- 2 1/2 cups cake flour
- 8 tablespoons vanilla instant pudding mix
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 5 whole eggs
- 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup milk
- 1/4 cup half-and-half
- 3/4 cup butter
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 3 ounces sour cream
- 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 25 drops lavender liquid herbal extract
- 1/4 teaspoon star anise extract
- 3 drops purple food color gel
- Vegetable oil cooking spray
- Lavender Buttercream, recipe follows
- 48 rice paper feathers, for garnish (see Cook's Note)
- 24 fresh edible lavender flower petals, for garnish
- 24 large candy pearls, for garnish
- Edible glitter
- 4 pounds butter, softened
- 8 ounces high ratio shortening (recommended: Sweetex)
- 8 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
- 4 tablespoons vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons lemon extract
- 3/4 teaspoon anise extract
- 4 tablespoons cherry liqueur
- 1 tablespoons vodka
- 20 drops lavender oil (recommended: Herb Farm)
- 3 to 4 drops purple food color gel
Cook's Note: To make the rice paper feathers, cut out a 2 by 1-inch piece of rice paper. Take each piece and individually cut a tear drop shape. Fray the edges of the tear drop. Sheets of rice paper can be found at specialty food stores.
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Prepare a cupcake pan with 24 cupcake liners.
Combine the flour, pudding mix, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. Crack the eggs into a second bowl and add vanilla extract. Measure the milk and half-and-half into a third bowl. In a 5-quart mixer with the paddle attachment, cream the butter until fluffy. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides using a spatula. Turn the mixer on first speed, add the sugar, and mix until fluffy. Add the eggs 1 at a time. Scrape down the bowl. Add the sour cream and mayonnaise and incorporate completely. Scrape down the bowl. Add the dry ingredients, alternating with the wet. You will start and end with the dry ingredients. Mix the batter until smooth and no lumps are present. Add the extracts and food coloring gel. Mix well using a spatula until all the color is incorporated completely.
Fill the cupcake liners using a 2-ounce scoop. Spray the cupcake pan with the cooking spray this is done after the liners are filled. Bake until golden brown and fluffy, 17 minutes. Let the cupcakes cool completely before decorating.
To assemble: Place a round time #809 into a large piping bag. Fill with Lavender Buttercream and generously pipe onto each cupcake. Garnish each cupcake with 2 rice paper feathers, 1 small fresh lavender petals, and 1 large pearl. Sprinkle with edible glitter.
In a 5-quart mixer with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and shortening together. On first speed, add the sifted powdered sugar to the bowl in 3 parts. Let each part incorporate into the butter mixture before adding the next. After adding all the sugar, put the mixer on the fourth (highest) speed and mix for 8 to 10 minutes. The buttercream will begin to gain volume and look white and fluffy. Once you bring the buttercream to full volume, add the extracts, liqueur, vodka, and lavender oil and incorporate completely. Add purple food color to desired shade.
Cook's Note: The longer you let it mix, the more volume you will have. If the buttercream is airy and shows a lot of holes, add a small amount of warm water and mix well.