Delicate and flavorful, these raspberry rosewater cupcakes make a lovely treat for an afternoon tea.
I love the delicate floral perfume of rosewater. Used in baking, it gives a slightly oriental touch to your cakes, which always surprises at first as we do not use it so often. This is why the use of rosewater always makes its little effect when you really want to surprise your guest taste buds. One of the recipe I’m the most proud of this year is my Ispahan Style Pavlova with Rosewater and Raspberry. This dessert is very surprising in taste and texture and looks absolutely adorable. To me it’s the perfect sweet treat for a special date.
Edible rosewater (or rose water) is not easy to find in regular grocery stores, but you can find it in a spice shop or in exotic grocery stores if you happen to have one near where you live. Most of the time you can find it at Whole Foods too, or if you really can’t take your hand on it, simply order it on Amazon. I usually purchase my rosewater during my travels abroad, such as Turkey, Israel and Jordan lately, and got some from a friend who just came back from Tunisia. The good thing is that you usually need very little of it and can keep it for years without risks – the taste might fade a little bit with time but that’s it.
Having a quite big bottle of rosewater at home, I wondered how I could use it in other recipes than my Ispahan style pavlova, and that’s how I came up with the idea of cupcakes with rosewater and raspberry (my mind is constantly busy creating new recipes ; I guess it’s the creative part of me). Raspberry and rosewater go hand in hand together, both of them having a delicate and subtle taste.
For the cupcake recipe, I actually adapted a recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction, and got a very nice result. The dough turns out perfect, light, airy and fluffy, just as much as you want it. I filled the inside with French candied rose petals (also called confit de pétales de rose). You would usually find it in the same stores as for the rosewater. I chose here to insert the candied rose petals with a piping bag once the cupcakes are baked already, which is I think the best method. You could be tempted to add it when the batter is still raw, trying to spoon it in between two layers of batter. I do not advice this method however, as it will create an empty whole around which the candied rose petals will appear sticky. You don’t want that ; you want to get a nice jelly texture in the center of your cupcake at first bite instead.
As for the frosting, it’s a lovely rose frosting, made with raspberries, rosewater, and half butter half cream cheese. I do not like when a frosting is made of butter only. The use of cream cheese makes it soft in texture and also a little bit lighter than if you would use butter only. This raspberry frosting is very easy to prepare, and you could use it for many other cupcake recipes, replacing rosewater with vanilla extract if you want to taste raspberry only. Again, I piped it onto my cupcake to make it look fancy and lovely, but you could simply spoon it if you want to be quicker. Top with a fresh raspberry on top, and your cupcake is ready!
Prepare these raspberry rosewater cupcakes for an afternoon tea, or a baby shower, or serve them with champagne for a bachelorette party with your girlfriends.
- ¾ cups + 1 tbsp (85g) cake flour*
- ⅓ tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp baking soda
- 1 pinch salt
- ¼ cup (55g) unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
- ½ cup (100g) granulated sugar
- 2 egg whites, at room temperature
- 1 tsp rosewater
- ¼ cup (60g) full-fat sour cream
- ¼ cup (60ml) whole milk
- ⅓ cup French candied rose perals (confit de pétales de rose)
- 1¼ cup (150g) raspberries fresh or frozen
- 1 tbsp sugar
- ½ cup (1 stick, 115g) butter, softened
- 4 oz (115g) cream cheese softened
- 2 cups (200g) powdered sugar
- 1 tsp rosewater
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Line a muffin pan with cupcake liners. Set aside.
- For the cupcakes: in a medium sized bowl, Whisk together the cake flour*, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
- Using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the softened butter on high speed until smooth and creamy - about 1 minute. Add the sugar and beat on high speed for 2 minutes until creamed together.
- Add the egg whites and rosewater. Beat on medium-high speed until combined. Beat in the sour cream. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl as needed.
- With the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients until just incorporated.
- Slowly pour in the milk until combined. Do not overmix.
- Spoon the batter into the liners, filling up to ⅔ full only.
- Bake for 19-22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow the cupcakes to cool completely before using.
- In the meantime, transfer the French candied rose petals into a piping bag with a #8 or #10 metal tips.
- Once the cupcakes are ready, insert the tip into the top of the cupcake and push the filling into the cupcake by about 1 inch or 2.5 cm (Note that you do not need to cut a whole into a cupcake first). Squeeze about one teaspoon for each cupcake.
- For the raspberry rosewater frosting: in a small saucepan over medium-low heat, combine raspberry and sugar. Once berries begin to release their juices, increase heat to medium-high and stir constantly, mashing the berries with the back of your spoon as you go. Bring to a boil (still stirring constantly) and cook 6-8 minutes until mixture has reduced.
- Run through a strainer to remove seeds and pulp and allow to cool completely before using in frosting. Discard leftover seeds/pulp.
- In a medium sized bowl, cream together butter and cream cheese. Gradually add 1 cup of powdered sugar and stir until combined. Add in raspberry juice, rosewater and stir well. Add remaining sugar and beat until combined.
- Transfer the frosting into a piping bag and pipe on top of cooled cupcakes.