Food & Drink

Strawberry Rose Cakes

Craving something sweet, but don’t want to go down the full-blown cake or traditional cupcake route? Try this elegant, easy 30-minute recipe from the Cake Mix Doctor herself, Anne Byrn. This recipe creates a pink sweetheart rose cupcake, but you could just as easily make a red rose with a red velvet cake recipe, or a yellow rose with a yellow cake recipe.

Photo © Susan Goldman

Photo © Susan Goldman


Makes 24 Rose Cupcakes (2 inches each)

If you have a pan with sweetheart rose–patterned cups and you’re looking for a fast and easy recipe for Valentine’s Day, here is a beauty (so to speak). The recipe is the simple strawberry cake I recommend for girls’ birthdays, but the batter is baked in these pretty molds shaped like roses. Because the recipe makes 24 roses, you will have to bake a batch, let it cool, then clean the pan before baking a second batch. You can also use a “bouquet cakelet” pan, yielding 12 slightly larger flowers; they require 28 to 32 minutes cooking time.


  • Solid vegetable shortening for greasing the pans
  • Flour for dusting the pans
  • 1 package (18.25 ounces) plain white cake mix
  • 1 package (3 ounces) strawberry gelatin
  • 1 cup mashed fresh strawberries with juice (1½ cups whole berries)
  • ¾ cup milk
  • ¾ cup vegetable oil
  • 4 large eggs
  • Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting

1. Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F. Brush the vegetable shortening inside the rose cups, making sure to cover all the surfaces. Dust with flour and shake out the excess. Set the pan aside.

2. Place the cake mix, gelatin, mashed strawberries and juice, milk, oil, and eggs in a large mixing bowl. Blend with an electric mixer on low speed for 30 seconds. Stop the machine and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat 2 minutes more, scraping down the sides again if needed. Spoon or scoop ⅓ cup batter into each prepared cup, filling it three quarters of the way full. Place the pan in the oven.

3. Bake the cupcakes until they are lightly golden and spring back when lightly pressed with your finger, 24 to 27 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and place it on a wire rack to cool for 15 minutes. Leave the oven on. The cupcakes will shrink and settle into the cups as they cool. Run a dinner knife around the edges of the cupcake roses to loosen them, then invert the pan onto a rack and lift off the pan. Let the cupcake roses continue to cool rose-side-up for 30 minutes. Repeat with the remaining batter.

4. Dust the roses with the confectioners’ sugar. The cupcakes are ready to serve. For a pretty presentation, place these roses on a silver platter with rose petals and fresh strawberries. No rose pan? Use a regular cupcake pan, lined with paper liners. Bake the cupcakes about 18 to 20 minutes and frost with cream cheese frosting.

Store these cupcakes, in a cake saver or under a glass dome, at room temperature for up to 3 days or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Or freeze them, wrapped in aluminum foil or in a cake saver, for up to 6 months. Thaw the cupcakes overnight in the refrigerator before serving.

For more recipes like this, check out Cupcakes! From The Cake Mix Doctor and The Cake Mix Doctor by Anne Byrn.

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