Lavender vanilla cupcakes

Lavender vanilla cupcakes with cupcake stand and bunch of lavender

Lavender! So easily overdone – I’ve had several incidences of making shortbread and cupcakes with too much in and getting a mouthful of flower; completely overpowering and unpleasant to eat. I’ve done the same with violet flavouring, and let me tell you that DOES NOT taste good in a cake, much more suitable in a topping but even a single drop is powerful! Having seen the beautiful lavender flowers growing on the hedge around our herb garden, I was inspired by the lovely sunny weather and afternoon tea in the garden with cups of Earl Grey and a pretty cupcake to eat. These cupcakes have a gentle lavender flavour, I think I’ve finally got the amounts right!

I found some lavender sugar in the cupboard that I’d bought ages ago and never used. It had flowers mixed with the sugar and had gently infused its flavour subtly in the sugar. This was perfect for the cupcake mixture! You could make your own lavender sugar instead of buying it from the shop and storing it for a few weeks. Just turn the sugar from time to time, to keep the flavours mixing. You can pick it up from Waitrose too if you can’t wait!

Lavender vanilla cupcake with a fork ready to eat

The lavender is complimented by the vanilla (I finally got some more vanilla paste, hurrah!) which I think enhances the flavour.

Lavender vanilla cupcake sliced with a fork

I just got a new Wilton 1M tip and I haven’t made any cupcakes for a while – today was the perfect opportunity to try and do some piping roses. They’re so pretty and don’t need much decoration. But I wanted to mix it up with some sprinkles to accentuate the purples and add some lavender flowers on top, so I did a swirl with a spatula and added the toppings. I think the latter looked better, don’t you think? I had a bit of emergency with it, I ran out of normal icing sugar and only had royal icing left! I had to make it half and half and they seemed to come out ok, but I would always recommend using normal icing sugar so it doesn’t go hard. The recipe for the buttercream is from Primrose Bakery’s Cupcakes book.

{Makes 12 normal sized cupcakes}

1 hour 10mins (including cooling time) – Prep time: 15 mins – Cooking time: 15mins – Icing time: 15 mins


For the cupcake

  • 110g self raising flour, sieved
  • 110g unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 55g caster sugar
  • 55g lavender sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1tsp vanilla bean paste
  • ½ tsp baking powder

For the frosting

  • 500g icing sugar
  • 110g unsalted butter
  • 60ml milk
  • ½tsp vanilla bean paste
  • Purple food colouring
  • For garnish: purple sprinkles, lavender flowers


Oven temp: 180° (170°C Fan)/350°F/Gas Mark 4

  1. Put your cupcake liners in the muffin tin.
  2. Beat the eggs with the caster sugar and lavender sugar until light and frothy. About 3-4 mins with a mixer or longer by hand.
  3. Add butter, flour and baking powder into the mix in two parts, making sure the first is well mixed in before adding the second.
  4. Spoon the mixture into the cupcake liners evenly. Place the cupcakes in the oven for 15 minutes, until they feel springy to the touch.
  5. Remove from the oven and leave to cool.
  6. Make the frosting: Mix the vanilla, butter, milk and half the icing sugar until it is nearly smooth. Then add the rest of the icing sugar. Add a little food colouring to achieve a pale lavender colour.
  7. Frost the cupcakes however you like then add a few lavender flowers (rolled gently in kitchen paper to release the smell) and sprinkles.


  1. says

    Your cupcakes look really good – the lavender sugar is pretty.
    I made some lavender shortbread biscuits recently.  I was nervous but they turned out really well – not all soapy.


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