This weekend Mags threw a post-partum baby shower (a “Sip ‘n’ See”) for Ryder and Rusty’s new little one, Rosa. Because the colours of her baby room are gray and purple, I decided to stick to the theme and make Earl Grey cupcakes with lavender icing. Sounds fancy!
I adapted the Earl Grey cupcake batter from Oh So Very Pretty and chose the Lavender Mascarpone frosting from Kitschy Girl’s Guide and I’m so happy with the results (I made three dozen, so they had better be good!). For both the cupcakes and the frosting, you need a little bit of time beforehand to prep your infusions, so you might want to do them the day before if you’re in a rush.
For the cupcakes:
Microwave or gently heat 2/3 cup whole milk for about a minute. Plop 4 bags Earl Grey tea (or the loose equivalent, if you’ve got it) in the milk and let that steep for 30 minutes. I pretty much just left mine like this until I was done doing everything else, including washing the dishes and walking the dog. So like, an hour.
Preheat your oven to 350°F and line a muffin tray with cups.
In a bowl, whisk together 1 3/4 cup cake flour, 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder, and 1/2 teaspoon baking soda.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together 3/4 cup granulated sugar and 1/2 cup butter.
Add in 2 eggs, 1/3 cup sour cream, and 3 tablespoons vanilla.
Slowly mix the flour mixture into the liquid, alternating with the steeped milk, until just combined.
Scoop the batter into your cupcake liners so that they are half to two-thirds full and bake for 15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the centre cupcake comes out clean. Set them on a wire rack to cool completely. These are puffy cupcakes.
For the icing:
Start with the lavender syrup. In a small saucepan on medium heat, dissolve 1/4 cup granulated sugar in 1/2 cup water.
Lightly grind up 2 tablespoons lavender flowers.
You like my new mortar and pestle? It was a Lee Valley birthday present from Krystopf and Atlas.
Toss the lavender into the syrup and bring the whole thing to a simmer for about 3 minutes. Remove it from the heat and allow it to cool completely before straining out the flower bits. I may have missed a few.
In the chilled bowl of an electric mixer (chill your beater, too), start whipping up 1 cup heavy whipping cream and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Slowly add 1/2 cup granulated sugar, and keep going until the cream has formed stiff peaks.
Add in 1 cup room temperature mascarpone and slowly drizzle in your cooled lavender syrup. (I mixed in a bit of lavender gel paste food colouring to the mascarpone to give the whole batch of icing a pale purple colour).
This icing is so luscious and lovely I want to actually rub it into my skin. I don’t know why.
Shove the icing into a piping bag and have at it with your cupcakes. Feel free to sprinkle the tops with crushed lavender or purple sugar or whatever floats your boat. The icing was a little too warm in these shots so it’s a little runny, but as long as it’s cold you’re golden.