Romantic rose cupcakes

If you like the idea of these individual treats but still want a cake to cut, make a batch of batter and bake in a lined, deep 20cm/8in round cake tin at 190°C, 375°F, Gas 5 for 40-45 minutes. Serve on a pretty cake plate with icing and sugar roses

Romantic rose cupcakes
Ingredients (Makes 12 deep cupcakes)
  • 1 x 150ml pot natural yoghurt
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 175g/6oz golden caster sugar
  • 150g/5oz self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 100g/4oz ground almonds
  • 175g/6oz unsalted butter, melted

For the white chocolate icing
  • 100g/4oz white chocolate
  • 150g/5oz unsalted butter
  • 150g/5oz icing sugar
  • Thin ribbon (optional)
  • 36 simple sugar roses and leaves (see below)


Preheat the oven to 190°C, 375°F, Gas 5 and line a 12-hole muffin tin with paper cases. In a jug, mix the yoghurt, eggs and vanilla extract. Put the dry ingredients plus a pinch of salt into a large bowl and make a well in the middle.

Add the yoghurt mix and the melted butter, and quickly fold in with a spatula or metal spoon – be careful not to overwork it. Spoon into the cases (they will be quite full) and bake for 18-20 minutes or until golden, risen and springy to touch. Cool for a few minutes, then transfer the cakes to a wire rack. Once completely cool, keep in an airtight container for up to 3 days or freeze.

To make the icing, melt the white chocolate in the microwave on high for 90 seconds, stirring halfway through. Leave to cool. Beat the butter and icing sugar in a bowl until creamy. Beat in the cooled chocolate. Cover and chill for up to 1 month. Up to 48 hours before serving (or the day before if it’s really hot), bring back to room temperature, then spread over the cakes.

Put the ribbon around the cakes, tying or gluing in place. Keep cool and out of direct sunlight.

For the simple sugar roses
These can be made up to a month ahead. Keep in a cool place away from moisture and light

Ingredients (Makes about 40 roses and leaves)
  • Edible food colouring paste (we used Claret and Party Green)
  • 200g/7oz white ready-to-roll icing
  • A little solid vegetable fat
  • Edible lustre (we used a shimmery pink)
  • Edible sparkles (we used bright pink), optional


Start with the roses. Knead a little colouring paste into 150g/5oz of icing until pale and even. Break into 3 balls, then add a little more colouring to 2, giving 3 varying depths of colour. Keep under clingfilm. Rub a very thin layer of fat over a work surface. Roll out one of the balls thinly, about 1-2mm, then trim into a rectangle about 8 x 20cm/3¼ x 8in. Cut off a 1cm/½in strip of icing widthways, keeping the rest covered.

Carefully roll the strip up and around itself. For a more realisticlooking rose, start rolling slightly skew-whiff, so that the outside edge of the finished rose sticks out further than the middle. With about 2cm/¾in to go, start to guide the end of the icing down and under to make a neat rosebud. Pinch to shape, then cut or pinch off the bottom. Set aside for at least 1 hour, or until firm. Repeat with the rest of the icing.

For the leaves, colour the remaining icing green. Pinch off small, pea-size pieces, roll into balls, then flatten a little. Pinch one end of each to make a leaf shape. Leave to dry.

Once the roses are dry and firm, dust a little lustre onto each rose using a paintbrush or your fingertips. Sprinkle with sparkles, if using. Position the roses on the cupcakes in clusters of 3, following with 3 leaves.
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