Camellia Cupcakes


Pretty petals for a sweet treat.

Camellia Cupcakes

Emily Mingledorff

24 cupcakes

Set the dessert table abloom with a showstopping batch of Camellia Cupcakes. Poised atop homemade red velvet cupcakes are delicate camellia blossoms piped with traditional cream cheese frosting. From the "Moonshadow Sasanqua," to the "Lady Clare," "Pearl Maxwell Japonica," and beyond, the piping techniques in this recipe allow you to create a bouquet of camellia varieties.

If making a batch of multi-colored camellias, such as the "Lady Vansittart" or "Grace Albritton," add both pink and white frosting to a single piping bag.  When piped, the two colors swirl together, giving a beautifully variegated look.

Camellias are one of the most beloved plants found in the South.  And while floating a few blooms in a dish makes for an elegant centerpiece on the dining table, these Camellia Cupcakes will positively dazzle on the dessert table.



  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened

  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

  • 2 eggs

  • 1 cup vegetable oil

  • 1 cup buttermilk

  • 3 Tbsp. sour cream

  • 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

  • 1 1/2 tsp. white vinegar

  • 1 1/2 tsp. red food coloring

  • 2 1/2 cups (300 grams) all-purpose flour

  • 2 Tbsp. cocoa

  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking soda

  • 1/2 tsp. salt


  • 2 (8-oz.) blocks cream cheese, softened

  • 1 cup butter, softened

  • 1/3 cup whole milk

  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

  • 3 (16-oz.) boxes confectioners' sugar


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and prepare your cupcake pan with paper cups.

  2. Cream the sugar and butter on medium speed until fluffy and even in texture. Reduce the speed to low, and add the eggs, oil, buttermilk, vanilla, vinegar, and food coloring. Keep the mixer on low speed until the ingredients are smooth.

  3. In a separate large bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt until combined.

  4. Add the flour mixture into the wet ingredients and combine.

  5. Pour the batter evenly into the cupcake cups and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out almost dry from the center of the cupcakes.

  6. Allow the cupcakes to cool for 20-30 minutes before frosting.

  7. For the frosting, combine the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla, on medium speed until smooth. Add the milk and confectioners’ sugar, and combine. Increase the mixing speed to high and beat until the frosting is fluffy and stiff peaks form.

  8. Cut the tip of a piping bag off and drop your piping tip (Wilton #104 or #123) into the bag until snug. 

  9. Fold the piping bag over your hand and use the other hand to spoon the frosting into the bag.  Twist or tie off the top of the bag. 

  10. Pipe an arch or rainbow shaped petal on the outside rim of the cupcake.  Turn the cupcake and continue making the arched flower petals while you work your way around the cupcake and inward, until your flower is complete.


This recipe was not tested by the Southern Living Test Kitchen.

Related Articles