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Meaning heavy on the chocolate…and the roses!

Deep Dark and Rosy, Red Velvet Cupcakes | @hbharvest

You know how yesterday I was talking about the tomboy in me? Well today, I am kind of kicking that part of me to the side and going all girly on you guys. Well, not that girly, but I did make cupcakes flavored with roses and while these picture have sort of a dark and moody feel, I can’t help but feel happy just looking at them.

Deep Dark and Rosy, Red Velvet Cupcakes | @hbharvest

Deep Dark and Rosy, Red Velvet Cupcakes | @hbharvest

It’s the roses.

Deep Dark and Rosy, Red Velvet Cupcakes | @hbharvest

Deep Dark and Rosy, Red Velvet Cupcakes | @hbharvest

Flowers are the one girly thing that suck me in every time. I am not big on make-up (mascara and chapstick is about it for me), I really do not like the color pink, I’d rather drive a stick shift car than an automatic and I’d rather spend the day in the snow, maybe even hanging out with my brothers, than in the mall (BUT I do like the mall…on a rainy day…my grandma did pass that gene onto me). Also, just thought I should mention that my younger sister Asher (she’s six) and I could not be more different. She is the ultimate girly girl and pink is her all time favorite color.

Deep Dark and Rosy, Red Velvet Cupcakes | @hbharvest

Deep Dark and Rosy, Red Velvet Cupcakes | @hbharvest

And now that we got that all sorted out, let’s talk about all things Deep Dark and Rosy, like these Red Velvet Cupcakes.

This was my first experience with baking red velvet cupcakes. Normally, I am not that into red velvet because food coloring freaks me out a bit and well, there is really just not enough chocolate in them for my liking. So while I still used the food coloring, I did end up adding kind of, sort of, a lot more chocolate. Hence the “Deep Dark” part to this recipe.

Oh, and rose water!! Some of you may think it’s weird to be flavoring cupcakes with roses, but I promise you, it’s not and it’s so perfect.

If you don’t have rose water on hand… nor does your neighbor, your mom or your sister, and you simply must make these today, you can leave the rose water out.

Deep Dark and Rosy, Red Velvet Cupcakes | @hbharvest

Deep Dark and Rosy, Red Velvet Cupcakes | @hbharvest

But really, the flavors all compliment each other really well, so try to find the rose water first!

The standouts from greatest to least are chocolate, rose and vanilla. When mixed in with a little sugar and a little butter, magic happens. No really it does.

Deep Dark and Rosy, Red Velvet Cupcakes | @hbharvest

I know that a lot of people only associate red velvet with Christmas, but for me, red velvet is definitely a February thing. And for some reason this year, I really went full force with the V-Day eats. No idea why, but it was fun (so umm, check back next week because there is a lot of good food coming your way).

These cupcakes were just the start, I loved them. I haven’t said that yet, but I really did love them. The chocolate flavor is awesome and subtle light flavors of the roses balance the chocolate out. AND that cream cheese frosting. Whoa.

That’s maybe the best thing ever. Seriously, so good.

Deep Dark and Rosy, Red Velvet Cupcakes | @hbharvest

The good thing, no awesome thing, about these cupcakes is that you can make them anytime of the year. For a particular occasion…or for no reason at all, which really is the best.

Deep Dark and Rosy, Red Velvet Cupcakes | @hbharvest

Oh, and sorry about all these pictures. I can’t help but take loads photos when things are pretty…

Deep Dark and Rosy, Red Velvet Cupcakes | @hbharvest

And, expect more of these roses. I paid forty bucks for them, so you know I used them till their death. Actually, they are not dead yet, maybe I can color them green for March – just kidding.

Deep Dark and Rosy, Red Velvet Cupcakes | @hbharvest

Deep Dark and Rosy, Red Velvet Cupcakes | @hbharvest

Deep Dark and Rosy, Red Velvet Cupcakes.

Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings: 24 Cupcakes
Calories Per Serving: 240 kcal

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

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  • 8 ounces cream cheese softened
  • 1/2 cup salted butter softened (or unsalted with 1/2 tsp salt), 8 tablespoons
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean seeds removed
  • 2 teaspoons rose water*
  • 1-2 tablespoons heavy cream


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 standard muffin tins with paper liners.
  • Whisk together flour, cornstarch, cocoa, and salt.
  • With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, whisk together the sugar and oil until combined. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Mix in food coloring, vanilla and rose water.
  • Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with the buttermilk, and mixing well after each addition. Stir together the baking soda and vinegar in a small bowl (it will foam) and add the mixture to the batter, mix on medium speed until combined. Stir in the chopped chocolate.
  • Divide batter evenly among the prepared pans, filling each three-quarters full. Bake 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, do not over bake. Transfer cupcakes to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Meanwhile, make the frosting, using an electric mixer, beat together the cream cheese and butter until smooth and creamy. Slowly beat in the powdered sugar, vanilla bean seeds and rose water until smooth. Add cream to reach your desired consistency.
  • Once the cupcakes are cool, frost with the cream cheese frosting. Decorate with roses if desired.


*I do not regularly keep cake flour on hand so I used a mix of all-purpose flour and cornstarch. If you happen to have cake flour on hand, you can use 2 1/2 cups cake flour and NO cornstarch. **To quickly bring eggs to room temperature place them in a bowl and fill with warm water. Let them sit five minutes. ***Rose water can be purchased at most health food stores or online. Here is the link to the one I bought on [Amazon |]. I chose the 4 oz bottle because it was more economical than the 2 oz bottle. **** Unfrosted cupcakes can be stored overnight at room temperature, or frozen up to 2 months, in airtight containers. Once the cupcakes are frosted, store in the fridge and bring to room temp before eating. This recipe is easily halved. ****Cupcakes adapted from [Martha Stewart |]
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Deep Dark and Rosy, Red Velvet Cupcakes | @hbharvest

Have a very Deep Dark and Rosy, Red Velvet Cupcakes Friday!

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  1. what beautiful cupcakes! i was wondering, how stiff is the frosting? i’m thinking about piping icing roses. if the icing is too loose, could you give me some advice on how to make the icing stiffer? thanks so much for this recipe!

    1. Hey Cathy,
      I think that would be totally fine to do with this icing! I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

  2. Hi, Tieghan! Somehow I can not reply to your comment so posting a new comment. I’ve asked you about canola oil substitution. I’ve used grapeseed oil instead after all. And made it a cake for my son’s birthday. It turned out great! Even the rosewater flavor which I was afraid of (usually I don’t like it in desserts at all). Everybody loved it! Thank you very much! All your recipes I’ve tried so far were amazing, literally all of them! Thank you!

  3. Hello! Can you tell me pls what I could use instead of canola oil? I’m planning to try to make it a cake. Thank you!

  4. Hello! I’m planning to try this recipe as a cake. Can you tell me pls what I could use instead of canola oil? Thank you!

    1. Hey Anastasia,
      You could use vegetable oil in place of the canola oil. I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

    1. Hey Julia,
      So sorry these turned out dry for you. Was there anything you may have adjusted in the recipe? This would help me to better answer your question. Let me know how I can help! xTieghan

  5. Hi there! Making this delicious recipe for Christmas Eve Dessert (and your crock pot short rib over potatoes recipe for dinner!)… do you happen to know the bake time if instead of cupcakes I did two 8″ round cake pans? Thanks so much!

    1. Hey Laura,
      I would start checking for doneness at 30 minutes. I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! Happy Holidays! xTieghan

  6. So I just made these for my daughters birthday, they came out perfect. Except I used cake flour and cornstarch😫Will that be okay?

  7. Hi tieghan!
    I made these cupcakes the other day and I just loved them. I was wondering if there was a way to convert this recipe into a cheesecake? Is there anyway you could help me out the recipe adjustments? Thanks in advance!

  8. Hey, it’s my sons 3rd birthday next Friday I want to make red velvet cake, how don’t modify this recipe for a cake please?! Would appreciate help
    Many thanks

    1. Hi!
      I would recommend baking in two 8 inch cake pans. I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

  9. Can’t wait to make these! I’m always stumped about storage afterward – should I refrigerate these if preparing them the day before an event?

    1. HI! Yes, keep in the fridge and then bring back to room temp before serving them. Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe! Thank you! xTieghan

  10. 5 stars
    Hi! I made these yesterday without the rose water (couldnt find it and couldnt wait for Amazon). They turned put a bit dry but the flavors were amazing. You weren’t kidding about the frosting. Any suggestions to help with the dryness? I have made some of your other cupcake recipes before and they have always been so moist. Thanks!

    1. Hi Rebekah! I would try adding an additional 1/4 cup of buttermilk to help fix any dryness. I think that should work great! Please let me know if you have any other questions. So glad you love this recipe. Thanks so much! xTieghan

  11. I am so excited to try these cupcakes but was wondering if I could make them into a cake. If so, what dimension cake pans and how many? Thanks!

    1. I Would use 2 (8 inch) cake pans. Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe. Thanks so much! xTieghan

  12. I have never made red velvet cake because I am also not a fan of food coloring. Have you looked into making red velvet cake with color from beets? It’s on my to do list, but wanted to see if anyone has tried it.

  13. HI! I really want to make these for my birthday party’s this weekend but I would really want this to be a cake. Have you ever altered this recipe a bit to make that possible? And if not, how could I turn this into a cake? Thanks x

    1. Hi! I have not made this as a cake, but the recipe should make one, two layer cake perfectly. Just divide the batter evenly between 2 cake pans and bake 20-25 minutes. Cool and then frost Please let me know if you have other questions. Hope you love this recipe! Happy Birthday!

  14. Hey! These look stunning!

    I was wondering if this mix can be used for an 8 inch cake tin? I want to bake a birthday cake for my friend

  15. I made this today and it tasted really good. Normally whenever I bake from scratch something will always be missing. But this time, it was PERFECT!!! I liked how the choco-bits were incorporated into the mixture and remained there.
    However, I don’t know what went wrong but my frosting was more liquid then it’s suppose to be. It still tasted amazing but would have liked it better if it was more sold.
    Overall, this recipe is defiantly a must-to-make.
    Thank you for sharing.

  16. If i wanted to skip out on the rose flavoring, would it leave an awesome new red velvet recipe? Would the batter change or would the frosting need anything else?

    1. Hey Dayna!

      No problem, you would just have a delicious red velvet cupcake. No need to add anything, just leave the rose flavorings out. Hope you love these!!

  17. Extra chocolatey red velvet cupcakes… Don’t mind if I do!! I’m trying out this recipe as soon as possible! Lovely photos too, as per usual 🙂

  18. These photos are beautiful! Im not a baker but I’d try a really chocolatey red velvet. Yum. To reinforce what someone kind of adamantly mentioned before–gender roles are passe now, lol! Girly, manly, both, neither…we’re so fortunate to live in an age where we can pick and choose what is appropriate for however we identify, without having to justify ourselves. I think it’s one of the great things that makes our generation really relative. 🙂

  19. Beautiful photos…I’m a master gardener…roses are my weakness! I also bake a lot of cupcakes but have never used real flowers for decoration yet….when u purchased the roses, did the seller claim they were ‘safe’ for food use? Curious about the recipient ‘s reaction to the live rose decoration…. Just gorgeous!

  20. So I just made these… They’re the bomb! used pink colour instead of red and put some in the frosting too. Some dark chocolate shavings on top makes them perfect!!! Work peeps are already salivating about them!

  21. Could I just say your photographs are beautiful!! And I will most definitely try out this recipe because it just sounds and looks sooo yummm.

    Just a quick question though, why do you use canola oil instead of butter. And what food colouring do you use? I believe most food colourings have E120 which isnt suitable for vegetarians. Would you be able to recommend a vegetarian friendly colouring?

  22. These cupcakes are the prettiest ever! I love that you added more chocolate to the red velvet (brilliant!) and the texture of that frosting is heaven!

  23. These cupcakes look delicious,and your photos are so pretty! I made red velvet cupcakes several years ago, for Christmas, and everyone loved them. I can’t I believe I haven’t made them since then. I love how extra-chocolatey your recipe is. When I made them, I put vanilla cream cheese frosting on half and chocolate frosting on half. If you want even more chocolate flavour on them, try chocolate frosting! They were so good! Iwould love to try your recipe, but i think I’ll leave out the rosewater, just not a fan.

  24. “Flowers are the one girly thing that suck me in every time. I am not big on make-up (mascara and chapstick is about it for me), I really do not like the color pink, I’d rather drive a stick shift car than a manual and I’d rather spend the day in the snow, maybe even hanging out with my brothers, than in the mall ”

    1. stick shift and manual are the same thing.
    2. nice job reinforcing gender stereotypes here. you do this constantly. it’s 2015. there’s nothing weird or different about a woman who doesn’t like pink or going to the mall.

    1. Hey Jane,

      Thanks for pointing out my typo about the cars. Just fixed that, so I appreciate you pointing that out. But umm, if you do not like what you are reading, just don’t read.

  25. I love a moist red velvet. I have seen some dry ones and they are not very tasty looking. LOVE those PINK roses. PINK is were it’s at. HAHAHA!!!

  26. Tieghan the pictures are simply STUNNING and those roses gahhhh so so pretty girl!!I love red velvet cupcakes and rose water but never tried them together!! Genius!

  27. These look amazing! I just bought red velvet Oreos today and they made me want some real red velvet cake asap!

  28. You are such a talented girl and your photographs blow me away. There is so much emotion in the last one especially! So beautiful! x

  29. Yes! Finally, someone who agrees with me about red velvet stuff (besides my siblings, lol! :P)!! I’ve always said the red color is kind of startling and rather un-food-like, and besides all that, there is NEVER enough chocolate. And if it is supposed to be chocolate cake, then an appropriate amount of chocolate should be used. 🙂 Thank you for the new and improved red velvet! 😉

    As usual, lovely photos!! I love how the swirl in the frosting mimics the swirl of the rose petals…excellently done!

  30. You never have to apologize about too many pictures to me. Your photos are always amazing. I love these cupcakes! So pinned!

  31. Freaking out about this photos! You amaze me everyday because you are always pushing boundaries and presenting fresh ideas! Love these gorgeous cupcakes (and the photography, of course!). Also, your kitchen sink is incredible! I am now officially jealous!

  32. Tieghan all the pictures are great – but that last one with the bite taken out is just heaven! I want that cupcake right now! I love red velvet cake/cupcakes! Can’t wait to make these!!

  33. Wow those cupcakes (and your photography) are stunning! I’d love to see what you could do with a wedding cake.

  34. HOLY GORGEOUS CUPCAKES EVER!! I can’t lie…I am the epitome of girly girl, so these are speaking right to my taste buds. I’ve never tried rose water, but I am pretty sure I’ll do anything to make these happen. Pinned!

  35. Your photos are beautiful especially that picture of the roses in the sink I would so hang that picture on the wall. These cupcakes are just as beautiful especially that frosting with the vanilla beans….yum

  36. These photos are beautiful! Red velvet cupcakes adorned with roses sound like the perfect Valentines Day gift 🙂

  37. These look delicious. Though, I have to say, you’d rather drive stick? Crazy, crazy lady…! (I have driving at the best of times!!)

  38. Love the roses.
    Red velvet cake was not something you saw around Greater Cincinnati area but it pops up once in awhile now–around here if it’s cake it better be chocolate.
    Maybe little sister will miss out not growing up with her brothers like you did???

  39. I’m completely the opposite – I love anything and everything red velvet. (Somehow I always tend to ignore that food colouring isn’t all that good for you.) But I love this V-Day twist you’ve put on them! The rosewater is so inspired; I never would have thought to mix that with red velvet. Also, these photos are simply stunning.

  40. First of all, these are absolutely GORGEOUS! I love, love, LOVE that you’ve added rose flavoring to these–how romantic and perfect for V-Day!

    Second, I’ve been absolutely obsessed with red velvet lately, so I’m extra obsessed with these. And I’m so with you, the classic isn’t quite chocolate-y enough. I always add in more chocolate 😛

    1. These cupcakes have stunning visual appeal ~ how do you manage to make a cupcake sentimental? Loving it! But next time you need roses, don’t pay $40 bucks (well at least in summer) I’ll send you some from my garden for free. I have one that is white with pink stripes that would look stunning for the pics!! It was my grandma’s i bought her house. This is partly why I love it when you talk about your family so much. Very enjoyable! Thanks for sharing.