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Rhubarb Fairy Cakes and Edible Flowers

Cornish, Cupcakes | 27th April 2013 | By

Spring, it’s really here at last. Despite the rubbish weather we’ve been having, the hedges are alive with primroses, slightly later than usual but absolutely spectacular. Talking of spectacular flowers, I was recently given a punnet of edible ones from a local grower. The Flower Mill, based just up the road from us (in an old flour mill as it happens), grows chemical free flowers for decoration and also for eating. It’s primarily a mail order business, so anyone in the UK can enjoy bouquets and posies of seasonal Cornish flowers as well as edible flowers to decorate cakes, salads or whatever else grabs their fancy. My punnet contained a collection of borage flowers, violas and different types of primulas. What fun – it was time to play.


Kate has chosen fairy cakes, cupcakes and muffins for this month’s Tea Time Treats and fairy cakes seemed just the thing to showcase the beautiful flowers I’d received. As I like to bake seasonally where I can, rhubarb seemed to be an obvious choice. Now, I don’t know why, but for some reason we’ve been unable to grow rhubarb down at our plot, it used to flourish on our old site. Luckily, my mother grows some in her garden, so it was all systems go.

This is how I made:

Rhubarb, Rose & White chocolate Fairy Cakes

  • Peeled and finely chopped 1 stick rhubarb (about 80g).
  • Chopped 50g white chocolate (G&B).
  • Creamed 75g unsalted butter with 90g golden caster sugar.
  • Beat in one duck egg.
  • Sifted in 100g flour (half wholemeal spelt, half white), 50g ground almonds, 1 scant teaspoon of baking powder and a pinch of bicarbonate of soda.
  • Added 1 tbsp yogurt and 1 tsp orange flower water.
  • Stirred in the chocolate and rhubarb.
  • Spooned into 12 fairy cake cases.
  • Baked at 180C for 20 minutes.
  • Turned out onto a wire rack and left to cool.
  • Stewed a few stems of chopped rhubarb without sugar which made a beautiful pink juice.
  • Sifted 100g icing sugar into a bowl.
  • Added 1 tsp orange flower water and poured in enough of the rhubarb juice to make a slightly runny icing.
  • Spooned over the top of the cakes.
  • With gay abandon, decorated the tops with beautiful edible flowers.

Due to the almonds, these veered more towards the dense texture than light and spongy, but, oh, they were delicious. Rhubarb is one of those ingredients that works particularly well in cakes, giving bursts of tartness and flavour in amongst the sweetness. The rhubarb juice gave the icing a tinge of pink which I was pleased with. I used the remaining rhubarb in a breakfast smoothie the following day and it was so good I’m now craving more.


As it happened, the cake cases came away from the cakes, making them look really tatty, so I removed them all together. Thank goodness for the flowers, which made these otherwise plain looking cakes into the real deal – fairy cakes of elegance and beauty. The flowers all had their own flavours and were not only good to look at but were good to eat too. In retrospect I regret not putting some of them into ice-cube trays, but I shall remember that for another time. Cool summer drinks would surely be enhanced with a flower or two floating on the surface. I was told that the flowers can be kept for 2-3 days in the fridge, but I was surprised at just how long they lasted out of the fridge and on the cakes – it was several hours before they showed any sign of wilting.

You can check out the range of options available at The Flower Mill.


I am entering these fairy cakes into Tea Time Treats with Kate of What Kate Baked and Karen of Lavender and Lovage.


As edible flowers abound, I am also entering these into Herbs on Saturday with Karen of Lavender and Lovage. It just so happens that this month’s prize is Cooking with Edible Flowers.

These would go down a treat I reckon for a St George spring fete, so I’m also entering these into Calendar Cakes with Dolly Bakes and Laura Loves Cakes.

As I’ve made everything from scratch as usual, I’m sending these off to Made with Love Mondays with Javelin Warrior.

And finally, because rhubarb is in season and I haven’t submitted anything for ages, I’m entering these into Simple & in Season with Ren of Fabulicious Food.


  1. Susan Lindquist

    27th April 2013 at 5:20 pm

    I love seeing edible posies are gussied up on cakes and in salads! Your fairy cakes are just magical!

  2. Torviewtoronto

    27th April 2013 at 7:14 pm

    these are yummy

  3. celia

    27th April 2013 at 10:33 pm

    Sooo pretty!! They’d make a perfect afternoon tea party treat! I don’t know whether I’d eat the flowers or pick them off and try to string them into a daisy chain! 😀

  4. Rebecca Subbiah

    28th April 2013 at 3:52 am

    these cakes are adorable

  5. Stacy

    28th April 2013 at 4:05 am

    Those fairy cakes with real flowers are stunning! I love a bit of tart rhubarb so I am sure they taste as good as they look.

  6. Susie @ Fold in the Flour

    28th April 2013 at 10:53 am

    The flowers look really pretty, and set off the fairy cakes really well. 🙂

  7. Victoria Lee

    28th April 2013 at 11:44 am

    Wow these are so pretty! I don’t know if I would have the heart to eat them! And one recipe into five challenges, that has to be some sort of record!?!

  8. The Caked Crusader

    28th April 2013 at 5:03 pm

    I’ve never quite got my head around eating flowers but they look so pretty – these are fairy cakes that actual fairies would eat!

  9. Jen Price

    28th April 2013 at 5:06 pm

    So so pretty! Almost seems a shame to eat them but then that would be a waste of good cake!

  10. Caroline

    28th April 2013 at 5:34 pm

    What delicious flavours and those flowers are just so pretty! I’ve never eaten flowers I don’t think and these are so pretty that I’m not sure if I’d be able to! Isn’t it odd how some recipe seem to come away from the cases and some don’t – there never seems to be any logic to it, but taking them out is a great solution.

  11. Laura Loves Cakes

    28th April 2013 at 6:37 pm

    This is a brilliant coincidence…I was wondering just this morning about where to get edible flowers from and you have now answered my question! Your flavour combination in these fairy cakes sounds lovely and they look so pretty too. Thanks for entering them into this month’s Calendar Cakes 🙂

  12. Javelin Warrior

    28th April 2013 at 7:23 pm

    These are so cute, Choclette, and I love the use of rhubarb with white chocolate in the cupcakes… I just picked up this season’s first rhubarb on Friday and can’t wait to start using it… Love the edible flowers – a wonderful and whimsical decoration! Thanks so much for sharing…

  13. claire wilkinson

    28th April 2013 at 8:22 pm

    mmmm looks fab

  14. Alida

    29th April 2013 at 8:33 am

    What a celebration of spring here Choclette! I really love the colours, they look beautiful these fairy cakes. I am intrigued by edible flowers . I have seen many salads made with flowers too. I want to give it a go!

  15. Kath

    29th April 2013 at 9:34 am

    What beautiful flowers, a real taste of spring. I do love borage flowers, I grew it for the first time last year and made use of them in drinks and salads and I am really hoping they have self seeded. I can’t see any sign yet though. I did try the leaves but really? I am not sure why they suggest that you should eat them, even when tiny the hairs are too much for me. My rhubarb is ready and it is crying out to be eaten. I must oblige today.

  16. Hannah

    29th April 2013 at 3:02 pm

    Stunning little cakes, they really sing spring!

  17. Kate@whatkatebaked

    29th April 2013 at 7:12 pm

    Such pretty, perfect little Fairy Cakes! Too beautiful to eat…then again, rhubarb, rose and white chocolate? Ah, go on then! Thank you for entering them into TTT!

  18. underthebluegumtree

    30th April 2013 at 12:03 pm

    So pretty and a gorgeous sounding flavour combo 🙂

  19. Karen S Booth

    30th April 2013 at 8:52 pm

    Quite simply the most BEAUTIFUL cakes I have seen, and as you know, I LOVE cooking with flowers, so this is my kind of cake! Stunning entry thanks, and thanks for being such a wonderful supporter of Herbs on Saturday and Tea Time Treats! Karen

  20. laura@howtocookgoodfood

    1st May 2013 at 11:58 am

    How lovely to be able to decorate these fairy cakes with edible flowers. I think they look so spring like and rhubarb does go so well with white chocolate. The sourness is balanced by the sweet of the chocolate. I do like your icing too, so much more delicate than a mouth full of buttercream!


    3rd May 2013 at 11:08 pm

    These are so AMAZINGLY PRETTY and I bet tasty too! Congratulations on winning an edible flower book on Herbs on Saturday. You certainly deserved it with these little works of art. Vohn x

  22. Louise Hutchings

    21st May 2013 at 7:52 am

    Lovely, pretty cakes, I love Rhubarb and always looking for new recipes 🙂


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