With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, I wanted to make a cake with 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 puts rose water in the cake batter and in the buttercream. Don’t worry, it’s a very small amount in each part of the cake!
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 flavor can vary depending on the brand of rose water you are using (or if you use rose extract). I used a brand I found at whole foods, which isn’t too aggressive. The recipe I used can be found below:
Rose Water Cake Batter:
- 3 1/4 cup flour
- 3 cups granulated sugar
- 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks), room temperature
- 3 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 cup egg whites (about 7 large egg whites)
- 1 1/2 cups buttermilk, room temperature
- 1/8 cup vegetable oil
- 2 tsp. rose water
- pink gel food coloring (optional)
Rose Water Buttercream:
- 4 sticks (2 cups) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 8 cups powdered sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3 Tbsp. heavy cream
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 tsp rose water
Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and line four 8” round pans.
Mix together all dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt) in a stand mixer with a paddle until fully combined.
Mix chunks of butter slowly into the dry mix on a low speed. Continue to mix until no chunks of butter remain, and the mixture becomes crumbly.In a separate bowl, combine all wet ingredients (vanilla extract, rose water, egg whites, buttermilk, and vegetable oil), and whisk to combine. On low speed, add 1/3 of the liquid ingredients to the dry/butter mixture. Mix until fully incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Mix in the remaining wet ingredients in two installments, on a medium-high speed until fully incorporated. If desired, add in a couple drops of pink gel food coloring, to color the batter a light shade of pink.
Divide evenly between the prepared cake pans. Bake for 35 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean. Allow 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 on a rack to finish cooling.
While the cake layers cool, prepare the rose water buttercream. Beat the butter on high using a paddle attachment for 30 seconds, 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 medium low until the ingredients are fully incorporated, and the desired consistency is reached. If the frosting is too thick, add in cream (1 teaspoon at a time). If the frosting is too thin, add in more powdered sugar (quarter of a cup at a time).
NOTE: If you are making frosting for a cake, it is important to mix the buttercream on low 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. This will make it easier to get super smooth sides on your cake!
Frost cake layers once they are fully cooled. I decided to decorate my cake with some buttercream flowers as well, but this is an optional step 🙂
I made this cake 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!!