Lavender cupcakes

These unusual lavender-infused cakes are a popular flavour in the summer
Lavender cupcakes
© Peter Cassidy
Lavender-infused cupcakes with light lavender frosting
Infusing the milk with lavender flowers makes the flavour subtle. The icing can be left plain, or you can use a bit of food colouring to give it a light lavender colour (makes 12).

The cupcake sponge

* 120ml whole milk
* 3 tablespoons dried lavender flowers
* 120g plain flour
* 140g caster sugar
* 1½ teaspoons baking powder
* 40g unsalted butter, at room temperature
* 1 egg
* 12 small sprigs of lavender (optional)
* 25ml whole milk
* 1 tablespoon dried lavender flowers
* 250g icing sugar, sifted
* 80g unsalted butter, at room temperature
* A couple of drops of purple food colouring (optional)
* A 12-hole cupcake tray, lined with paper cases

1. Put the milk and dried lavender flowers in a jug, cover and refrigerate for a few hours, or overnight if possible. Do the same with the milk and lavender flowers for the frosting, in a separate jug.

2. Preheat the oven to 170°C/325°F/gas mark three.

3. Put the flour, sugar, baking powder and butter in a freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attachment (or use a handheld electric whisk) and beat on slow speed until you get a sandy consistency and everything is combined.

4. Strain the lavender-infused milk (for the cupcake) and slowly pour into the flour mixture, beating well until all the ingredients are well mixed.

5. Add the egg and beat well (scrape any unmixed ingredients from the side of the bowl with a rubber spatula).

6. Spoon the mixture into the paper cases until two-thirds full and bake in the preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the sponge bounces back when touched. A skewer inserted in the centre should come out clean.

7. Leave the cupcakes to cool slightly in the tray before turning out onto a wire cooling rack to cool completely.

Lavender frosting

1. Beat together the icing sugar, butter and food colouring, if using, in a freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attachment (or use a handheld electric whisk) on medium-slow speed until the mixture comes together and is well mixed.

2. Turn the mixer down to slow speed. Strain the lavender-infused milk and slowly pour into the butter mixture. Once all the milk is incorporated, turn the mixer up to high speed.

3. Continue beating until the frosting is light and fluffy (at least five minutes). The longer the frosting is beaten, the fluffier and lighter it becomes.

4. When the cupcakes are cold, spoon the lavender frosting on top and decorate with a sprig of lavender, if using.

The Hummingbird Bakery cookbook

Special offer: £2 off The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook

You can buy the book at the special price of £14.99 with free p&p (rrp £16.99) by calling Macmillan Direct on 01256 302 699 and quoting the reference code GLR1KP.

Recipe from The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook
By Tarek Malouf and the Hummingbird Bakers
Photography by Peter Cassidy
Published by Ryland Peters & Small

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