Skip to main content

Ispahan Cupcakes And A Cookbook Giveaway

Ispahan Cupcakes-Copyright©Tartelette 2008
Before I talk about these cupcakes, I need, I have to, I must and want to thank you all who visit this site and leave fun and thoughtful comments. I am overwhelmed each time you wish to share something with me. I try my best to visit as many bogs as I can but I always seem to run out of time. I apologize if I am sporadic in my visits on your sites. I try to give, share and support and I just wanted you to know that I am sorry if you don’t always see me around in a timely manner. You guys are the best!

The cupcakes? Oh, yes….I did say in my last post that the next one would be about cupcakes, didn’t I? For the cookbook giveaway, you have to either read this until the end or scroll down to the bottom.

One of my friends just had a baby a few weeks ago, a little preemie named Rose. Now that mom and baby are back home and settling down into their new routine, we decided to throw them a very special "Welcome Home" since the birth and following days were rather traumatic for the both of them. A soon as her husband called me to ask if I could take care of the dessert table, I knew I would have to make little Rose, Ispahan cupcakes, inspired by Pierre Herme famous macarons dominated by flavors like rose, raspberry and lychee, and that he now spreads to a whole array of creations.

Rose is a precious baby in all aspects of the word, and since she is a preemie, her parents decided to have a donation box by the dessert table to contribute to the amazing work done by the March Of Dimes foundation. In my case, I am virtually sending these to Holly who graciously shared her story with us to spotlight this foundation by organizing a Little Wonders Event. Holding Rose in my arms was a very emotional moment for me, that little wee bittie girl fighting so hard to be part of this world just made me melt and the least I could do was to try to make it a comfortable place.

Back when my mother was here in February I baked his Ispahan Cake from his latest book "Confidences Sucrees". The cake was so good it was gone before I could take a picture, which in a way was not that bad since I had to use a bright pink colored rose extract that made the cake a little too fashion forward for my taste. For the cake a mix of rose water and rose essence works best so as soon as my new stash arrived I put the idea of making the cake into cupcakes into action. If you can’t find rose essence, add more rose water which you can find in health food stores or Asian grocers. The cake recipe was great but not fit to be used as is into cupcakes, instead I use a basic white cupcake batter to which I added almonds and a good dose of rose flavor. Hidden inside the cupcake is a whole lychee to stay true to the original Ispahan macaron and the frosting is my tried and true cream cheese frosting enhanced with raspberry puree to keep up with the whole rapsberry-rose idea.

I understand that not everybody like lychees as much as I do, and I understand it is an acquired taste and texture but if you can find fresh ones, go ahead and use these, the canned ones are awfully sweet. For the cupcakes I had to use canned lychees which I rinsed off a couple of times under cold water and patted dry before incorporating to the cupcakes. Same things with the raspberries, use jam or preserve instead of fresh but reduce the sugar in the frosting a little. I just loved these and given the empty box I came back with, I think they went quite well! I can’t wait for Rose to be old enough to have one instead of watching a bunch of adults passing these in front of her nose!!

Ispahan Cupcakes-Copyright©Tartelette 2008 Ispahan Cupcakes:

Makes 24
Printable Recipe

1 1/2 cups self-rising flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup ground almonds
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup rose water
1 tsp rose essence (if available)
24 whole lychees (or 24 halves if they are big)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 24 cupcake liners with cooking spray and set them on a baking sheet.
In a small bowl, combine the flours and set aside.In a large bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, cream the butter until smooth. Add the sugar gradually and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the dry ingredients in three parts, alternating with the milk and rose water. Do not overbeat. Using a rubber spatula, scrape down the batter in the bowl to make sure the ingredients are well blended. Carefully spoon half the batter into the liners, place one lychee int he center and top with the remaining batter, leaving a two inch space to the top as the cupcake will rise. Bake for 20–25 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the center of the cupcake comes out clean. Cool completely before frosting.

1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1/2 cup raspberry puree (run enough fresh raspberries in the blender to make up 1/2 cup)
or use 1.5 cups powdered sugar with 1/2 cup raspberry jam.

In bowl of electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter, on low speed, until very smooth with no lumps. Gradually add the sifted powdered sugar and beat, on low speed, until fully incorporated and smooth. Fill a pastry bag fitted with a plain tip with the frosting and pipe on the cupcakes. Top with a fresh raspberry.

Ispahan Cupcakes-Copyright©Tartelette 2008
Now…..The cookbook giveaway I mentioned at the beginning. I find myself with an extra copy of this book and thought to share it with one of you. It is full of great recipes for cakes, pies, cookies and brownies made famous by the folks at Nestle, both American and International.

All you have to do is leave a comment (and why not tell me about your favorite cookbook at the same time) and I will let the random generator pick the lucky winner, anywhere in the world by Monday night.

Related Posts

Similar Articles


Anonymous April 12, 2008 um 4:11 pm

Wait..i’m busy pulling the wires on your random generator so it picks me!…thuummbb..okay done! 🙂

The book is mine!! muuaaarrgghhhh *evil laugh*

Unknown April 12, 2008 um 4:12 pm

What a fun party. Congratulations to your friend and baby Rose! So glad it sounds like she’s doing well. I don’t really know what my favorite cookbook is…I guess, right now it’s my binder that holds my family recipes!

Anonymous April 12, 2008 um 4:34 pm

Mon Dieu…Comme d’habitude, je reste sans voix…Speechless, comme disent nos amis américains…

Unknown April 12, 2008 um 4:40 pm

I love Ispahan – and what a beautiful rendition! You’ve been outdoing yourself lately!

PG April 12, 2008 um 4:42 pm

Beautiful cupcakes! I love how you add an extra special touch to your recipes. The ribbon takes the muffin cups from being plain to really classy.

Favorite cookbook. That’s a tough one. I’ll go with Barefoot Contessa: Family Style. But it’s like picking your favorite child. I just love them all (or most of them) equally.

oolong April 12, 2008 um 4:47 pm

Cupcakes. I would like to try that once. Here in Slovenia they are not popular. We have the era of muffins and traditional Apfelstrudel.

But for the cookbook. Here in Slovenia all the housholds have one cookbook. Ivačič’s cookbook. My grandma has it, my mother has it, I have it, my aunts have it. This book is a must. It has no fotos, but all the recepies work. It is so old but it still impresses me.

Unknown April 12, 2008 um 4:50 pm

what a great story to go with the cupcakes, I love baking for my friends babyshowers and events. I have tried forever to get my hands on some rose water and now i need to search for some rose essence. I hope the god of randomized numbers picks me!!
Anna Shown- NM

Anonymous April 12, 2008 um 4:51 pm

Your cupcakes… hmm, simply lovely! It’s a great idea to use lychees too.

Amy April 12, 2008 um 4:56 pm

Hm… My favorite cook book…
I really like reading "The Joy of Cooking" for fun… Then I have ones that I like looking at the pictures, I have a really pretty Indian cookbook : ) They’re not right in front of me so I don’t remember the names

Libby April 12, 2008 um 4:58 pm

Hmmm…favorite cookbook. Do I have to pick just one? I probably lean hardest on "Joy of Cooking" for how it’s supposed to be done and "The Food Substitution Bible" by David Joachim for how I’m actually going to do it! Thanks for doing the giveaway! Libby

LizNoVeggieGirl April 12, 2008 um 5:02 pm

Helen, no need to apologize – YOU are the best!! I continue to be inspired by your creations and your writing style, everyday :0)

What a powerful story, of Rose and your experience with her – March of Dimes is a fabulous foundation/organization.

Wow, what an enticing cupcake variety!! I’ve actually never had lychees OR rosewater before, but they sound like wonderful additions to baked goods.

Oooh, a cookbook giveaway!! Fun!! :0D

Bebe The Baker April 12, 2008 um 5:13 pm

Those look lovely, and I’m inspired by your story of Rose. Sometimes, it’s the littlest things in the world that remind us of what life’s all about.
As far as favorite cookbooks, currently Dorie’s "Baking From My Home to Yours" is amazing, though I get most of my recipes from lovely bloggers such as yourself.

Mary April 12, 2008 um 5:17 pm

Those are really beautiful cupcakes! I’ve never had a lychee but I think I would like the cupcakes because I like rosewater and raspberries. You could even send me the cupcakes instead of the cookbook!
My favorite cookbook right now is Vegetables Every Day by Jack Bishop.

Anonymous April 12, 2008 um 5:23 pm

I love to read your blog and try out your recipes. It is inspiring to me. I cook in a small RV while I serve as a host in a Maryland State Park. I share your blog site, recipes and the goodies I make with the campers. Thanks so much for sharing with me and encouraging me to cook UP a bit. I hope your ramdom picker is working my way!

rice paper girl April 12, 2008 um 5:40 pm

Those cupcakes look absolutely amazing.

glamah16 April 12, 2008 um 5:41 pm

I have a good rose essence that I like. I have to try the whole lychee, raspberry combo. I want the book. I dont have a favorite cookbook because I love them all!

Mizuu April 12, 2008 um 5:41 pm

Lovely cupcakes ^^
My favourite cookbook would be… "Japanese cuisine" by Nanako Hamaguchi (Polish edition "Kuchnia japońska") – I love Asian way of preparing food, but now I’m seeking to improve my skills from baking and traditional European cuisine. 🙂

Anonymous April 12, 2008 um 5:56 pm

What a beautiful batch of cupcakes!

As for my favourite cookbook, it fits nicely with the theme of this post. It’s Rose Carrarini’s (of The Rose Bakery in Paris, France) cookbook titled "Breakfast, Lunch, Tea." If you don’t have a copy, I highly recommend. The photograph and design of the book would have been enough for me to purchase it. But after having ate at the Rose Bakery, I had to get myself a copy. Delicious!

Sarah April 12, 2008 um 6:20 pm

What a fun idea and those are gorgeous cupcakes. Righ now, my favorite cookbook is the Silver Palate. There is a ton of variety in the recipes (appetizers to desserts) and they are all simple but gourmet. I love it!

Anonymous April 12, 2008 um 6:21 pm

Those are gorgeous, like all of your creations!

I think my favorite cookbook is the one I bought most recently, at any given time. . . today’s choice is Favorite Wholegrain Recipes.

Carla April 12, 2008 um 6:33 pm

What lovely cupcakes – too bad baby Rose is too young to enjoy these.

If I could find all these ingredients in my midwestern grocer I’d make these cupcakes. When we lived in Guam I got hooked on fresh lychee. Now, I can’t even find canned here *sigh*. Ah, well.

It is hard to narrow it down to one cookbook – it always depends what I am looking for. Books serve different purposes. Better Homes and Garden’s classic has always been a tried and true for me so far in life.

Anonymous April 12, 2008 um 7:00 pm

Those are so precious. 😉

My favorite baking cookbook is Heirloom Baking with the Brass Sisters. Anyone that loves baking needs that cookbook!

My favorite 'cooking' cookbooks are anything Ina Garten. 🙂 Oh, and the Ballymaloe Cookbook by Darina Allen.

Kristen April 12, 2008 um 7:11 pm

As usual, gorgeous cupcakes. I am always in awe of your food. It always looks so amazing. You are my food blog idol!!!!


PheMom April 12, 2008 um 7:24 pm


Thank you SO much for mentioning my little event. I am so glad to hear that Rose and your friend are doing well. It is wonderful that you helped give them a "welcome home" party. Those cupcakes are absolutely perfect! Thanks again so much!

As for my favorite cookbook, since I have been making recipes from everyone’s blogs from Dorie’s baking book and my copy finally got here, I would have to say it is my current favorite. For an old favorite, I would probably have to say Williams-Sonoma’s Pies & Tarts book.


Obsessive Foodie or Food Addict….You Decide April 12, 2008 um 7:25 pm

These look purrrrfect for a baby shower or homecoming. I like these cupcake holders…..they actually remind me of the little paper cups they used to fill w/water at the dentists office and you would swish and then spit. Drink, swish, spit, drink, swish, spit……..but it looks so cool w/this cupcake in it. I am not in anyway implying that is what you used were dental spitoons. Just my crazy asymiliation….the mind can be a very dark deep hole of thoughts hehehehehe.

Babeth April 12, 2008 um 7:29 pm

cute cupcakes!
my favorite cupcake is : little Italy

noskos April 12, 2008 um 7:31 pm

Those cupcakes look beautiful!!! My favorite cookbook at the moment is Baking from Dorie Greenspan, because of all the fun I have with it and all the wonderful new blogs I discover through Tuesdays with Dorie 🙂

Anonymous April 12, 2008 um 7:36 pm

oh wow, i’m still relishing the yummy ispahan i had in tokyo last summer. ur cupcakes look like a great rendition of pierre herme’s version … i hope rose likes them when she’s older.

i don’t have a favorite cookbook for now but i do like dorie greenspan’s "baking from my home to yours" and am still working through it. there are just so many books out there that i wanna buy!!! 😛

B April 12, 2008 um 7:42 pm

Mmm, those cupcakes look awesome!

My favorite cookbook is "Best of America’s Test Kitchen". Lots of great recipes that never go wrong!

Meeta K. Wolff April 12, 2008 um 7:42 pm

i am not commenting because i want to win – ehem! but i am here because i love these cute looking cupcakes. the lychees are such an added bonus. lovely!

Veron April 12, 2008 um 7:45 pm

I have yet to try Ispahan and am really intrigued. His macaron uses the sevarom rose paste which I found somewhere but it was quite pricey. I love lychees and I know they have them at the Asian stores sometimes. Such cute cupcakes.

Anonymous April 12, 2008 um 8:03 pm

Delicious and cute!

Patricia Scarpin April 12, 2008 um 8:24 pm

I think I should try lychees in different ways, Helen, you’ve got me curious!
your cupcakes look dazzling, absolutely beautiful (as usual!)

About the book… I have been addicted to Donna Hay magazines, to be honest.

Anonymous April 12, 2008 um 8:38 pm

I have so many favorite cookbooks, it’s hard to choose…I like Another Cup Of Sugar by Anna Olson. She’s Canadian, as am I, and she has her own baking show on the Food Network called Sugar. I’m not sure if it’s shown in the U.S…probably not! Thanks for the opportunity to win this book!

Ginny April 12, 2008 um 8:55 pm

The cupcakes look great- I love rose, lychee and raspberry- plus anything pink is great in my book! Im glad little Rose is doing well! Please don’t put me in the cookbook giveaway as someone else deserves to win but the Joy of Cooking is my all time favorite cookbook!

Anonymous April 12, 2008 um 8:55 pm

If I said I didn’t have a favourite – yet – would that increase my chances? 🙂

That Girl April 12, 2008 um 8:59 pm

This is the third blog I’ve read today featuring cupcakes and I’m starting to get a little intimidated!

Do you go through cookbook phases? I do. I’m in LOVE with a cookbook for months before moving on. Right now its this super cheesy "Bride and Groom First and Forever Cookbook." I’d gotten it as a gift and stuck it in the bottom of my bookshelf, only to stumble across it earlier this year. It has the best easiest recipes for basics like Cesar dressing, chicken soup, and chili!

Jannett April 12, 2008 um 9:00 pm

Your cupcakes look delicious.
favorite cookbook… I am collecting Canadian Cookbooks right now..older ones they have some really interesting recipes in them.

Anonymous April 12, 2008 um 9:15 pm

Wow those cupcakes look amazing, as does everything else I’ve seen on this blog.

My favourite cookbook? Well that is so hard considering I own over 250 of them, I suppose if I have to pick it’s Feast by Nigella Lawson because no matter what I want to cook, be it a simple supper or party occasion, it seems to be covered.

Gloria Baker April 12, 2008 um 9:23 pm

You always amazing me, these ARE SO BEAUTIFUL!!!! really love them!!! Gloria

Cannelle Et Vanille April 12, 2008 um 9:33 pm

Another wonderful recipe and beautiful story about baby Rose. I heard Gordon Ramsay say the other day that "good things happen to good people" and I think you are under that category. Well done Helen!
I am reading Paco Torreblanca’s book right now but my favorite…? I think although a few years old, Baking with Julia holds a special place in my heart. Also, Ph 10, and Tartine… and Clorofila and martin Berasategui… forget it, I have too many!

Anonymous April 12, 2008 um 9:42 pm

Very pretty cupcakes!

Peabody April 12, 2008 um 9:58 pm

I hear you on trying to get around to everyone’s blogs. It’s so hard some weeks.
Well, you had me until you said lychee fruit. I had a long anti-lychee post so I will have to skip. But they are beautiful.

Kelli April 12, 2008 um 10:00 pm

I really enjoy reading your blog. Thanks for sharing your beautiful pictures, and wonderful recipes!

Anonymous April 12, 2008 um 10:05 pm

I haven’t heard of Ispahan either, and am intrigued. My favorite cookbook is………going to be the one you create on desserts!Hint, hint.
I am impressed beyond words, your photography is splendid as well.

Unknown April 12, 2008 um 10:12 pm

Those cupcakes (or "baby cakes"? haha) are gorgeous! I am happy to hear that Rose & her mom are settling in back at home.

My go-to cookbook right now is Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything Vegetarian because I’m still new to the ways of food, but this Nestle cookbook sounds really good too!

Vida April 12, 2008 um 10:16 pm

Hello, these little wonders are so sweet and I will use them for inspiration in my next baking venture! My favourite cookbook is really anything by Jamie Oliver, he makes me want to teach the world to cook well, eat well and love well. Thanks for the chance to win the Nestle book. Vida x

Clumbsy Cookie April 12, 2008 um 10:23 pm

Beautiful blog, beautiful cupcakes, beautiful idea! I’m in!

Rosa's Yummy Yums April 12, 2008 um 10:26 pm

Don’t worry about your sporadic visits! That’s not a problem…

Your dreamlike cupcakes look mindbogglingly perfect! I bet they taste mighty good!!!



Anonymous April 12, 2008 um 10:45 pm

Right now my favourite cook book is actually a collection called Cucinare con Fanatsia, but I would love to make room for this one on my shelf!

Anonymous April 12, 2008 um 11:14 pm

Wonderful post as always. My favorite is not a cookbook per se, but Cook’s Illustrated Magazine. I enjoy all the science behind each recipe.

Honeyed Hashette April 12, 2008 um 11:23 pm

Everything you make is so beautiful and these are no exception. The story, though, was the best part.
My prayers go out to baby Rose and her family.

Anonymous April 12, 2008 um 11:36 pm

My favourite cookbook is actually one created at home, many different recipe cards and magazine clippings that have been handed down for three generations. Sure, they’ve got a spot of chocolate here, or are a little bent there…but they hold the familiarity of home in every dish. 🙂

Also, the name Rose is darling. Nice cupcakes!

Anonymous April 12, 2008 um 11:47 pm

look at the colors! so sweeeeeeet~ =D i’ll definitely feel like a baby girl eating these! 😛 another lovely piece of work~


Anonymous April 13, 2008 um 12:47 am

Gorgeous cupcakes, and what a delicious flavor combo!

Lori April 13, 2008 um 12:51 am

Nothing sweeter than holding a newborn in your arms. So precious and tender!

Love the color of the cupcakes. I was out today looking for rose syrup for my marshmallows that I am planning to make!

One of my favorite cookbooks the Joy of Cooking. I refer to it often.

K April 13, 2008 um 1:12 am

Those look delicious! I am almost 8 months pregnant with a little girl and i think those may need to make an appearance at my shower!!! 🙂

Katie April 13, 2008 um 1:19 am

You always have such delicious pictures. The only way I could have cupcakes this pretty is if I bought them!

My favorite cookbook is the good ol' Reader’s Digest one.

Maggie M. April 13, 2008 um 1:20 am

What a sweet story 🙂 My favorite cookbook (at the moment) is "the complete asian cooking companion" by vicky liley. And I adore lychees!

Anonymous April 13, 2008 um 1:22 am

The cupcakes are beautiful – I love lychees too 🙂 A lovely story to go along with them too!

I am a cookbook addict, and my favorite one right now would have to be Dorie Greenspan’s Baking, From My Home to Yours, as many others have also said ..

lil one April 13, 2008 um 1:32 am

this looks great! I’ve been thinking of making stuff for the Little Wonders Event but am still a little undecided. I might just be inspired by your very beautiful cakes! 🙂 Oh and I don’t have a favourite cookbook…I just like trying random recipes from all over..!

LyB April 13, 2008 um 1:48 am

I’m certain either one of my girls would be delighted with these cupcakes! My son would certainly say they are "trop filles" but he’d eat one anyway, he has such a sweet tooth! They are delightfully pink, perfect for a little princess named Rose!

Rachael Hutchings April 13, 2008 um 1:53 am

What sweet cupcakes! I love the idea of using lychees. Mmmmm. I have way too many favorite cookbooks. They’re all like old friends–how to pick just one? 🙂 Actually, for sentimental value, I do love a little spiral bound book given me by my husband’s grandmother. She self-published a little booklet of family recipes about 10 years ago and gave me a copy when we got married.

Aimée April 13, 2008 um 2:06 am

What a lucky mama and baby to enjoy such delectable cupcakes! Wish it could have been me! 🙂

toontz April 13, 2008 um 2:36 am

Those cupcakes are darling. My favorite all-around cookbook is America’s Test Kitchen Family Cookbook.
Blessings to the new mother and baby.

Topher April 13, 2008 um 2:59 am


hooli April 13, 2008 um 3:02 am

If it’s not too late, throw my name in the pile. My favorite cookbook of all time is the Heritage Cookbook created by the Salt Lake City Junior League. I don’t actually love the recipes so much as the "history" in it. There are actually recipes with MSG in it… pretty old school.

Michelle April 13, 2008 um 3:35 am

Just found your website and am basically addicted. Thanks for the inspiration! My favorite cookbook is williams and sonoma any of them! Michelle

Kendall April 13, 2008 um 5:10 am

Oh those Ispahan cupcakes look amazing! I love your website!

Favorite cookbook, eh? I don’t know. I’m a bit partial to Jamie Oliver’s first cookbook…but then again, it might be because I think he’s adorable. 😉 I’m not sure I have a favorite…I don’t really have that many.

Anonymous April 13, 2008 um 5:12 am

Those look wonderful!

Unknown April 13, 2008 um 6:01 am

lovely cupcakes, helen. wonderful garnish. perfect for a baby girl!

Unknown April 13, 2008 um 6:38 am

You definitely know how to make ppl leave comments dear helene, 🙂 and oh I’ve been racking my brain so hard trying to come up with a perfectly pleasant surprise, and your entries just keep nudging me in some wonderful directions. 🙂

I do hope the random generator picks me 🙂
Lots of love, and all the best to lil rose

Anonymous April 13, 2008 um 6:39 am

So cute ! And I love Ispahan taste !

Tara April 13, 2008 um 6:46 am

I always admire your photos… those cupcakes look delicious, they made me and my boyfriend hungry!

My favourite cookbook? That’s a hard one, there are just too many to choose from!

andrea April 13, 2008 um 7:35 am

Lovely cupcakes! I love ispahan and i’m gonna make these soon! 🙂

Ms SnS April 13, 2008 um 8:15 am

My favorite cookbook is Cooking from Quilt Country : Hearty Recipes from Amish and Mennonite Kitchens. The German Apple pancake is spectacular!

Anonymous April 13, 2008 um 9:08 am

So cute really with a Herme touch the famous ispahan, thanks!

Anonymous April 13, 2008 um 9:17 am

Free cookbook? Sure I’ll comment!

Rosewater is one of my favorite ingredients. Here in the Balkans we get rose jam, too, which squeaks in your teeth and makes happy morning toast.

Pixie April 13, 2008 um 9:37 am

Hi, First, no worries about stopping by – I always enjoy reading your wonderful creations through my reader and it’s so difficult to go to everyone at once!

Second ROSE is a Fabulous name because it’s my NAME! and cuddles to the sweet little one, my niece was born a preemie too and she’s lovely.

as for a book recommendation mine would be Nigel Slaters, The kitchen Diaries

Kelly-Jane April 13, 2008 um 9:45 am

I’m so making these cupcakes! We as a family love lychees! I don’t think I’ve seen them used like this before, I can harldy wait!

My favourite book of the moment is Wanda Beaver’s 'Wanda’s Pir in The Sky 🙂

Lou April 13, 2008 um 10:00 am

I love your blog and recipes! It’s hard to pick a favorite cookbook, but one of my favorites is "Bittersweet" by Alice Medrich.

grace April 13, 2008 um 10:06 am

that icing looks incredible! i’m not one to eat icing plain (yeah…that’s the biggest lie i’ve ever told), but i can see myself taking a spoon to a bowl of that pink deliciousness!

Rachel@fairycakeheaven April 13, 2008 um 11:14 am

Congratulations to your friend and baby Rose, it’s so inspiring to hear such a lovely story of survival and vulnerability at the same time!!

These look gorgeous, I love rose flavours but no one else I know does, I may have to make these and eat them all myself!!!

*cer April 13, 2008 um 12:39 pm

the cupcakes are absolutely lovely! i can’t wait for when i have the time to try these out for a first time attempt at making cupcakes!

Carrie April 13, 2008 um 1:02 pm

OK, just to let you know, I was gonna leave a comment anyway, but if you want to throw in a free cookbook ALRIGHT! Twist my arm 🙂
This post touched my heart and the cupcakes are gorgeous! I am so glad Rose was able to have such a special party and that she is ok. You won’t believe how soon you will be making those again for her for some birthday party or other celebration. Time flys when your havin fun 🙂 Take good Care of yourself 🙂

Anonymous April 13, 2008 um 1:20 pm

Hope I can be the lucky recpent of your cookbook. I was a preemie too and had to spend 3 months in the hospital before I was discharged as I was really tiny only about 1Kg. Your creation is stunning as usual. I hope one day my creation could be that beautiful too.

giz April 13, 2008 um 1:37 pm

You took a simple paper cup, added a ribbon and instant elegance. So cute. My very favourite cookbook of all time is Second Helpings Please by Norene Gilletz – no pictures – just good recipes that always turn out perfect.

Anonymous April 13, 2008 um 1:49 pm

Love your site! My favorite cookbook right now is Baking by Flavor

Rosanne April 13, 2008 um 2:35 pm

What lovely cupcakes and congratulations to your friend! Where do you get the cups you baked your cupcakes in? I pretty much like any cupcake smoothered in buttercream frosting!

Manggy April 13, 2008 um 2:38 pm

Helene, that’s a wonderful story– I’m glad Rose is fine (surely someday she will be a great baker too, hah)! It’s a little against type as I’m Asian, but I’m not yet a hundred percent on lychees– but I do LOVE raspberries! Maybe someday after I’ve tasted PH’s creation 🙂

My favorite cookbook is Cook With Jamie. It’s not a dessert cookbook which is surprising, but I’ve a hard time choosing one dessert cookbook!

Anonymous April 13, 2008 um 2:51 pm

My favourite cookbook is the first one I ever had and it was brought to me from the U.K by an English teacher I had, who I love. The book is Happy Days with the Naked Chef, by Jamie Oliver. The recipes are delicious, always work out and are easy.
Great contest and thanks for the chance!
… and lovely cupcakes too, though I’m not a big fan of lychees I would have eaten one of those for sure.

Adi April 13, 2008 um 2:59 pm

I’d love to get this book!
My favorite is "Pure Dessert". The apple crumble is divine…

Suzana April 13, 2008 um 3:31 pm

I bought rose essence yesterday! Couldn’t believe it when I read about those lovely cupcakes and their sweet story.

My favourite cookbook atm is Alice Waters' "Simple food".

emily April 13, 2008 um 3:50 pm

Those are beautiful cupcakes! Looking at your blog always inspires me to try to bake more!

Anonymous April 13, 2008 um 4:05 pm

Woaw, que de commentaires ! 😉 Elles veulent toutes le livre !!!
Je comprends, moi aussi je le veux 😉 !!!!
Plus sérieusement, je dirais qu’il n’est pas facile de visiter tous les blogs qu’on voudrait et encore moins de laisser un message à chaque fois. Je pense que c’est pour tous la même chose.
Pour ce qui est de mon livre "préféré", je dirais que c’est mon livre "d’école ménagère". Cours que les élèves suisses, les filles seulement à l’époque, suivait un jour par semaine.
Ce livre date de 1970 et il ne contient aucune photo ! C’est une mine de secrets de cuisine. Toutes les méthodes y sont expliquées. J’y retrouve les recettes de nos grands-mères… etc. Je pourrais en parler pendant des heures… stop !!!
Voilà, bonne continuation à toi et encore bravo pour tes magnifiques recettes.

Mama Mia April 13, 2008 um 4:09 pm

Beautiful cupcakes! Can I take a cupcake instead of a cookbook? haha

Sheltie Girl April 13, 2008 um 4:19 pm

Tartelette – These are simply beautiful. You did a wonderful job on the cupcakes. I love lychees and the idea of nestling a whole one into a cupcakes sounds divine.

Natalie @ Gluten A Go Go

Finla April 13, 2008 um 4:52 pm

Beautiful cupcakes.
I love babies. They are so tiny and so fragile. When you wrote about holding little Rosie, i was feeling oh i wish i could hold her too.
At the moment my faviourite cook book is from a Brittish Chef called James Martin, Desserts. It has such a wonderful recipes in it.

Karen Baking Soda April 13, 2008 um 4:59 pm

Touching story, holding Rose and see how she and her mummy fought to be here; yes emotional. I hope everything get rosier and shine for them!

Love fresh lychees, the combination with rosewater will enhance the flavour I think. Lovely!

Jess April 13, 2008 um 5:18 pm

Ooh, I’m currently obsessed with A Passion for Baking by Marcy Goldman… and now I just want to make ispahan verrines.

Chiara Beth April 13, 2008 um 5:19 pm

A friend of mine just gave birth to preemie twin boys. I haven’t been able to visit them yet, but I know that they’re doing well. Now I can’t wait to bring them (and their mom) a nice box full of these cupcakes too! Thank you for the inspiration!!

anadelicias April 13, 2008 um 5:31 pm

Your cupcakes look son pretty, Helen!!!

I´ve not never done those. I´m going to try to do somethig like yours.

Amanda April 13, 2008 um 5:54 pm

Those sound great, since I love lychees!
Your blog is wonderful!

I think my favorite cookbook is Darra Goldstein’s "The Georgian Feast." The book is wonderfully researched and full of cultural information, and the recipes are so authentic. And also because Georgian cuisine is my favorite.

ErickaJo April 13, 2008 um 6:04 pm

With 105 comments I have no real hope of getting picked, but I do want to let you know that I throughly enjoy your blog, and my husband and I have used several recipes that you’ve posted with much happiness 🙂 Thank you!

angie April 13, 2008 um 6:35 pm

great job as usual :). Everything you do is so inspiring!

Lel April 13, 2008 um 7:12 pm

ah, everything raspberry is wonderful! As for favorite cookbooks, I shall always come back to my mom’s old copy of betty crocker for the classics.

White Toast with Butter April 13, 2008 um 7:20 pm

The cupcakes look great – and I just got a big old bottle of rose water!!!

Vanillaorchid April 13, 2008 um 7:47 pm

wowwwwwwwwwwwww..They are absolutely wonderful & so cuteeeeeeeeeeee!!

I like both lychee & raspberry and moreover with rose’s such a perfect cupcake 🙂

Hmmmmmmm…my favourite cookbook, it’s quite difficult for me to say it out because most of the cookbooks I use are from my mother-in law and sister-in law or from food blog.

Oh…can I say that one of my favourite cookbooks is your blog!!

Emily April 13, 2008 um 8:01 pm

I love the rose theme. Roses are so romantic.

Gina April 13, 2008 um 8:03 pm

I think my favorite cookbook has to be The Cake Book! Love it!
Thank you!

Linda & Christina April 13, 2008 um 8:12 pm

Oh… my moth is watering.. those cupcakes looks SO delicious, and beautiful! I will definatley try to make them 🙂

The story about little rose made my eyes water… beautiful.. God bless her!

I have to recomend my favourite cook book:
The Cake Book by Tish Boyle!
It´s filled with amazing recipes, check it out 🙂

/Linda, Sweden

Michelle H April 13, 2008 um 8:19 pm

Welcome to the world Rose. :o)

I would love to try these, but I can’t find lychee anywhere here. But I bet they are delicious.
One of my favorite cookbooks is BH&G New Cookbook Breast Cancer Edition. It has sumple and quick recipes I can prepare any night of the week. :o) Equally favorite is Baking: From my home to yours by Dorie Greenspan. I absoutely love the way that she writes and explains recipes.

I can not wait to see the amazing things Rose will do in her life. I love the March of Dimes organization because I was born premature. :o)

Annemarie April 13, 2008 um 9:25 pm

I’ve never heard of Ispahan cupcakes/macaroons. I remember studying about Ispahan in art history class, with its glorious towers and tile-sparkling exteriors. I imagine these must taste and smell of the rose gardens of that city…

BettyCupcakes April 13, 2008 um 9:35 pm

My favorite cookbook, right now, is Lidia’s Italy. Or, Nigella’s How to Eat. I read them like they are novels.

Glad Rose is home and doing well.

Anonymous April 13, 2008 um 10:02 pm

*is drooling @ the cupcakes, even though she just ate lunch*

Hope your friend and her daughter are well =)

La cuisine des 3 soeurs April 13, 2008 um 10:11 pm

Pour moi le principal, c’est de découvrir et de superbes photos et tes délicieuses recettes.

Anonymous April 13, 2008 um 10:18 pm

Lovely cupcakes! They look delicious, and the pictures are gorgeous, as usual. 🙂

Cindy April 13, 2008 um 11:24 pm

Favorite cookbook is FAYEFOOD by Faye Hess.
Your cupcakes are beautiful!

Lauren April 13, 2008 um 11:30 pm

Everything you make looks good. *sigh*

Fav cookbook? I suppose the Joy of Cooking.

eatme_delicious April 13, 2008 um 11:55 pm

I love lychees! These cupcakes are beautiful, as always.

It’s hard to pick a favourite but I’m going to go with Rebar Modern Food Cookbook.

Kristen April 14, 2008 um 12:07 am

Those look so delicious. *makes mental note to search out lychee at the farmers' market next weekend* Congrats to your friend, too. I’m glad that Rose is doing well. 🙂

The Cake Doctor April 14, 2008 um 1:10 am

Those cupcakes look delicious. I love cupcakes that are on the heavy side more so with almonds. Great site by the way. You are my most fave blogger in the whole world.

The Cake Doctor April 14, 2008 um 1:10 am

This comment has been removed by the author.

Anonymous April 14, 2008 um 1:38 am

Such a sweet story with cupcakes to match! As for a favorite cookbook, it’s too difficult to pick just one. Like food blogs, there are so many wonderful and interesting ones out there that the challenge becomes finding enough time to enjoy as many as possible. "Thanks" to you, Tartlette, and "Welcome" to baby Rose!

Abby April 14, 2008 um 1:51 am

I love how your cupcakes are decorated! Almost as sweet as Little Rose, I bet!

And my favorite cookbooks are the ones I have of my grandmother’s that our church put out over the years. I have almost all of them – a little collection I’m excited to own!

Jenny April 14, 2008 um 2:18 am

Very pretty in pink! I am making a cake or cupcakes for a baby shower next month (twins, one of each) as well as a cake for an anniversary/joint birthday party, so may be emailing you with request for prettifying my creations!
And so far my favorite cookbook of all times is Dorie. Who else?

Anonymous April 14, 2008 um 2:27 am

Congrats to mum and bub for doing so well!
Current fave cookbook is probably anything Nigella Lawson or Donna Hay! Love them both, and I love your blog, I’ve been inspired many times from your posts!
Natasha in SA

cakebaker_cakemaker April 14, 2008 um 2:31 am

Just the perfect cupcakes for a baby shower…so soft and pink:):)

Favourite cookbook is Baking From My Home To Yours…Dorie Greenspan.

Ilissa April 14, 2008 um 3:05 am

My favorite cookbook is 'Betty Crocker: Everything you need to cook today'. I grew up using my Mom’s, then when I moved out she bought me my own. This cookbook has a bit of everything in it. I love it.

RecipeGirl April 14, 2008 um 3:15 am

What darling little cupcakes!

My favorite cookbook… it’s a tough call- I’m constantly using all of them. My fave at the moment is Foster’s Market Cookbook by Sara Foster.

Stef April 14, 2008 um 3:43 am

I don’t care about the cookbook, but the cupcakes interest me. I’ve never had lychees in anything.

rusvaplaukė April 14, 2008 um 4:47 am

Perfect cupcakes. I tasted my first lychees several months ago and I was immediately in love!

My favorite cookbook of all times.. Has to be Vegan with a Vengeance, if only because it opened me a whole new world of cooking. That, and because of the cookies-desserts section.

Jazz April 14, 2008 um 4:59 am

Ahhhhh…all your creations look so flawless. I’m so jealous…The flavor combo really intrigues me too; it’s too bad because I love lychees but they cost me an arm and a leg where I live.

Hah, the Nestle cookbook vaguely gives me deja vu of the pilsbury one 🙂

adli April 14, 2008 um 5:13 am

wow… trying my luck here… hehe. really, really hope I can get the book!! hahaha…

Cat April 14, 2008 um 5:38 am

my favorite cookbook.. hmmm.. maybe my Japanese book of desserts.. can’t read it all that well, but the construction is GORGEOUS!!

Katie April 14, 2008 um 6:06 am

The cupcakes look wonderful. The flavours you used sound lovely and delicate. Beautiful photos as always.

Dizzee Cake. April 14, 2008 um 7:22 am

Beautiful!! I love lychee and your recipe sounds delicious. Plus raspberry? MMmm I will definitely have to try these out =)

Botacook April 14, 2008 um 8:48 am

Coucou! Pierre Hermé et ses macarons Ispahan en ont inspiré plus d’un(e), mais toi tu as fait une recette toute mignonne, à croquer! Avec de magnifiques photos, comme d’habitude! Une question peut-être naïve, mais as-tu un projet de livre de cuisine?
En tout cas, je participe au tirage au sort! 😉

Anonymous April 14, 2008 um 10:10 am

I am speachless….you really are the best!!!!!

barb1652 April 14, 2008 um 12:03 pm

I look forward to checking this website everyday. I love the desserts you make and am trying to be a better baker. The things you make are not only beautiful to look at but taste wonderful too. (I’ve tried a few). My co-workers are amazed at the things I bring in thanks to you. My favorite cookbooks are Dorie Greenspan and By the Yard.

April April 14, 2008 um 12:39 pm

The cupcakes are beautiful! Congratulations to your friends on their newest addition! I would also have to say, I really don’t have a favorite cookbook. My favorites are baking ones, of course. But I can’t choose just 1!!!

Anonymous April 14, 2008 um 1:16 pm

The cupcakes look amazing! I wish I had the perfect excuse to make them :(.

Potluck Crafters April 14, 2008 um 1:32 pm

I’ll use my commment to pimp my new blog… It’s called Pot Luck Crafters and my sister and I post our crafty and culinary antics.

Jane April 14, 2008 um 2:03 pm

Your cupcakes always look so wonderful. My favorite I must say is what I get in from Amazon that week.


Anonymous April 14, 2008 um 3:02 pm

Oh we love lychees!! Have you the fresh ones? If not, we’ll send you some when they come into season! We eat TONS of them when they’re available!
The cupcakes look sooo cute! Just one chomp! will do. Perfect portions!
We would love to have that cookbook. Count us in!
We have so many cookbooks, it’s hard to choose. I would have to say for me, my most reliable source and inspiration of recipes are not from a book, but from my mother and grandmother.
Does that count? 🙂

Nicole April 14, 2008 um 3:12 pm

I love your blog. Your photos are always so amazing.

Favorite cookbook???? Hmmmm…. Well my most used cookbook is "The Joy of Cooking." It has so much valuable information and is the go to source for so many basic items.

sunita April 14, 2008 um 4:01 pm

Helen, that is indeed a moving story…but I’m sure, with great friends like you around, both mom and child will come along nicely…my wishes for them too 🙂

As for those cupcakes, they are simply gorgeous…and yes, I love lychees 😀

Unknown April 14, 2008 um 4:06 pm

the cupcakes look delicious! im going to make some right now!

Mary Luce April 14, 2008 um 4:12 pm

I wish I could make my desserts look as delicious as yours… *sighs for a photography course*
My favourite and very first cookbook was 'The Great Book of International Cuisine'. My Dad bought it and I love just to look at the pictures even though I only bake a few of the cakes, but the corn bread recipe is a favourite of my Mom’s 🙂

The Short (dis)Order Cook April 14, 2008 um 4:18 pm

Best wishes for little Rose. The pink cupcakes are a great idea. So pretty!

My favorite cookbook is Elaine Corn’s "Gooey Desserts". The name says it all. They’re fairly simple for a complete amateur like me, but full of butter and cream and all things that make desserts special.

Unknown April 14, 2008 um 4:22 pm

Interesting you should post about cupcakes. We went to a wedding this weekend and the wedding "cake" was a mountain of cupcakes. They were really good. Can’t wait to try these.

Unknown April 14, 2008 um 4:44 pm

Sounds like you had a special experience with this baby!! This book looks tempting!

Julie April 14, 2008 um 4:47 pm

i love lychees, but have never used fresh ones. You inspired me to look out for them. Luckily, the canned ones are good for lychee martinis:) Okay, my fave cookbook always changes, so today I’m going to say it’s The New Book of Middle Eastern Food by Claudia Roden.

Memaw's memories April 14, 2008 um 5:19 pm

I have an old Watkins cookbook that I was given in my wedding shower in 1965. It has very basic recipes in it. Not knowing how to cook when I first married, it was great for teaching things like biscuits, pie crusts, cobblers and such. I probably have 10 cookbooks, but continue to go back to that first one.

talida April 14, 2008 um 5:29 pm

Sweet story, and I love the flavors in the cupcakes! I’m working on something with similar flavors myself, and speaking of flavors, my favorite cookbook is Donna Hay’s Flavors. 🙂

Unknown April 14, 2008 um 6:17 pm

The miracle of new life is always incredible but holding a little baby that had to fight to get here can just take your breathe away.

Still my favorite – Joy of Cooking – given to me in 1974 as a (first) wedding present. Back broken, in pieces, held together with rubber bands, stained pages, cover brown with age. But it will always keep me rooted and be there in any food emergency.

Anonymous April 14, 2008 um 6:19 pm

I, too, love fresh lychees! Our local Asian market carries them, much to my delight.

My favorite cookbook? I don’t have just one, and they rotate. Right now, in the baking department, it would have to be Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan, and Local Breads by Daniel Leader.

For non-baking, I like All About Braising: The Art of Uncomplicated Cooking by Molly Stevens.

farelzan April 14, 2008 um 7:29 pm


I have never had lychees before but these cupcakes might be the reason to try them!

Anonymous April 14, 2008 um 7:56 pm

Hi! I just found your delicious and beautiful blog via flickr, will for sure try out some of the recipes!

Ashley April 14, 2008 um 9:35 pm

I just came across your blog while searching sweet potato and vidalia onion recipes. A southern girl at heart, I have fallen for your sweet french-inspired posts one at a time. I just can’t wait to try my hand at macarons. Thanks for the inspiration!

Kymmie's Cakes April 14, 2008 um 11:10 pm

I always love your posts!

My favorite cookbook is Williams Sonoma Baking. Every recipe I have tried works beautifully!

Happy Baking!

Jeanine – The Baking Beauties April 15, 2008 um 1:16 am

wow! I decided to go blog hopping tonight, I just joined the Daring Bakers, so I got your name there. Those are the most beautiful cupcakes! I’m sure your friend’s hubby knew what he was doing when he asked you to take care of the dessert table. Beatiful job!! 🙂

Susan April 15, 2008 um 1:41 am

Wow your cupcakes look awesome. I like to look through different blogs and your is great. Enjoy your creativity..

MyKitchenInHalfCups April 15, 2008 um 3:04 am

Pink is not my thing but when you do it it is! These are gorgeous.
I think the march of dimes started in the 50’s with polio. My mom walked for the march of dimes for years.

Anonymous April 15, 2008 um 3:07 am

Wow, you’re photos always look so amazing. The mirror is a nice touch and I love how they’re staggered. Photo’s aside, the frosting had me salivating. If I made this I’d probably need to make a double batch of frosting to account for the part that I would eat before it ever made it on the cupcakes;-)

Lilly April 15, 2008 um 4:23 am

Those cupcakes look so cute!
I recently became the proud owner of the newest edition of "The Joy of Cooking". My boyfriend gave it to me as a gift. =) I’m having a blast just reading it. Can’t wait to actually cook something from it!

Rachelle S April 15, 2008 um 6:38 am

Slipping in here a little late, I think. It’s worth a shot, or a book 😉

My favorite recipes do not come from a book, but rather hand written 3×5 index cards, of my mom’s recipes growing up.

Les recettes de Pauline April 15, 2008 um 9:30 am

mon livre favori ? "le larousse des desserts" de pierre hermé.
mais j’ai toujorus de la place pour un nouveau livre sur mon étagère !

Hallie Fae April 15, 2008 um 2:15 pm

I’m Hallie, I love you’re site, am always looking at the fabulous things you make. My favorite cookie cook book is Mrs. Fields. It was the first cook book that I ever saw or made anything out of, and while I’ve found some better recipes for like chocolate chip cookies, everything out of this book is great, it’s just one of those classics you need to have.

Anonymous April 15, 2008 um 2:16 pm

Looks absolutely delicious!


Audrey April 15, 2008 um 6:35 pm

Ni une, ni deux j’ai imprimé la recette de tes adorables cupcakes (si glamours !) !
En même temps, je tente ma chance pour le livre 😉

Mike of Mike's Table April 15, 2008 um 7:29 pm

I love how you give even the simpler looking desserts (e.g. cupcakes) an exciting new twist and sophistication. I love lychees and never would have thought of this, but oh I would eat more than my fair share of these!

Anonymous April 16, 2008 um 12:37 pm

oh oh oh these look amaaazing!!!!!! thanks so much for sharing and I’m going to have to get a copy of Confidences Sucres for sure!!!!!
ps – thanks for stopping by Modern Girls Kitchen – great question about the savory steel cut oats – would love any suggestions – I’m usually a dried fruit and oats kind of person!!!!

Callan April 17, 2008 um 1:15 am

hello! I found your blog from stumbleupon, and I think you have the cutest recipes.
my favorite cookbook is my family cookbook. it’s all hand-written and stained with gravy and pudding and whatever else has made it’s way into the pages.
one of the cutest recipes is one my mom wrote down in the seventies,
"mellow yellow cake with cheery cherry frosting"

Anonymous April 17, 2008 um 3:29 pm

These look delicious!

Best of luck to your friend and her baby.

Deborah April 17, 2008 um 5:02 pm

These are absolutely adorable! What a great contribution to Holly’s event.

Sophie April 18, 2008 um 3:06 am

These are so adorable :), I especially love the pink. Your presentation is great! Lovely blog, I’ll be back :).

Flour Arrangements

joy April 21, 2008 um 12:11 am

I was searching for a recipe and just found this website. It is so cool:o) I really enjoyed it and will be back for sure!

Thanks, Joy

Sunshinemom April 25, 2008 um 3:43 am

Cute cup cakes! I love lychees too!

Jaime April 27, 2008 um 7:01 pm

those are adorable 🙂 i love lychees!

Jaime April 27, 2008 um 7:02 pm

oh, and i know how you feel… i never have enough time to visit all the blogs i want to… i came back from my vacation and now have 600+ posts in my google reader!

Sabrina Ko July 18, 2008 um 12:56 am

This recipe sounds delicious! I love lychees but have never used them in baking before. Will definitely have to try this. If you haven’t checked out "Paris Sweets", it’s one of my favorite cookbooks. All the recipes are complicated, but worth the time and effort.

Anonymous October 19, 2008 um 2:46 pm

nice cupcakes!

how deep are the cups? It would be helpful if you would state the size cup you use. You say to leave 2″ for expansion, but they only look 2″ to start with.

Can you clarify please?

Helene October 19, 2008 um 2:59 pm

Anonymous: the cups were 4 inches tall. Wilton does not carry that size anymore though. As in most cupcakes recipe, I would fill them 2/3 of the way up so they don’t overflow.

Write a Comment