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  • Writer's pictureCulinary Cam

Meyer Lemon-Hibiscus Cupcakes

When the theme of PINK - due to the birthday girl's adoration of Barbie - was picked, I pondered the kind of cupcakes I wanted to make for her. I decided on a Meyer lemon cupcake topped with a hibiscus ermine frosting. If you have never made ermine - cooked flour - frosting, you should try it. The texture is light and fluffy and it's not too sweet when you use tart-ish liquids.

We rocked the theme with wigs, hats, glasses, and more!


Hibiscus Tisane

  • 1 cup boiling water

  • 3 Tablespoons dried hibiscus petals


  • 1/4 cup Butter olive oil

  • 3/4 cup organic granulated sugar

  • 4 large eggs, separated

  • 1 Tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

  • 1/2 cup buttermilk

  • 1/2 cup hibiscus tisane

  • 1-3/4 cup flour

  • 2 teaspoons baking powder

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • Also needed cupcake liners

Hibiscus Ermine Frosting

  • 1/2 cup hibiscus tisane

  • 1/2 cup buttermilk

  • 1/2 cup organic granulated sugar

  • 5 Tablespoons flour

  • 1 cup (2 sticks butter)

  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Decorations, optional

  • cupcake toppers

  • sprinkles


Hibiscus Tisane

Place the petals in a jar or mixing bowl. Pour the boiling water of the petals and let stand until the water is cooled. Strain out the petals and set aside.


Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a muffin pan with liners and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, add in the oil, sugar, egg yolks, lemon juice, buttermilk and hibiscus tisane.

In another mixing bowl, combine all of the dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, and salt. Sift the dry ingredients into the batter and fold in gently with a spatula until just moistened.

In another mixing bowl, beat the egg whites until medium peaks form. Fold the egg whites into the batter, taking care not to deflate the egg whites too much.

Scoop the batter in the cupcake liners, approximately 1/ 3 cup. Place in the oven and bake for 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool the cupcakes completely on wire racks before frosting.

Hibiscus Ermine Frosting

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, whisk together buttermilk, hibiscus tisane, sugar, and flour. Cook, whisking constantly, for 3-5 minutes, until the mixture thickens and resembles a thick pudding. Remove the pan from the heat and let the mixture cool to room temperature. Press plastic wrap into the top to prevent a skin from forming.

Cream together the butter and vanilla extract on low speed until incorporated. Increase the speed to medium and continue mixing until light and fluffy, approximately 3 to 4 minutes. Use a rubber spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl occasionally.

Add the cooled hibiscus mixture to the bowl and beat on medium speed until the frosting is light and fluffy, approximately 3 to 4 minutes. Use a rubber spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl occasionally.

Mix on high for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the frosting is smooth and creamy. Using a piping bag and tip, decorate the cooled cupcakes. Decorate with sprinkles and cupcake toppers, if using.

These were a joy to serve to a table full of grateful friends. And several commented on how pretty they were. Funny story, it was the birthday girl's daughter who - years ago - said that "Miss Camilla's food isn't always pretty, but it always tastes good." That comment was a turning point for me; I started to try harder to make food not only taste good, but look good!

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