Friday, February 24, 2012

Mini Chamomile Cakes with Honey Frosting for the Joy the Baker Cookbook Spotlight and Cookoff

The most difficult thing about baking these delicate Mini Chamomile Cakes with Honey Frosting, one of the Week 2 recipe choices for the Joy the Baker Cookbook Spotlight and Cookoff, is that much like last weeks brownies, they are not on my Engine 2 Challenge. (Vegan, no oil for 28 days--just four days left to go!) I did savor one mini cake in the name of both science and of honest cookbook reviewing, and they are lovely. The rest of the batch went into a container to give away ASAP tomorrow to some cupcake-loving friends.

Joy says, "What's not included in the directions to this recipe is this stellar "pro" tip. Wash your face with fancy-smelling soap and put on a fancy smelling face mask. Prepare cupcakes according to the directions. Bake cupcakes. Put on lip gloss. Feel utterly pretty. These tender little lady-cakes were inspired by The hummingbird Bakery Cookbook and are delicate and beautifully scented. Serve to lady friends with tea."

Mini Chamomile Cakes with Honey Frosting
From Joy the Baker Cookbook by Joy Wilson
(Makes 12 Mini Cakes or Cupcakes)

For the cakes:
4 Tbsp (1/2 stick) butter
1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
pinch of salt
3 Tbsp dried chamomile (from tea bags)
1/2 cup milk
1 large egg
1 tsp pure vanilla extract

For the frosting:
2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1 Tbsp honey
6 Tbsp heavy cream
pinch of salt

Cakes: Place a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat to 325 degrees F. Line a cupcake pan with paper or foil liners and set aside. You can also grease and flour the cupcake pans and not use any liners.

Cream together butter, flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and chamomile leaves. The mixture will be slightly coarse and sandy when mixed for several minutes. Whisk together milk, egg, and vanilla. Pour half of the milk mixture into the flour mixture with the mixer on medium-low speed. Beat until just incorporated. Pour in the remaining milk mixture, and turn mixer up to medium. Beat for 1 minute, until well blended.

Divide the batter between the prepared cupcake cups. There isn't a lot of batter, so you'll only fill the liners up about halfway. You'll also need a spatula to scrape the bowl for remaining batter. This recipe doesn't waste a drop of cake batter.

Bake cupcakes for 17 to 20 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven, and allow cakes to cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Remove cakes to cool completely on a wire rack before frosting.

Frosting: Whisk together sifted powdered sugar, honey, cream, and salt in a medium bowl. Whisk until smooth. Use a butter knife to generously spread the frosting atop the cooled cupcakes. Sprinkle with just a bit of chamomile leaves and arrange on a pretty plate. Cakes will last, well wrapped, at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Notes/Results: These are such delicious cupcakes--tender and moist with the herbal and grassy chamomile flavor highlighted by the sweet creamy honey frosting. I happen to enjoy a cup of chamomile tea now and then and I like how these cupcakes capture that flavor without being overpowering or cloying. My frosting was perhaps a bit soft, but very good. I feel a little bad about the cupcake liners--these seem to call for a more delicate floral pattern or a plain white liner but alas--it was either these colorful ones, foil baking cups, or holiday patterned liners in my stash. Someone needs to stock up. ;-)

It was hard to only eat one of these little cakes, but I really enjoyed it with a cup of tea. The recipe is quick and easy and makes me want to experiment with some of the other teas in my collection. I will make these again. Joy the Baker is 2 for 2 the the recipes so far--both were fabulous. I am still trying to decide what to make for "blogger's choice" next week--everything in the book sounds delicious.

*This post is part of the Joy the Baker Cookbook Spotlight and Cook-Off sponsored by Hyperion and hosted at girlichef*

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Happy Aloha Friday!


  1. I made these with chai instead of chamomile but I LOVED them.  And that frosting?  Totally had to pour soap all over the leftovers. Otherwise into my belly they would have gone!  I'm impressed you restrained yourself to one! I think I may have had two. For taste testing purposes.

  2. looks very delicious and yummy

  3. I like the cupcakes liners...though I know what you mean about it needy flowery ones. They're just so dainty! Beautiful.  And yay for Disqus comments!

  4. I love the girls would enjoy the color.  They came out lovely, the frosting was my fav!

  5. your cakes look amazing! if i weren't allergic to chamomile, i would make an excuse to fly to hawaii and take the rest off your hands :)

  6. I love the look of these cakes and I am dying to try that frosting!   

  7. I made these and they were so good!!! I love the frosting!

  8. I like your liners!  And thank you for your contributions to science ;-)

  9. That honey frosting really looks delicious.  Sigh.  I want some.

  10. Oh my gosh, they look sooo gorgeous! To use chamomille in muffins is really innovative; have to try them :)

  11. Your mini cakes turned out so beautifully (in fact, they're lovelier than the ones in the cookbook).  So enjoying sharing this challenge with you!



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