Vanilla Bean Rose Cupcakes

These delicate, floral, and light cupcakes are perfumed with rose water and speckled with vanilla bean. Decorated with beautiful piped rose petals they make the perfect gift. I developed this recipe through trial and error, due to rose water’s tendency to be overbearing or nonexistent in cakes, and the final product is absolutely stunning.

Cupcake 4

Happy Birthday to one of my best friends! She loves everything rose and I made these cupcakes just for her.

I strongly advise against ordering rose water from the internet. It is very likely that the shipment will take too long, be too expensive, and that the product will be broken or rancid by the time it is delivered. Instead, I went to my local Mediterranean/Middle Eastern grocery stores and bought 2 14 oz. bottles of fresh rose water for under $5.00. That’s a much better deal than $12.00 + $4.99 shipping in my opinion.

To make these cupcakes I used my standard vanilla bean cupcake/frosting recipe and added rose water. A little bit of pink food coloring in the frosting adds a nice touch.

Happy Baking,

Ivy B. Lake

better cupcake

For this recipe you will need 1 small bowl, 1 medium bowl, and 1 large mixing bowl, a cutting board, a small knife, a mixer, a spoon (for the vanilla bean), cupcake tin, and 16 cupcake liners.

Ingredients (Cupcakes):

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean (I buy mine from Whole Foods)
  • 1 3/4 cups cake flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 cup softened butter
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil (I use Mazola corn oil)
  • 1 1/2 – 2 tsp. Rose Water (Depending on how strong you want the taste)
  • 2/3 cup milk

Ingredients (Frosting):

  • 1/2 cup softened butter
  • 1 tbsp. milk
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tbsp. rose water
  • 1 drop of pink food coloring (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract


Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line the cupcake tin with the liners.

Place one vanilla bean on a cutting board, and using a small knife, cut a slit in the bean lengthwise. Pull back the sides so that the bean is now splayed open. Using the back of the knife scrape all of the seeds (the sticky black stuff inside) out and put them in your small bowl. Add the granulated sugar and (using the back of a spoon) push against the seeds until they aren’t in clumps anymore. Set this bowl aside.

In the large mixing bowl, sift/whisk together the cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the vanilla sugar and whisk until combined.

Add the softened butter to your large bowl and cream it with the mixer. (The batter will look crumb-like at this stage).

In the medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, sour cream, and oil. Add this mixture to the large bowl and mix by hand. Be careful not to overwork the batter.

Slowly add the milk to the batter, and then the rose water. Be very careful not to add too little or too much rose water, because this will either taste like nothing or like rose soap. Play around with the amount you want so that it works for you.

Fill the cupcake liners and bake for 12-16 minutes. Keep a close eye on the cupcakes after 12 minutes, being careful not to let them brown. Once they are down immediately remove them from the cupcake tin and put them on a cooling rack.

(For the frosting) Cream the sugar and butter together, and then add the milk, rose water, and optional dye. Taste the frosting as you go. (I tend to like less sweet, creamy, soft, and fragrant frosting, as this recipe will reflect). More sugar will make the frosting stiffer, which will yield a more uniform piped rose. As you can tell from the photos, I don’t mind that the roses were all a little soft.

For a tutorial on how to pipe beautiful roses onto your cupcakes, visit this video by CakesbyLynz.

Enjoy these perfume-worthy cupcakes! Leave a comment if you have any questions or suggestions.

Cupcake 2




4 Comments Add yours

  1. Julie Michele Tuttle says:

    These look lovely!


  2. These look fab. Love it


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