Margaux says…

I bought a lavender plant last summer just to make this recipe (well, and I really like lavender in general, but that’s what really motivated my purchase), and am just now finally getting around to it! Luckily I was able to take all my herbs in for the winter, and they stayed alive. My mother-in-law brought me a bag of Meyer lemons last time she visited, which lit a fire under me to make these. The recipe is from the “Three Aunts and a Mom” cookbook that Aunt Suzy gave me, and this recipe is from my Aunt Judy.

The original recipe has a glaze on it, but I was concerned that they would turn out more muffin-like than cupcake, so I made a basic lemon butter frosting.  If you’d rather do the glaze, just mix 1 cup of powdered sugar with 5-6 tablespoons of lemon juice, and add a few teaspoons of zest.  But I thought they were really good with the frosting.

The Meyer lemons made the cupcakes sweeter than they probably would be with regular lemons.  They were very delicious, but unless you’re a major sweet-tooth, you’ll probably only be able to eat one.  They would be perfect for an early spring birthday party, while lemons are still in season.  If you don’t have fresh lavender available, rosemary would work as well.

Fresh Lavender and Lemon Cupcakes

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 3/4 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1 cup extra fine granulated sugar
3 tbsp lemon juice
2/3 cup buttermilk
2 eggs
2 tsp finely chopped lavender or rosemary
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, lavender, baking powder and salt; set aside. In a small bowl, mix together the buttermilk, vanilla and lemon juice.

In a large mixing bowl beat butter on medium high for 30 seconds; add sugar and beat on medium high for 2 minutes until light and fluffy, scraping bowl often. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Alternately add flour mixture and buttermilk to butter mixture in three parts, ending with flour. Beat on low after each addition until just combined.

Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups to 3/4 full. Bake 22-25 minutes, until toothpick comes out clean. Remove from muffin pan and let cool.

Lemon Frosting

4 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
3 tbsp lemon juice
2 tsp lemon zest

In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar until combined (will look crumbly). Add lemon juice and zest, and beat until smooth. Add more powdered sugar or more lemon juice to desired consistency.