Rose Cupcakes

I love cupcakes. I know I'm not the only one, but even if they weren't trendy, I'd still love them. There's something fun and festive about a cupcake. It's small (or tiny if you make the littlest ones), so it doesn't feel like you're having a big dessert.  It's pretty and conjures images of childhood parties (you can't be unhappy with a cupcake on your plate). Cupcake liners make the whole production seem lots easier than making a cake (no pan to grease and minimal cleanup). There's a combination of frosting and cake to suit just about every mood.  I especially like yellow cupcakes with cream cheese frosting using recipes from The New Best Recipe.

For my birthday I decided to tinge my frosting pink with the addition of some beet juice, but at the supermarket checkout I realized that although I'd remembered the beets, I'd forgotten to put vanilla in my shopping cart. I really didn't feel like going back to get some after having just paid for my groceries, so my lazy inspiration was to use rosewater instead of vanilla. My further inspiration was to enhance the rose flavor by using rose scented sugar that had been a Christmas present (the sugar has actual rose petals in it, so the cupcakes themselves have little bits of petal, too). I wasn't sure how it would turn out and I only guessed on the measurements. I may experiment further, but I like the somewhat subtle results enough to share my initial recipe here.

Rose Flavored Yellow Cake with Rosy Cream Cheese Frosting:
(makes 12 cupcakes)

For the cupcakes:
1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup rose petal scented sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 stick unsalted butter (8 tablespoons), softened
1/2 cup sour cream
1 large egg, plus 2 large egg yolks at room temp (check out Kerry's method for egg warming)
2 teaspoon rosewater

For the frosting:
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 tablespoon sour cream
1/2 teaspoon rosewater
1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoons liquid from canned beets (I'm estimating here, because I didn't measure... alternatively you can slowly add drops of the liquid until your frosting reaches your desired color)

For the cupcakes:
1. Line cupcake pan with cupcake liners.
2. Adjust oven rack to middle position. Heat oven to 350 degrees.
3. Whisk together flour, baking powder, sugars and salt in a medium bowl. Add butter, sour cream, eggs and rosewater until smooth and satiny. You can do this by hand or with a stand mixer.
4. Divide batter evenly into the cupcake liners.
5. Bake until the cupcake tops are pale gold and a toothpick comes out clean, 20-25 minutes.
6. Lift cupcakes from the tin and transfer to a wire rack. Cool completely before frosting.

For the frosting:
1. While the cupcakes are baking, place cream cheese and butter in the bowl of a stand mixer to soften.
2. When the cupcakes have cooled, add sour cream and rosewater. Process until combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl and stopping to remove clumps of cream cheese from the wire whisk as needed.
3. Add the powdered sugar and process until smooth. Add beet liquid and process until the color is  fully blended.
4. Frost the fully cooled cupcakes.

These are lovely served with tea (try a flowery or minty herbal), coffee or a cold glass of milk.


  1. Wow..beautiful divine..stunning photos..looks amazing and so the dragonfly plate too! And Yay..Happiest Birthday! Wishing you many birthday sparkles..

  2. :)

    Thanks so much! Wish I could share a cupcake with you!!

  3. I just love the frosting on those cupcakes! Thank you for the wonderful recipe! I just can't wait for the summer to come to try out all these new cupcake recipes I come across!

  4. Hope you try these out and enjoy them as much as I did, Rose.

    Thanks for the comment!


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