In full bloom across the Northwest you will find Rosa Rugosa’s amazing nervine, cooling, mood enhancing anti-inflammatory, anti-infective, astringent, bioflavonoid-rich medicine is one of the most delicious gifts of early summer. Often you will find many recipes, for jams, jellies and liquors made with the rose hip fruit but not often do we take full advantage of using the petals.  Rose flowers are available June thru July in most parts of southeast, they have five petals and can be made into amazing concoctions.  You can make jelly, a hydrosol, or flower water on your stovetop at home and it will have similar properties to essential oils but be less concentrated and readily available for you to use on your skin or in recipes.  It makes an amazing facial mist on a hot day. 

Hydrosol video

You can also make wine by replacing the water in the hydrosol with a nice white wine for your roses…

Harvest your petals in the morning on a clear dry day, before the heat of the sun, but after the dew burns off. Do watcwh out for thorns while picking.

Most Important Harvest Rule: Take only four of the petals, leaving one left on the plant as a signal for pollinators. Take the petals home and place them in a strainer or sieve and gently shake to release little critters. (Washing will dilute the volatile oils).  Then they are ready to use!

From my shell filled table to yours,


Amber King can be emailed at

Makes Approx. 24 mini-cupcakes

For Cake

  • 3 cups of rose petals
  • 2 cups organic unbleached pastry flour
  • 2 cups organic cane sugar (1/2 cup for cakes, 1& 1/2 cups for rose syrup)
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 cup organic or grass-fed butter, softened
  • 2 eggs, room-temp
  • 3/4 cups of water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 4 tablespoons finely minced lemon balm (optional)

For Buttercream frosting

  • 1/2 cup rose syrup (you will make for cupcakes and reserve some for frosting)
  • 2 cups (or 3) cups of icing sugar (organic if you can get your hands on it)
  • 1/2 cup of butter

Rose Syrup

Make syrup. Boil 1 & 1/2 cups of sugar and the water together. Reduce until thickened into a syrupy consistency. Remove from burner and add 2 cups of rose petals to syrup. Let cool completely, then strain the liquid from the petals. Now you’ve got rose syrup.

Directions for Cupcakes

  1. Preheat oven to 375. Line cupcake tins with papers. Should be mini-cupcake size.
  2. Finely mince 1/4 cup of rose petals & lemon balm being careful not to bruise them or cut more than once.
  3. Cream 1/2 cup of butter and 1/2 cup of sugar till light and fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time.
  4. Add flour, baking powder and salt. Then slowly add 1 cup of the rose syrup (reserving the remaining for the frosting) beat well; stir in vanilla.
  5. Lastly, stir in the finely minced rose petals and lemon balm until well blended.
  6. Divide batter evenly among pans and bake for 18 minutes. Let cool in pans.
  7. Frost with Buttercream Icing and then roll each cupcake in Rose Sugar Sprinkle

Wild Rose Sugar Sprinkle

  1.  Take the remaining 3/4 cup or so of rose petals and place in food processor with 1/2 cup of remaining sugar.
  2. Grind until petals are dissolved in a moist crumbly pink sugar.

Butter Cream Frosting

  1. Beat remaining 1/2 cup of butter until creamy.
  2. Slowly add powdered sugar, little at a time, continuing to beat. (I make mine fresh in a blender from regular organic sugar)
  3. Slowly add remaining 1/3 cup rose syrup, and keep beating until well mixed.