Lemon-Lavender Cupcakes

Lemon-Lavender Cupcakes

Recently, I joined Young Living to enjoy the benefits of essential oils. One of the exciting parts of Young Living is the Vitality line, a group of essential oils that can be taken internally.

As soon as I received lemon and lavender essential oils, my mind jumped back to a great time in my life working with a wonderful baker. Just for fun one day, she created lemon-lavender cupcakes, and I couldn’t believe how tasty they were. I had never even thought about eating lavender, but the combination with lemon created a beautifully aromatic and delicious dessert.x

I was looking for a recipe that would be easiest for a busy mom with multiple jobs, and after a quick Google, I found the fancy version to base my recipe. This recipe is perfect for anyone jumping from project to project and looking to fill all extra moments with something productive.

Lemon Cupcakes – What You’ll Need

1 Vanilla Cake Mix (with whatever ingredients the mix calls for)

3 Drops of Young Living Lemon Vitality Essential Oil

Zest of 2 Lemons

Lavender Buttercream – What You’ll Need

2 Sticks of Butter (Room-Temp)

3 1/2 to 4  Cups of Powdered Sugar

1 Teaspoon of Vanilla Extract

1 Tablespoon of Milk or Cream (If Necessary)

3 Drops of Young Living Lavender Vitality Essential Oil

1 Drop of Purple Food Coloring: I carefully used red and blue to make the lightest purple

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 350ºF and line your cupcake pan with liners.

Put together the cake mix based on the directions to the box, but as a last step to fancy up the cupcakes, add 3 drops of YL lemon and the zest of two lemons.

After filling your cupcake tins about 2/3rds the way full, bake them based on the directions for the cake mix. I always watch my cupcakes closely because my oven is a tricky one. I usually rotate the pan halfway through to ensure even temp.

Now, it’s time to create your lavender buttercream. There are plenty of in-depth ways to make exceptional buttercream, but I went with the easiest recipe to keep the process fun for me in this busy season of life.

Using a mixer, whip your butter until it is fluffy; and then, gradually add your powdered sugar a cup or so at a time, mixing well. Add the vanilla extract and mix again. Checking the consistency of your frosting, add a tablespoon of milk if the frosting is too stiff; or add small amounts of powdered sugar if your frosting is too soft. Next, add 3 drops of lavender oil. Last step is to add your food coloring. I went for as little coloring as possible to keep the cupcakes looking more natural (if that’s a thing a cupcake can be!) and light.

After your cupcakes have cooled completely, you can pipe or spread your buttercream on. You’re done! You did it! You made some fancy cupcakes, and no one has to know you didn’t slave away all morning. Feel free to garnish the top with more lemon zest or culinary lavender if you would like. Play around with the recipe and see what works best for you.

 

Canvas Painting with Baby

I’ve been looking for a craft to do with baby that includes painting, but I didn’t want it to turn into a purple-gray mix of colors. My solution is a painted canvas by layering colors.

1st- Create your non-toxic paint. I chose the recipe below because I didn’t have any cornstarch. I added about a half cup more water because the original recipe is pretty thick. Even with the extra water, there wasn’t any splashing!

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I also got out some acrylic paint for the words I painted on after baby was done.

Edible Non-Toxic Paints for Baby

Then, set up your canvas. You’ll need a small canvas to do the project the way I did. I added some masking tape, which creates some neat lines in case you’d like to add some text afterward.

Canvas with masking tape for clean areas.

Set up the highchair for painting by covering with an old table cloth or sheet. Dress baby in junk clothing or make a cute smock from an old shirt. You might want to get a sippy ready, because baby will most likely try to taste the paint, which is super salty! Yuck!

Pour a few spoon fulls of the first color on the high chair tray.

Baby painting with non-toxic paint

After baby has played in each layer of paint, press your canvas on the tray to pick up the pattern baby made. Rubbing hard on the back of the canvas gives the best results. Then, clean the tray and baby’s hands a bit, so as not to mix colors. After baby finishes with all colors, you’ll have something that looks like this:

Non-Toxic Painting with Kids

You can flatten the texture with a brush if you’d like, but I didn’t want to change baby’s original design too much. If you added tape, remove it, and you’ll end up with some area to work your own magic. Choose a quote or a pattern to paint in the blank space.

Painting with Baby

Let the canvas dry; and then, write baby’s name and age on the back of the canvas. This idea will make a great gift for aunts, uncles, grandmas and grandpas. You could use red and pink for a sweet Valentine’s Day gift. Go wild!

Edible Paint

Upscaling Baby Food Jars: Ornaments

With my first baby switching to solids, I wondered what to do with all of these adorable baby food jars. I don’t like throwing things away that might be re-purposed, so here’s how to create an ornament from a baby food jar:

1. Find a cute baby to eat the food:
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I know she’s not eating the food in the photo, but she’s so dang cute, I wanted to take another photo!

2. Wash jars and remove the label and adhesive.

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The adhesive can be difficult to remove, but I found that WD-40 and an old dish cloth will do the job. Then, just give the jar another quick wash and set out to dry. Once they dry, you may have to polish out a few water spots with a dry or slightly-damp cloth.

3. Punch a hole in your baby food lids, from the top to keep the sharp metal parts on the inside. Use a hammer and nail or whatever you’d prefer.

4. Spray paint the lids. You can use any color and any type of spray paint, but I opted for glossy black paint that adheres well to metal. It’ll most likely take two coats. Let dry a day or so in between layers of paint. Paint indoors if possible (if it’s cold out), and bring your project inside asap to keep the paint from freezing.

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5. Add some ribbon as your ornament hanger. I looped it, pushed the loop through the top of the lid, and tied a knot underneath. I cut off the extra. If you push the ribbon through from the bottom, you risk fraying it with the sharp metal around the hold. If you come up with a good way to flatten it- go for it!

6. Add some glitter! My sister and I added some glitter to make things extra festive.

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7. Have your photos printed 300 ppi and about 2 inch by 2 inch. You can fit 6 on a 4x6inch photo. If you want your photos to sit straight up in the ornament, have them printed a little smaller.

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Print two so you can glue them back to back before placing them into the jar. I chose black & white photos so that they would look nice no matter the ribbon or glitter I added.

8. Slip in your photos and add some glitter to create a snowglobe effect.

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9. Screw on your lid and hang on the tree! You’ll have a sweet, personalized gift for grandparents and aunts/uncles that is super cheap and recycles something that belongs to baby.

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Leave a reply with your ideas!