Marymas Rosewater Cakelets

In September, near the feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, many rose bushes here in the Pacific Northwest have another bloom. Since Mary is so intertwined with roses, a whimsical rosewater delicacy is such a fitting way to “taste” the beauty of this holiday!

“The brightness of the sun is upon thy head: the beauty of the moon is beneath thy feet. Shining orbs adorn they throne: the morning stars glorify thee forever.”

St. Bonaventure, from ‘The Psalter of the Blessed Virgin Mary’

For this vanilla/rosewater birthday dessert for Our Lady, I used a festive cakelet pan featuring flower-shaped molds. Just using a cupcake pan would work wonderfully, too!

I picked some fresh rose petals to make the rosewater vanilla icing, and the result was a fragrant, effervescent birthday treat that was a big hit with everyone. The rose/vanilla combination is so delicate and helps to keep the flavor from being overwhelmingly floral.

We added a whimsical touch by sprinkling pearl sugar over the iced cakelets – they almost look like dewdrops on flowers!


Marymas Rosewater Cakelets

  • Difficulty: medium
  • Rating: ★★★★★
  • Print

A fragrant, effervescent birthday treat celebrating Our Lady!


  • fresh rose petals from edible roses (free of pesticides, etc.)
  • water
  • ice

  • 2 & 1/4 c flour
  • 1 & 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 c unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 c buttermilk (if you don’t have buttermilk, adding a tablespoon of vinegar to a cup of milk works fine!)
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt

  • 4 T unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 c powdered sugar
  • 2 – 4 T milk
  • 1 & 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp rosewater


  1. Place a heat-safe bowl in a dutch oven or stainless steel pot on the stove.
  2. Around the bowl (within the dutch oven), sprinkle the rose petals.
  3. Add water to the pot with the roses, keeping the interior bowl empty. Add enough water to cover the petals.
  4. Put a lid on the pot, bring to a boil, and simmer.
  5. Rosewater will begin to condense into the interior bowl! Inverting the lid and placing ice on top of it can help the condensation process.

  7. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a cakelet pan.
  8. Mix all the dry ingredients together.
  9. Beat the eggs. Mix with butter, buttermilk, and vanilla in a stand mixer until combined.
  10. Add the dry ingredients a bit at a time, mixing as you go.
  11. Pour into cakelet pan (filling each mold about 3/4 full).
  12. Bake for about 10-15 minutes. Let cool.

  14. Melt butter.
  15. Add butter, milk, vanilla, & rosewater to sugar & beat with a mixer until smooth. Add the milk incrementally, so you can get the consistency of icing you want.

  17. Pour the icing over the cooled cakelets! I garnished them with some pearl sugar to add a little “dewdrops” to the flower cakelets!

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