Rose Flavored Cake

Chelsweets Buttercream Rosette Cake

After a recent trip to the Middle East, I really became enamored with rose water. I started daydreaming 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.

Rose water cake decorated with organic fresh flowers

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.

Rose water floral engagement cake

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.

I’ve used buttercream flowers, fresh organic flowers, and even buttercream rosettes. I think dried rose petals or sugared rose petals would also be gorgeous.

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

Yield: 24

Rose Flavored Cake

Chelsweets Buttercream Rosette Cake

This rose flavored cake is made with the perfect amount of rose water, to have a delicate floral flavor that is simply divine. It's paired with a rose buttercream, and is fittingly decorated with flowers.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Additional Time 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes

Ingredients

Rose Flavored Cake

  • 3 cup all-purpose flour (390 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)
  • 11 cups powdered sugar (1375 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)

Instructions

Rose Flavored Cake Layers:

  1. 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.
  2. Mix together all dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt) in a stand mixer with a paddle until fully combined.
  3. 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.
  4. Pour in egg whites, and mix on low until just incorporated. Mix in the whole milk in two installments, on a low speed.
  5. Add in vanilla extract, rose water, and oil, and mix at a low speed until fully incorporated.
  6. 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). 
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. Use a serrated knife to level the tops of the layers, and then frost as desired.

Rose Water Buttercream Frosting:

  1. While the cake layers bake and cool, make the rose water buttercream frosting.
  2. 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.
  3. 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. 
  4. 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:

  1. 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.
  2. Add an even layer of buttercream between each cake layer.
  3. 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.
  4. Add a second, thicker layer of frosting to the cake, and smooth using a bench scraper. Then decorate as desired!

Notes

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.

Nutrition Information

Yield

24

Serving Size

1

Amount Per Serving Calories 661Total Fat 34gSaturated Fat 20gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 12gCholesterol 87mgSodium 276mgCarbohydrates 88gFiber 0gSugar 75gProtein 4g

37 thoughts on “Rose Flavored Cake

  1. Sorry but in Europe I can not work with a cup or 350 F or 4 sticks of butter. Could you pls. give me: Gr. °C or tell me how much is a cup?

    1. You can rework the amounts on any computer.. I had to learn to adjust amounts for the Brit recipes I use.. It’s worth the effort.. and not hard to do..

  2. I love the rose water in both the cake and the frosting. I made the cake today, and there are a couple of omissions in the recipe that would be helpful to include. First, when combining the wet ingredients prior to adding to the dry ingredients (“combine all wet ingredients (vanilla extract, egg whites, buttermilk, and vegetable oil), and whisk to combine….”) you’ve left out the rose water. It’s on the ingredients list, and fortunately I put it out on the counter with everything else, but honestly I may have forgotten it. And you may wish to add to the ingredients list for the cake portion “optional-pink food coloring”. I honestly wasn’t thinking about that and, of course, the rose water is clear, so my cake isn’t pink. That’s fine, but had I been thinking about it, I would have chosen to make it pink, since it’s so pretty in your cake. I haven’t eaten it yet (daughter’s 18th birthday is tomorrow) but the batter tasted delicious!

  3. First, thank you for posting a rose cake recipe, I have been looking for something like this. My result was just ok. I doubled the quantity of rose water but still didn’t really taste rose. I’m going to chalk that up to using old water. I felt like the cake was much too sweet, especially with the frosting. If I try this again, I might half the sugar but not sure what that would do to the recipe. I’m disappointed but everyone who ate the cake seemed to like it, so it’s not all bad!

    1. Yah I have no idea how long rose water lasts, but different brands can have much different strengths!

      I use American buttercream, which is the sweetest! you can always try a Swiss meringue buttercream if you want something less sweet. I wouldn’t recommend decreasing the amount of sugar in the cake layers, or it will change the texture and make the cake more dense!

  4. Could you tell me what color of americolor’s food gel you used to achieve the beautiful pale pink you have on the bottom layer of buttercream rosettes?

  5. what wilton tip do you use for these larger roses? Any chance you’ll be doing a tutorial soon on wilton tips and designs you do with your cakes? Thanks so much! -Madeline

    1. Hi Madeline,

      I used a wilton 1M tip! I’ve been meaning to do one of the those for a long time, but I don’t think I’ll get to it until November :/ Stay tuned!!

  6. I’m new to baking(probably being ambitious here in wanting to try this). Why do we need vegetable oil? can I use avocado oil?

    1. The vegetable oil just helps the texture of the cake be a tiny bit lighters. I’ve never baked with avocado oil before, but since it’s such a small amount in this recipe, that should be a fine swap! I’ve used olive oil before when I was out of vegetable oil and it worked too!

  7. Hi! I’ve been researching all over online and in store at Whole Foods, and cannot seem to find the rosewater you mentioned in the green bottle. Can you please provide the brand? I’d really appreciate it. The only brands I can find have propylene glycol in them, which I’d like to avoid. Organic roses aren’t as easy to come by as I would have first imagined, either. Thanks so much for your help! Can’t wait to make this gorgeous cake!

    1. Hi Allison! Surprisingly I just used different amounts of americolor’s deep pink gel food coloring! Even for the peach looking tone. Hope that helps, happy baking!

  8. Hi there. When reading your ingredients of this cake, by the frosting you repeat the rose water twice. Should I add all the rose water in as required or was that a mistake?

  9. Can I use whole eggs instead of just egg white? I don’t want to land up with loads of yolks… what would the amount be then?

    1. Hi Elaine,

      You can use 4 whole eggs in place of the egg whites! I just use egg whites from a carton, so I don’t have to worry about the eggs yolks. Hope that helps, happy baking!

  10. Great recipe! So delish! Tweaked it a little and added some cardamom to the frosting. What would you suggest to replace eggs with? For allergies?

  11. Hey, I live your recipe. Am planning on making an eggless rose cake for my daughter’s second birthday, do you think apple cider is the best substitute for eggs? I loveeeee your recipe.

    1. Hi Frankie,

      You can use cake flour in place of the AP flour in this recipe! It will change the texture a bit but will still be great 🙂

  12. Would definitely love to try this recipe , but thinking of testing it in the form of cupcake,can I half the measurement and use it for cupcake?

  13. You are so amazing! Just recreated this cake for my dad’s birthday, and it is so delicious! Thank you so much!

Let me know what you think!