Yield: 24 cupcakes


For the cupcakes:

  • 3 cups (15 oz.) unbleached, all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 cups (14 oz.) granulated sugar
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 cup (8 oz.) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 large eggs plus 4 large egg yolks, at room temperature
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 tsp. lemon extract
  • ½ tsp. vanilla extract

For the frosting:

  • 1½ cups plus 2 tbsp. (3 sticks plus 2 tbsp.) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • Pinch of salt
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 tbsp. heavy cream
  • 1½ tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice


To finish:

  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ tsp. finely ground culinary lavender buds
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  • step 1: HideShow Images

    Preheat the oven to 350˚ F.  Line cupcake pans with paper liners.  In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt.  Whisk to blend.  In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the sugar, lemon zest, and butter.  Beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes.

  • step 2: HideShow Images

    Blend in the eggs and egg yolks one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.  In a small bowl or measuring cup, blend together the sour cream, lemon extract, and vanilla.  With the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients in three additions alternately with the sour cream, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients, and mixing each addition just until incorporated.

  • step 3: HideShow Images

    Divide the batter evenly between the prepared liners.  Bake until the cupcakes are just set and pale golden, about 20-22 minutes.  Let cool in the pan about 5 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

  • step 4: HideShow Images

    To make the frosting, place the butter in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.  Whip on medium-high speed until smooth, about 1 minute.  Add the confectioners’ sugar and lemon zest to the bowl and mix on medium-low speed just until incorporated.  Add in the salt.  Continue to beat on medium-high speed until smooth, about 1-2 minutes.  Mix in the heavy cream and lemon juice on low speed just until incorporated.  Increase the mixer speed and whip on high speed until light and fluffy, scraping down the bowl as needed, about 4-5 minutes.

  • step 5: HideShow Images

    Transfer the frosting to a pastry bag fitted with a wide plain round tip. Pipe a round dome of frosting onto each cupcake. In a small bowl or ramekin, combine the granulated sugar with the ground lavender and whisk until evenly combined. Gently dip the frosted portion of each cupcake into the sugar mixture to adhere a thin layer over the entire surface without distorting the shape.  Once fully coated, you can gently cup the frosting with your hand to help mold it into an even mound. Garnish as desired with fresh lemon peel, lavender sprigs, or edible flowers.