Rose Cup Cakes

Here’s another: “Why don’t we have tea in the garden?” recipe. These gorgeous little cakes are the true taste of an English country garden in mid-summer. Perfect with a cup of tea and a nice deck chair.

Rose water is distilled from rose petals and has the most beautiful powerful scent. Add with a light hand: start with a few tiny drops, you can always add more.

A food processor makes short work of both cake mix and buttercream

Makes 15 domed or 18 flatter cakes

  • 175g salted butter, softened
  • 175g golden caster sugar
  • Grated zest of 1 large lemon
  • 175g very fresh self-raising flour
  • 2 medium-large fresh eggs
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • Essence of rose water to taste

Preheat oven to 160C (fan ovens) or equivalent

You will need 2 x12 cup muffin tins (or 1x12 and 1x6) and muffin/cupcake size cake cases

Whiz the butter, sugar and lemon zest together until combined and fluffy.

Sieve half the flour over the mixture, add the eggs and the remaining flour. Whiz again.

Add the milk and rosewater and whiz until beautifully smooth yet not over-mixed: you may want to stop the machine a couple of times and scrape the mixture down with a flexible spatula.

Half fill each paper case and bake for around 15 minutes or until risen and golden and springy to the touch. A skewer inserted should come out clean.

Cool on a wire rack.

Rose Buttercream

  • 225g sieved icing sugar
  • 110g softened salted butter
  • 3 tablespoons sieved lemon juice, plus extra on standby
  • Essence of rose water to taste

Tip the icing sugar into the clean dry processor bowl. Whiz briefly to eliminate any persistent clumps. Add the butter and whiz to combine. Add the lemon juice and a few drops of rosewater. Whiz until smooth, adding more lemon juice and rose water if required.

Colour half the buttercream pink with pink food colouring.

Once the cakes are completely cold pipe with swirls of buttercream using a large star nozzle.

Scatter with pink sugar sprinkles and top with tiny rosebuds: polyantha ‘fairy’ roses are ideal.


If you are a dab hand with the icing bag you can tint the buttercream a more intense pink and mimic a rose shape with a ‘rose’ icing nozzle.