Simply Scrumptious





Much to the chagrin of my family at dinner time, I'm not a very good cook.  However, I am a decent baker and that makes me quite popular after dinner when it comes to that age-old question, "Mom, what's for dessert?" 

With that in mind, allow me to share a family favorite.  The key to this beautiful dessert has less to do with what you put in the recipe-and more to do with what you put the recipe  in.


When you pour the recipe into this rose-shaped cast aluminum cupcake pan you get something really special. 

These pans are manufactured by Nordic Ware and the detail in each one is amazingly intricate.  You definitely get an extraordinary looking dessert from ordinary ingredients.


This particular design is called Sweetheart Rose and it creates a delightful flowered design that seems painstakingly carved right into the cupcake.

A look at the bottom of the cast aluminum pan shows off the fancy impression that will appear in the dessert.



I must admit, I do gravitate toward very simple recipes and this dessert fits in with that perspective. 

While the Nordic Ware pans like this typically work best with bundt or pound cake mix, I decided to try regular cake mix this time which only requires oil, water and eggs.  Of course, fresh fruit on the side is optional. 


An electric mixer is ideal because it really gets the batter super creamy.  It's also much easier on the hands, especially when working with thicker batters.


To ensure perfect removal from the aluminum pan make sure each cupcake pan crevice is generously greased.  I use a spray that also contains flour because it's easier. 

You may also want to use a basting brush to make sure that every nook and cranny of the pan is covered.


         Blog ironware spray


Tip:  After spraying the pan, sprinkle a tiny bit of regular sugar onto the sides before adding your cupcake mix.  The sugar has an almost caramelizing effect and will give the finished baked dessert a little extra crisp and shine.  This too, is optional.

One of the great things about using heavy cast aluminum bakeware like this, is that the oven heat is evenly distributed throughout each finely detailed area of the pan.   

The finished dessert turns out perfectly golden all the way around.  This photo makes me want to bite right into it.



When using regular cake batter, I'd suggest you fill the molding slightly less than half way to prevent the cups from rising too high.

I filled my first batch higher than I should have and as cupcakes do-the batter rose up over the top of the pan like a fat muffin. 


This made it hard for the rose dessert to sit flat on my serving tray.  So, for a more stable looking presentation, I simply sliced off the bottom, muffin-like portion.   

This gives the underside a nice straight surface and the rose cupcake will sit upright on your platter.  I doubt your guests will check the bottom of the dessert for any reason, so don't worry about that shaved appearance underneath. 


While over-filling the aluminum pan is a minor issue in the scheme of things, you may want to initially experiment with the batter levels to see what works best.  As you become more familiar with your pans, batter levels will quickly become second nature..   

By the way, your kids will love the shaved cast-offs, so no part of the cupcake is wasted.


After the cupcakes have cooled, sprinkle a small amount of confectioner's sugar on top for a nice finishing touch.  A flour sifter will make for a more even and light distribution of the powdered sugar.


The photo below shows the same rose design but in the large cake size cast aluminum bundt pan.  You can see the baked-out dessert using this pan on the cover a recipe book that I mention toward the end of this post.


I must admit, this bakeware is a bit addictive and I've been collecting Nordic Ware baking pans from a favorite local gourmet shoppe for more than ten years.  Some designs are also available through Williams-Sonoma.

By the way, with gentle, non-abrasive cleaning and deligent care these pans will continue to look brand, spanking new even after years of use.


The aspiring chefs in your home under the age of 10 will also enjoy helping with this recipe. 

My daughter is typically the first to help fill them with batter, while my son is pretty much the first to sample the finished dessert.


Here's another look at the dessert baked with a boxed pound-cake mix.  In this batch, you can definitely see the difference in the texture which is determined by the type of mix that is used.

As you can see, the pound cake mixture produces a less poreous, tighter finished dessert which displays the design in much greater detail.


In addition to the rose design, this carousel pan is another one of my favorites. 

After baking, the little merry-go-round horses can be individually painted with multiple icing colors for a fun and festive look.


There is also a larger version of the sweetheart rose cupcake pan. Now, this pan creates some pretty large cupcakes that bake out a little bigger than 5-inches in diameter.  That is huge.

Despite the hefty size, these fat cupcakes are just as beautiful and intricately carved as the smaller ones.


Here are a few of the cupcakes from that larger rose-shaped cast.  I baked these a little longer than I did for the smaller ones which is why they came out a tad browner.


On a side note, I've been working to improve my photography and experimenting with a newly purchased light tent which really helps to illuminate objects much better. 


For these two photos, I placed the cupcakes on a pedestal and set the stand down inside the tent.  The photos were snapped from above the tent for a couple of shots that look good enough to eat.

 Blog ironware large white_edited-1


I used a large sheet of pink scrapbook paper under the pedestal to achieve the pink background in this photograph.

Blog ironware pink_edited-1 

While I used boxed cake mixes for these cupcakes, there is a nice book available with a collection of recipes you can make from scratch.  Bundt Classics has lots of flavored recipes including Butterscotch Rum Ripple Cake, Luscious lemon Daisy Cake, Crunchy Granola Coffee Cake and Mint Julep Cake to name just a few of the 150-recipes.

My only complaint with this book is that out 150-recipes, there are only 8-color photos of finished desserts and that's including the cover shot.



I think these cupcakes would be positively perfect for any occasion.  Just change the batter flavor, the batter type and/or the fruit compliment to suit the event and you'll have a wonderfully elegant dessert that takes very little time to prepare.


If you serve this beautiful dessert, I'm sure your guests will be delighted and impressed at the same time. 

I suspect if tummies and taste buds could talk-they'd say simply scrumptious!

  • convert vob file to avi file mac

    I have the large rose mold for cakes but really have not seen the mini ones. They are just adorable. There is just something about every person getting their own dessert that is so elegant.

  • Anonymous

    They look so yummy and sweet. I’ve seen the Nordic Ware pans but have always been a bit intimidated by them. You have inspired me to give them a try.

  • avi to wmv

    Excellent. I really impressed by that idea for make a designer cookie. It looking so wonderful. I am so excited for make it to night

  • Ana Paula

    I just found your blog and I am loving it!
    I have The same rose pans you have. I have a couple more, but not as many as you. šŸ™‚ The Sweetheart rose pan is lovely, but I have a hard time cleaning it. I just got the spray with flour and will try it! I used vegetable shortening before.
    All your desserts look beautifull. You take amazing pictures.
    I made the mini rose cakes for Grandma’s 90th birthday and everybody loved!
    You can find my post here:
    Your blog is beautiful, I can’t wait to see everything.
    Ana Paula.

  • jodi

    hi – I’ve been behind lately and just managed to catch up on your blog over the weekend…I saw the light tent that you’re using – do you by chance know if that helps with photographing fabric?
    I’ve been trying to take some pics of the applique fabrics that I use, and the several black fabrics have been giving me fits…just wondered if the light tent might be a good fix…thanks much and as always – your site (and all your goodies) are GORGEOUS!!

  • jacki janse van rensburg

    wow! what beautiful desserts! you would make even the simplest of desserts look awesome.
    your blog is beautiful too.

  • nathalie

    may i have a dozen to go plewease? these look beautiful!!!!! and you too are one beautiful woman! i was just looking at your photo! and how about that studio? wow. so many things to create.

  • Amy

    What a beautiful post. One of my favorite things to do it bake. I have the large rose mold for cakes but really have not seen the mini ones. They are just adorable. There is just something about every person getting their own dessert that is so elegant. I am off to the store to find some minis. Thanks for the inspiration! Amy šŸ™‚

  • melissa lewis - off the wall

    You’ve captured my heart with this post:) I love sugar, all sugar, especially baked!!! I love to bake. I don’t have any of these cute little pans, I have to go get some now.
    And that light tent! What a difference it makes on pictures. They are great! Gotta get one of those too. Could really use that when taking pictures of our products!

  • Kim Caldwell

    Love your Blog Lisa! So inspiring. Those sweet kiddos of yours are darling!
    Hugs, Kim

  • v & co

    um wow…i’m totally humbled that you even look at my blog! i was just coming over here to tell you that you won my charm packs and i need your address and then i started looking at you blog and HELLO you are one VERY talented lady! anyways, thanks for playing and here’s my email address where you can give me your address and i can mail out your winnings! vanessa_christenson(at)yahoo(dot)com

  • v & co

    um wow…i’m totally humbled that you even look at my blog! i was just coming over here to tell you that you won my charm packs and i need your address and then i started looking at you blog and HELLO you are one VERY talented lady! anyways, thanks for playing and here’s my email address where you can give me your address and i can mail out your winnings! vanessa_christenson(at)yahoo(dot)com

  • Susan

    What a fantastic post…love it. I am always trying to improve my photography skills; the tent is a great tip.
    Thanks for stopping by and commenting on mine. I know I will enjoy getting to know you better!

  • kristen - gock's frocks

    yum! I love your new photos – esp with the pink paper! I was wondering if you have a special way of displaying your nordicware collection???

  • QueenPam

    I have one of those cake pans somewhere, I’ll have to try it. It was a present from my dad. I also have one of those light tents and it makes difficult shots come out oh so nice! I am enjoying your blog. QP

  • sheree

    Oh, I need some of those bake pans…how cute are they! And the final results look yummy!

  • June Parrish Cookson

    YUMMY! My stomach is growling and yearning for some of those.
    Excellent idea with the tent and makes for interesting perspectives. Lovely shots.
    Hope things are going well with the new move.
    Have a great weekend, friend.

  • jen davis

    Mmmmmm…it all looks so scrumptious and I looooooooove all the pans! Wow!

  • Jeannette

    Morning Lisa! I just discovered your blog and want to say I immediately added it to my fairly new one and also my favorites!!!! I too am passionate about crafting/sewing and was so thrilled to find you. Your instructions/photos are fantastic. At the risk of becoming a stalker;lol – you will find me here a lot!!! Your collection of baking pans made me want to run to the nearest Williams Sonoma! Have a great weekend – Sincerely yours, Jeannette

  • Katie

    Hi Lisa,
    Your little cakes look so yummy! I envy your cooking skills. Great Blog. xox Katie

  • Nance

    You made me hungry for dessert, lisa, even though i just finished 2 slices of strawberry glaze! šŸ™‚
    thanks for all the tips!

  • Barbara @ Southern Lady's Vintage

    I have been seeing some great baking pans at the stores! Your cupcakes turned out beautiful!
    Lisa, please stop by my blog on Friday. I will have a surprise for you!

  • Kim

    Yummy! Looks scrumptious (sp?) Your blog is beautiful!

  • Ravenhill

    Your bakeware is so pretty and you have made the loveliest of treats with it! Thank you for all the delicious photos!

  • Julie

    I’ve thought about buying these pans for a couple of years, but wasn’t sure how well they performed. I’m definitely putting them on my list of things I need, now. Great pictures and tips! Thank you!

  • Sasha Farina

    oh Lisa Lisa Lisa…. yummy… ok, that’s it.. I’m coming for dessert!

  • Elena

    Hi Lisa. I just found your blog and I love it. And those cake pans are fantastic!

  • melissa @ the inspired room

    You are definitely a girl after my own heart on the cake pans. They make a gorgeous dessert!!! Love these!
    Hope all is well…I am up in Seattle right now…busy little bees we are!!!
    Thanks for the great post, as always, so inspiring!!

  • Geeta

    You have me drooling over your dessert! Your pictures are stunning and what an enviable collection of bakeware! You put this post together so beautifully together with your lovely commentary.

  • Toni from NC

    Love the baking pans! And your kids are so cute! Hope everyone enjoyed the special treat. … *sigh* Now, you’re gonna make me take another trip to Williams Sonoma!

  • Tandra Boyer

    Oooooh!! Yummy cakes and beautful photography!
    I just got the HUGE cupcake pan from Nordic, havent made one yet!!!
    Thanks for your tips!

  • berta

    Those look so yummy & fun! You wouldn’t want to bake an ordinary cake anymore with one of those pans. Thanks for the link to the light tent, I need to check one of those out!

  • PLT

    Does Williams-Sonoma know about you? They should run right out and snap you up. You could probably find a way to make kitchen scissors look exciting!!

  • Penny

    Hi Lisa,
    thanks for all the info esp. the photo tent thing! I have the sweetheart rose pan too and just love it. Actually, I love all my nordicware pans, everything always just slides right out!

  • Amy

    How fun! I love to bake too – but I prefer scratch, if I had no space issues in my kitchen I too would be an avid collector of pans šŸ™‚

  • Karla

    They look so yummy and sweet. I’ve seen the Nordic Ware pans but have always been a bit intimidated by them. You have inspired me to give them a try. The light tent really makes a difference – the photos look very crisp.

  • Cassandra

    Now I am just “Simply Hungry” that I have read your blog! Great pictures! I have to go and find something to snack on!
    Thanks for ruining my proposed diet! LOL!

  • giabella designs

    That rose cake bunt pan is the ONLY pan my husband’s Aunt Lelia uses for cakes. I guess you could say that it is her “signature” dessert! If I made all of those goodies, I would have to go off of my diet, too good to resist!

  • Nanette

    What good ideas. I’m always amazed at your good pictures and the range of things you do. You are amazing.

  • Jen R

    Oh yum! And what great pans you have!~I love WIlliam Sonoma! Jen R

  • adrienne

    OMG! I Love it! You know I LOVEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE baking. I JUST got a kitchen aid mixer and can’t WAIT to use it! I love bundt pans too!!!!

  • Kaja

    Oh! So lovely! I totally agree that how you serve it is more important than what you serve. My children cry out for joy when we have semolina pudding for breakfast. I use the very boring standard recepie, but I add a few drops of caramel colouring, so my children eat pink or yellow pudding and claims it is their favourite breakfast!
    I really should try to get hold of one of those pans. But as Starry said above, we only got the boring stuff here. Bless eBay and internet shopping!!!
    Lovely pics by the way! It is really an art of photographing!

  • Carla

    WOW! Those look fabulous. They would be too cute for when I host the next Bunco game in Sept. Hey-I posted the next challenge. There are so many beautiful colors in the photos that I found that it made me jump when I first saw the published post. I hope you can join us again. I’m almost done with my baby quilt. I’m handsewing the binding on. I need it finished by Wed. but I should be OK! Talk to ya soon!

  • Starry

    I’m very jealous America seems to have such variety of cake mixes! I love to bake any way though.
    Oh and goo pans do make all the difference. I have a great many but none as fancy as that :).

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