If you are looking for a cupcake with a fun unique flavor this is a great one to try. But don’t be frightened away by this uncommon flavor combination. These cupcakes have a light delicate crumb and can be made into an everyday almond or vanilla cupcake with the omission of extracts. The addition of mascarpone to the buttercream gives the icing a light whipped-cream like texture and the strawberry adds a fruity vibrancy to this noteworthy amalgamation.
My niece celebrated her birthday a couple of weeks ago and since she has a fondness for floral flavors I decided to try my hand at a rose cupcake. About the same time, in serendipic fashion, my friend Renae mentioned that she had some rose petal paste from Pakistan and offered to give me a quantity to make these lovely little cakes with classic and exotic flavors.
If you cannot get your hands on rose petal paste, rose water would be a nice substitute to bring out this English and Middle Eastern flavor staple. I included mascarpone in the cupcake batter which gives it really light and moist texture but if you don’t want to purchase it or don’t have it on hand you can use half and half, sour cream or cream cheese in equal weight. If you use sour cream or cream cheese add 1/4 teaspoon baking soda to neutralize the acidity.
For the buttercream, I added Strawberry Paste from Pastry Portal which gives an intense and bright fruity flavor with a small volume (I’m addicted!) but you can also use strawberry puree and strawberry extract for a similar taste.
I hope you enjoy this unique confection full of complex flavors!
On a personal note; my daughter’s tenth birthday was this weekend and all of the party preparation kept me away from the blog for several days. But I have lots of fun things to share with you soon from her Greek Goddess themed birthday party. I am so blessed by my smart, sweet girl full of beautiful character. God is good!
- 6 ounces (170 grams) unsalted butter- 12 tablespoons or 1 ½ sticks
- 6 tablespoons (90 milliliters) vegetable oil
- 18 ounces (510 grams) granulated sugar- 2 ½ cups
- 3 tablespoons (45 milliliters) rose petal paste or 1 tablespoon (15 milliliters) rose flower water
- 1 tablespoon (15 milliliters) vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon (5 milliliters) almond extract
- 3 large eggs
- 12 ounces (340 grams) all-purpose/plain flour- 2 ¼ cups
- 3 ¾ ounces (106 grams) cake flour- 1 cup
- 2 teaspoons (10 milliliters) baking powder
- ¾ teaspoon (8 milliliters) salt
- 7 ½ ounces (213 grams) mascarpone or half and half- ¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons
- 8 ounces (227 grams) egg whites separated from whole eggs or from a carton- 1 cup
- 16 ounces (454 grams) granulated sugar- 2 ¼ cups
- ½ ounce (14 grams) corn syrup- 1 tablespoon
- 16 ounces (454 grams) unsalted butter softened but not warm- 2 cups
- 6 ounces (170 grams) mascarpone softened
- 2 tablespoons (30 milliliters) vanilla extract
- 1 ½ tablespoons (23 milliliters) strawberry paste or 1/3 cup (80 milliliters) strawberry puree and 1 teaspoon (5 milliliters) strawberry extract
- Pinch of salt
- Preheat oven to 350 F (177 C) and line standard cupcake pans with 30 paper liners.
- Combine butter, oil and sugar in a mixer bowl and blend on low for about 1 minute until combined but not fluffy or light; add flavorings and stir to blend. Add eggs one at a time and mix on low until just absorbed by the butter-sugar mixture about 1 minute.
- Sprinkle in the dry ingredients and mix on low until moistened, about 1 minute. Add the mascarpone or half and half in thirds with the mixer running on low then mix for 30 seconds on low until blended, scraping down the sides of the bowl if necessary.
- Divide batter between the liners using a ¼ cup ice cream scoop filling 2/3 full and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until a cake tester inserted comes out clean and the cupcakes spring back slightly when gently pressed. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes and then move to a cooling rack. Cool completely before icing or store in an airtight container. Can be frozen unfrosted.
- Makes about 30 standard cupcakes or 120 mini cupcakes
- Whisk egg whites, sugar and corn syrup together in a microwave-safe bowl; make sure the mixture is well mixed so the sugar can protect the eggs from cooking. Heat the mixture in the microwave for 2-4 minutes on high in 30 second intervals whisking well after each 30 second heating. Heat until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture reaches 160ᵒ F/72ᵒ C. (Alternatively this step can be carried out in a double boiler over simmering water). Pour the syrup into a cake pan or shallow metal bowl and chill in the freezer for 20-30 minutes until it is quite cool (45-60ᵒ F).
- Meanwhile, beat the butter and mascarpone in a mixer for 2 minutes on high until lighter in color and aerated. Add the cooled syrup in two additions to the butter beating 30 seconds after each addition. Add the vanilla and strawberry paste, or strawberry puree and extract and pinch of salt beat 30 seconds until smooth; can be used immediately.
- You can store this buttercream in the refrigerator tightly sealed for 2 weeks or in the freezer for 2 months. You will need to bring it to room temperature and rebeat it before using.