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Violet and White: A Snowstorm, Plus SpyMom's Vanilla Cupcakes With Lavender Buttercream Recipe

The snowflake is totally not photoshopped! I actually (accidentally) captured it on film!Guess what? It is snowing in New Jersey. Like, a lot. In fact, to the point that we've been nostalgically recalling the Blizzard of '96. A real post-Christmas miracle!

But wait, there's more to this miraculous day. You do not need to worry about the SpyCrew starving in the snow, because SpyMom made cupcakes. Delicious ones, based on Magnolia Bakery's recipe (now, I personally am not a Magnolia naysayer, but SpyDad is, and even he said that this homemade version had a leg up on the original), but with an added element of pinkies-out-ness from lavender coloring powder to the frosting, and candied violets (edible!) used as garnish. 

Want a piece of this holiday magic in your own home? Here goes:

SpyMom's Christmas Miracle Cupcakes

  • 1 1/2 cups self-rising flour
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the frosting 

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 6 to 8 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Violet food coloring, such as this one from Wilton
  • Edible candied violets


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Line 2 (1/2 cup-12 capacity) muffin tins with cupcake papers.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the flours. Set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, cream the butter until smooth. Add the sugar gradually and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the dry ingredients in 3 parts, alternating with the milk and vanilla. With each addition, beat until the ingredients are incorporated but do not over beat. Using a rubber spatula, scrape down the batter in the bowl to make sure the ingredients are well blended. Carefully spoon the batter into the cupcake liners, filling them about 3/4 full. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center of the cupcake comes out clean.
  5. Cool the cupcakes in tins for 15 minutes. Remove from the tins and cool completely on a wire rack before frosting.
  6. While they cool, prepare your frosting. Place the butter in a large mixing bowl. Add 4 cups of the sugar and then the milk and vanilla. On the medium speed of an electric mixer, beat until smooth and creamy, about 3 to 5 minutes. Gradually add the remaining sugar, 1 cup at a time, beating well after each addition (about 2 minutes), until the icing is thick enough to be of good spreading consistency. You may not need to add all of the sugar. If desired, add a few drops of food coloring and mix thoroughly. (Use and store the icing at room temperature because icing will set if chilled.) Icing can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days.


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Reader Comments (7)

I still remember the blizzard of 96, I was 6 years old and also living in new jersey (south, in haddon township) and remember digging around in the snow.

really hoping for a repeat!
Delicious looking recipe and such a cool looking photo too! It really does look photoshopped because it's just so perfect. =)
December 26 | Unregistered CommenterAnne-Marie
Thanks for the recipe! I'll have to try that one, maybe with a smidge of violet extract or syrup or something. I love violet flavoured things. I'm jealous of your snow. I lived in Jersey back during the blizzard of 96. I did a snow dance the night before that blizzard started and I swore for years that it was because of me. Seattle is still rainy and blustery as ever.. as our weather tends to be of late.

I tried to leave this by mobile but it wouldn't post so I apologize if it showed twice.
December 26 | Unregistered CommenterMegalina Cupcake
A teeny snowflake! So cute, I love it!
December 27 | Unregistered CommenterKraftedbykelly
What pretty cupcakes! Good luck dealing with all that snow. My family lives in Monmouth County and I escaped back to DC yesterday just in time to avoid the blizzard.
December 27 | Unregistered CommenterMaggie
Sooo awesome!(:

I wish it snowed where I live....

At least I can bake!(:

http://allthingsthatsparkleandshine.blogspot.com/ < check it out!(:
December 27 | Unregistered CommenterLauren
i think i'm in love with the violet food coloring. its so pretty!
December 28 | Unregistered Commenteranna marie

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