Brownie Cupcakes with Lavender Icing

Last week I made crystallized or candied  flowers from my own home grown patch of violas à la Martha Stewart.  Would I recommend this activity?  Yes, if you have a few hours to spare.  Do they taste like candy?  Yes, they do.  Was it fun?  Yes it was in a Martha Stewart-ish kind of way.  This time of year I’m noticing changes in the garden every day. When the lavender planted along the front steps starts to bloom with the bees swarming around the emerging flowers, I have to admit I feel inspired.  Maybe it’s my love of chocolate and the color purple but the idea of a chocolate brownie cupcake iced with lavender felt right this weekend.

This is my first cupcake post in more than two years of blogging, I had to work up to it!  Over the past few years I’ve seen many, many cupcake recipes and photos posted on many of my favorite blogs.  So, I’ve had a lot of time to think about cupcakes and develop a few opinions about them.  First off, I really like cupcakes, especially those mini one bite sized cupcakes, in my opinion they are just perfection in one sweet bite.  I’m always impressed by fluffy thick swirled icing on top of a tender crumbed cupcake. Oh and all the flavors I’ve seen and drooled over.  But, somehow I  stop myself from baking cupcakes at home when I read the part in the recipe about the 3 sticks of butter in the icing. I just want to enjoy a cupcake and I don’t want to know about all the gory details.  I don’t want to buy a cupcake in a bakery and have the counter person tell me as she wraps up my purchase, “You know that cupcake has 50 grams of fat”.  I just want to enjoy my cupcake and think to myself, wow, this cupcake is so flavorful, just as light as air, must have no calories and certainly no grams of fat..  Well this brownie cupcake is certainly not light as air, it’s a dense’ fudgy wudgy’ chocolate brownie of a cupcake with purple frosting and sugary sweet candied flowers.

Yes, I did use this cupcake recipe from marthastewart.com, but I do want to pass along a few notes about the things I changed to make these Martha Stewart inspired cupcakes my own.  I used the recipe for the brownie cupcakes exactly as written but I made one dozen larger individual cupcakes.  I cut the sugar and the milk in the icing recipe in half but tripled the amount of lavender flowers.  I like more lavender in my purple icing, it gets strained out anyway.  I also like the contrast between the chocolate cupcake and the purple colored icing so I left a border of the chocolate cupcake showing.  One important note about making the candied flowers is not only to hold the flowers by the stem with  tweezers when painting with egg white but also to hold the flower down on a surface so you can press on the flower petal while painting with a small paintbrush.  I also used a small wire strainer to sift fine sugar over the painted flowers.  I made my own custom purple color for the icing as I did not want to use the exact color specified by MS and I felt that as long as it did not come out the same color as Barney it would be alright.  I look at this cupcake project as something to do just for fun and that it doesn’t need to be, by any stretch of the imagination, an exercise in perfection.  After all we’re just going to gobble these cupcakes up, aren’t we?

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Comments

  1. These are just beautiful.. especially the flowers. love them.. candied flowers always a hit!

  2. The cupcakes are just gorgeous!!

  3. Beautiful cupcakes! I love the lavender icing with the candied flowers. :)

  4. Hi Patty,

    O love these gorgeous brownie cupcakes with lavender iciend, especially with those candied flowers on top. Great choice on the changes as well. I don't think brown goes well with many colours, but it definitely goes well with the purple in the lavender here. Leaving the chocolate border showing definitely added lovely contrast to these two colours. I'm not a huge fan of cupcakes that are all decked out with lots of fancy and high peaked icing. Yours are perfectly simple and pleasing to the eyes. I don't feel like I'm going to get a huge sugar rush on the first bite, which is unfortunately the case with most cupcakes. Beautiful presentation and a great finish with the candied flowers. These look and sound delicious, Patty!

  5. Sorry for the spelling mistakes. O = I and iciend = icing. Hard to type on a phone sometimes.

  6. Stunning brownie cupcakes! Love how you did the lavender flowers. The purple just pops!!! Have a great week ahead!

  7. What a fabulous combination, eating it with my eyes while I type.

  8. Patty these are the most beautiful lavender cupcakes (brownies) I have ever seen! I cant believe that you candied flower petals, that is so cute and creative…and for this to be your FIRST cupcake post…I am shocked. It deserves to win on the cupcakes wars show!

  9. These are so pretty! I love brownie cupcakes and the purple makes it look especially spring-like and tempting :)

  10. As good as these cupcakes look in these pictures, they tasted even better. It felt like eating a delicious brownie that melted in your mouth with the subtle and delicious lavender finishing. This was a perfect dessert to accompany the amazing marinated and oven broiled hangar steak served on a bed of lettuce delicious olive oil lightly drizzled over the greens and topped off with a fantastic relish of olives, capers and Havarti cheese (I think).

  11. What beautiful little cupcakes! If that's the first one you've posted, it was worth the wait!

  12. So beautiful! The color of the lavender icing is amazing and I just love the candied flowers!

  13. Patty, These cupcakes are so pretty to eat!

  14. Absolutely gorgeous, Patty! :)

  15. Patty, your cupcakes are simply stunning! I love the color of your icing and the candied flowers give them that little extra to take them from ordinary to extraordinary. Gorgeous :o)

  16. OoooH, that is very “Martha” indeed! I candied some rose petals for a cocktail not too long ago and felt very chic. ;)

    LOVE the flavor combo.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Hey Patty! I would so gobble these cupcakes up-they look really brownie like in texture and delicious! Though I do also avoid making cupcakes and other very buttery sweets lately. I don't want to end up eating it all. These look worth it though for sure:-)
    p.s. Did a counter girl at a bakery really say that to you as you were buying a treat? That's too funny…(smile but seriously).
    XOXO,
    Stella

  18. Those 3 sticks of butter is what also prevents me from making icing and so many other treats. I agree with you, I rather not know. Your brownie cupcakes look fantastic! I love the candied violas really cool. Thanks for sharing this yummy treat.

  19. Wow, Patty, these cupcakes are some of the prettiest edible goodies I've seen in a while. Congrats on taking something and making it much, much better. I don't make cupcakes very often and as you say, neither do you but gee, you made it seem like you make them every day. :-) Great job!

  20. The purple colour is just so appealing..and crystallized flower petals are looking gorgeous on those brownie cupcakes.

  21. Patty, these brownies cupcakes are so cute and so yummie…spceically with lavender and the candied flowers…gorgeous. Have a great week ahead :-)

  22. Those cupcakes are marvelous! I love that pretty and fragrant icing.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

  23. I love to have a Martha Stewart moment once in a while. It's fun! Oh yeah, when I bake something I don't eat a whole lot of it because I know what goes it there :)I like the lavender icing idea and candied flowers. They look so delicious with chocolate cake.

  24. Isn't cupcake ignorance the best type? Eating one and being able to fool yourself it only has slightly more calories than the alternative rice cakes at your desk ;)

    These photos are stunning. I think next time I want to eat a cupcake that I know how much fat/sugar is inside I can just look at these pretty flowers and distract myself from the calorie thoughts that way, yes!

  25. Your photos are amazing!

    I love how much thought you put into creating these. It sounds like a fun project, with a delicious reward at the end.

  26. Patty, these treats look like a small labour of love ;o) You really made these shine, especially to a non-lavender fan like myself.

    I'm so impressed from the thought you put into these all the way to the execution as well as the gorgeuos photo shoot ;o)
    Btw…I had the same reason for not making cupcakes…too much butter and all that sugar…a little too health scary to my culinary senses. I lately did finally come up with a much lighter and less guilty topping which I passed on to a friend for her cupcake making. I have yet to make my own…sigh. Hopefully, one day I too will be satisfied enough to post about it.

    Loved being at your culinary place today Patty ;o)
    Have a wonderful weekend,
    Claudia

  27. Patty, these are truly beautiful. You are very skilled and get better all the time. The icing has done me in. I hope you have a great day. Blessings…Mary

  28. I'm guilty of wanting to eat the whole glob of buttercream off the top of cupcakes. So I try and limit how often I make them. This is a great alternative, I made sugared fruit, probably over ten years ago and didn't do it again because it was a lot of work. Kudos to you for having the patience. Happy Wednesday.
    -Gina-

  29. Funny, you are talking about violas, I have been thinking to cook with flowers lately…those are too cute to be true! and yes it does look like something related to Martha Stewart, simply adorable…

  30. Patty
    those cupcakes are beautiful, your images just jump off the pages! I love how you finished them with that lovely frosting and those candied petals….what a perfect treat! (I think martha would be jealous if she saw these)
    Dennis

  31. i'm all wowed. where shall i start? with those amazing candied flowers? or maybe the lavender icing? or shall I start by saying I love a good fudgy brownie.
    they look perfect.
    thanks for sharing Patty.

  32. Gorgeous cupcake, Patty! Love the lavender icing, and the candied petals:DDD

  33. They are beautiful. Homemade is always better than anything.

  34. I think your cupcakes with the flowers are prettier than some of those fancy schmancy frosted cupcakes. Mother Nature is the best artist. They are lovely.

  35. I love your candied violas! They are such a nice touch to the cupcakes.

  36. Wow! I am really late commenting, but your cupcakes are absolutely drop-dead gorgeous! The striking lavender color against the chocolate and candied flowers have my mouth agape, wishing a cupcake was in front of me to fill it :)

  37. Your first cupcake post is a post to smash all other cupcake posts! Seriously, these are stunning, and look like they belong in Martha Stewart Living.

  38. Where have I been all week!?!?! Eclairs AND cupcakes!? Mom, you really outdid yourself with this one. You have to teach me how to do the flower petals. I LOVE cupcakes and make them all the time, but i've never tried brownie cupcakes. I am a sucker for a cream cheese icing but I may have to start experimenting with different flavors. And have you been reading that book I gave you for Christmas? Your photos are just amazing and it looks like you're using some techniques I saw. Love it!!

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