Rose Tea Cupcakes

February 14: Valentine’s Day

“Everything’s coming up roses” on Valentine’s Day! Make something sweet for someone sweet by baking some rose-flavored cupcakes. The ingredients include rose tea and rosewater and the cupcakes are topped with rose-shaped candies.

Roses have long been a symbol of love. Among roses lining the aisle, we were married at the Mystical Rose Oratory at Islander’s alma mater in Hawaii. The name of this chapel with a glorious view of iconic Diamond Head is named after the Blessed Mother Mary. Devotionals to her, the Mystical Rose, are done with a rosary.

Although there are different colors and varieties of roses, red is associated with romantic love. So on this day when love is celebrated, we chose vibrant red candy roses to decorate our lovely cupcakes.

Happy Valentine’s Day! May all our blog readers be blessed with lots of love!


For the rose tea cupcakes

  • 2-3 teabags of rose-flavored tea (we used a jasmine-rose tea blend)
  • ½ cup boiling water
  • ¼ cup (½ stick) butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1-2 teaspoons rosewater
  • 1 cup flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • pinch of salt
  • ¼ cup plain yogurt


Steep the tea bags in the boiling water and allow to cool at room temperature. In a mixing bowl, cream the butter with the sugar. Beat in the egg. Stir in the rose water.

In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and pinch of salt. Gradually add this flour mixture to the above wet ingredients. Pour in the rose tea. Fold in the yogurt and mix until the batter is smooth. Scoop into 12 cupcake papers in a regular size muffin tin. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes. Remove from the oven and place on wire racks to cool completely before frosting the cupcakes.

For the rosewater buttercream

  • ½ cup butter
  • 2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ teaspoon rosewater
  • pinch of salt
  • 2-3 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
  • green food coloring


In a mixing bowl, cream the butter. Gradually add the powdered sugar and mix until smooth. Stir in the vanilla and rosewater.

Add a pinch of salt. Thin to a desired frosting consistency with the heavy whipping cream. Frost the tops of the cupcake or pipe swirls (Wilton star tip 1M). Reserve a little frosting for the leaves. Tint with green food coloring. Set aside.

For the candy rose decorations

  • Red candy melts (Wilton brand)
  • Vegetable shortening (to thin, optional)


Melt the candy melts according to the package. Thin with a tiny bit of vegetable shortening, if necessary. Stir well and fill the rose mold. Refrigerate until firm. Unmold the candy roses.

Place in the center of the cupcakes. Use the remaining green frosting to pipe leaves (Wilton leaf tip #352) on the sides of each candy rose. Chill in the refrigerator to set. Bring to room temperature before serving the rose cupcakes.


  • Instead of rose-flavored tea in a cupcake, try rosé wine in a cake.
  • Rose water is a milder flavoring than rose extract. Be careful not to add too much to the recipe or it will be too fragrant and bitter.
  • Pretty in pink: Feel free to add a few drops of red food coloring to the cupcake batter and frosting to make a rose pink hue. Substitute red candy melts for pink ones as the rose topper. Use pink cupcake paper liners.
  • Try the apple roses recipe for another pretty presentation of puff pastry.
  • Search our blog for other Valentine’s Day recipes.

Poulet Saint-Valentin

(Chicken St. Valentine)

St. Valentine Chicken

February 14: Feast Day of St. Valentine

We tend to avoid going out to dinner on Valentine’s Day when it is crowded and less intimate. One alternative to celebrating this day with a special significant other is to cook a romantic meal at home—because home is where the heart is, and sometimes the way to someone’s heart is through the stomach! For us, we would prepare our favorite foods or cook poulet Saint-Valentin for the feast day of the legendary saint of love. Though this is a rich-tasting chicken and rice dish, the ingredients are more economical than what cost-conscious couples might spend on a complete meal at a fancy restaurant. Try this traditional poulet Saint-Valentin for a deliciously different dish on Valentine’s Day.


(Adapted from Cooking with the Saints by Ernst Schuegraf)

For the chicken

  • 1 roasting chicken (we used 4 chicken thighs)
  • ¼ cup (½ stick) butter, unsalted
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup milk (we used lactose-free lowfat milk)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

For the rice

  • ½ cup rice, uncooked
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 4 tablespoons ham, diced
  • 2 tablespoons parsley, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons butter


In a large skillet, brown the chicken in butter. Season with salt, pepper, nutmeg and paprika. Drain the grease, leaving half in the pan to mix with the flour. Pour in the wine and milk to make a sauce. Cover the skillet, lower the heat and simmer until the chicken is cooked through. Remove the chicken from the skillet and set aside. Mix the lemon juice into the sauce. Boil for two minutes to reduce and thicken it before serving over the chicken.

St. Valentine Chicken

Meanwhile, in a saucepan, combine the rice with the chicken stock and cook on medium-low heat until the rice has absorbed all the liquid. Stir in the ham, parsley and butter. Continue to cook until the rice is tender. Serve on a plate beside the chicken. Pour some of the gravy on the chicken and garnish with additional parsley (optional).

St. Valentine Chicken


  • If using a whole roasting chicken, cut into manageable parts for cooking.
  • Adjust the taste of the seasonings accordingly. We prefer less pepper and nutmeg in this dish. The paprika adds a rich red color to the sauce.
  • If doubling the rice recipe, reduce the chicken stock ½ – 1 cup. Cook this simultaneously with the chicken.
  • Happy Valentine’s Day with love from Highlander and Islander!