Vegan Lemon Lavender Cupcakes

vegan lemon lavender cupcakes with vegan lemon buttercream frosting
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Nothing says spring like a delicious lemon cupcake, with just the right hint of lavender. These cupcakes are the perfect combination of moist and fluffy, with a deliciously decadent lemon flavor.

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My baby girl is turning two- and we’re finally having a party to celebrate our covid baby. In attendance will be people allergic to dairy and gluten, so I started playing with recipes for the party desserts. My mother and step father are obsessed with lemon desserts, so I really wanted to develop an allergy safe lemon cupcake. From my time living in France, I’ve been obsessed with lavender in all food and drink… so naturally I decided to add a twist to the lemon cupcakes. The lavender is very subtle, and these fantastic cupcakes were kid approved- 3 out of 3! I am happy to report that these cupcakes will be on the dessert menu for the birthday party!

The secret to this vegan cupcake being so moist and fluffy is the ‘buttermilk’. The buttermilk is created by combining apple cider vinegar with oat milk, and allowing to sit and ferment. The buttermilk is so magical because it provides a dual purpose: 1) the fermented oat milk reacts well with leavening agents (think baking soda and baking powder) to help the cupcakes rise and retain a fluffy texture; and 2) it adds some extra moisture without weighing the cake down and making them too dense. The use of buttermilk becomes a great egg substitute while also providing the moisture typically provided with milk.

The first step is to make the ‘buttermilk’. Combine the apple cider vinegar with the oat milk and set aside for a least 5 minutes. While the buttermilk is resting, sift together the dry ingredients in a large bowl. When measuring out the oat flour, make sure to spoon into the measuring cup rather than scoop- otherwise you’ll end up with too much flour and a very dense cupcake. Set the dry ingredients aside. In a small food processor, blend the sugar, lemon zest and lavender buds and blend until fine. For this type of job, I find the magic bullet to be the easiest option with simple clean up. Set the sugar mixture aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, oil and vanilla with the buttermilk. Mix in the sugar combination. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir with a baking spatula until just combined. Spoon the batter into lined cupcake tins, filling 3/4 full. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-22 minutes.

Allow the cupcakes to cool, then prepare the lemon buttercream frosting. In a stand mixer, whisk the dairy free butter until creamy. Beat in the lemon juice. Beat in the powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time. After each cup of sugar, add in 1 tablespoon of oat milk; continue to beat and alternately add sugar and oat milk until you reach the consistency and flavor profile that you like. For instance, I prefer the frosting to be less sweet and use only 2 cups of powdered sugar, whereas my husband would go for the full 4 cups- it’s really dependent on your taste. But the frosting should be thick and forming peaks to ensure that it holds it’s shape when piped onto the cupcake. At this point, also taste and add in any additional lemon juice, if desired. Once frosted, sprinkle a pinch of lavender buds on top of each cupcake and serve.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links

Yield: 12 cupcakes

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 20 minutes

Lemon Lavender Cupcake Ingredients

For the cupcakes:

  • 1-1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 3/4 cup GF oat milk, room temperature
  • 1-3/4 cup GF oat flour
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon dried lavender buds (plus more for garnish)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest (~2 lemons)
  • 1/3 cup oil (I used avocado, but coconut or vegetable would work too)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice (fresh, ~2 lemons)

For the lemon buttercream frosting:

  • 1/2 cup vegan butter or shortening, room temperature
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2-4 cups powdered sugar
  • 2-3 tablespoons GF oat milk

Lemon Lavender Cupcake Instructions

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees and line you cupcake tin with muffin liners. set aside
  2. Prepare the ‘buttermilk’. Combine the apple cider vinegar with the oat milk and set aside for a least 5 minutes.
  3. While the buttermilk is resting, sift together the dry ingredients in a large bowl (flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt). When measuring out the oat flour, make sure to spoon into the measuring cup rather than scoop. Set the dry ingredients aside.
  4. In a small food processor, blend the sugar, lemon zest and lavender buds and blend until fine.
  5. In a medium bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, oil and vanilla with the buttermilk. Mix in the sugar combination. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir with a baking spatula until just combined. Spoon the batter into lined cupcake tins, filling 3/4 full. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-22 minutes.
  6. Allow the cupcakes to cool completely before frosting them.
  7. Prepare the buttercream frosting: In a stand mixer, whisk the dairy free butter until creamy. Beat in the lemon juice. Beat in the powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time. After each cup of sugar, add in 1 tablespoon of oat milk; continue to beat and alternately add sugar and oat milk until you reach the consistency and flavor profile that you like. The frosting should be thick and forming peaks to ensure that it holds it’s shape when piped onto the cupcake. Taste the frosting and add in any additional lemon juice, if desired.
  8. Once frosted, sprinkle a pinch of lavender buds on top of each cupcake and serve.

Happy allergy friendly baking!

vegan lemon lavender cupcakes

Did you make these lemon lavender cupcakes? Tag me on Instagram- I love to see your creations. Don’t forget to comment and let me know how your cupcakes turned out!

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