After a recent trip to the Middle East, I really became enamored with rose water. I started day dreaming about a rose flavored cake, and couldn’t get the idea out of my mind.
What is Rose Water?
While working on this recipe, I checked out some different brands of rose water. Being the curious person that I am, I quickly realized after reading the ingredients on the labels that rose water is really just that. Water soaked with rose petals!!
Rose water has been around forever, and has been traced back to the 7th century. It has a long history of being used for medical and cosmetic purposes, but it’s also a popular flavor.
Tons of middle eastern desserts use rose water, and rose hip tea is also quite popular.
I buy my rose water at Whole Foods, but you can also buy it at most large grocery stores or online.
Can You Make Your Own Rose Water?
Since rose water really is just water and rose petals, you really could make your own. My main tips if plan to do this are to use organic rose petals, and to consistently use the same ratio of petals to water.
Otherwise, you may end up with varying strengths of rose water. This could throw off your recipes when they call for a set amount.
If you can’t find rose water and do want to make your own, here is an amazing guide for making your own rose water.
Adding Just The Right Amount Of Rose Water
After some intensive research, I couldn’t find any cake recipes that put actual rose water or rose extract into the cake batter.
That’s when I knew it was time to experiment. This recipe uses rose water in both the cake batter and in the buttercream.
Rose water is a very delicate flavor, and can easily be overwhelming if you aren’t careful. The last thing you want to is an aggressively perfumed cake, so slowly add in the rose water, to taste.
The intensity of the rose flavor can vary depending on the brand of rose water you are using (or if you use rose extract).
I used a brand of rose water that I found at whole foods, which isn’t too aggressive. It comes in a glass bottle with a green label.
Decorating This Rose Flavored Cake
Whenever I use this rose water cake recipe, I can’t help but decorate it with flowers of some sort.
This cake recipe is good, I actually make it for a live stream with the Food Network! You can see the full decoration here. It’s always a bit nerve-wracking to live stream while decorating, but I had a blast making this cake!!
Share Your Creations With Me!
If you try this rose flavored cake recipe, please tag me @chelsweets. Also use the #chelsweets so that I can see your amazing creations!
Nothing makes me happier than when I get emails or DMs with photos of your amazing cakes. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me with your triumphs, or questions <3
Rose Flavored Cake
- 3 1/4 cup all-purpose flour (410 grams)
- 3 cups granulated sugar (600 grams)
- 2 1/2 tsp baking powder (10 grams)
- 1 tsp salt (6 grams)
- 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature (226 grams) - 2 sticks
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract (8 grams)
- 2 tsp rose water (8 grams)
- 1 cup pasteurized egg whites from a carton (or about 7 egg whites) (235 grams)
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk, room temperature (368 grams)
- 1/8 cup vegetable oil (28 grams)
- pink or red gel food coloring (if desired)
Rose Water Buttercream Frosting
- 3 cups unsalted butter, room temperature (678 grams)
- 12 cups powdered sugar (1500 grams)
- 1 tsp salt (6 grams)
- 2 tsp rose water (8 grams)
- 1/3 cup heavy cream (or whipping cream) (75 grams)
- 1 1/2 Tbsp vanilla extract (18 grams)
- 1 1/2 tsp rose water (6 grams)
Rose Flavored Cake Layers:
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line four 7 inch pans, or three 8 inch round pans with parchment rounds, and grease with non-stick cooking spray.
- Mix together all dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt) in a stand mixer with a paddle until fully combined.
- Mix chunks of room-temperature butter slowly into the dry mix, on a low speed. Continue to mix until no large chunks of butter remain, and the mixture becomes crumbly.
- Pour in egg whites, and mix on low until just incorporated. Mix in the whole milk in two installments, on a low speed.
- Add in vanilla rose water, and oil, and mix at a low speed until fully incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula, then beat on low speed for about 15 seconds (the key is to mix until the ingredients are JUST incorporated, so that the batter isn't overmixed).
- If desired, add in a couple drops of pink or red gel food coloring. Mix the color in by hand using a rubber spatula, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl part way through. Mix until the batter is evenly colored.
- Divide batter evenly between the prepared cake pans (about 450 grams per pan). I like to use a digital kitchen scale to weigh my pans, and ensure they all have the same amount of batter. This guarantees your layers will bake to be the same height.
- Bake for 34-37 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow the pans to cool for 10 minutes, then run an offset spatula around perimeter of the pan to separate the cake from the pan.
- Place cake layers into the freezer for 45 minutes, to accelerate the cooling process. Once the layers are fully cooled, carefully flip the pans and remove the layers from the pans.
- Use a serrated knife to level the tops of the layers, and then frost as desired.
Rose Water Buttercream Frosting:
- While the cake layers bake and cool, make the rosewater buttercream frosting.
- Beat the butter on a medium speed for 30 seconds with a paddle attachment, until smooth. Slowly add in the powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time. Alternate with small splashes of cream.
- Once fully mixed, add in the vanilla, rose water, and salt, and beat on low until the ingredients are fully incorporated, and the desired consistency is reached.
- If the frosting is too thick, add in additional cream (1 teaspoon at a time). If the frosting is too thin, add in more powdered sugar (quarter of a cup at a time).
To Assemble The Cake:
- Stack and frost cake layers on a greaseproof cake board, using a dab of frosting to help stick the first cake layer to the board.
- Add an even layer of buttercream between each cake layer.
- Apply a thin coat of frosting around the the cake, to fully cover the cake layers. Smooth using a bench scraper, then chill the cake in the fridge (10 minutes) or freezer (5 minutes) until the frosting is firm to the touch.
- Add a second, thicker layer of frosting to the cake, and smooth using a bench scraper. Then decorate as desired!
One batch of cake batter makes about 1800 grams, so when I'm making a cake with four layer, I add 450 grams of batter into each pan.
Once the layers have fully cooled, I sometimes like to trim the caramelized bits from the sides of the layers using a serrated knife.
These cake layers can be made in advance!! Learn more about how far in advance they can be made, and how to properly wrap them in my post on how to make cake layers ahead of time.
Since this frosting will be used to decorate a cake, it is important to mix the buttercream on the lowest speed at the end of the process for a couple minutes, to get out any extra air that might have be incorporated during the mixing process.
You can also stir the frosting in a bowl with a rubber spatula, pushing it from side to side, to get rid of any air bubbles.This will make it easier to get super smooth sides on your cake!
The frosting recipe above is 1.5 batches of my American buttercream, which is the amount I usually make for 7 or 8 inch cakes. This makes enough buttercream to add a generous amount between the cake layers, and to have leftover buttercream for any special decorations. If you have extra buttercream you don't use, it can be stored in an airtight container for up to a month in the fridge.
Amount Per Serving Calories 653 Total Fat 32g Saturated Fat 19g Trans Fat 0g Unsaturated Fat 11g Cholesterol 82mg Sodium 287mg Carbohydrates 90g Fiber 0g Sugar 77g Protein 4g