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ginger rosewater cupcakes

Ginger AND rosewater.. typically, not 2 of my favorite flavors.  Probably flavors I would tend to steer away from, actually; especially in a cupcake.  They are, however, 2 of Daren’s favorite flavors, and when I saw these cupcakes over on Baked Bree I knew he would probably love them (spoiler alert: he ate 3 the first night, so I’m going to call that a success). Rosewater is a common flavor in Persian cuisine, and Daren is the one who originally introduced it to me.  His mom uses it in her baklava, and we’ve also made rosewater ice cream before.  The first time we made rosewater ice cream, we used the Nielson-Massey brand rosewater, which seemed to me to be more like an extract.  It had a really overpowering taste that came across pretty perfume-y.  When Daren’s mom was in town last summer, she helped us find the right stuff at an Middle Eastern grocery store.  The brand we bought was called Dabur, and it has a much more subtle flavor.  Still, I didn’t think I would like these cupcakes much, but I was pleasantly surprised! They’re kind of subtly exotic tasting, without being too in your face.  A tiny bit of pink food coloring in the glaze and a dusting of gold sprinkles made for a beautiful presentation.  That being said, the glaze tends to melt into the cupcake over time, so I would recommend glazing them the same day you’re planning to serve them.  If you’re just keeping them at home for yourself, they taste just as good either way!

By the way, you might have noticed that I often judge the success of a recipe on whether or not Daren likes it.  That tends to be the case because he actually has a much more discerning palate than I do.  That, and because he’s usually the one getting stuck eating most of it :) Thanks for being my taste-tester, babe!


For the cupcakes:

  • 3/4 cup ( 3.125 oz) all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup (3 oz) cake flour
  • 1 tbsp. ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups (8.75 oz) sugar
  • 3 eggs, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 2 tbsp. candied or crystallized ginger, finely chopped

For the glaze:

  • 3 cups confectioner’s sugar (plus additional as necessary)
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 4 tsp. rosewater
  • Pink food coloring
  • Gold sprinkles (optional)


Preheat the oven to 350°F.  Line 2 muffin pans with paper liners (this recipe yielded 16 cupcakes for me).

In a medium mixing bowl, combine the flours, ginger, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Whisk to combine.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.  Add in the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Add in the flour mixture in three additions, alternating with the milk and beginning and ending with the flour (so flour, milk, flour, milk, flour).  After each addition, beat on low speed just until combined.

Divide the batter among the prepared muffin pans, filling each about 2/3 of the way full (err on the side of under-filling these, as you want to leave room under the edge of the liner for the glaze).  Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean.  Watch them carefully, as mine started to darken really quickly.

To make the glaze, stir together the milk and confectioner’s sugar.  Add in the rosewater 1 tsp. at a time, until the strength of the flavor is to your taste.  If the glaze becomes too thin, add in additional confectioner’s sugar (if it’s too liquid it will melt right into the cupcakes).  Spoon the glaze over the cupcakes until it is flush with the top of the liner; sprinkle with gold sprinkles.  Allow the glaze to set completely before serving.

Yield: about 16 cupcakes

Source: Baked Bree; originally from Martha Stewart


Cupcakes, Desserts

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