I made these cupcakes a week ago and took them to the Bastyr Clinic. They were a hit. They have a wonderfully decadent flavor. The combination of chocolate and lavender is fabulous. Enjoy. I iced them with a scrumptuos lavender, lemon, cream cheese frosting. You only need one to feel satisfied because the marriage of flavors.

Chocolate Lavender Cupcakes

Yields 12-14 cupcakes

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2/3 cup hot water
8 tablespoons butter, room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon lavender, crushed (use a mortar and pestle or spice grinder)
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C).
2. Line a cupcake tin with baking cups.
3. In a small bowl, whisk together cocoa powder and hot water. Set aside.
4. In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar.
5. Add eggs, mixing well between each addition.
6. Add vanilla extract and crushed lavender.
7. Slowly add flour, baking powder, salt, and cocoa mixture. Mix until smooth.
8. Fill baking cups 2/3 full with batter and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Lemon-Lavender Cream Cheese Frosting

16 oz softened cream cheese
3 cups powdered sugar
zest of 1 lemon, ground
2 tbsp lemon juice
Lavender Buds to Garnish
Optional: 2 drops of blue food coloring to 1 drop of red coloring to make frosting lavender in color. If you want a darker lavender, continue to add coloring at a 2:1 ratio.

1. While the cupcakes are baking, place cream cheese in a large bowl, and use an electric mixer to beat it until softened.
2. Add powdered sugar, lemon zest, and lemon juice, and continue to beat the mixture until combined. Keep cold until cupcakes are ready to be frosted.
3. Place frosting in a ziplock bag and snip a small part of one of the lower corners (can use a frosting bag as well). Squeeze bag over cupcakes to easily frost.
4. As a garnish, sprinkle lavender buds on top of newly frosted cupcakes. This will also add a burst of lavender flavor to each bite.
5. Freeze any remaining frosting for future use.
6. Keep cupcakes refrigerated until ready to serve.