Lavender Buttercream

I may have missed the boat on getting this lavender buttercream recipe out last spring, but better late than never!

This lavender frosting recipe uses a swiss meringue buttercream base. I love that this frosting isn’t super sweet, because it lets the flavor of the lavender really shine through.

It also gives the frosting a fluffy, silky smooth texture that’s wonderful for frosting on cakes and cupcakes.

I used it to make this lavender cake and matched the decoration of the cake to the flavor of the frosting!

image of golden lavender cake cut with slice hovering in the air to show pretty and moist purple cake layers

If you have a huge sweet tooth and are a bigger fan of American buttercream, you can use that as the base in the recipe instead.

How to Incorporate Lavender into this Buttercream

Now the real question is how do you get that wonderful lavender flavor into this frosting??

Incorporating that delicate lavender flavor takes a little bit of work! Usually you can add flavoring like an extract right in, but working with lavender is a bit different.

I’ve found the best way to do this is to steep dried culinary lavender in simmered milk. Once the mixture has sat for about 15 minutes, simply strain the milk with a fine mesh strainer.

image of lavender milk being made to make lavender buttercream

This makes a wonderful and concentrated lavender milk.

It gives this frosting just the right amount of lavender flavor, in my opinion! If you prefer a more intense flavor, you can always steep more lavender in your milk.

Or if you like a subtler flavor, you can steep less lavender or steep the same amount for a shorter period of time.

Coloring Your Lavender Buttercream

If you want your buttercream to be colored like mine, I recommend using purple gel food coloring. Liquid food coloring can work too, but you won’t be able to get as strong of a color.

Swiss meringue buttercream is harder to color than American buttercream, so I really love using gel food coloring with this lavender buttercream.

image of spring easter cake being decorated with lavender buttercream flowers

Gel food coloring is incredibly concentrated, so it allows you to use less. A tiny drop will create a beautiful color.

Substitutions and Swaps

While I love this recipe just the way it is, I know some of you might not have all of these ingredients on hand!

Below are some swaps and substitutions that can be made in this recipe.

image of ingredients laid out to make lavender buttercream frosting

Egg Whites – A great vegan substitute for 1 egg white is two tablespoons of aquafaba (chickpea liquid).

Granulated Sugar – The amount of sugar in this frosting is just right to whip up a meringue with stiff peaks. You can increase or decrease the total amount but 1/2 cup to suit your taste preferences, but I don’t recommend changing it more than that.

Unsalted Butter – If you only have salted butter on hand you can use it in place of the unsalted butter in this recipe. Just be sure to omit the salt that this frosting recipe calls for. You can also use vegan butter or shortening in its place!

Vanilla extract – Other extracts can also be used in place of the vanilla extract like almond extract or lemon extract.

Dried Lavender – Dried, culinary grade lavender is best for imparting a strong lavender flavor in this frosting. However, you can use 3 Tbsp of fresh, organic lavender in its place.

Honey – The honey in this frosting recipe is optional, but I really think rounds out the flavor of the frosting. If you don’t have any on hand, you can just omit it from this recipe.

Tips for Making the Best Lavender Buttercream:

  • If your frosting breaks / curdles, just keep mixing!! It should come back together with the help of your stand mixer. For more troubleshooting tips, check out this post.
  • Traces of grease in your mixing bowl can prevent your meringue from forming stiff peaks. You can wipe down your tools with lemon juice or vinegar to make sure they’re grease-free.
  • Eggs are easiest to separate when they’re cold.
  • Heat your egg white / sugar mixture to 160 degrees F to make the egg whites safe to eat. I like to use a digital thermometer to track the temperature.
  • Whip your meringue until your peaks are stiff enough to defy gravity.
  • Use vanilla bean paste and a good quality honey to really amp up the flavor of this frosting!
  • Make sure your butter is actually at room temp, and add it in slowly (1 Tbsp at a time).
  • Mix your finished buttercream on the lowest speed with a paddle attachment for a few minutes to make it smooth.
  • 1 batch of frosting is enough to fill and frost a seven or eight inch layer cake, or frost about 3 dozen cupcakes.
image of meringue made on a whisk attachment

Making This Lavender Frosting in Advance and Storage Tips:

  • Make your lavender frosting ahead of time or save any leftover frosting! It can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for 1-2 days, in the fridge for up to a week, or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
  • Be sure to give it a good stir once it thaws to room temp to get the consistency nice and smooth again.
  • A frosted cake can last in the fridge for up to a week, or in the freezer for up to a month. The buttercream locks in all the moisture, keeping the cake fresh and delicious!
  • If you cut into the cake and have leftovers, use any remaining frosting to cover the cut section to keep it moist and store in the fridge for up to a week.
image of lavender cake decorated with beautiful lavender buttercream flowers to look like a spring meadow

Let Me Know What You Think!

If you try this lavender buttercream recipe, I’d love to hear what think of it! Please leave a rating, and let me know your thoughts by sharing a comment/

Also please tag me @chelsweets and use the #chelsweets on social media so that I can see your amazing creations!

Other Posts You Might Like:

Yield: 6 cups

Lavender Buttercream

image of lavender layer cake decorated with lavender buttercream to look like a spring meadow

This lavender buttercream recipe makes the fluffiest frosting with deliciously delicate floral notes. It's balance perfectly with a hint of honey!

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes

Ingredients

Lavender Milk

  • 1/4 cup whole milk, room temperature (60 grams)
  • 1 Tbsp dried culinary lavender (3 grams)

Lavender Buttercream Frosting

  • 7 large egg whites, room temperature (235 grams)
  • 2 cups granulated sugar (400 grams)
  • 2 cups unsalted butter, room temperature (454 grams)
  • 1/2 tsp salt (2 grams)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract (8 grams)
  • 2 Tbsp honey (42 grams)
  • 1/4 cup lavender milk, room temperature - recipe above (60 grams)
  • purple gel food coloring (optional)

Instructions

Lavender Milk

  1. Pour 1/4 cup milk into a large saucepan.
  2. Heat over medium heat, until the milk begins to simmer.
  3. Remove the pan from the stove top and add in 1 Tbsp dried lavender.
  4. Let the mixture steep for 15 minutes, then pour the liquid through a strainer into a small bowl.
  5. Set aside to cool completely before using in the frosting.

Lavender Buttercream Frosting:

  1. In a medium sized pot, add about 1 inch of water bring to a simmer.
  2. Before making the frosting, be sure to thorough clean your mixing bowl; if there’s any grease it can make it difficult to make the meringue.
  3. Add 7 egg whites and 2 cups granulated sugar into your clean mixing bowl.
  4. Place the bowl on top of the pot filled with simmering water, being sure the water isn’t actually touching the bottom of your bowl. The bowl should create a seal over the pot.
  5. Whisk the mixture constantly for about 3 minutes, until it reaches 160 degrees F. You can test the mixture to see if it’s ready by rubbing a tiny bit between your fingertips. The sugar should be fully dissolved, and it should feel super smooth and hot to the touch.
  6. Lift your bowl away from the pot, and dry the bottom with a towel.
  7. Lock the bowl into place on your stand mixer, and beat on medium high using a whisk attachment. Mix for about 10 minutes, until you have stiff and glossy peaks.
  8. At this point in time, the bowl should be back to room temperature and no longer warm to the touch. If it’s warm, it will melt your butter!!
  9. Mix in 2 cups unsalted butter at a medium speed, 1 Tbsp at a time.
  10. When all butter is mixed in, scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula.
  11. Add in 1/2 tsp salt, 2 tsp vanilla extract, 1/4 cup lavender milk, 2 Tbsp honey, and a couple drops of purple gel food coloring (if desired). Mix on medium-high until fully incorporated. Set aside.
  12. To make the frosting extra smooth, swap out the whisk attachment for a paddle attachment and continue mixing on a low speed for about couple minutes.
  13. The frosting should have a thick whipped consistency at this point. If it looks lumpy or broken, keep mixing until it looks smooth and thick.

Notes

Yield: 6 cups of frosting

1 batch of frosting is enough to fill and frost a seven or eight inch layer cake, or frost about 3 dozen cupcakes.

Tips for Making the Best Lavender Buttercream:

  • If your frosting breaks / curdles, just keep mixing!! It should come back together with the help of your stand mixer. For more troubleshooting tips, check out this post.
  • Traces of grease in your mixing bowl can prevent your meringue from forming stiff peaks. You can wipe down your tools with lemon juice or vinegar to make sure they’re grease-free.
  • Eggs are easiest to separate when they’re cold.
  • Heat your egg white / sugar mixture to 160 degrees F to make the egg whites safe to eat. I like to use a digital thermometer to track the temperature.
  • Whip your meringue until your peaks are stiff enough to defy gravity.
  • Use vanilla bean paste and a good quality honey to really amp up the flavor of this frosting!
  • Make sure your butter is actually at room temp, and add it in slowly (1 Tbsp at a time).
  • Mix your finished buttercream on the lowest speed with a paddle attachment for a few minutes to make it smooth.

Making This Lavender Frosting in Advance and Storage Tips:

  • Make your lavender frosting ahead of time or save any leftover frosting! It can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for 1-2 days, in the fridge for up to a week, or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
  • Be sure to give it a good stir once it thaws to room temp to get the consistency nice and smooth again.
  • A frosted cake can last in the fridge for up to a week, or in the freezer for up to a month. The buttercream locks in all the moisture, keeping the cake fresh and delicious!
  • If you cut into the cake and have leftovers, use any remaining frosting to cover the cut section to keep it moist and store in the fridge for up to a week.

Nutrition Information

Yield

6

Serving Size

1

Amount Per Serving Calories 857Total Fat 62gSaturated Fat 39gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 20gCholesterol 165mgSodium 277mgCarbohydrates 74gFiber 0gSugar 73gProtein 6g

One thought on “Lavender Buttercream

  1. I love the smell of lavender but somehow can’t get myself to put it in food. Does the lavender when eating it appear stronger than the actual scent or is it milder? On another topic I wanted to ask when you use artificial flowers on a cake the stem is wrapped but does it matter that the actual artificial flower is resting on the cake itself? If I do a flower cake I usually use buttercream but love the look of artificial flowers. Any information would be appreciated.

Let me know what you think!