Vegan Vanilla Rose Cupcakes

by Sarah

in Cakes, Dairy-Free, Desserts, Egg-Free, vegan

This week it was one of my friend’s birthdays, and to celebrate a couple of us planned a surprise birthday party for her. When I think of her, I think of the color lavender because she’s very warm and comforting. She also likes flowers, so I thought it would be fun to make an edible flower. After some Pinteresting and youtube video watching, this lavender colored rose cupcake was born.

vegan vanilla rose cupcake

They are vegan vanilla cupcakes, and I used Chloe Coscarelli’s recipe for the cupcake bottoms. I doubled the recipe in the link to make 24 cupcakes.

The vegan vanilla frosting is a simple one made from vegetable shortening and vanilla. I used Chloe’s recipe for vegan vanilla frosting, with the exception of using colorless imitation vanilla extract to make the frosting extra white (for the rose petals).  You can get clear imitation vanilla online or at your local crafts store (Michaels carries it always, and sometimes Walmart has it too).

rose cupcake icing process

After making the frosting, I reserved about 1/4 cup to color green with food coloring and another 1/4 cup to color purple with food coloring. The food coloring I used was Wilton’s set of 12, colors Violet and Kelly Green. I dipped a fork into the icing color before mixing it into the white icing. It took a couple dips but the green and purple color came out pretty fast ~ you don’t need a lot of food coloring to make the colors, which is why I suggest dipping a fork or toothpick into the food coloring (which has a gel like consistency) and then swirling that into your icing instead of scooping food color in with a spoon.

rose cupcake decorating tips

To make the rose swirls, I used Wilton icing tip 20 (left) to make the rose and wilton icing tip 352 to make the leaves.

Vegan rose cupcake

This is a great youtube video I watched to get the purple swirls correct. Essentially the idea is to put purple frosting on the outermost layer of the bag and then put white frosting in the middle of the bag, and squeeze! The first flower came out totally purple for me because I had a clump of purple frosting at the bottom of the bag, but otherwise the flowers all had a pretty purple lining with a white center. For better control over the frosting process, I recommend making two separate bags of this two-toned frosting (or using the same bag but filling it twice so you don’t end up with one huge bag of icing all at once).

vegan vanilla rose cupcakes in a platterTo pipe the leaves, hold tip 352 so that the part that the two peaks are facing away from you and the tip is vertical so you have one peak on top and one on bottom. This way when you pipe, the two halves of the leaves come out the sides of the tip and the middle part forms a nice crease for the center of the tip.

vegan rose cupcake

You can also sprinkle some glittery sprinkles on the top of finished roses to make it look like there are dew drops on the roses. I used Williams-Sonoma shimmering sugar for the sprinkles, but any glittery sprinkle will work great. Come to think of it a rounder and fatter sprinkle may look even more like a dew drop.

Here is an overview on the decorating process to sum it all up:

  1. Make big batch of white icing
  2. Take 1/4 cup and put it in a bowl. Color it purple by dipping fork into purple icing and mixing it into the 1/4 cup of white icing. Don’t double dip, get a new fork if you need more food coloring! Repeat with green food coloring.
  3. Fill icing bag fitted with tip 352 with the green icing. Use tip coupler since it is a smaller tip. Refer to this page under the Writing On a Cake section for a refresher of what tip couplers are.
  4. Put tip 20 in large icing bag. Invert bag while holding tip and smear a layer of purple frosting along the sides leaving no uncovered spots. Flip the bag so the purple icing is now inside the bag, and add white icing to the center. Only use 1/2 your purple and 1/2 your white bag icing for this process. Repeat it with a fresh bag when you are 1/2 through the piping (makes sure you don’t end up with one super full icing bag, which is hard to control).
  5. Pipe the cupcake swirl, staring in the center holding bag vertically, then angled 45 degrees going around the center to make the petals of the rose.
  6. Pipe the leaf, holding tip 352 vertically so the two pointy parts are like the top half and bottom half of a shark’s mouth (aka don’t hold it horizontally which would make it look like two peaks of a mountain instead). Squeeze slowly to create a rounded leaf. Stop squeezing when leaf reaches desired shape.
  7. Sprinkle with glittery sprinkles (optional)


Vegan Vanilla Rose Cupcakes
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 24
Cake Dry Ingredients
  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
Cake Wet Ingredients
  • 1.5 cup soymilk
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 4 tablespoons apple cider vinegar or white vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup non-hydrogenated vegetable shortening
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon colorless imitation vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons soy milk
  • Purple, Green food coloring
  • Glittery Sprinkles (optional)
  1. Mix dry ingredients in one bowl, and mix the liquid ingredients in a separate bowl
  2. Add liquid ingredients into dry ingredient bowl and mix until combined. Don't overmix.
  3. Fill cupcake liners ½ full with batter and bake for 22 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with few crumbs on it.
  4. Let cool completely (overnight at room temperature, or a few hours in the fridge) before frosting.
  1. Cream shortening with a hand mixer, then add the powdered sugar, vanilla, and soymilk.
  2. Mix until frosting is spreadable, light, and fluffy.
  3. Reserve ¼ cup of frosting for leaves (color green with green food coloring) and ¼ cup for the purple petal rims (color with purple food coloring).
  4. Frost rose using Wilton tip 20. Start at the center of the cupcake and swirl in a circle to create the rose petals. Keep firm pressure on the piping bag to make sure rose comes out clean with no creases in the petals.
  5. Pipe leaf where rose petal ends, using tip 352. Holding tip vertically against the cupcake top (the two prongs of the tip should both be vertical, like top and bottom row teeth on a shark). Press piping bag and press slow for a more rounded leaf. Stop pressing when leaf reaches desired length and let taper off.
  6. Sprinkle glittery sprinkles on top like there are dew drops on the roses.
Recipe adapted from cookbook Chloe's Vegan Desserts by Chloe Coscarelli. Icing design inspired by Pinterest!

Leave a Comment

Rate this recipe:  

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Lily May 10, 2014 at 12:58 am

It is so pretty! Love it!


2 Marta May 10, 2014 at 5:33 am

This looks so yummy, and the creative roses are beautiful!


Previous post:

Next post: