Though it may technically still be winter, why not bring on that summery feeling by making a batch of these irresistibly delicious Lemon Rosewater Cupcakes? These cupcakes will have you imagining you are sitting on the back porch with the sun shinning on your face and a warm breeze in the air as you sip a glass of deliciously flavored rosewater lemonade.
Lemonade Rosewater Cupcakes sound delightful, right? But what about this rosewater huh? Have you ever baked with it before? The first time I even heard of using rosewater in a recipe was about 8 years ago when I had my nose glued to the inside of Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World by Isa Chandra. I was trying to learn how to make delicious desserts without the use of dairy or eggs and this was my Bible, so to speak.
But while I had just learned of rosewater 8 years ago, I found out that the use of rosewater dates back to early Egypt as Cleopatra herself used this in her natural skincare regime as it is a known anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, and anti-aging properties. Even Michelangelo drank it in his tea (I guess he wanted to experience the fountain of youth too). Beyond the historical significance and beauty lesson, rosewater is also a well known ingredient used throughout the world in cooking and baking.
Rosewater is best known for its use in Persian cooking to scent of flavor food, especially rice. It is also used to flavor foods like Baklava, ice cream, cakes, sweet buns and puddings. So why not cupcakes?
Typically, I’m not a fan of roses so if you’re like “um, sounds pretty but I’m not gonna eat that”, then you weren’t alone. Actually, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to at first but I tried and was pleasantly surprised. It doesn’t give off that “grandma’s perfume” kinda of smell, but a sweet hint of something special. Now don’t get me wrong, if you poured a ton of it in these cakes, then yes, it would taste like you’re eating a bouquet of roses, so let’s not do that!
Instead, we use a small amount in our light and fluffy vanilla cupcake base and pair it with lemon which works to balance it all out. Then it is also mixed into your creamy butter and blended with powdered sugar for a delightfully simple, yet satisfying frosting. It has just the right amount of rosewater flavor where it doesn’t over power the cupcake and you can truly taste both rosewater and lemon simultaneously! SERIOUSLY decadent and delish.
To Frost or Not to Frost
Now, my kids really dislike any type of frosting or icing. It doesn’t matter if it’s homemade, store-bought, vegan buttercream or cream cheese, sugary or not. They wipe off every pretty inch of my beautifully decorated cupcake, only to eat the cake alone. So, if you’re kids are like mine (or maybe it’s you that is NOT an icing fan) the good news is that these Lemonade Rosewater cupcakes taste amazing on their own so you can enjoy them “au natural” so to speak.
For today though, I choose frosting! I choose to use a pretty decorators tip and pile it on high on top of my Lemonade Rosewater Cupcakes. What about you?
Now who is ready for a deliciously refreshing recipe?
- 1/2 cup vegan butter spread, cut into slices (Earth Balance soy free)
- 2/3 cup pure cane sugar
- 1/3 cup confectioners sugar
- 1/2 cup dairy-free yogurt (So Delicious plain)
- 1/3 cup coconut milk
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- juice from 1/2 lemon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoon rosewater
- 1 1/2 cup all purpose flour (Bob’s 1-to-1 gluten-free also works great)
- 2 teaspoon baking powder
- pinch fine sea salt
- drizzle of liquid from crushed frozen berries (optional)
Preheat oven to 350°
Cream together butter slices, sugars, yogurt & coconut milk until creamy.
Add in lemon zest & juice, vanilla extract and rosewater if using and blend until combined.
Sift in flour, baking powder and salt then whisk in to combines.
Fill liners 3/4 full (add drizzle of berry liquid and swirl into batter to make pretty pattern if desired) and bake 18-20 minutes or until center comes out clean after inserting a toothpick.
Remove from oven and cool completely before icing.
Cream butter and shortening together then add in confectioners sugar a cup at time. Add in lemon juice, rosewater and lemon zest then beat until fluffy 2-3 minutes.
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