Monday, May 4, 2009

Alluring Cupcakes

On my recent trek to Rozelle, I picked up a bottle of rosewater because I loved its colourful label and red lid. Which then raised the question – what can you make with rosewater?

It just so happens that Gourmet Traveller magazine had a recipe for cupcakes with rose-scented icing that I had my eye on, so I made them.

The cake itself is delicious, light vanilla. The icing is supposed to have a tinge of pink colour, but it’s hard to measure out just a drop of food colouring, so mine ended up a lovely lurid bubblegum pink. The rosewater fragrance is unmistakeable and very alluring!

Rosy cupcakes
Makes 15

125 g softened butter
220 g (1 cup) caster sugar
1 vanilla bean, scraped seeds only
2 eggs
225 g (1½ cups) plain flour
½ tsp baking powder
125 ml (½ cup) milk

Rosy icing
240 g pure icing sugar, sifted
1-2 tsp rosewater, or to taste
1 strawberry (or 1 drop pink food colouring)

1. Preheat oven to 170C.
2. Beat butter, sugar and vanilla seeds in an electric mixer until light and fluffy (2-3 minutes).
3. Add eggs one at a time, scraping down sides of bowl and beating well after each addition.
4. Sift over flour and baking powder, stir to combine, add milk and stir to combine.
5. Half-fill 15 x 80ml-capacity muffin tins lined with paper patty cases (there may be a little mixture left over).
6. Smooth tops and bake until risen and golden (10-15 minutes).
7. Remove from tins and cool on a wire rack.

For rosy icing, combine icing sugar and rosewater in a bowl. Squeeze strawberry over bowl to extract juice (discard solids) – or add the one drop of food colouring. Gradually add 20-30ml water, stirring until smooth and drizzling consistency. Spread over cakes, filling to tops of patty cases, and stand until set (4-5 minutes). Store in an airtight container until required. Cakes are best eaten on day of making.

Recipe adapted from Gourmet Traveller (April 2009)

Ingredients, including pretty rosewater; my new mixer (not Kitchenaid, alas)

Mixing the ingredients

Patty cases filled with batter; cooked but un-iced

Iced cupcakes, with rosebud centrepieces!


  1. These are gorgeous! I have a rosewater recipe that I have been waiting to try but I have yet to stumble upon a bottle of the stuff (and I don't think I will be making a trip all the way out to Rozelle)

  2. Very cute, and I like the swirled icing. I always succumb to laziness and pour out the food colouring by hand, but the trick to subtle colouring is to use a toothpick or chopstick to dip and mix.

  3. Hee hee starting a Hello Cupcake series too ^^!? They look cute and delicate like a real rose ;)

  4. I like the rosebuds on top - beautifully girly!

  5. As soon as you mentioned the bottle I knew exactly which one you meant! And yes a quick scroll and it was. I love using those rose buds-they're so pretty and versatile!

  6. hi Megan - I think rosewater is available from a lot of 'gourmet' places. The one I got is Lebanese and is also fairly common.

    hi Helen - thanks for the tip about the toothpick. Good to know for when the next batch of icing is made ;o)

    hi FFichiban - thanks! Hello Cupcake has a nice sound to it...

    hi Arwen - those rosebuds are very versatile - I sometimes pop one in a cup of tea!

    hi Lorraine - did you know they also make pomegranate molasses, but the bottle lable isn't as pretty.

  7. hi there,

    may in know where did you buy the pleated patty cases from?



  8. hi Anita - the pleated cases are by Donna Hay, and I got them from David Jones. They're also available from the DH General Store (maybe online, too).