I don’t think I ever truly appreciated all flowers until I had kids.
Sure, roses are beautiful, orchids sophisticated, a large bank of tulips in the spring is like a breath of fresh air after a long winter.
But it was not until my daughter came teetering up to me with a bright bouquet of dandelions clasped in her chubby toddler hand, exclaiming with a burst of joy and pride “For you!” had I ever been so stirred by flowers.
That first bouquet sat proudly one my table in a vase, and every bouquet of dandelions, daises and wild day lilies since. They are all a cherished gift, proudly displayed until the blooms fade.
I am pretty sure all children most likely pick these same flowers for Mom at some point. These simple heartfelt bouquets inspired my cupcake decorations for Mother’s day.
Usually thought of as a weed in lawns, wild violets adorn these lemon cupcakes. These small dainty flowers are totally edible, and have a sweet taste.
It’s picking wildflowers for mom, all grown up.
Lemon Cupcakes Decorated with Wild Violets
- 3 cups self-rising flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup unsalted butter, at room
- 2 cups white sugar
- 4 eggs, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons lemon zest
- 1 cup whole milk, divided
- 2 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice,
- 3 tablespoons butter, softened
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Milk, as needed
- 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest/peel
- Freshly picked wild violets, if desired
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Line 30 cupcake pan cups with paper liners.
- Sift the self-rising flour and salt together in a bowl.
- In another bowl, beat the unsalted butter and sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.
- Beat in the eggs one at a time, beating each egg until incorporated before adding the next. Mix in the vanilla extract and lemon zest.
- Gently beat the flour mixture into the butter mixture, one third at a time, alternating with half the milk and half the lemon juice after each of the first 2 additions of flour. Beat until just combined; do not over mix.
- Fill the prepared cupcake liners with batter 3/4 full, and bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 17 minutes.
- Let the cupcakes cool in the pans for about 10 minutes before removing them to finish cooling on a rack.
To make the icing
- In a medium bowl, beat the butter, powdered sugar and lemon juice together until light and fluffy, about 1-2 minutes with an electric mixer. Mix in the vanilla and add 1-2 teaspoons of milk to adjust the consistency, if necessary. It should be creamy and spreadable. Stir in the 1 teaspoon lemon zest.
- Drop a tablespoon or two of the frosting on each cupcake and spread until smooth. Top with a few wild violets if desired.
by Jennifer Morrisey