White Chocolate Rose Cupcakes

It’s spring, the flowers are blooming, the weather is getting warmer, and rain is falling. Spring always elicits a kind of excitement in me; wearing shorts and enjoying long bike rides is what I live for. As the end of school nears, there are no bittersweet goodbyes to the AP classes and the sound of my 6 o’clock alarm ringing.

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These cupcakes are my ode to spring and a departure from school. Vanilla cupcakes studded with white chocolate before being topped with whipped cream spiked with rose water. Rose water has a delicate and distinctive flavor. I know rose is an intimidating flavor to use in the kitchen, but its mild and unique taste is surprisingly pleasing. I had my first macaron this summer and was rather underwhelmed by the salted caramel flavor I had chosen. I then took a bite of the second macaron I bought, a rose-flavored one, and fell in love.

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I waited months before I finally came across a bottle of this at an Indian store and bought it in quite a hurry. A few weeks later I proceeded to dump a generous amount of this into my whipped cream frosting,  which ended up being light and flavorful. Smear this frosting on a white chocolate cupcake, and you’ve got yourself a real winner.

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White Chocolate Rose Cupcakes (Makes 12 cupcakes)

1 1/3 cup all-purpose flour

1 3/4 tsp. baking powder

3/4 tsp. salt

1/2 cup unsalted butter (softened)

1 cup granulated sugar

2 eggs (at room temp.)

1/2 cup milk

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1/4 cup white chocolate (chopped into small chunks)

Frosting

1 cup heavy whipping cream

3 – 4 tbsp. powdered sugar

2 tbsp. rose water

1/4 tsp. vanilla

Pinch of Salt

Strawberries (optional, to garnish)

White chocolate (optional, chopped to garnish)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. In a bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and salt.
  3. In a mixing bowl cream the butter on medium speed until smooth. Add the sugar gradually and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  4. Add the eggs and vanilla. Beat well.
  5. Add the dry ingredients in 3 parts, alternating with the milk and vanilla. With each addition, beat until the ingredients are incorporated. Do not over beat (you will end up with tough cupcakes!). Fold in white chocolate. Use a rubber spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  6. Spoon the batter into the cupcake liners, filling them about 3/4 full. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes.
  7. To make the frosting, combine heavy cream and salt.
  8. Beat on medium speed until soft peaks form. Add powdered sugar 1 tbsp. at a time. Test for sweetness.
  9. Add rose water and vanilla extract. Beat just past soft peaks stage and stop.
  10. Frost cooled cupcakes with frosting. Dip the edges in white chocolate, and top with a strawberry slice if desired.

Vanilla cupcake recipe adapted from Food Network

Inspired by Joy the Baker

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