Lemon Rose Cupcakes

Very Lemon Rose Cupcakes, Gluten-Free

I am kind of obsessed with a certain kitchen store where the prices often rival college tuition.  So when the catalog arrives (more than once a week these days) I am inclined to page through it to see what wonderful food things they would like to sell me for a premium penny. I came across a pretty little yellow rose cake made especially for Easter. And then fainted at the price. 

As usual, it cost almost as much as a) a dinner and movie or b) my college education or c) my first car.

It was just a layer cake frosted with pretty roses. Sure, it looked holiday festive. And sure, it is without a doubt absolutely delicious. But a) it costs too much and b) it was not gluten-free.

So it had to be done. And here it is. In the cupcake version because I felt like it. And I like cupcakes. And everyone likes cupcakes even if they aren’t very cool right now.

The best place to learn how to pipe a rose is from I Am Baker (Amanda Rettke) who also has a new book called Surprise Inside Cakes– all about how to make her fabulous surprise inside cakes. But her tutorial on piping roses is the best. The idea is to start in the center and without stopping pipe a flat-ish spiral. And there you have it. A rose-ish.

I am, at best, piping challenged, so if these look anything like flowers (roses, I hope) then imagine what anyone with a steady hand and the ability to draw a straight line can do? Give it a try. Go find Amanda’s page.

The cake is lemon, the icing is lemon with the addition of a little AmeriColor gel (yes, it is gluten-free) to give it a pop. If you hate the gel coloring stuff, don’t use it. It’ll still be pretty. But I kind of like the yellow roses.

So there you have it. Instead of a $60 cake you can have gluten-free homemade lemon rose cupcakes which cost about $10 for a batch of 18.

Very Lemon Rose Cupcakes, Gluten-Free

Lemon Rose Cupcakes
  • 260 grams Canteen flour blend (2 cups) (see notes)
  • 130 grams granulated sugar (2/3 cup)
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 lemon zested
  • 30 grams fresh lemon juice (2 tablespoons)
  • 120 grams non dairy milk (1/2 cup)
  • 2 extra large eggs
  • 120 grams neutral vegetable oil (1/2 cup)
  • ½ teaspoon pure lemon extract
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 172 grams unsalted butter, room temperature (12 tablespoons)
  • 42 grams solid Spectrum shortening (3 tablespoons)
  • 440 grams powdered sugar, sifted (4 cups)
  • ½ teaspoon pure lemon extract
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2-4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2-5 drops AmeriColor yellow food gel coloring
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Place liners in two 12-count cupcake pans (makes 18).
  2. In a large bowl whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda until combined. In a medium bowl whisk together lemon zest, lemon juice, milk, eggs, oil and extracts until blended. Add to flour mixture and stir until the batter is smooth.
  3. Scoop into cupcake liners until a generous half-full (you want flat top cupcakes for these). Bake 14-16 minutes or until a toothpick comes out without crumbs. Cool for a few minutes and then transfer cupcakes to a rack to cool completely before adding frosting.
  4. In a large bowl or stand mixer bowl blend together butter and shortening until combined using an electric mixer. Add the powdered sugar and blend on low until all the butter is incorporated and the mixture looks like coarse crumbs. Add the extracts and 2 tablespoons of lemon juice and mix on low until the frosting begins to look like frosting. Turn the mixer to high and whip the frosting until it is light and fluffy. Only add more lemon juice as needed. Once the frosting is the right consistency and fully mixed, add 3 drops of food coloring and whip until it is fully blended. Add more to make a more concentrated yellow, if desired. Pipe or spoon onto cupcake tops. If making roses, follow the links to the IAMBAKER tutorial where Amanda will show you how to pipe roses (easy).
Canteen flour blend is 2 parts superfine brown rice flour plus 1 part each superfine white rice flour and tapioca starch by weight. See About Flour.


Very Lemon Rose Cupcakes, Gluten-Free


  1. Carol Begg says:

    Hi Carol, I have your book and you recommend sweet rice flour blend. Can I use that for the Lemon Rose Cupcakes or must I use the Canteen blend? And if so , Why. Many thanks Carol Begg New Zealand

    • GlutenFreeCanteen says:

      Hi There – I’m not Carol but since this is posted on the Canteen blog, I’ll answer the question. The Canteen blend is used for all our recipes unless specified otherwise (see About Flour on the front page of the blog). Sweet white rice flour is not a flour I use much and then only in small quantities. It can make baked goods gummy and dense. Hope that helps. Lisa

  2. Hi there! I just baked these and they were very quick and easy to put together. Although next time I might use the zest of two lemons to get the muffins tasting even more lemony. 🙂 Thanks for the easy to follow recipe!

    • GlutenFreeCanteen says:

      My lemon loving MIL would love that you want to add more zest! Sounds good and glad you enjoyed them. Thanks for letting me know.

      • Hi, I made them as well,and for more lemon I soaked half a cup of candied lemon peel in 2 TBS Lemencello overnight and folded this in at the end. Rather decadent Iknow but lovely just the same Carol

      • GlutenFreeCanteen says:

        Now that sounds great!

  3. Do you think I could make this in a two layer cake. I try to recreate our wedding cake every year and it was lemon with raspberry jam and lemon curd and white chocolate cream cheese frosting. I can make all the other stuff gluten free but don’t yet have a great cake recipe.

    • GlutenFreeCanteen says:

      Hi, Karen. Sure, I bet it would taste great as a cake. It’ll probably make a small two layer cake. Bake about the same length of time but check a few minutes early with a toothpick and take it out as soon as it comes out without crumbs. Happy anniversary!

  4. I notice this recipe does not include a binder such as xanthum gum. Would it be needed for a cake if not the cupcakes?

    • GlutenFreeCanteen says:

      Hi Lisa. Click on About Flour (right sidebar) for information on the Canteen blend. Our recipes generally don’t use x-gum except for items like bread. There are posts on the blog that discuss that if you do a search on xanthan gum.