Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Rose Water Cupcakes with Flour Frosting

These cupcakes were totally an experiment, from frosting to cake. I've never baked with rose water before and was super excited when I found some at a local kitchenware store. I didn't really know what to do with it, so I thought I'd stick with the basics before I branched out. Cupcakes, it was!

But instead of my usual SMB, I wanted to try a unique flour frosting recipe that I recently stumbled upon. The fact that it's made with a flour base instantly piqued my curiosity. I mean, flour in frosting? How weird was that?! I needed to taste it. Immediately.

Needless to say, I was super excited about the day of experimenting in my kitchen! New flavor, new frosting- new cupcake!

(1) The Rose Water Cupcakes

These cupcakes were really simple. Just use your favorite vanilla cupcake recipe and replace the vanilla extract with rose water. (Use whatever measurement the cake recipe calls for. You can probably even add a tiny splash of vanilla to it too, but I left it out because I didn't want it to mask the flavor of the rose water.) I personally like the Vanilla Cupcake recipe from Williams Sonoma. It's the same recipe I used for the Blueberry Lemon Filled Cupcakes.

(2) The Rose Water Flour Frosting

Ok, now on to the interesting part! I found this recipe on Obsessed with Baking.

In a heavy bottomed sauce pan, combine flour and sugar.

And add some milk. Don't worry if it produces flour clumps at first.

On medium heat, whisk constantly, making sure that it doesn't boil and that the clumps made by the milk has dissolved. After a few minutes, the mixture will thicken. Ready to go!

Transfer the mixture to a stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment and beat on high for several minutes until it has cooled. (Took me maybe ten minutes.)

Once the mixture has cooled, slowly add in the butter until well incorporated. This is what it looked like after all the butter was mixed in. It was a bit soft, which concerned me. Can you tell that it's like... mushy? Reminded me of a cream cheese frosting that was too soft. But I pushed on anyway.

At this point, I added 1/2 teaspoon of rose water and 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract, along with some red gel food coloring. Then I mixed it again for about a minute.

Hm.. still too soft. The consistency was off. You wouldn't be able to pipe with it. The instructions said that if this happens, you should stick it in the fridge to cool down. Ok, so I did that. Then I checked on it 15 minutes later. Still too soft. Then 40 minutes later. No good. Finally, more than an hour later, it looked like it had stiffened a bit, so I tired piping on the swirls. (You know, my usual swirly-cupcake-frosting-thing.) The swirls turned out ugly! I wish I had taken photos to show you guys. The frosting just wasn't stiff enough to hold.

So I had to use my off-set spatula. Which didn't make me happy, because I had to squeeze all that frosting back out of my piping bag. And I had already done this once before, when I decided to use a different tip (because I don't use couplers for my jumbo tips). The frosting was WAY soft... to the point where it was difficult to smooth out with an off-set spatula. humph! You know how I like my cupcake swirls...

So without the swirls, I had to find other ways to spruce these babies up. Luckily, I recently purchased these pretty pink liners that seemed to match the frosting pretty well!

Then I topped them off with some cute white sprinkles. Not bad. I was happy about being able to salvage them. (You know how obsessive compulsive I am about creating aesthetically pleasing cupcakes. tee hee.)

Ok, so how did they turn out? FANTASTICALLY! They were so delicious! The rose scent in the cupcake/frosting was phenomenal! It was subtly fragrant without being overly "perfume-y." It tasted like how a rose smells...wonderful! The frosting was pretty awesome in its own right. (I couldn't detect the flour at all. You wouldn't even know that it was there.) It was creamy, rich, and just melted in your mouth, without being too over overpoweringly sweet. Even though I didn't like the texture when I was piping it on, it was love at first bite! har har. It was very smooth and creamy- could definitely hold its own against other buttercreams!

These cupcakes have definitely made it to the top of my list! It's right up there with (gasp, dare I say), the chocolate salted caramel cupcake! I think the rose water frosting would also go well with a chocolate cupcake too. Well, doesn't everything go well with chocolate?

I highly recommend getting your hands on some rose water! It sure was a great flavor experience. =)

Click HERE for the WS Vanilla Cupcake Recipe.

Click HERE for the Rose Water Flour Frosting Recipe.


  1. I really like the flavor of rose water - these turned out so well. Love the cupcake papers and the white sprinkles.

    Did you know you can get large couplers? Yep, you can. Also, instead of emptying your pastry bag to change tips, you can simply hold tip #2 on top of tip #1 - a little pastry chef trick I picked up from one of the masters.


  2. Oh Judy I completely understand your frosting frustration - I actually just had to throw out a double batch of chocolate frosting last night! Ack! (if you're curious - I had purchased some Ghirardelli cocoa that was actually "sweetened cocoa and ground chocolate", meaning that there were chunks of sugar it it, but of course I didn't realize that at first, and the frosting was suuuper gritty).

    I have never thought about baking with rose water, but that looks really tasty!! And how perfect for a spring tea party :)

  3. I'm glad you tried the flour frosting and loved the flavour! It is a pretty soft frosting so it's hard to pipe swirls with. I only managed to do rosettes. I really have to give rose water a try!

  4. Cute cupcakes! I have never tried rose water, but may have to soon because yours look so good. Love the liners too.

  5. Hey Judy, they look pretty anyway. I have made some using rose essence but Im sure rose water would have a stronger flavour. I too dont like it when I have to smooth out my frosting on a ccake. My tip for you is use the big plain round tip, this way you only have to smoothen out the peak it forms when you pull away...hope you get what I mean.
    Just like on my Christmas cupcakes

  6. Strange - I was just looking at a recipe last night that had rose water (from Sky High Cakes)! And I love that flour-based frostings. BAKED bakery (book and bakery) use that method for a lot of their frostings. It's amazing how "paste" can turn into such creamy frosting, isn't it? Now I'm going to have to get a bottle of that water! Oh - perfectly formed and frosted cupcakes (as usual)!!! They're exquisite!

  7. I am scared by this method. I love the rose though, we bake with it a lot for my friend Nuria, who is borderline rose obsessed.

    Put a splash of that extract into some simple syrup and make a rose martini. You'll love it!

  8. The flour frosting (I've heard it called "gravy frosting") is actually the original frosting for red velvet cake. I personally like it better than cream cheese frosting for RVC, it's not as over-the-top.


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