desk where I work, there is some sort of dessert or food item waiting there for me to munch on. After telling some of my co-interns about my baking blog, I naturally felt inclined to bake something for them. I needed something small. Something munchable. Something cute. What instantly came to mind were these mini cupcakes that my mom bakes. Just about anything mini tends to be cuter than the normal size (mini puppies, mini cliff bars, mini coopers). And when dealing with food, mini always makes for the perfect finger food. So, mini lemon poppyseed cupcakes it was.

Baking Disasters: I have two “disasters” for you today. One involves a nasty encounter between my finger and a zester (apparently human skin can be zested as easily as lemon “skin” can) and the other involves me completely forgetting to take my prized mini cupcakes to work. Yes, after all that work, I neglected to bring the perfect little buggers to their intended consumers. This left me with the terrible fate of having to dispose of most of them myself. Mmmmm.


1 package of lemon cake mix

1 package of vanilla pudding mix

4 eggs

3/4 cup vegetable oil

1 tbsp ground ginger

1 tbsp poppy seeds

1 tsp orange zest

1 tsp lemon zest


4 cups powdered sugar (you may need a bit more if the glaze is too thin)

1/3 cup of lemon juice (you may need a bit more if the glaze is too thick)

1 lemon, zested

1 tbsp orange zest

3 tbsp vegetable oil

3 tbsp water


Turn on the oven to 350.

Spray mini muffin tins with cooking spray, or grease with butter (I suggest the spray…this takes forever). Combine the cake mix, pudding, eggs, oil and ginger with a blender for about two minutes (it should be smooth–not bubbly). Mix in the poppy seeds and lemon and orange zests. Fill each mini muffin tin about 2/3 full and bake for 8-12 minutes.

For the glaze, sift the powdered sugar into a mixing bowl. Add the lemon juice, zest, oil and water. Mix until smooth. You can make it thicker by adding more powdered sugar or thinner by adding more lemon juice.

While the cupcakes are still hot, drench them with the glaze and place on wax paper to cool. Top with extra zest if you feel the urge to make them look pretty.

Note: I’m normally against using boxed mixes, but my mom makes this recipe–originally a Paula Deen–and it’s damned good!

Cardamom and Orange Cupcakes

24 May

Background: Sleeping for eighteen hours straight, I found myself pleasantly awoken by three screaming little girls. Why these children insisted upon hanging around me I don’t know, but I was throwing Play doh, playing dress-up, playing with make up and coloring for a few hours straight. I felt like quite the mother, literally carrying a girl on each hip. Cleaning up after these adorable monsters, I never felt so domestic in my life. So, naturally, I decided to bake.

Baking Disasters: Some people fantasize about money, mansions, yachts or luxury cars. Some people fantasize about their perfect significant others or sexual encounters. I fantasize about baking. The particular fantasy I’m going to divulge today involves coarsely granulated sugar (some candles and petroleum jelly…). Have you ever had that perfect muffin with the wonderful bits of crunchy sugar creating the perfect first bite? If you haven’t, I suggest you hurry on over to Dunkin’ Donuts and get yourself a Chocolate Chip Muffin. The muffin part is mediocre, but the delicious crunchy top is divine. But I digress. I finally bought myself some of this marvelous sugar so that I could bake perfect muffins–a baking fantasy of mine. I was so excited about this sugar that I added it to the top of a few of my cupcakes before baking. Sugar overload.

The Ingredients:

For the cupcakes:

2 sticks of butter

1 cup of sugar

4 eggs

2 cups of flour

1 1/2 tsp of baking powder

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp cardamom

The zest of 1/4 an orange

For the frosting:

1 stick of butter, softened

2 cups of powdered sugar

1/2 tsp vanilla

3 tbsp sour cream

1/8 tsp lemon juice

1/2 tsp ginger

The zest of 1/4 an orange

Preheat the oven to 350. Line two muffin tins with baking cups. Throw all of the cupcake ingredients into a bowl and blend it together until smooth. Fill baking cups 2/3 full and bake for 15-20 minutes.

To make the frosting, beat the butter with the sour cream, lemon juice, ginger and vanilla. Slowly blend in the powdered sugar (you may need more) until it reaches the desired consistency. Mix in the orange zest and frost on top of cooled cupcakes.