These orange and lavender cupcakes are what summers are made of. Orange enriched cupcakes are filled with a tart sweet orange curd surprise and topped with lavender infused buttercream.
Some things in life are just meant to be! No matter how much you try to pull them away from each other and try to separate them, they always find a way back together. No, I’m not talking about a tragic dramatic love story. I’m talking about this epic flavour combination of orange and lavender in these orange and lavender cupcakes.
We’re all aware of classics like peanut butter and jelly, Banoffee and even Passionfruit and Coconut. But there are also some combinations that are lesser know but boy, do they pack a punch. The tartness from oranges is balanced effortlessly by the woody flavour of the lavender. It’s honestly, a match made in food heaven.
These orange and lavender cupcakes are the epitome of summer. They are sweet and herby and like sunshine on a warm summer day. Imaging sitting in the park, soaking up some sun, reading and book and savouring these cupcakes with takeaway coffee. That’s my idea of a perfect afternoon.
Let’s dive into the different elements that make this orange and lavender cupcakes. We first begin by baking the orange sponges. I like using fresh ingredients as opposed to packaged ones as much as I can. Of course, on some occasions, it may not be entirely possible. Here, however, I’ve included fresh orange zest and juice from these oranges to flavour my cupcakes. The resulting cake sponge is ridiculously moist and fluffy. It’s springy like a trampoline, no jokes! Usually cakes and cupcakes are baked at a fairly high temperature but I like to use a much lower temperature and bake them for a longer period. This helps keep the cake extremely moist.
The next step involves making Orange curd. This forms part of a delicious surprise in the centre of the cupcakes! I let my curd be a bit runny on purpose as I wanted it to flow when cut into the cupcakes. Also because it adds a different texture to the cupcakes. In this sunshine orange curd, I’ve also added the zest of the orange. I find that with citrus fruits, a lot of the flavour resides in the zest of the fruit. When you zest it, you notice the release of oils from the zest. This adds such a powerful impact and must be used every time you use citrus fruit in your desserts and baking if you want to get maximum flavour.
Finally, we move on to making our lavender infused boiled milk frosting buttercream. I love how creative we can get with this method of making buttercream. There are so many different ways to flavour it, which wouldn’t have been possible with any other style of buttercream! Here, I’ve infused lavender in the milk and cream mix, strained it out and went ahead with the process of making the buttercream frosting as per usual.
The resulting orange and lavender cupcakes are absolutely stunning and you will love these!
- 100 grams all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 120 grams caster sugar
- 100 grams butter
- zest of 1 orange
- 2 eggs
- 200 mls orange juice
- 150 mls orange juice
- 2 yolks
- 80 grams caster sugar
- 80 grams butter, cold
- Lavender Buttercream frosting:
- 3 tb flour
- 1 tablespoon lavender buds
- 65 mls milk
- 65 mls heavy cream
- 150 caster sugar
- 150 grams butter
- Preheat oven to 160 Degrees C / 325 Degrees F.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, sift the flour, baking powder and caster sugar.
- Using a paddle attachment, mix on very low speed until just combined.
- Add the softened salted butter and mix until the butter is well combined into the dry mix.
- Then add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well between each addition.
- Add the zest of the orange and mix well.
- Finally, add the juice of the orange along the side of the bowl in a thin and steady stream.
- Mix for 30 seconds, then use a spatula to go around the sides and bottom of the bowl.
- Mix again for another 30 seconds on medium high speed.
- Line a 12 hole muffin tin with cupcake liners.
- Fill them up to 3/4th way through and bake in the oven for about 20 - 22 minutes or until a skewer / knife inserted in the center of the cupcakes emerge clean and the cupcakes themselves feel springy to the touch.
- Let them cool for about 30 minutes in the cupcake tray, then take them out on a wire rack and let them cool completely.
- Add the orange juice, egg yolks and sugar in a saucepan and cook them on medium heat until it starts to bubble.
- This takes about 3 - 4 minutes.
- Take it off the heat and add cold chopped butter, a little at a time ensuring that it's well combined before adding the next cube.
- Take it out into a bowl and cover with parchment paper in a way that it touches the surface of the curd so that a skin doesn't form.
- Let it cool down to room temperature, then refrigerate to chill.
- In a saucepan, combine milk and cream. Add lavender buds.
- On a medium heat, bring this mix to a boil.
- Once boiled, take it off the heat and let cool to room temperature.
- Strain the milk and cream mix and take out lavender buds.
- Return this mix to the saucepan.
- It's alright if there are stray lavender buds in the saucepan. 2 - 3 buds will not lead to the frosting being overpowered by lavender flavour.
- Add the sugar and mix until well combined.
- Once the sugar is dissolved, increase heat to medium and add the flour.
- Whisk it well to ensure no lumps remain.
- Boil for 3 minutes, whisking constantly.
- Take it out into a bowl and cover with parchment touching the surface of the mix to avoid a skin from forming.
- Let it cool to room temperature.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk butter until smooth using wire whisk attachment.
- Add the pudding mix, a little at a time until everything is well incorporated on medium high speed.
- After all pudding mix has been added, mix on medium high for 2 minutes.
- Frosting is ready
- Using the back of a Wilton tip, cut out the centre of the cupcake.
- Fill it with orange curd
- Pipe Lavender buttercream frosting using an Open star tip.
- Pour some orange curd on top.
- Sprinkle some Lavender buds.