Painting the Roses Red Cupcakes

A delightful strawberry cupcake because we’re all a little mad

Have you ever seen a more beautiful cupcake? They’re just mesmerizing. If you’re looking for a good use of edible spray paint, you’ve come to the right place. In reality, these are strawberry almond cupcakes with almond frosting. In Rose Table land, these are a dessert fit for The Queen of Hearts.

Painting the Roses Red Cupcakes for Alice in Wonderland Dinner Party | The Rose Table

I came up with this recipe for Disney Dinners: Alice in Wonderland as an homage to one of my favorite scenes in the movie when we first meet The Queen of Hearts and see her minions painting her white roses red. I have long felt The Queen of Hearts was misunderstood: she’s just a pasta-loving lady who wants to enjoy croquet in her rose garden when some brat destroys her beloved roses. What gardener wouldn’t be upset? I’ve wanted to throw a Queen of Hearts party for years and this is not it, but these cupcakes will definitely make an appearance!

The Rose Table is in no way affiliated with The Walt Disney Company.
Photography by Darling Photography.

Painting the Roses Red Cupcakes for Alice in Wonderland Dinner Party | The Rose Table Painting the Roses Red Cupcakes for Alice in Wonderland Dinner Party | The Rose Table Painting the Roses Red Cupcakes for Alice in Wonderland Dinner Party | The Rose Table

The cake comes together quickly in one bowl, the cupcakes bake up perfectly, and the frosting is delicious. On cooking competition shows, judges always fault contestants for using almond extract. I will defend almond extract until the cows come home. It’s one of my favorite flavors! So Duff, if you’re ready this, I’m not sorry. I love almond extract and I love this recipe. You could sub out vanilla if you really wanted but please note that vanilla extract will make the frosting off-white so if you want pure white, stick with almond.

Painting the Roses Red Cupcakes for Alice in Wonderland Dinner Party | The Rose Table

My mom and I have been frantically baking cupcakes for weeks trying to decide on the perfect cupcake for this recipe. We’ve tasted so many variations and after a side by side taste test, we decided on this one but only by a hair. It was also very good with chopped raspberries so do that if you prefer!

Painting the Roses Red Cupcakes for Alice in Wonderland Dinner Party | The Rose Table
My cute mama!

The point here is honestly the frosting and how it’s decorated. You could use my “painting the roses red” idea with a variety of cupcakes. To make cupcakes look like roses, you need proper piping tools. Since I was a teenager, I thought I was horrible at piping. I was wrong. I never had the proper tools. So if you’re thinking, Katie-Rose, this too hard and can’t be done, I promise it isn’t and you can!

Painting the Roses Red Cupcakes for Alice in Wonderland Dinner Party | The Rose Table

All you need is a real pastry bag (though a Ziploc would do in a pinch) and a large Wilton 2D rose tip. (I’ve linked it below.) Cut the end of the pastry bag just enough to fit the tip in, fill up the bag with HALF the amount of frosting. (Don’t over fill or you won’t be able to get a good hold on it and you might ruin five cupcakes before conceding and taking half the frosting out, for instance.) Start in the middle of the cupcake and squeeze bag to get a nice center, then move your hand in a circle about twice around the cupcake without twisting your wrist. Watch this video I made to see what I mean:

That’s it! So easy! You’ll get the hang of it. Once you’ve finished piping, use edible spray paint (you can find this at craft stores in the cake decorating aisle or your local grocery store in the baking aisle) to give the appearance that roses are mid-paint.

Here’s how you decorate them with edible food coloring spray paint:

It’s actually quite fun to do and I can’t imagine a better use for edible spray paint!

Painting the Roses Red Cupcakes for Alice in Wonderland Dinner Party | The Rose TablePainting the Roses Red Cupcakes for Alice in Wonderland Dinner Party | The Rose Table

Note: if you are using a spatula to spread frosting on cupcakes, you can make a half batch of frosting but if you’re piping roses, you’ll need more frosting. It’s weird I know but I tried to half this and only had enough to pipe 12 roses so trust me. I’ve been elbow deep in powdered sugar all month researching these things for you!

Painting the Roses Red Cupcakes for Alice in Wonderland Dinner Party | The Rose Table

Painting the Roses Red Cupcakes
Makes 2 dozen

For the cake:
2 cups sugar

3 1/4 cups flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, soft
1 1/2 cups milk, at room temperature
½ Tbsp almond extract
4 large farm fresh eggs
1 ½ cups fresh strawberries, chopped

For the frosting:
6 cups powdered sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 tsp almond extract
4 Tbsp milk

To bake the cupcakes:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two muffin tins with cupcake liners and lightly spray with nonstick spray.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the sugar, flour, baking powder, and salt.
  3. Add butter to the mixer and beat until it looks sandy.
  4. Combine the milk and fiori di sicilia and add to the mixer. Mix on low speed until incorporated. Don’t forget to scrape the bowl as you go!
  5. Crack eggs into a bowl. This way, you won’t accidentally get egg shells in your cake batter. With the mixer running on low, add eggs one at a time. Make sure each is incorporated before adding the next.
  6. Pour batter into your prepared cake pans. Softly bang the bottom of the pans against the countertop to help settle the batter evenly in the pan.
  7. Bake for  23-25 minutes or until the a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake will come out clean.
  8. Remove tins from the oven and place on racks. Cool five minutes, remove from pan, and cool completely before frosting.
  9. Make almond frosting (recipe follows). Spoon half of frosting into a pastry bag fitted with a Wilton No. 2D Large Drop Flower Piping Tip (linked below). Squeeze air out of bag. Starting in the center of a cupcake, squeeze top of bag to pipe out frosting, moving your hand carefully around the cupcake about twice. Do not twist your wrist. Watch video below for a piping demonstration.
  10. Next, use a red edible spray paint (available at most grocery stores in the baking aisle with food coloring) to “paint” the roses red. Leave some white, spray paint some all the way red, and leave most partially painted for the effect.

To make the Almond Frosting:

  1. Cream together powdered sugar and softened butter with an electric mixer. Start with two cups of powdered sugar and half a stick of butter, alternating additions.
  2. Slowly incorporate vanilla, almond extract, and milk. Beat until smooth. Add additional milk or powdered sugar if needed for desired consistency.

Painting the Roses Red Cupcakes for Alice in Wonderland Dinner Party | The Rose Table Painting the Roses Red Cupcakes for Alice in Wonderland Dinner Party | The Rose Table Painting the Roses Red Cupcakes for Alice in Wonderland Dinner Party | The Rose TablePainting the Roses Red Cupcakes for Alice in Wonderland Dinner Party | The Rose TablePainting the Roses Red Cupcakes for Alice in Wonderland Dinner Party | The Rose Table

Read more about Alice in Wonderland here. Watch the video here:

Make your own magic,

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6 Comments Add yours

  1. Superbly sweet!

    1. Katie-Rose Watson says:

      Thank you! 🌹

  2. This is such a great idea! Such a classy take on the Alice in Wonderland theme, but definitely sums up such an iconic chunk of it! 💖

    1. Katie-Rose Watson says:

      What a lovely comment, thank you! That’s exactly what I was going for. 🙂

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