I am in awe of those who can decorate beautiful cupcakes. Me? I neither have the artistic flair nor a steady hand. So when I make cupcakes I like to ensure that what they lack in the looks department, they make up for in flavour. And these candied orange and lavender cupcakes are no exception.
I love to use lavender in my baking as it is always plentiful in the garden. Like my artistic skills, my green fingers are somewhat non-existent but through drought, flood or snow (yes, we have had snow in Johannesburg this year – only a tiny bit but still snow), the lavender bushes grow unabated.
I am not one for shop bought citrus peel but the homemade candied peel in this recipe is a revelation. It is so quick and easy, I guarantee once you have made it, you will never buy the packet stuff again. Another stroke of genius is the layer of slightly bitter chocolate icing underneath the orange buttercream. It offsets the sweetness of the buttercream perfectly and means these cupcakes are not sickly but utterly moreish, light and delicious.