As well as being utterly and unashamedly girly, these gorgeous little cupcakes are really soft and moist, with just the right amount of rosewater and lemon to enjoy the different flavours, but not too much to be over-powering. And the vegan Rosewater Buttercream Frosting tops them off beautifully - a tangy, lemony, perfect complement. Not forgetting the fluttery rose petals to decorate.
My Lemon Rosewater Cupcakes came about after I'd been exploring a large Indian supermarket in Manchester's Rusholme area the other week, finding some bottled rosewater (there were several brands to choose from), as well as bags of dried rose petals. I knew straight away they could be used to produce a wonderful cupcake.
I had in mind the birthday of a young vegan lady that I know, in order to give myself a reason to try them out. I suppose I could have been really self-indulgent and made them for simply for me, but I really love baking treats for the people in my life who appreciate them.
I have to say, the rosewater I bought was not expensive at all, and I think the bag of rose petals (about 100g, which is a lot) also was only £1.69 - it will no doubt come in handy for other decorative uses, or making bath bombs!
And I am glad to report that these cakes were extremely well-received by the birthday girl in question, and she was very happy to be able to take some home with her. They certainly show that the proof is in the pudding when it comes to vegan baking - these cupcakes are not 'missing out' on anything at all.
I would suggest even if you are not vegan, giving these a go and comparing them to your usual cupcake recipe. I think you'll be surprised at what you may discover. If you are looking for a distinctively but delicately flavoured, pretty and "cannot believe it's vegan!" cupcake to make as a birthday or anniversary treat, then this is definitely the one.
And just to note, I liberally decorated my cupcakes with the rose petals, and they are edible but fairly tasteless and a bit like chewing paper. So you can pick them off as you eat the cupcakes, if you prefer! They do, however, look really nice, and they won't spoil the fun of eating if you do end up gnawing on them.
Lemon Rosewater Cupcakes
½ cup / 225ml plain soya yogurt
⅔ cup / 150ml unsweetened soya milk
1¼ cup / 125g plain white flour
⅓ cup / 75ml rapeseed (canola) oil
¾ cup / 140g granulated sugar
2 tablespoons cornflour (cornstarch)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
3 tablespoons rosewater
¾ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
¼ teaspoon of salt
Rosewater Buttercream Frosting:
¼ cup / 25g solid vegetable fat (vegetable shortening)
¼ cup / 25g vegan margarine (such as Vitalite)
2 ½ cups / 325g sifted icing (confectioner's) sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
½ tablespoon rosewater
⅛ teaspoon vegan red food colouring
Handful of dried rose petals
1. Preheat the oven to 170 degree Celsius and prepare a muffin pan with 12 cases.
2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the yogurt, milk, oil, sugar, lemon juice, vanilla extract, lemon zest and rosewater.
3. Into the bowl, sift in the flour, cornflour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
4. Slowly combine the mixture using a hand whisk and ensure it is smooth.
5. Divide the batter between the muffin cases and immediately place in the oven.
6. Bake for around 23-24 minutes until the cupcakes are risen with a lightly golden top. A skewer inserted into one should come out clean.
7. Leave the cupcakes to cool for around 10 minutes in the pan and then remove to a cooling rack to cool completely. Ensure COMPLETELY cool before frosting them, otherwise it will melt!
Making the frosting and decorating the cupcakes:
1. In a small mixing bowl, beat the vegetable fat and margarine together with a fork.
2. Add about a third of the icing sugar, and beat in, then add the lemon juice. Beat some more and add another third of the sugar, continuing to whisk, before adding the rosewater and the final third of the sugar.
3. Whisk with the fork for a few minutes to make the frosting nice and fluffy, then add the red food colouring and whisk until the colour is even throughout.
4. Store tightly covered in the refrigerator until ready for use (and until the cupcakes have cooled completely).
5. When ready, spoon into a piping bag (try this tip!) and decorate as you like. Finish off by sprinkling a few dried rose petals on each cupcake. Store in an airtight container until ready to eat.