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Lavender Cupcakes with Wild Orange Cream Frosting

INGREDIENTS:

Cake:

  • 1 1/2 cups cane sugar
  • 1 1/2 vanilla beans, scraped (optional)
  • 2 1/3 cups plus 2 tablespoons, cake flour, not self-rising
  • 2 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract (use 3 tablespoons if not using vanilla beans)
  • 2/3 cup whole milk
  • 3 drops Lavender Essential Oil

Frosting:

  • 4 ounces low-fat Neufchatel cream cheese, softened
  • 2 ounces butter
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 4-6 drops Wild Orange Essential Oil 
  • 4-5 cups powdered sugar
  • Orange slices, for garnish
  • Lavender sprigs, for garnish

DIRECTIONS:

  1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line 18 to 25 muffin tins with cupcakes liners.
  2.  In a small mixing bowl, combine sugar and vanilla bean seeds. Blend using the back of a tablespoon to loosen any clumps of seeds, and set aside.
  3.  In a large mixing bowl, sift together cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  4.  In a mixing bowl, add olive oil, eggs, yogurt, vanilla, milk, and Lavender Essential Oil. Mix for 1 minute. Add vanilla bean and sugar mixture and blend until completely combined.
  5.  Fill cupcake liners 2/3 full, and bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and cool completely before frosting.
  6.  To make the frosting, beat cream cheese, butter, vanilla, and Wild Orange Essential Oil together in a large mixing bowl until smooth and creamy. Add sugar 1 cup at a time on low speed until completely combined.
  7.  Increase the speed to high and mix until very fluffy and smooth. Frost cooled cupcakes.