This lavender buttercream frosting is silky smooth and has a delicious floral flavor. It is delicately flavored with lavender extract and adds the perfect fragrant touch to your Spring cakes and cupcakes!
Lavender is the perfect herbal, floral flavor for Spring. It's romantic, fresh, and perfect used in baked goods for events like weddings, bridal showers, date nights, and picnics. This lavender buttercream frosting is creamy, fluffy, and perfect to frost cupcakes, fill sandwich cookies, and more.
Lavender is a strong flavor that's easy to go overboard with. Add too much and your baked goods will taste like soap! That's not the case with this buttercream. The lavender is used delicately for the best sweet, floral flavor.
Why You'll Love This
- Lavender frosting- This is an American buttercream frosting that isn't too sweet. It's delicious used in lavender macarons, earl grey lavender cakes, and more.
- Lavender extract- The frosting is made with lavender extract instead of lavender milk (milk simmered with dried lavender flowers). Using extract sparingly gives an equally natural flavor and makes this recipe quick and easy!
- Fool-proof buttercream- This recipe uses pantry staples you probably already have. Follow my top tips and you'll have perfect, fluffy buttercream every time!
Here are some notes about the ingredients used. For quantities, see the recipe card below.
- Butter- Use softened unsalted butter. Pull it out of the refrigerator an hour before you start.
- Salt- Finely ground sea salt balances the flavors so the frosting isn't cloyingly sweet.
- Lavender extract- This recipe uses lavender extract instead of culinary lavender (food-safe fresh or dried lavender buds and stems). Because of this, there are no extra steps like steeping lavender flowers or making lavender syrup! Use a high quality lavender extract or lavender paste; do NOT use lavender essential oil.
- Vanilla extract- Vanilla combined with the lavender mellows the flavor so it isn't too strong. Vanilla bean paste also works.
- Powdered sugar- Adds structure and sweetness to buttercream. You don't need to sift it beforehand!
- Heavy cream- Add heavy cream to customize the consistency of the buttercream. The amount you use depends on if you'll be piping the frosting or using it as a glaze or icing.
- Food coloring (optional)- Use a few drops of red and blue or purple food coloring if desired. Both liquid and gel food coloring work, but gel yields the most vibrant color. If you prefer natural food dye, a few tablespoons of blackberry or blueberry juice is a good substitute.
- Butter: Salted butter can be used; just omit the additional salt. Vegan buttery sticks work for a vegan option.
- Powdered sugar: Use powdered monk fruit sweetener for a sugar free option.
- Heavy cream: Whole milk or half and half can be swapped in for heavy cream. Non-dairy milks like oat and almond milk work too.
Helpful Equipment and Tools
For the best results, I recommend using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. You can use the whisk attachment if you like a super fluffy buttercream. If you don't have a stand mixer, an electric hand mixer and a large mixing bowl will work just fine.
Step by Step Instructions
STEP 1: Cream the butter. First, add the softened butter and salt to a large bowl. Then, beat on high for 6-8 minutes with a hand mixer or stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until smooth and creamy. Stop and scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
STEP 2: Add the lavender and vanilla. Mix the lavender and vanilla extract in on low until well incorporated.
STEP 3: Add the powdered sugar. Beat in the powdered sugar 1 cup at a time on low for 3 minutes per cup or until smooth.
STEP 4: Add the heavy cream. Mix in 1-2 tablespoons of cream until the desired consistency is reached. Then, add in your food coloring if desired.
STEP 5: Enjoy! Store the lavender buttercream in an airtight container in the refrigerator or use it immediately to decorate cakes, cupcakes, cookies, macarons, and more.
- Use room temperature butter and cream. Using room temperature ingredients prevents the buttercream from curdling or breaking. Room temperature butter should be firm but will indent easily if you press your finger into it. If your finger feels very greasy after touching the butter, it’s too warm.
- Cream the butter before adding the sugar. Make sure the butter is smooth before adding the sugar. Adding the sugar too soon can result in chunky frosting.
- Don't use too much liquid. Using too much heavy cream or blueberry juice (for color) can cause the buttercream to break. Use gel food coloring if you want a vibrant purple color instead of a light pinky-purple.
Additions and Variations
- Add ¼ teaspoon of lemon extract, orange extract, or lemon zest for a citrusy twist.
- Swirl a little honey into the buttercream for extra sweetness.
- Add ¼ teaspoon of peppermint extract for more of an herbal flavor.
Storage and Freezing
Storage: Store the buttercream in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Before storing, place a piece of plastic wrap over it to prevent a crust from forming. Alternatively, wrap the frosting tightly in plastic wrap instead of storing in a container.
Freezing: Lavender buttercream can be frozen for up to 3 months! Seal tightly in plastic wrap or place in a zip top bag in the freezer.
To thaw, remove the buttercream from the freezer and thaw at room temperature for 2-3 hours, leaving it loosely wrapped. Beat or stir it before using to make sure it's smooth and use as normal.
Make ahead: You can make buttercream ahead of time for birthdays or other events and celebrations. It can be stored in the fridge if it’s a week out.
Frequently Asked Questions
This lavender buttercream recipe makes enough to frost about 12 cupcakes or 1 small, 6-inch cake.
If your buttercream curdles or splits, the butter was probably too cold. You can wrap the bowl in a hot towel for a few minutes or let the bowl sit to come to room temperature. Also try continuing to beat the buttercream since it'll warm up as it's mixed.
The butter was either too warm or you are using too much butter. Try mixing in a little more powdered sugar until the consistency looks right.
More Frosting and Filling Recipes to Try
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Lavender Buttercream Frosting
- 1 mixer stand mixer or electric hand mixer
- Using your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or electric hand mixer, cream the butter and salt on high for 5-8 minutes until it is pale and fluffy.½ cup unsalted butter, ⅛ teaspoon salt
- Stop the mixer, scrape down the sides of the bowl, and then mix in the lavender and vanilla extracts on low.2 teaspoon lavender extract, ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Beat in 1 cup powdered sugar on low for 3 minutes and then beat in another cup for 3 more minutes.2 cups powdered sugar
- Mix in the cream 1 teaspoon at a time until the desired consistency is reached.1-2 tablespoon heavy cream
- Mix in 2 tablespoons of blueberry juice or a few drops of purple food coloring if desired. Pipe and enjoy!Purple food coloring or blueberry juice