Cucumber and Mint Cupcakes with Rose Water Buttercream (+ my first blog birthday and an award!)

Cucumber and Mint Cupcakes with Rose Water Buttercream | Veggie Desserts

I can’t believe that it’s been a year since I started this blog. I’ve absolutely loved learning about blogging, creating recipes, getting to grips with my camera and delving into social media.

So, what started this all off twelve months ago?

My obsession with vegetable desserts began some time before I launched the blog, but I  put fingers to keys and started Veggie Desserts after being made redundant. It was a week before I was due to return from maternity leave and I had been there for eight years. Pretty harsh.

Cucumber and Mint Cupcakes with Rose Water Buttercream | Veggie Desserts

I was lost. Regardless of the actual business reasons behind it, redundancy felt like being repeatedly punched in the stomach while my peers pointed and jeered like schoolchildren about how useless and inept I was. Redundancy on maternity leave felt like those who once respected me had deemed that once a baby comes out of you, you must clear your desk of in-trays, staplers and computers and pile it high with yogurt, wipes and loo roll crafts. That I should hang my career up on a low hook next to a frog umbrella and spaceman bag. The door to a major part of my past had been slammed in my face and I had to turn around, stand up straight, smooth my dress, walk away down an unknown corridor and pretend I was okay about it.

So I retreated to the safe haven of my kitchen and began to bake like a flour-covered, red-eyed, cymbal-banging monkey toy. One who bakes with kale. And parsnips. And spinach. I took a career-related course. Then I started this blog.

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My standard response to why I began blogging has always been that I started veggie desserts in order to share my recipes with others. True, in part, but also it was to save my sanity and stop me from wallowing in self-pity. To give me a non-baby focus, a purpose, a project. To prove, to myself, that I am still me. I love my little ones dearly, and completely cherish my time with them (even while tearing up the living room carpet after my son pooped on it and drove his cars through the muck, making ‘roads’ on the cream carpet). But I needed a little ‘me time’, too. I’m sure you’ll all appreciate that.

Every blog achievement has meant so much to me. I’ve glowed with pride (while an imaginary neon sign flashes above my head screaming “She’s not useless, see?”), at seeing my recipes in newspapers and magazines, linked by major sites, interviewed as a blogger of the year by Top Sante Magazine, and being made Jamie Oliver’s blog of the month. Although the initial redundancy despair, then anger, has faded, when you’ve hit your lowest point in self-esteem the odd pat on the head means so much. So the other night, on the eve of Veggie Desserts’ first birthday, I won Best Food Blog at the National UK Blog Awards. It was a major head-pat, back-pat and arm punch. Woop!

Thank you so much for visiting, commenting, tweeting and baking. And for nominating, reading and supporting.

I’m fine. Really. I’ve had extra time at home with the little ones and that is amazing.

Now, that’s enough of that. Stiff upper lip and all. Next week I’ll go back to comparing cauliflowers to strippers, I promise.

As for these cucumber and mint cupcakes with rose icing, as usual you can’t taste the vegetable in this cake recipe. So these are minty (but not in a toothpaste sort of way, more like a summer cocktail) with a very subtle rose buttercream. These would be perfect for a picnic in the sunshine, along with an icy cold gin and tonic (and this is a food blog so it is mandatory that you drink it out of a mason jar with a red stripy paper straw).

On to the recipe:

Cucumber and Mint Cupcakes with Rose Water Buttercream | Veggie Desserts


Cucumber and Mint Cupcakes with Rose Water Buttercream (+ my first blog birthday and an award!)
  • 200g cucumber (about half a cucumber)
  • ½ cup (about a handful) fresh mint leaves
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 115g (½ cup) butter, softened
  • 150g (3/4) granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 150g (1⅛ cups) self raising flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • For the Rose Water Buttercream:
  • 75g (1/3 cup) butter, softened
  • 150g (1⅛ cups) powdered icing sugar
  • ½ teaspoon rose water
  • 1-2 tablespoons milk
  1. Preheat the oven to 170C/325F. Line a 12 cup muffin tray.
  2. Leave the skin on the cucumber and de-seed it by cutting it in half lengthways and scraping the seeds out with a teaspoon. Cut into chunks and puree until smooth in a blender. Add the mint leaves and lemon juice and blend until smooth.
  3. Cream the butter, sugar and vanilla together for a few minutes until light and fluffy.
  4. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating each one in well.
  5. Stir in ⅓ of the flour (with the salt), then add ⅓ of the cucumber and continue alternating until it is all combined.
  6. Bake in the preheated oven for 12-15 minutes or until an inserted skewer comes out clean. Allow to cool slightly in the tin then cool completely on a wire rack before icing.
  7. For the Rose Water Buttercream:
  8. Beat the butter, icing sugar, rose water and 1 tablespoon of milk together until smooth and fluffy. Add more milk if necessary to make it a frosting consistency. Keep in the fridge until ready to ice the cupcakes.

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  1. says

    Wow, what a wonderful year and a great response to the redundancy – you’ve really made a success of your blog – ahem Food Blog of the Year everyone – and I for one am sooooooo excited to see what next. Thanks for each and every post, and for inspiring me 😉 Give yourself a lovely pat on the back, give your previous employer a suitable hand gesture and get stuck back into that pile of veggies… Well done you! x

  2. says

    I’ve just discovered your blog – and I LOVE it! Such original recipes and beautiful photos. You must be so proud of what you have created here. Sounds like being made redundant was a blessing in disguise…
    Can’t wait to

  3. says

    Gosh well done Kate. Only one year into blogging and you’ve done so incredibly well. I’ve been blogging for over five years and have got nowhere compared to you. I was made redundant last year so have been at home since January. Doing “something” with my blog was part of my plan, but I don’t seem to have got very far yet.

    Happy Blogiversary and congratulations once again.

  4. says

    Many congratulations Kate. I had no idea you had only been blogging for one year. You have achieved so much and your blog is wonderful & full of gorgeous unique ideas. How awful that it started with that horrible redundancy but wow – you have certainly shown them what an asset they have lost! Well done & keep enjoying your many accolades – many more to come I am sure! x

  5. says

    Congratulations Katherine on your 1 year anniversary! I think this is my favourite post of yours (not that I don’t love all the recipes) as it’s so human, honest and inspiring! Well done on all of your success!

  6. says

    Dear Kate, I admire your braveness to reveal so much of yourself and share your story in your post…this is amazing and you have been very strong and bold in coping with reality. As a mother of one wonderful 2years old boy and currently expecting my second child I so much relate to your story. I hope you enjoy further what you are doing and soon have so many more opportunities, simply because you have been following your passion! A brave girl you are! I love your blog and have been experimenting a lot with your recipes especially for my little boy and myself during pregnancy :)

  7. Nazia @ This Baker Girl Blogs says

    Congratulations on all your success! I’m so glad to have discovered your blog and have a feeling I’ll be spending a lot of time on here :)

    P.S. Gorgeous cupcake!

  8. Elayna says

    Congratulations on your blog’s birthday! And thank you for having this website, otherwise I would never have dreamed that I would be planning to go foraging for stinging nettle with a friend in the whole-hearted intention of making a cake. I just found you last week from the guys at Sorted promoting your beautiful stinging nettle cake, and I’m so glad they did. Your story of success from a sad ending is inspiring, and I’ve wanted to try something a little out there to kickstart myself and my family into eating healthier. Veggie desserts seem the perfect way to begin. We have an extravagant amount of spinach in our fridge and I think I’ll start with the spinach vanilla cake and move on to spinach crepes for saturday morning breakfast!
    Thanks again for having the gumption to “go green” and take not only your family, but your online followers with you.

  9. Lisa says

    i wish no one would ever say “poop” in a food related post. Now I can only return to your recipes once I forget about that tidbit!

  10. Ann from vancouver says

    I have been thinking about veggie desserts but don’t know how to start. When I read the Vancouver Sun and your desserts catch my eyes. One thing makes me proud is you are Canadian. You are now my baking idol. Well done.


  1. […] Kate Hackworthy of Veggie Desserts blew me away with these beautiful cucumber and mint cupcakes with a rosewater […]

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