Double Charette week. I finally presented The ChefCharette at USC in pecha kucha format last night. NO, I didn’t fall on my face. NO, I didn’t mess up my words (I don’t think?). Yes I was nervous at first but YES, I loosened up and the audience and I laughed when I told my story of getting caught by JMA’s project director for CAD-ing a baguette while working in Tokyo. Man, I am relieeeeeved to be done with my presentation, because I practiced for a bajillion hours and it paid off and I have a story I can share of how The ChefCharette was created. … But damn, the following morning (this morning), I had to rush in to cram with my team to finish off our site resubmittal… which was due by 5PM today. So I’m pretty exhausted and I’ve never been this excited to rest this weekend (and bake espresso brownies!)
Isn’t spring soooo soothing? Receiving a bouquet of fresh flowers (thanks Diana!) after my presentation really brightened my week. But anyway, back to these cupcakes. I made these mini lavender cupcakes with honey buttercream frosting last weekend for my Arquitectonica coworkers, Gensler and Callison RTKL friends. This recipe was based off my first wedding cake I made for my friend Jenny back in 2012. Because it was a wedding cake (post here) I HAD to test it out at least 5 times and ask for feedback from various friends at the Gamble House. So after several revisions, and the generous help from my friend’s mom, Jenn (a graduate from a pastry school) I’ve decided to publish this recipe. Thank you SO much Tony for the honey from France. It was just enough to use for this recipe. And no, nobody was able to get seconds on these cupcakes. Apparently our desk receptionist rushed to the kitchen just as one of our other architects was popping the last one into his mouth.
Chef’s note: To get dried, edible lavender, I recommend ordering this heaping 1 pound affordable bag from Amazon – with tons you can use for fragrance sachets around your house or under your pillow. I ordered it years ago for the testing, cake, to craft gifts and fill my home, and this time. Also, make sure you test out with less lavender and gradually add more (since it can be strong and some people understandably just don’t like eating flower buds.)
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 1 cup sugar
- 3 eggs (room temperature), lightly whisked
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp red food coloring
- 1 tsp blue food coloring
- 1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour (sifted)
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt 1.5 tbsp dried lavender buds, chopped
- 2/3 cup cold milk
Line forty-eight 1-3/4-inch muffin cups or eighteen 2- 1/2-inch muffin cups with paper bake cups. and preheat the oven to 350 F.
In a large mixing bowl, beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add sugar, and vanilla; beat until combined.
Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
In another large bowl, mix the sifted flour, baking powder, and salt.
In a food processor, or in a small bowl with a whisk, mix the milk with the chopped lavender buds.
Alternately sift in the flour mixture and milk mixture to the butter mixture, beating on low speed after each addition just until mixture is combined. Add the milk and food coloring.
Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups, just slightly below being completely filled.
Bake for 10 to 12 minutes for mini sized, 1-3/4-inch cupcakes (or 16 to 18 minutes for full sized, 2-1/2-inch cupcakes) or until a toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean. Cool cupcakes in muffin cups on wire racks until cool to the touch.
Honey buttercream frosting
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
- 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla extract 2 tbsp honey
Using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese, butter and honey until fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Gradually add in powdered sugar until you reach your desired consistency. Pipe or spread onto cupcakes.
Use piping with frosting 1M tip (For mini cupcakes, I recommend Wilton’s, with the finest one) and frost those COOLED DOWN cupcakes!
*Chef’s note: If you don’t use all of the frosting, refrigerate the remaining frosting in an airtight container for up to 1-2 weeks. Whenever ready, bring it to room temperature and frost again!