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Blue Rose Of Winterfell Cupcakes (Guest Post)

April 18, 2013

Blue Rose of Winterfell Rose Water CupcakesPin it!

I’ve been wanting to make something for the blog that draws inspiration from the stories I’ve read. Anyone who knows me knows that I’m just a wee bit obsessed with George R.R. Martin’s “A Song Of Ice And Fire” series. For those of you who don’t know about the books, they are the story behind HBO’s “Game Of Thrones.”

I started reading the series over a year and a half ago, and even carried the first book, A Game Of Thrones, with me when I went to Europe with Allison. When I finished book 5, I had a lot of other things on my kindle (will never again carry huge brick-sized books on trips), including some old and new favorites: a little Neil Gaiman, Neil Degrasse Tyson, Tolkien, and Joyce Carol Oates.

Blue Rose of Winterfell Cupcakes inspired by Game of ThronesPin it!

I had a lot to occupy myself with; surely I would be able to find a new obsession. I was wrong. I only lasted about a month before online speculation and theories made me want to re-read the entire series. And I’m so glad I did: the characters are much easier to keep track of and there is a ton of foreshadowing that you miss on the first read.

Blue Rose of Winterfell Rose Water Cupcakes

I also started to want to make some of the foods that George R.R. Martin (GRRM) writes about in the series. I wanted to bake hard bread to use as a trencher to hold stews. I wanted to make the lemon cakes that Sansa Stark likes so much. I could do without lamprey pie or Dothraki horse meat and fermented goat’s milk. Ew. Then I discovered the blog, The Inn At The Crossroads, where they have an official cooking companion, with a foreword by GRRM himself. I have yet to get the book (it’s on my wish list), but it’s nice to see some of these recipes fleshed out. The Trout Baked in Clay sounds fun and yummy.

Blue Rose of Winterfell Rose Water CupcakesPin it!

These cupcakes aren’t something that was mentioned in the story, but they were inspired by a character who had died about 15 years before the events that take place in book one: Lyanna Stark. Lyanna was Ned Stark’s younger sister; she was betrothed to Robert Baratheon, but “kidnapped” by Prince Rhaegar Targaryen, and later died at the Tower Of Joy, where she was guarded by three knights of the king’s guard while Rhaegar was fighting Robert on the battle of the Trident (where Rhaegar perished). She died moments after Ned Stark found her, in a room that smelled of blood and roses. Before she died, she made him promise something. It’s not clear what his promise was, but in Ned’s chapters that promise weighed heavily on his mind and filled him with grief and guilt. I’m pretty positive I know what that promise was, but I cannot say because that would be a spoiler.

Blue Rose of Winterfell Rose Water CupcakesPin it!

I was inspired to create this recipe by the fact that Lyanna Stark was a great character– and I feel that her story will have a bigger part in the series some day. Her favorite flower was the blue winter rose that grew in Winterfell.

Blue Rose of Winterfell Rose Water CupcakesPin it.

I’ve seen a lot of rose-shaped iced cupcakes but had never tried rose-flavored cupcakes before.

Rose water and cupcake batter for Blue Rose Cupcakes

The cupcakes pictured are my second attempt at these blue rose cupcakes. The first time I tried to make them, it was for my birthday in the beginning of February. I wanted to try them out so that if they were “blog-worthy” then I could post this before the show’s season 3 premiere. I used an “elegant white cake” recipe from King Arthur Flour, and I modified it by adding rose water and blue food coloring. It was a disaster for so many reasons: I used too much rose water, the recipe called for shortening so the cake was too oily, and there were so many cupcakes! It was just gross. Couple that with the fact that it was my first time making butter cream icing (that recipe also called for shortening and the color was molted), and my first time trying to shape icing into rose petals, and they fell flat. It was a mess and a bitter disappointment. (I threw out the tub of shortening.)

Cupcake batter for Blue Rose of Winterfell Cupcakes

My birthday was salvaged because Allison made me bulgogi chicken, kimbap, and lemon bars. She is the best fiancée.

Blue Rose of Winterfell Rose Water Cupcakes

This time around, I modified a vanilla cupcake recipe from Bon Appétit, modifying the flours, adding baking soda, rose water, and black and blue food coloring. (Just blue food coloring would be too light and I wanted the cake to be a darker blue without adding too many drops of food coloring.)

Blue Rose of Winterfell Cupcakes inspired by Game of Thrones

They turned out much better than I was expecting. They were tasty, sweet, and fragrant. Some of the roses were less than perfect but it was only my second time frosting cupcakes with a pastry bag and I was really proud of myself. The recipe makes only a dozen, so it was just enough for us to enjoy one for breakfast half the week, minus the ones devoured while taking these photos and the night of the premiere.

Blue Rose of Winterfell Rose Water CupcakesPin it.

Print this recipe. (PDF)


Blue Rose of Winterfell Cupcakes
(Adapted from Bon Appétit.)

(Makes 12 cupcakes.)

Cupcake Ingredients:
~ 10 Tbsp. (1¼ sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
~ 3/4 cup sugar
~ 2 large eggs, room temperature
~ 1 tsp. vanilla extract
~ 1 Tbsp. rose water
~ 1 cup plus 3 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
~ 1 tsp. baking powder
~ 2 Tbsp. almond milk (or dairy milk)
~ blue food coloring (I used gel)
~ black food coloring

Frosting Ingredients:
~ 12 Tbsp. (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
~ 2 cups powdered sugar
~ 2 Tbsp. rose water (you can use less if you prefer– I went crazy)
~ 1 tsp. vanilla extract
~ blue food coloring (I used gel)
~ black food coloring

Blue Rose of Winterfell Rose Water Cupcakes

How to make it:

1. Pre-heat the oven to 350°F. Line a standard (⅓-cup) muffin tin with 12 paper liners.

2. Using an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar in a medium bowl until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla and rose water. Mix in the flour and baking powder, then almond milk. Add food coloring gradually, adding up to a total of 4 drops of blue food coloring gel (the gel makes the drops a bit bigger) and 2 drops of black food coloring, and mix well.

Blue Rose of Winterfell Rose Water CupcakesBlue Rose of Winterfell Rose Water Cupcakes

3. Divide batter among prepared cups (about ⅓ cup for each). Bake for 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick stuck in the center comes out clean. Transfer cupcakes to rack and cool completely before adding frosting.

Blue Rose of Winterfell Rose Water CupcakesBlue rose water frosting for piping roses onto cupcakes

4. Make the frosting: Using an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar in a medium bowl until smooth. Beat in vanilla and rose water. Add 4 drops blue gel food coloring and 2 drops black food coloring. Once the cupcakes have cooled completely, spread the frosting over cupcakes, or use a piping bag with a large petal tip to make roses. I watched this tutorial several times before I felt confident enough to try it.

For rose petal cupcakes, first pipe a cone of frosting in the centerFor rose petal cupcakes, first pipe a cone of frosting in the center

(Tips for shaping frosting into rose petals: 1) When using a pastry bag, make sure the frosting is well chilled! You might need to return it to the fridge several times to chill it while icing all twelve cupcakes; 2) Start by making a tall-ish central cone shape of frosting, and work your way out from there.)

Print this recipe! (PDF)

Blue Rose of Winterfell Cupcakes inspired by Game of Thrones

Blue Rose of Winterfell Rose Water CupcakesPin it!

Related recipe posts:
> Spiced Apple Cider Cupcakes
> Rainbow Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
> Buttermilk Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

21 Comments leave one →
  1. Jessica permalink
    April 18, 2013 10:10 am

    So blue! I’m impressed with your frosting roses!!

    • April 18, 2013 10:40 am

      Thanks! They were a challenge but I’m really happy with how they turned out.

  2. April 18, 2013 10:32 am

    These cupcakes are perfect, beautiful, so blue! I love how the roses look real and beautiful! :-)

  3. April 18, 2013 12:01 pm

    I love Game of Thrones too!! I am about halfway through the fourth book and was excited to see the new season start on TV this month :) You’ve got me curious about your theory regarding Lyanna!! Love the inspiration for the cupcakes, just perfect!!

    • April 18, 2013 12:49 pm

      you can email me at metalgrrl (at) gmail (dot) com and I’ll be happy to share my theory.

      I’m currently rereading books 4 and 5 at once, I just switch between the two after I read a few chapters.

  4. April 18, 2013 12:23 pm

    That blue is so vibrant and beautiful my friend, and it takes these cupcakes to gourmet level :D


  5. April 18, 2013 12:47 pm

    These look so cool! Kind of like alien cupcakes. I’m a little turned off by “blue” foods due to an unfortunate blue Jell-O incident in elementary school, BUT, these look like something worth giving Blue another chance for!

    • April 18, 2013 12:50 pm

      You can definitely make this without the blue/black coloring combo. Add a little pink, or yellow, and you still have some nice rose cupcakes. :D Thanks!

  6. April 18, 2013 6:20 pm

    Reblogged this on Baguette in a Bike Basket and commented:
    I’m quite proud of these.

  7. April 19, 2013 3:01 pm

    So pretty!! Just wondered if you have heard of Tad Williams.. ñlook for the Memory, Sorrow and Thorn series of books, starting with The Dragon Bone Chair” i fell in love with this story many years ago.. the first book is a little slow as it is a lot of background, but i could not put it down after i got into it. Worth the long intro if you love fantasy.

  8. April 20, 2013 10:19 am

    Lovely combination between Game of Thrones and cupcakes! So cute the rose detail!

  9. April 21, 2013 10:12 pm

    What a lovely vibrant blue color! And that rose frosting is done beautifully.

  10. April 24, 2013 10:00 am

    My friends all LOVE this series. Gorgeous cupcakes!

  11. April 25, 2013 5:25 am

    I love how gorgeously blue these are!! And that rose on top – perfect.

  12. May 30, 2013 11:19 pm

    So beautiful! I’m seriously impressed :D

  13. July 3, 2013 6:12 pm

    Very cool! Reading books now can’t wait to find out the promise!!!

  14. July 29, 2013 5:33 am

    Ah!! I love this! Can’t get enough of game of thrones whether it is on the TV or on a plate :)

I love, love, love reading your comments!

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