Lemon Ricotta Cupcakes with Lemon Curd Filling and Lavender Frosting

Also pictured: Butterbeer Cupcakes

Lemon Curd Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons plus 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 4 1/2 teaspoons butter
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest

(I doubled this recipe to make sure I would have enough filling.)

Cupcake Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups cake flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick/4 oz. unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup whole milk ricotta cheese (homemade ricotta cheese recipe coming soon)
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Lavender Frosting Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 1/2 cups to 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon dried culinary lavender, crushed with a mortar and pestle
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon milk or cream, if needed
  • 1 drop purple food coloring (I used the Violet gel color from Hobby Lobby)
  • Fresh lavender, sugared lemon slices and edible pearls for garnish, optional


  1. In a saucepan, cook and stir the sugar, lemon juice and butter until smooth. Stir a small amount of the hot mixture into the lightly beaten egg. Stir well and return all to the pan. Bring to a low boil, stirring constantly. Cook 2 minutes longer or until thickened. Stir in lemon zest. Cool for 10 minutes. Cover and completely chill in the fridge.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a 12 cupcake baking tin.
  3. Mix all of the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Add the softened butter and vanilla. Beat with a hand mixer or stand mixer until well combined. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each one. Add ricotta, milk and lemon juice and mix until combined.
  4. Spoon the batter into cupcake tins, filling each one about 3/4 full. Bake for 16-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cupcakes comes out clean. Rotate the cupcake tin half-way through baking if necessary. Cool completely.
  5. Using a cupcake corer remove the middle of the cupcake. Using a small spoon, fill the holes in each cupcake with a generous amount of lemon curd.
  6. For the frosting you can use a hand mixer or a stand mixer. Add butter to a large bowl and beat until creamy. On low speed, gradually add the powdered sugar and lavender to the bowl. Increase the speed and beat until fluffy and combined. Beat in the vanilla extract. If the frosting is too thick, add the cream or milk. If it is too runny add more powdered sugar a little bit at a time. Use one drop of purple food coloring. The Violet color was a little lighter so I used two drops.
  7. Put desired frosting tip into a piping bag. Add frosting to the bag and frost the cupcakes. Top with edible pearls and small lavender sprigs. Thinly slice lemons into halves and coat both sides with sugar. Place lemons on top of frosted cupcakes.

These were a lot of fun to make and they tasted great! The flavor combination was delightful! I took them to work and they were gone in an instant. I knew the Butterbeer cupcakes were going to go fast because they had been asking me to make them again, but I wasn’t sure how they would respond to the lemon ricotta and lavender. I was pleasantly surprised when those disappeared, too. 🙂

Cauliflower Steak with Jalapeno Creamed Spinach

Cauliflower Ingredients

  • 1 or 2 heads cauliflower, 3 pounds
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 cup pepitas – optional

Jalapeno Creamed Spinach Ingredients

  • 16 oz. fresh spinach
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and finely chopped
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Remove outer leaves from the cauliflower and trim stem, leave the core. Turn cauliflower heads core side down. Cut cauliflower vertically into 1-inch thick steaks.
  2. In a Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium heat. Add cauliflower steaks and cook 4-6 minutes until brown, turning once. Sprinkle with salt, cumin and pepper. Put the pan into the oven and bake 15-20 minutes or until tender. Remove cauliflower from Dutch oven and cover to keep warm. Carefully wipe out Dutch oven.
  3. In the Dutch oven cook the spinach in two batches until wilted. (I add a little butter). Put into a colander and squeeze out the access liquid. Add the oil to the Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onions and jalapeno pepper and cook until tender, about 5 minutes, stir occasionally. Stir in heavy cream and salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and cook until cream starts to thicken, 3 to 5 minutes. (If you want it thicker add a little of the cream into a teaspoon of flour or cornstarch, mix until dissolved and then add to the Dutch oven, add more if needed). Stir in spinach and simmer until desired consistency is reached.
  4. Spoon the creamed spinach onto a plate and place the cauliflower steak on top. Sprinkle with pepitas if desired.

If you want a little more flavor I would go heavier on the seasoning. Some parmesan cheese might be good on top, too. Also, this jalapeno creamed spinach was not very spicy at all. So if you like spicy I would add another pepper.

Slightly altered from Better Homes & Gardens

Veggie Soup


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cups chopped butternut squash
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 3/4 cups sliced parsnips
  • 3 teaspoons finely chopped garlic
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 6 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/2 a head of green cabbage
  • 1 15 oz. can stewed tomatoes
  • 3 cups stemmed and chopped rainbow chard
  • 1 15 oz. can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • chopped fresh parsley for garnish

  1. Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add squash, onions and parsnips. Cook, stirring occasionally for about 5 minutes. Add garlic, ginger, turmeric, cumin and salt. Cook, stirring constantly, for about 1 minute.
  2. Add broth, tomatoes and cabbage. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 10 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Add chard and chickpeas, stirring occasionally, until chard is bright green, about 2 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat. Stir in apple cider vinegar. Ladle into bowls and sprinkle with parsley.

Great for winter! Serve with Ricotta Bread

(slightly altered from the Eating Well recipe.