Lavender, like rose, is one of those flavors that people generally don’t enjoy. Some people are okay with it, some love it, and some just cannot stand to eat anything lavender-flavored.
I used to be one of those people. I remember making soap for Christmas when I was younger, and it was always lavender-scented. I’m not sure I even liked the scent back then, but, just like most other people, because my first experiences with lavender were in soaps and perfumes, when I first started eating lavender-flavored things, I could only think of eating soaps and perfumes.
My favorite coffeeshop started experimenting with lavender simple syrup a few years ago, and I was curious to try it in a latte. At first, it was one of the most disgusting things I’d ever tasted.
But now, maybe three years later, I actually enjoy the taste. A lot of lavender can be overpowering, and lavender just by itself is too much, but when combined with the right flavors, it’s perfect. Raspberry is one of those flavors. (So is blackberry: I just recently attempted lavender-blackberry jam and it might be one of my top ten favorite flavor combinations now.)
When I think of lavender now, I think of sweet, warm flavors like vanilla or almond. With these muffins, you get tart, fruity raspberries, fragrant, floral lavender, and warm vanilla. The flavor is almost creamy (I know, I cringe at that word but it’s the most appropriate so I’ll suck it up if you will.) The lavender blends into the raspberry flavor seamlessly, so it isn’t soap-y, medicine-y, or perfume-y, and the vanilla is a nice sweet balance to the fruit and the flower.
raspberry, lavender, and vanilla bean muffins
makes 1 dozen
8 oz all-purpose flour
2 oz whole wheat flour
1 tsp lavender buds
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 large eggs
5 oz sugar
7 oz milk
4 oz vegetable oil or melted butter
1 vanilla bean or 1 Tbsp vanilla bean paste
6 oz fresh or frozen raspberries
Preheat the oven to 350 F/175 C and line a muffin pan with paper muffin liners.
In a medium bowl, combine the all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, lavender buds, baking powder, and salt.
If using a whole vanilla bean pod, then split the pot open lengthwise with the tip of a paring knife. Using the blunt side of the tip of the knife (the spine), scrape the seeds out of the pod and add to the granulated sugar in a large bowl. Save the vanilla bean pod in a plastic bag and store it in a cool, dry place.
Add the eggs, milk, and vegetable oil to the vanilla bean seeds and sugar and whisk to combine (if using vanilla bean paste, add it to the mixture at this point.)
Quickly combine the dry ingredients into the wet, and when the batter is almost fully combined, fold in the raspberries.
Use a large scoop or spoon to evenly scoop the batter into the muffin pans. Bake the muffins for 25 – 30 minutes until they spring back when lightly pressed down in the middle, or until a wooden toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.