Mini Lavender Cakes

It's been an emotional few weeks at M&M headquarters.

My husband and I are in the process of moving from our home in Virginia and relocating to South Carolina. We're in the process of saying goodbyes to our local friends who we've come to know and love. I've been pretty good so far (in public!), but I've been a little weepy at home. 

I've become particularly attached to my salon and my stylist, Maddie. I knew I liked Maddie the minute that I met her. I was planning to move to Virginia after my wedding, so I went down a few months before my wedding to scout out the area. I went to the salon and had Maddie do my hair -- and it looked fab! I've been a loyal customer ever since; I even got my hair done for my wedding at the salon. I'm closing the chapter of my newlywed life.

My last salon appointment was Friday. Knowing that Maddie adores lavender anything, I made these mini lavender cakes for her and the rest of the salon ladies. They were based on my Royal Rose-Scented Cupcakes because the rose and lavender are comparable. I used my adorable muffin pan from World Market and my lavender was from WM too -- they have the best prices on lavender (and vanilla beans).

And, in case you were wondering, Maddie did a fabulous job on my hair again. As usual ;-)

PS - Check out this Maddie-inspired Roasted Peach Bourbon Ice Cream recipe!

Mini Lavender Cakes
2 c. cake flour
1 c. organic cane sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/4 tsp. baking powder, aluminum-free
1/3 c. coconut oil, melted
1 tsp. vinegar
3/4 c. water
1/4 c. gin, or lavender-infused liquor (learn more about infusions here!)
1 tsp. lavender oil, optional

For the simple syrup
1/4 c. organic cane sugar
1/2 c. water
1/4 c. dried lavender (culinary grade)

For the topping
1/4 c. Sugar In the Raw
1 tsp. dried lavender, muddled with a mortar and pestle

Preheat the oven to 350° F.  Grease mini cake pans with coconut oil or organic shortening. You can also use 12 cupcake liners for this recipe.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients: flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.  Stir.  Create a well in the middle of dry ingredients.  Set aside.

Make sure all of your wet ingredients are ready to go.  You want to make sure the reaction goes appropriately, so add them all in at the same time.  Pour them into the well and use some elbow grease and a wooden spoon to stir (or use your mixer).  Stir until everything is combined and the batter thickens up.

Fill your tins about two-thirds of the way -- these cupcakes puff up a decent amount.  Bake the cupcakes for 15-18 minutes, until you can insert a toothpick and it comes out clean.

Allow the cakes to cool completely.  As they're cooling, use a toothpick to loosen the sides of each cake. Eventually the cakes should wiggle out.

For the simple syrup: combine the syrup ingredients in a small saucepan over medium high heat.  Bring the mixture to a boil and then lower the heat to a simmer.  Make sure all of the sugar has dissolved.  Once it reduces slightly, remove it from the heat to cool.  Strain out the lavender.

When it's cooled, brush a coating of syrup on each cake.  Once it dries and/or soaks in, brush them with a second coat.  

***TIP*** If you have some simple syrup left over, save it for your own cocktails!

Sprinkle each cake with some sugar and muddled lavender. These cakes have a subtle lavender taste, but enough that makes your belly happy :-)