Lilac Cupcakes With Lilac Buttercream Frosting

10 cupcakes
35 min

These Lilac Cupcakes with Lilac Buttercream have a subtle floral flavor and aroma that makes the most beautiful and delicious treat. Make homemade lilac syrup and lilac sugar from fresh edible lilac flowers to get the flavor in these cupcakes. These little baked goods taste as good as they sound using fresh lilac flowers. The flavor is subtle and the purple color of the frosting creates a beautiful presentation perfect for any occasion. This recipe is a small batch recipe meant to only make about 10-12 cupcakes. I always find this is perfect for my house (mostly for me so I don’t eat them all 😂). If you want more cupcakes, feel free to double this recipe and you are good to go.

Lilac Cupcake with Lilac Buttercream Frosting and fresh lilac flowers on top.

Lilac Cupcakes.

top view of a lilac cupcake with swirled lilac frosting and fresh lilac flowers

Lilac Cupcakes With Lilac Buttercream Frosting
Recipe details
  • 10  cupcakes
  • Prep time: 20 Minutes Cook time: 15 Minutes Total time: 35 min
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Lilac Cupcakes
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter, room temp
  • ¾ cup lilac sugar (see notes)
  • 1 large egg, room temp
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 2 tbsp lilac syrup (see notes)
  • ½ cup milk, room temp
Lilac Frosting
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, room temp
  • 4 cups powdered confectioners sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2-3 tbsp milk
  • 4 tbsp lilac syrup (see notes)
  • purple food coloring (or red and blue)
  • fresh lilac flowers for decoration
Lilac Cupcakes
Preheat the oven to 350°F and prepare the cupcake pan with cupcake liners.
Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a medium mixing bowl and set aside. In the bowl of a mixer or a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, about 4-5 minutes. Add the egg, lemon zest, and lilac syrup and mix in.
Add half of the dry ingredients and mix into the sugar mixture using a spatula or spoon (you don't want to overmix the flour!). Add half of the milk and combine. Repeat until all of the ingredients have been mixed in.
Fill liners with batter and bake for 15-18 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Do not overbake. Allow the cupcake to cool in the pan for 5 minutes and then place them on a cooling rack to cool completely before frosting.
Lilac Frosting
In a large mixing bowl or stand mixer, whip the butter until light and fluffy, about 4-5 minutes.
Add 2 cups of powdered sugar, one cup at a time, and mix in completely. Put in the vanilla, milk, and lilac syrup and combine. Add the rest of the powdered sugar and continue beating until the frosting is smooth. Add the food coloring and mix in completely.
Frost the cooled cupcakes using a piping bag and tip of choice (I used Wilton 2D). Add fresh lilac flowers on top of each cupcake for aromoa and decoration. Enjoy immediately.
  • Ensure you use only lilac flowers that have not been sprayed with chemicals. Rinse the flowers and remove them from the stem before eating or using them in these recipes.
  • Make your own lilac sugar in your coffee grinder! Place 1/4 cup sugar and 1 tbsp lilac flowers in your coffee grinder. Pulse until combined. Place in an airtight container until ready to use. See more coffee grinder uses at
  • Make your own lilac syrup by steeping lilac flowers in a simple syrup. Add 1 cup sugar, 1 cup water, and 1 cup lilac flowers in a small saucepan. Being to a boil and remove from the heat. Allow the syrup to steep and cool for 2-3 hours. Strain the flowers from the syrup, add purple food coloring, and store them in an airtight container in the fridge. Check out the full recipe at
Emily |
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  • Nicole P Nicole P on May 03, 2021

    These are gorgeous! I'm sure they taste just as good as they look!

  • Kathy OConnor Kathy OConnor on May 13, 2021

    Can I make these with gluten-free flour?


    • Hi Kathy, I have not personally tried it although I know gluten-free flours are pretty good now and are usually a 1:1 ratio for all-purpose flour. I have seen a recommendation to add a teaspoon of xanthan gum. Sorry I can't be more helpful, but if you do try it, I'd love to hear how it turns out!