French lavender is one of my favorite flowers and it has many uses. I love its floral and minty smell, how it tastes in my nighttime tea, and how it flavors both sweet and savory dishes. Lavender is easy to grow in your garden, and it can be a pantry staple. Once you start cooking with it, I can tell you that you will never stop. I recommend growing lavender in your home garden and collecting the fresh, fragrant buds yourself. Not only can you use it for cooking, but you can make your own self-care products with them. You can purchase a herb de Provence seed collection from Amazon for under $25, and it gives you the herbs needed to make herbs de Provence. I prefer to use the French culinary heirloom herb seeds for my garden and my dishes – no offense to English lavender.
Before cooking with lavender, it is important to note that lavender essence grows in intensity as it dries. If you are using dried lavender when the recipe calls for fresh, please only use about 1/3 the amount or else you will end up with a very off-tasting dish.
Moist Lavender-Vanilla Cupcakes
These lavender-vanilla cupcakes really are the best. The cupcakes turn out perfect each time, and the lavender-vanilla flavored buttercream frosting sprinkled with lavender-infused sugar is heavenly.
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
¼ cup cornstarch
1 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp baking soda
½ cup salted butter (I use Kerrygold)
1 cup granulated sugar
3 egg whites (at room temperature)
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
½ teaspoon lavender extract (food grade)
½ cup sour cream (at room temperature)
½ cup whole milk (at room temperature)
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Line your muffin pans with cupcake liners.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, cornstarch, baking soda, and baking powder.
- Next, beat the butter in a high-speed stand mixer for one minute until it is a creamy consistency. Then add the sugar and beat for an additional two minutes. Once complete, scrape the sides of the mixing bowl, and using a spoon, scrape the bottom of the mixing bowl and fold over the batter.
- Set the mixer to medium speed and add the eggs, vanilla, and lavender until combined. Next, add the sour cream.
- Adjust the mixer to low speed and then add the dry ingredients until they are well combined. Once complete, scrape the sides of the mixing bowl, and using a spoon, scrape the bottom of the mixing bowl and fold over the batter.
- Continue mixing the batter at low speed, and then add the milk until it is just combined.
- With the batter, fill each cupcake liner to 2/3 full, and then bake for 20 to 22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cupcake comes out clean.
- Let cool completely before frosting.
1 ½ cups of unsalted butter at room temperature. (I use Kerrygold.)
4 to 5 cups of confectioner’s sugar
2 tsp lavender extract (food grade)
2 tsp vanilla extract
3 to 4 tbsp of heavy cream
1 drop purple food coloring
- In a stand mixer that has been fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the butter on high for 5 minutes or until the color lightens and it is a whipped consistency. If needed, scrape the sides of the mixing bowl.
- Sift 4 to 5 cups of confectioner’s sugar. Reduce the mixer to medium-low speed and add the sugar one tablespoon at a time until it is well incorporated. Scrape the sides of the bowl and the bottom of the mixing bowl and fold over the butter and sugar mixture.
- Add 2 tsp lavender and 2 tsp of vanilla extract and mix until incorporated.
- Add 3 tbsp heavy cream at one tbsp at a time until the desired consistency has been achieved.
- Add the buttercream frosting to a piping bag fitted with your favorite tip. I used a Wilton 1M tip and made a stunning rose design.
- For the final step, dust the cupcake with lavender-infused sugar (directions below).
- 3 tbsp fresh lavender buds
- 1 cup sugar
In a glass mason jar, sprinkle some sugar in the bottom, and then sprinkle a few fresh lavender blossoms on top. Continue to alternate layers until all the sugar and lavender blossoms fill the jar. Shelve the lavender sugar in a cool dry place for about a month shaking the jar every so often. You do not have to remove the lavender buds from the sugar. I keep them in for an added decoration to my baking. Again, if using dried lavender, use just 1 tbsp of lavender buds.
Grilled Lavender-Dijon Lamb Chops
Now for a savory lavender recipe! There really are a lot of delicious savory lavender recipes, but today I chose to grill lavender-Dijon marinated lamb chops; I chose lamb because I love how the lavender pairs perfectly with it.
A chef’s tip for using dried lavender in savory dishes is to lightly toast the lavender in a skillet over medium-high heat to remove the perfumed notes and deepen its intricacy.
- 12, 1 to 1.5-inch bone-in, lamb loin chops
- ½ cup Dijon mustard
- 4 tbs lavender-infused honey (recipe below)
- 2 tbsp olive oil; more for the grill
- 1 lemon juiced (should produce 2 tbsp lemon juice)
- 2 tbsp dried lavender
- 3 tsp fresh rosemary
- 3 tsp fresh thyme
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- In a small mixing bowl, combine the Dijon, honey, olive oil, lemon, lavender, thyme, rosemary, salt and pepper. Mix well.
- Add the lamb chops to a large Ziplock bag, and then pour the mixing bowl ingredients on top of the lamb chops. Seal and refrigerate the lamb chops in the marinade for at least one hour.
- Remove the lamb chops from the refrigerator, and let it sit until it comes back to room temperature.
- I have a Blackstone flat-top grill, so I season (oil) the grill and heat it to medium-high heat.
- Place the lamb chops onto the grill and baste with the marinade.
- Cook until a golden crust forms on the outside of the lamb chops, which is about 3 minutes per side.
- Remove the lamb chops from the grill and marinate the lamb chops again.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit, place the lamb chops on a cooking sheet and cover with aluminum foil. Cook until the lamb’s internal temperature reaches the desired doneness. For medium-rare, cook to 145 degrees Fahrenheit; for medium, cook to 160 degrees Fahrenheit; and for well done, cook to 170 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Remove from heat and let rest for five minutes before serving.
- 12 ounces local honey
- 1 tbsp dried lavender
- Pour the local honey and lavender in a medium saucepan and combine.
- Cook over medium-high heat for about five to eight minutes, stirring constantly.
- Using a strainer, strain the honey mixture into a small mason jar and then let it completely cool.
There you go! One sweet and one savory lavender dish – with a few extra recipes thrown in. I hope you enjoy these lavender recipes as much as I have. Bon appetite!
What are some ways that you use lavender when cooking?