These hibiscus cupcakes are nothing short of delicious. They are light and fluffy and perfectly hinted with tart lemon and floral hibiscus. They are generously topped with a strawberry hibiscus white chocolate buttercream frosting.
These hibiscus cupcakes are as delicious as I had imagined they would be. The hibiscus gives a subtle but distinct floral, slightly tart flavor. The strawberry hibiscus white chocolate buttercream frosting is the perfect luscious compliment!
I created this hibiscus cupcake recipe because I wanted to combine hibiscus with two other lovely, fresh flavors: lemon and strawberry!
If you are looking for another hibiscus recipe, try my hibiscus chocolate chip cookies. For more delicious cupcake recipes, make these strawberry filled cupcakes or these lemon lavender blackberry cupcakes!
WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS
- Hibiscus cupcakes: These cupcakes are perfectly hinted with lemon and hibiscus.
- Soft cupcakes: They are soft and moist!
- Strawberry hibiscus white chocolate buttercream frosting: This white chocolate buttercream is luscious. It gets extra flavor and pink color from hibiscus and freeze dried strawberries!
- Easy to make: These cupcakes are very easy to make.
Below are some useful notes about some of the ingredients for these hibiscus cupcakes. See recipe card below for full list of ingredients.
- Dried hibiscus– Dried hibiscus is most commonly used to make tea in many countries. You can find dried hibiscus online or in spice stores and international stores.
- Unsalted butter- The butter for the cupcakes is melted and steeped with hibiscus for flavor. Allow butter to come to room temperature before using. Use slightly cold butter for the frosting.
- Flour- Spoon your all-purpose flour into your measuring cup. Avoid dredging the measuring cup in the flour. This can cause you to use too much flour and can result in dry cupcakes.
- Eggs- Use 2 large, room temperature eggs. Eggs add richness and structure to these cupcakes.
- Milk- Use full fat milk. Take milk out 2 hours before baking.
- Lemon– We will use both lemon zest and juice.
- Powdered sugar- Sift your powdered sugar to prevent bumps in the frosting.
- White chocolate- Chop the chocolate before microwaving. Stir the white chocolate in between intervals in the microwave. This will prevent it from burning. Allow the melted white chocolate to cool til no longer warm to the touch, at least 15 minutes before using.
- Milk- Use low fat milk instead of whole milk.
- Hibiscus- I wouldn’t recommend making hibiscus cupcakes without hibiscus.
STEP BY STEP INSTRUCTIONS
STEP 1: Steep the hibiscus in the butter. Crush the hibiscus using a mortar and pestle or a spice grinder. Combine the hibiscus and butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir occasionally as the butter melts. When it begins to sizzle around the edges, remove from heat. Pour butter into a glass measuring cup or heat proof bowl. Place in the refrigerator to cool to room temperature.
Step 2: Beat the butter and sugar. In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter, sugar and lemon zest with an electric mixer.
Step 3: Add the eggs and vanilla. Add the eggs one at at time. Beat in the vanilla. Beat on medium speed for 1 minute.
Step 4: Combine the dry ingredients. In a medium bowl, whisk to combine the flour, baking powder and salt.
Step 5: Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients using a large spatula or the electric mixer. Slowly add the milk and lemon juice. Avoid overmixing.
Step 6: Scoop the batter. Use a cookie scoop or a 1/4 cup measuring cup to scoop the batter evenly in the cupcake pan lined with cupcake liners. Fill 2/3 full.
Step 7: Bake the cupcakes. Bake at 350 F for 15-17 minutes. Cool completely before frosting.
INSTRUCTIONS- WHITE CHOCOLATE BUTTERCREAM
Step 1: Melt the white chocolate. Place the chopped white chocolate into a small bowl. Microwave for increments of 30 seconds. Stir well in between bursts. Allow to cool to room temperature.
Step 2: Steep the hibiscus (optional, if using). Boil water in a small saucpan. Remove from heat. Add the 1/2 tablespoon of dried hibiscus. Allow to steep for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, strain hibiscus. Cool water to room temperature.
Step 3: Grind the freeze dried strawberries (optional, if using). Grind the freeze dried strawberries in a food processor.
Step 4: Beat butter. Beat with a mixer until light and creamy.
Step 5: Add the white chocolate. With the mixer on low, slowly add the melted, cooled white chocolate.
Step 6: Add the powdered sugar and freeze dried strawberries. Gradually add the sifted powdered sugar followed by the freeze dried strawberries, vanilla and salt. With the mixer on low, gradually add the hibiscus water.
Step 7: Beat til light and fluffy. Increase speed to medium high and beat until light and fluffy.
DECORATING THE CUPCAKES
I used a Wilton tip 1M to decorate these cupcakes. You could top them with ground freeze dried strawberries or a little lemon triangle to hint at the flavor.
Use a 1/4 cup measuring cup to divide batter evenly into the cupcake liners.
Hibiscus is a flowering plant with colorful flowers.
Store these hibiscus cupcakes in a airtight container in the fridge up to 5 days.
Allow cupcakes to come to room temperature before eating.
Freeze the cupcakes before frosting. Wrap the cooled cupcakes in two layers of plastic wrap or store in a freezer safe bag. Freeze for up to 30 days.
Allow cupcakes to thaw before frosting.
Do not overmix. Over mixing leads to dry, dense cupcakes. For a light, fluffy texture, do not over mix your cupcake batter. Once you have incorporated the dry ingredients, use a large spatula or wooden spoon to fold the mixture together until a few streaks of flour remain.
Avoid over filling the cupcake liners. Fill the cupcake liners until about 2/3 full. If you fill them to the top, the batter could overflow.
- ½ cup unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon dried hibiscus crushed
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs room temperature
- 1½ vanilla extract
- 1½ cups all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1¾ teaspoon baking powder
- ¾ cup whole milk room temperature
- ½ tablespoon lemon zest
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
Strawberry Hibiscus White Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
- 1 cup unsalted butter slightly cold
- 6 ounces white chocolate chopped
- 2- 2¼ cups powdered sugar sifted
- ¾ teaspoon vanilla
- 2 tablespoons freeze dried strawberries* ground
- ½ tablespoon dried hibiscus**
- 2 tablespoons water** boiled, then cooled
- Finely grind the hibiscus in a spice grinder, small food processor or mortar and pestle. Pour the ground hibiscus into a medium saucepan with the butter. Set pan uncovered over medium heat. Stir occasionally as the butter melts. Heat until butter just begins to bubble around the edges of the pan. Pour hibiscus butter into a heat proof glass measuring cup or bowl. Place butter in the fridge and allow to cool to room temperature. Stir butter a few times as it cools.
- Preheat oven to 350 F. Line muffin pan with cupcake liners.
- Pour the room temperature hibiscus butter into a large mixing bowl. Add the sugar and lemon zest and beat on medium high with an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment until combined, about 2 minutes.
- Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the eggs one at a time followed by the vanilla. Beat on medium speed for 1 minute.
- In a medium bowl, whisk to combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients using a large spatula. Slowly add the milk and lemon juice. Avoid overmixing.
- Use a spoon or a 1/4 cup measuring cup to pour batter evenly into lined cupcake pan. Fill 2/3 full. Bake 15-17 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the center of a cupcake.
- Remove from oven and leave in cupcake pan until completely cooled. Once cooled, frost the cupcakes.
White Chocolate Buttercream
- Take butter out of the refrigerator 30 minutes before making the frosting.
- Place the chopped white chocolate into a small, heat proof bowl. Microwave for increments of 30 seconds. Stir well in between and continue until chocolate is just melted. Allow to cool to room temperature (at least 15 minutes).
- In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring water to a boil. Once boiling, remove from heat. Add the 1/2 tablespoon of dried hibiscus. Allow to steep for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, strain hibiscus. Allow the "hibiscus water" to cool to room temperature.
- Add the butter to a large bowl or the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat with a mixer until light and creamy.
- With the mixer on low, slowly add the melted, cooled white chocolate.
- Gradually add the powdered sugar followed by the freeze dried strawberries (ground in a food processor), vanilla and salt.
- With the mixer on low, add the hibiscus water gradually.
- Increase speed to medium high and beat for about 1 minute or until frosting is light and fluffy. If frosting is too thin, gradually beat in more sifted powdered sugar. If too thin, add heavy cream a teaspoon at a time.
- Frost the cupcakes with an offset spatula or your favorite piping tip. Enjoy!
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