Lavender Vanilla Cupcakes with Blood Orange Glaze

Happy birthday to me!

Lavender Vanilla Cupcakes with Blood Orange Glaze | CaliGirlCooking.com

That’s right, it’s my birthday! The big 3-2 to be exact (ugh) but hey, at least I’m celebrating with Lavender Vanilla Cupcakes with Blood Orange Glaze! And for someone that didn’t even plan what she wanted to do to celebrate until, ohhhhh, last week (thanks to lots of pressure from my hubs and friends,) I’d say we’re off to a pretty good start.


(I’m clearly on a big lavender kick right now – did you catch the Spiked Lavender Lemonade I posted on Friday? So refreshing and tasty!)

Lavender Vanilla Cupcakes with Blood Orange Glaze | CaliGirlCooking.com

Is it just me, or is your 32nd birthday just sort of “meh?” I mean, I certainly went all out for the big 3-0, and might find some inspiration when I hit number 35, but it seems like all of the birthdays in between those milestones kind of just come and go without much pomp and circumstance. Especially when your birthday falls on a Wednesday, how un-fun is that?

So, after I kept getting nagged about what I wanted to do to celebrate, and after avoiding the question for as long as I could, I finally decided I wanted to keep it casual with Happy Hour at our local waterfront bar/restaurant, and let friends and family stop by whenever they wanted.  We celebrated with our parents this past weekend, and if you ask me, that’s all this gal needs to celebrate another trip around the sun!

Lavender Vanilla Cupcakes with Blood Orange Glaze | CaliGirlCooking.com

To be honest, I first made these Lavender Vanilla Cupcakes with Blood Orange Glaze a few weeks ago, when I decided it was high time for me to add another cupcake recipe to this here blog. It has, after all, been almost exactly one year since I posted the only other cupcake recipe on this site – these Chocolate Stout Cupcakes with Irish Cream Buttercream – which BTW would be perfect for you to whip up for St. Patrick’s Day on Friday!

I was trying to decide what flavor I wanted to make my cupcakes this time around, and remembered I had a big jar of culinary grade lavender that my parents had given me a while back. We all know that culinary grade lavender isn’t exactly something you reach for in your pantry on the reg, so it had been sitting in there practically untouched ever since I got it. I knew it would be perfect to integrate into a spring-friendly cupcake, but that it might need a little assistance from some other amazing flavors to keep it from tasting too much like soap (side note – this can easily happen if you use your lavender in the wrong context, like adding lavender syrup to your brewed coffee, don’t do it.)

Lucky for us, vanilla is a great complimentary flavor for lavender, and also perfect in cupcakes! I’ve talked about it before, but I swear by this creamy vanilla bean paste that I order on Amazon. It’s a little pricy, but you get a HUGE bottle and it lasts for such a long time! I highly recommend you order some if you bake nearly as much as I do.

Lavender Vanilla Cupcakes with Blood Orange Glaze | CaliGirlCooking.com

With all of the soft, floral notes I was going for in the cupcakes, I knew I wanted a stark contrast in flavors for the frosting. I happened to still have quite a few blood oranges on hand from my winter stockpile, so instead of a buttercream or whipped cream frosting, I decided to top the cakes with a tart, blood orange glaze.

Turns out, my instincts were spot on and these cupcakes turned out perfectly balanced yet full of flavor. They’re also not overly sweet, which means you could totally get away with calling them muffins and eating them for breakfast. It’s my birthday after all, so I give you full permission. Cheers to another year and thanks for celebrating with me!

Lavender Vanilla Cupcakes with Blood Orange Glaze | CaliGirlCooking.com

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Lavender Vanilla Cupcakes with Blood Orange Glaze | CaliGirlCooking.com
Print
Lavender Vanilla Cupcakes with Blood Orange Glaze
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
25 mins
Total Time
40 mins
 

Light and fluffy cupcakes filled with the delicate flavors of lavender and vanilla, perfectly contrasted by a tart blood orange glaze. 

Course: Dessert
Servings: 12 cupcakes
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
For the cupcakes:
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons culinary lavender, ground (I used a mortar and pestle for this)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
For the glaze:
  • 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1/4 cup fresh blood orange juice
  • 4 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray a cupcake pan with nonstick cooking spray and set aside. 

  2. In a large mixing bowl, beat together the sugar, milk, butter, eggs, yogurt and vanilla until combined. 

  3. In a separate mixing bowl, combine the flour, lavender, baking soda and salt, then add this mixture to the wet mixture, beating until just combined. 

  4. Using a 1/3 cup measure, scoop batter into cupcake pans. Bake in 350 degree oven for 20-25 minutes. Let cool completely before topping with the glaze. 

  5. While waiting for the cupcakes to cool, make the glaze. In a medium mixing bowl, beat together all of the glaze ingredients until smooth and no lumps remain. 

  6. Once cupcakes are cool, spoon glaze evenly over cupcake tops. Let glaze dry completely before serving. 

Lavender Vanilla Cupcakes with Blood Orange Glaze | CaliGirlCooking.com

Cranberry Chocolate Chunk Muffins with Chocolate Streusel

Are we ready to think about something other than turkey yet?

Cranberry Chocolate Chunk Muffins with Chocolate Streusel | CaliGirlCooking.com

I know, I know, I’m jumping the gun a bit seeing as Thanksgiving isn’t until tomorrow, but I bet you’ve already got the prep of your bird well under way, potatoes ready for mashing, and pumpkin pies baking in the oven. Time to start thinking about meals for the rest of the weekend, am I right?


We all know that the eating frenzy that is known as Thanksgiving does not end on Thursday night. No, no, no, it runs straight through Friday, Saturday and Sunday, whether you’re crazy enough to hit the Black Friday sales or digging out your Christmas decorations. Which is why we need something like these Cranberry Chocolate Chunk Muffins with Chocolate Streusel in our arsenal. A quick, easy, tasty breakfast loaded with a double dose of chocolate? I like it. I like it a lot.

Cranberry Chocolate Chunk Muffins with Chocolate Streusel | CaliGirlCooking.com

We’re heading up to the Bay Area tonight, so I’ve spent the last couple of days cooking up whatever we’d be able to transport easily. The hubs and I are lucky that we can drive to our Thanksgiving destination, so we usually load a cooler or two in the car with treats that we’ve made to help take some of the cooking pressure off of our parents. This time around, I’m bringing up some Sweet Potato Casserole Babka, a delicious Pumpkin-Walnut Pate I just whipped up (recipe coming to the blog soon!), Jessica’s White Cheddar, Toasted Almond and Crispy Sage Cheese Ball, and of course some of these Cranberry Chocolate Chunk Muffins with Chocolate Streusel!

Let me tell you a little bit about these muffins, because they are (sing it with me) “FAAAB-U-LOUSSS!!” They also happen to be the very first muffin recipe I’ve posted on this here blog. Can you believe it? I can’t, seeing as muffins (specifically, muffin tops) are one of my favorite types of baked goods. I kid you not, I’m that gal who will go buy a muffin strictly for its huge, crunchy top and discard the rest. My own special kind of balance, I guess?

The great news about these muffins, though, is that you are going to want to eat the whole. entire. thing. How can you not when they are laced with huge chocolate chunks, fresh cranberries, and an oh-so-perfect hint of orange? Um, yea, did I mention they’re also topped with the crunchiest, chocolatey-est chocolate streusel of all time?

Cranberry Chocolate Chunk Muffins with Chocolate Streusel | CaliGirlCooking.com

Quick confession: I actually used the chocolate streusel recipe from this Pumpkin Chocolate Crumb Cake by Hungry Girl Por Vida, and just cut it in half to use on the muffins. I’ve made this Crumb Cake two years in a row (a rare feat in the life of a food blogger) and it is soooo delicious. I especially love that it involves both cocoa powder AND chocolate chunks, so you get a double dose of that rich flavor. I knew it would be the perfect accessory for muffins already laced with chocolate chunks and cranberries.

The batter comes together quickly and easily, with all of the basic ingredients. And although I used fresh cranberries in this recipe, you could easily sub in frozen, as sometimes those are a bit easier to come by.

These Cranberry Chocolate Chunk Muffins with Chocolate Streusel are truly so delicious and the perfect precursor to a day of chopping down your Christmas tree or watching football and chowing on leftovers. They’re also the perfect way to segue into the Christmas season, because Christmas means all things cranberry and chocolate, right?

Cranberry Chocolate Chunk Muffins with Chocolate Streusel | CaliGirlCooking.com

One final note: these muffins are perfect candidates for a little freezer action. Just be sure to freeze them in a solid container (and then transfer to something like a Ziploc if necessary afterwards) so as not to lose all of that delicious chocolate crumble on top!

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m hoping to start my holiday weekend a little early with a lunch date with my honey. I hope you all have a very Happy Thanksgiving, full of quality time with friends, family and other loved ones. In a time of such political upheaval and uncertainty, it’s important to remember all that we have to be thankful for! XO

Cranberry Chocolate Chunk Muffins with Chocolate Streusel | CaliGirlCooking.com

Cranberry Chocolate Chunk Muffins with Chocolate Streusel | CaliGirlCooking.com
Print
Cranberry Chocolate Chunk Muffins with Chocolate Streusel
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
25 mins
Total Time
40 mins
 

A festive muffin for holiday breakfasts, loaded with chocolate chunks, fresh cranberries and topped with a double chocolate streusel!

Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Servings: 12 muffins
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
For the chocolate streusel:
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped semisweet chocolate
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons chilled butter, cubed
For the muffins:
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter softened to room temperature
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk (okay to use almond milk or other milk alternative)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground clove
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup chopped fresh (or frozen) cranberries
  • 3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chunks
Instructions
  1. First, make the chocolate streusel. In a small mixing bowl, combine all streusel ingredients. Blend using fingers (or a pastry blender) until mixture resembles wet sand and butter is at least in pea size chunks. Set aside.

  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with liners or spray with cooking spray and set aside. 

  3. Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and both sugars together until mixture is light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Slowly add in the eggs, milk, vanilla and orange zest until well combined. Set aside. 

  4. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flours, baking powder, spices and salt. Add these dry ingredients to the wet ingredients in the stand mixer and mix on medium speed until combined. Gently fold in the cranberries and chocolate chunks. 

  5. Scoop batter into prepared muffin tin, filling each cup about ¾ of the way up. Top each muffin with a generous amount of streusel.

  6. Bake in 350 degree oven for 23-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the muffins comes out clean. Let cool for 10 minutes in pan before turning out onto a rack to cool completely. 

Recipe Notes

Streusel recipe from Hungry Girl Por Vida’s Pumpkin Chocolate Crumb Cake.

Cranberry Chocolate Chunk Muffins with Chocolate Streusel | CaliGirlCooking.com

 

Breakfast never looked so good.