Here at Style Me Pretty, we’re always on the hunt for fresh, easy and beautiful ways to entertain our nearest and dearest. Which is why we were over the moon upon receiving Sara Roeder’s confection of a photo shoot! The event coordinator’s sweet and simple entertaining philosophy is founded on the notion that one need not be chained to the kitchen in order to host a beautiful event (a kindred spirit if there ever was one!). So with visions of lavender and lilac dancing in her head, Sara set to create a stunning inspirational shoot that could lend itself to any occasion. Add in photographer KT Merry and libations and treats provided by Lila and Sage to the mix, and you’ve got a recipe for success.
As if those cupcakes aren’t gorgeous enough, it gets better. You see, they were made from the very recipe that rendered Karen of Lila and Sage the winner of Food Network’s Cupcake Wars! If you consider yourself a cupcake aficionado (we certainly put ourselves in this category), you simply must try it! Would we ever lead you astray?
Lavender Honey Cupcakes
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups organic honey (or 1 cup baker’s sugar plus 1 cup organic honey)
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup vegetable oil
3 large eggs
2 tablespoons whole fresh edible French lavender flowers
1/4 teaspoon organic lavender oil
Tangerine Vanilla Mascarpone Cream
8 ounces mascarpone
1/4 cup organic honey
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon tangerine juice
1/2 tablespoon tangerine zest
1 tablespoon sanding sugar
1/2 teaspoon tangerine zest
For the cupcakes: Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line 2 cupcake or muffin pans with 18 cupcake liners.
Sift the flour, baking soda and salt into a medium bowl. Cream the honey, buttermilk and vegetable oil until they are immersed together, about 5 minutes, in the bowl of a stand up electric mixer with a paddle attachment. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add each egg one at a time, scraping down the sides after each addition. Turn the mixer on low speed and add the flour mixture about 3/4 cup at a time. Slowly add the lavender flowers and lavender oil to create a smooth batter.
Fill the cupcake liners three-quarters full with the batter and bake until golden brown and baked through, about 30 minutes. Cool the cupcakes completely.
For the tangerine vanilla mascarpone cream: Blend the mascarpone, honey and vanilla by hand, until the cream is smooth and incorporated. Add the juice and zest. Mix for 15 seconds. Put the cream into a 24-inch pastry bag with half of the tip cut off.
Mix together the sanding sugar and tangerine zest.
Pipe the tangerine vanilla mascarpone cream on top of each cooled cupcake. Sprinkle the top with the sanding sugar mixture.
Of course, Sara of Aisle Candy and Karen of Lila and Sage couldn’t stop at simply cupcakes. While Sara designed a jaw-dropping tablescape, Karen concocted an ultra feminine cocktail to match! Here, the gourmand shares Lila and Sage’s signature Lavender Honey Drop libation. And ladies, take it form us – this is one for the books!
Lavender Honey Drop Cocktail
1.5 oz Kettle One Vodka
1 can cold Ginger Ale
A touch of Lavender Simple Syrup (to be made in advance)
Garnish with fresh lavender stalks
To Make Lavender Simple Syrup
Combine 1 1/2 cups honey, 2 cups water and a small handful of dry lavender blossoms in a sauce pan. Simmer until a syrup-consistency is complete, being mindful not to overhead. Make up to four days in advance.