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Lemon Cupcakes Decorated with Wild Violets

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I don’t think I ever truly appreciated all flowers until I had kids.

Sure, roses are beautiful, orchids sophisticated, a large bank of tulips in the spring is like a breath of fresh air after a long winter.

 But it was not until my daughter came teetering up to me with a bright  bouquet of dandelions clasped in her chubby toddler hand, exclaiming with a burst of joy and pride “For you!”  had I ever been so stirred by flowers.

That first bouquet sat proudly one my table in a vase, and every bouquet of dandelions, daises and wild day lilies since. They are all a cherished gift, proudly displayed until the blooms fade. 

I am pretty sure all children most likely pick these same flowers for Mom at some point.  These simple heartfelt bouquets inspired my cupcake decorations for Mother’s day.

 Usually thought of as a weed in lawns, wild violets adorn these lemon cupcakes. These small dainty flowers are totally edible, and have a sweet taste.  

It’s picking wildflowers for mom, all grown up. 

Lemon Cupcakes Decorated with Wild Violets

Lemon Cupcakes Decorated with Wild Violets


  • 3 cups self-rising flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, at room
  • temperature
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 4 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest
  • 1 cup whole milk, divided
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice,
  • divided
  • 3 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Milk, as needed
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest/peel
  • Freshly picked wild violets, if desired


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Line 30 cupcake pan cups with paper liners.
  2. Sift the self-rising flour and salt together in a bowl.
  3. In another bowl, beat the unsalted butter and sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.
  4. Beat in the eggs one at a time, beating each egg until incorporated before adding the next. Mix in the vanilla extract and lemon zest.
  5. Gently beat the flour mixture into the butter mixture, one third at a time, alternating with half the milk and half the lemon juice after each of the first 2 additions of flour. Beat until just combined; do not over mix.
  6. Fill the prepared cupcake liners with batter 3/4 full, and bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 17 minutes.
  7. Let the cupcakes cool in the pans for about 10 minutes before removing them to finish cooling on a rack.

To make the icing

  1. In a medium bowl, beat the butter, powdered sugar and lemon juice together until light and fluffy, about 1-2 minutes with an electric mixer. Mix in the vanilla and add 1-2 teaspoons of milk to adjust the consistency, if necessary. It should be creamy and spreadable. Stir in the 1 teaspoon lemon zest.
  2. Drop a tablespoon or two of the frosting on each cupcake and spread until smooth. Top with a few wild violets if desired.

Lemon Cupcakes Decorated with Wild Violets

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