Maybe it’s to make up for the utter lack of spring we had in the northeast last year, but it has been an incredibly mild winter. And I’m surely not complaining! Two days ago on my walk home from work, it was so warm that I got frozen yogurt! At night! In February!
In the spirit of this joyous and unexpected warmth in the depths of winter, I set out to make these beautiful Spring Cupcakes from Martha Stewart. I had seen them in my cupcake cookbook long ago and fallen in love with their exquisite elegance. I decided that I was going to put them aside and make them when my friend Rocio got engaged, because a) they are so pretty, perfect for an engagement, b) purple is Rocio’s favorite color and c) they’re kind of complicated so they called for a special occasion. But she is taking an awfully long time to get engaged. It’s so annoying when other people don’t plan their major life decisions around my cupcake-baking schedule.
I was beginning to despair that these cupcakes would ever get made when I got a message from my friend Sarah – she was having a Downton Abbey-themed birthday party, and all were welcome to bring baked goods! I could totally picture the Crawley sisters nibbling on these cupcakes and – added bonus! – purple is Sarah’s favorite color too! So I set to work, feeling rather like Mrs. Patmore and wishing I had a scullery maid to yell at. The brownie base was straightforward enough, and sooo tasty, although the tops were not quite as flat as I had hoped. I found the lavender for the icing at Fairway. Maybe I didn’t steep it for long enough, or maybe I don’t know what lavender is supposed to taste like, but I thought the frosting mostly tasted like milk and confectioner’s sugar. I was also having trouble getting it to not run off the sides and create unsightly rivulets (Mr. Carson would not approve). What I ultimately ended up doing was pouring on spoonfuls of icing from the Pyrex cup and then holding the cupcake over it, rotating so that any extra icing ran off back into the cup. You can do this a few times over if you want a nice thick layer of icing.
The edible flowers are what makes this recipe complicated, so I took the easy way out and just bought some sugar flowers instead of candying pansies or whatever the hell Martha wants you to do. Guess I’ll save that task for when Rocio gets engaged. You can find the recipe here.