Last Updated on April 2, 2022 by Chenée Lewis
These lavender lemon cupcakes are perfect for springtime! Fluffy lavender cupcakes with lemon cream cheese frosting – so delicious! And if you like this lemon lavender cupcakes recipe, try my Buttermilk Blueberry Muffins with Lemon Zest, my Lemon and Blackberry Cake, or my Earl Grey Lavender Cake with Honey-Lemon Glaze!
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Lemon Lavender Cupcakes Recipe
Sometimes you just need a bite of springtime! And when you do, these lemon lavender cupcakes are the perfect treat. They're light, moist, fluffy, touched with a hint of lavender, and have the most amazing lemon cream cheese buttercream frosting. And they're perfect for spring and summer celebrations! So you can make these easy lemon lavender cupcakes for a birthday, a baby shower, a bridal shower, a graduation! Or just as a treat for yourself or the family anytime! They're so easy, you don't need an occasion!
What does a lavender cupcake taste like?
The light floral flavor of lavender extract in these cupcakes is delightful! It gives them a bright, springtime quality that goes perfectly with the lemon zest and the lemon cream cheese frosting.
These lemon lavender cupcakes come from my mini vanilla cake recipe. And they're just as easy, and just as moist and fluffy! The ingredients list is largely the same:
- eggs - they should be room temperature.
- lemon zest - complements the lavender perfectly!
- pure vanilla extract - perfect balance for the lavender
- lavender extract - just enough lavender flavor to give these cupcakes a unique floral scent. I use Angel Bake.
- granulated sugar - gives these cupcakes their sweetness!
- vegetable oil - adds a bit of richness to the batter.
- sour cream - keeps these cupcakes moist and tender. Should be room temperature.
- cake flour - contains less gluten than all-purpose flour, so your cupcakes will stay light and tender.
- baking powder & baking soda - gives your cupcakes a lift!
- salt - brings out all the flavors.
And then they're topped with a quick and easy lemon cream cheese buttercream frosting that makes these cupcakes irresistible! For that, you'll just need:
- cream cheese
- salted butter
- lemon zest & juice
- powdered sugar
When you have everything gathered together, you're ready to make these lemon lavender cupcakes!
Lavender Lemon Cupcakes, Step by Step
- First, you'll beat together your eggs, zest, sugar, and extracts and then add in your oil and sour cream.
- Next, you'll sift in your flour, baking powder, baking powder, and salt. Fold it all together until it's just barely combined.
- Then just fill your prepped baking liners and you're ready to bake!
Tips and F.A.Q.
Like springtime! These cupcakes have a beautiful hint of floral lavender flavor, softened a bit with vanilla and brightened by the lemon cream cheese frosting. And the lavender flavor in these lavender lemon cupcakes isn't intense at all! I love using lavender extract because it allows precise control over the amount of lavender flavor. If you are hesitant about baking with lavender, you could start with just half the lavender extract called for in the recipe card below. You'll still have beautifully flavored cupcakes with a more subtle lavender aroma.
My secret for these lemon lavender cupcakes is using vegetable oil instead of butter. Just like in my mini vanilla cake, the oil keeps the cupcakes from drying out. Most cupcakes are made with butter as the primary fat, which adds flavor. However, because butter is about 18% water, a lot of the moisture added to the batter when butter is used can evaporate during or after baking. Vegetable oil, by contrast, is 100% fat. That means that all of the richness and moisture provided by the oil remains in the cupcakes well after they're baked and lasts for days.
To make sure your lemon lavender cupcakes bake up nice and light, you'll need to whip air bubbles into the batter while you're mixing it. This is why many recipes call for using a whisk or an electric mixer to beat the wet ingredients until they're "fluffy." All that air in the batter will expand in the oven, giving you a fluffier cupcake!
Another key is to avoid overmixing your batter so that you don't overactivate the gluten in your flour. That's why we're using cake flour, which has a lower gluten content than all-purpose flour. That's also why in the recipe card below, I say to "fold" the flour in until it's just combined -- meaning, don't use a whisk or electric mixer, and don't keep mixing after the flour is mixed in. This keeps the gluten from activating, which prevents a dense, tough result and ensures the best texture for your cupcakes!
If you don't have cake flour, you can make a substitute to use for these lemon lavender cupcakes! All you need is all-purpose flour and corn starch. Just measure out 1 ¼ cup of all-purpose flour and replace 2½ teaspoons of it with cornstarch. In grams, it'll be 155 grams of all-purpose flour sifted with 6 grams of cornstarch. As I mentioned above, it's best to measure by weight with a kitchen scale, but if you don't have one be sure to use the spoon-and-level method to measure by volume.
Actually, there are a few different ways to get lavender flavor into your cake or cupcakes. This recipe uses lavender extract, which I've found to be the simplest. But you can also use dried culinary lavender to infuse milk or other liquid ingredients, or you can grind it in with sugar or salt.
Yes! These although these lavender lemon cupcakes are best frozen unfrosted -- just wrap each cooled cupcake in plastic wrap, then store in a freezer bag for up to 2 months. You can also freeze the frosted cupcakes too. Just freeze them uncovered until the frosting is solid, then wrap them in plastic wrap and place in an airtight container for up to 2 months. Thaw cupcakes unwrapped at room temperature.
If you try this recipe, I would love it if you could leave a rating and comment below! It’s so wonderful hearing your feedback! And don’t forget to share your creations with me by tagging @chenee_today on Instagram!
More Lemon Recipes You'll Love
- Almond Lemon Cookies
- Lemon Dump Cake
- Lemon Sour Cream Pound Cake
- Vegan Olive Oil Cake with Lemon and Pistachio
- Lemon Poppyseed Scones
Equipment you may need
- muffin pan
- cupcake scoops
- pastry bag and tips
- baking spray
- 2 large egg – room temperature
- 2 teaspoon (4 g) lemon zest
- 1 teaspoon (5 ml) pure vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoon (10 ml) lavender extract
- 1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar
- 6 tablespoon (89 ml) vegetable oil
- ⅔ cup (153 g) sour cream – room temperature
- 1 ¼ cup (156 g) cake flour 163g
- 1.5 teaspoon (7 ml) baking powder
- 0.5 teaspoon (2 ml) salt
- 0.25 teaspoon (1 ml) baking soda
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 12-cup muffin pan and spray with baking spray.baking spray
- In a large bowl, beat together eggs, lemon zest, vanilla extract, and lavender extract until fluffy and light.2 large egg – room temperature, 2 teaspoon lemon zest, 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract, 2 teaspoon lavender extract
- Add in granulated sugar and whip until fluffy and well combined.1 cup granulated sugar
- Mix in vegetable oil and sour cream until smooth.6 tablespoon vegetable oil, ⅔ cup sour cream – room temperature
- Sift in flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Fold until just combined.1 ¼ cup cake flour 163g, 0.5 teaspoon salt, 0.25 teaspoon baking soda, 1.5 teaspoon baking powder
- Use a cupcake scoop or measuring cup to fill cupcake liners two-thirds full. Drop onto counter from 3 inches high to eliminate air bubbles.
- Bake in preheated oven 18-20 minutes or until centers are springy to the touch and a toothpick comes out with a few moist crumbs. Allow to cool completely before decorating.
Lemon Cream Cheese Buttercream Frosting
- Using a hand mixer or in the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, beat softened cream cheese and butter until smooth.8 oz cream cheese, 5 tablespoon salted butter
- Mix in lemon zest and lemon juice until well combined.1 tablespoon lemon zest, 1 ½ tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- Gradually add powdered sugar while continuing to mix until you've achieved your desired consistency. Beat an additional 1-2 minutes.4½ cups powdered sugar
- Spread or pipe over cooled cupcakes.
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