Honey Lavender Cupcakes...And A Toddler

Last week, my daughter turned one. Just a year ago, she was a little six and a half pound slip of a newborn. She couldn't roll over, lift her head, or say anything. Just cry and poop. Now? It's just incredible. She toddles! She says "kisses"! She climbs up shelves! She goes belly first down slides! She puts the lid on my water bottle! (I know recently I did a post on the overuse of exclamation points, but I think I'm justified in my usage here, being a first-time mom and all.)

We have a lavender theme with Evelyn. Her room is purple. She has a lavender sachet "sleep pillow" that is like a comfort object when she sleeps. I usually choose purple over bubble gum pink when it comes to clothes for her. So I thought, "Lavender in a dessert. How lovely." And did you know? Infants can eat honey when they turn one. Honey cake. Of course. Lavender honey cake.

I found the cupcake recipe from Better Homes and Gardens, and it turned out even better than I expected. I made a lot of mini cupcakes so I could share with friends, and also to keep Evelyn from getting too much of a sugar high. I needn't have worried. She took a taste of the frosting, waved the cupcake around in her chubby little hand, and then chucked it to the ground. We all laughed. Oh well. If she doesn't have a sweet tooth, that's probably a good thing.

Here is a recipe for you, and below see what's been cooking in my kitchen.

Honey Lavender Cupcakes (with Honey Frosting)
From Better Homes and Gardens
Makes forty-eight 1 3/4 inch cupcakes or eighteen 2 1/2 inch cupcakes 

1/2 cup butter
2 eggs
1 3/4 cups flour (I used half whole wheat, half all-purpose)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons dried lavender
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup honey
1 teaspoon vanilla
2/3 cup milk
Honey Frosting (below)

1) Let butter and eggs stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.  Line muffin tray with baking cups (or use coconut oil spray, which I used). Use forty-eight 1 3/4 inch cups or eighteen 2 1/2 inch cups.

2) Combine all dry ingredients (except sugar) in a medium bowl. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

3) Beat butter in a large mixing bowl for 30 seconds. Add sugar, honey, and vanilla. Beat until combined. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Alternately add flour mixture, then milk, then the rest of the flour, then the rest of the milk. Beat on low after each addition until just combined.

4) Spoon  batter into prepared muffin tray. Fill about 3/4 full. Bake for 10-12 minutes for small cupcakes and 16-18 minutes for larger cupcakes at 350 degrees until tester comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes in pan, then remove and cool completely.

Honey Frosting

5 ounces mascarpone cheese or cream cheese (room temperature, about 2/3 cup)
3 tablespoons butter (room temperature)
1/4 cup honey
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups powdered sugar

1) Beat cheese (mascarpone or cream cheese), butter, honey, and vanilla until light and fluffy. Gradually add powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, beating well. Scoop into piping bag or ziplock bag, pressing down frosting into one corner of the bag. Snip off a tiny corner of the bag, and pipe frosting onto completely cooled cupcakes. Sprinkle with lavender sugar or more dried lavender, if desired.

Happy birthday, sweet Evelyn!
And...here is what has been cooking in my kitchen:

What have you been cooking? Have a great week, everyone!