The idea for this cake came to me in half-asleep reverie. I frequently have recipe-related dreams – sad as it is to admit that! I was picturing a very ethereal, romantic and slightly retro cake and, for once, I was able to realise the exact image of what I imagined… and I can’t tell you how amazing that is. In my dream there were also rose macarons… which I did make but at a later date (although I posted that recipe first just to confuse everyone).
I baked this in the Wilton Easy Layer cake pans from Lakeland which are only 15cm (6in) – the cake is quite tall at five layers but will only yield about 6 generous slices. However the recipe can be doubled very easily if you wanted to bake a full-sized cake using normal cake tins. A word of caution about the Wilton cake tins – although the look as if nothing would ever stick to them that could not be further from the truth. Grease them well – preferably with butter and flour rather than cake release – otherwise your lovely cake layers will be destroyed. I speak from experience!
Perfectly Romantic Rose & Lemon Cake
- Rose & Lemon buttercream
- 230 g | 2 sticks | 8.1oz unsalted butter cubed
- 500 g | 17.64oz icing powdered sugar, sifted (if you can be bothered!)
- 1 tbsp hot water if butter is cold
- 1-2 tbsp rose water
- juice of 1 lemon
- 1 tbsp dried edible rose petals crushed to a powder
- 120 ml | 1/2 cup double cream
- a few drops pink food colouring optional
- Rose & Lemon Layer Cake
- 165 g | 5.8oz plain flour
- 165 g | 5.8oz caster sugar
- 40 g | 1.4oz ground almonds
- 1/2 tbsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp rose water look for Steenbergs brand
- 1 tbsp rose petals crushed to a powder
- 100 g | 3.5oz unsalted butter cold and cubed
- 2 large eggs
- zest of 1 lemon
- 100 ml | 3.5 fl oz buttermilk
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 2-3 tbsp simple syrup
- 1 tbsp gin
- 1 tbsp rose water
- Make the buttercream. Put the butter and icing sugar in the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the whisk. Slowly start beating together, adding a few drops hot water if the butter is cold.
- Increase the speed to maximum and whisk for a few minutes until fluffy.
- Stop the machine and scrape the bottom and sides with a spatula. Add the rose water, lemon juice, rose petals and food colouring if using. Whisk together.
- Gradually add the double cream and whisk until thoroughly mixed in – 3-4 minutes. The buttercream should be smooth and hold firm peaks. If it's too runny, add a little more icing sugar.
- Make the cake. Preheat the oven to 170C (340F). Grease and flour the cake pans, dusting off any excess.
- Sift all the dry ingredients and add them to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.
- Add the cubed butter and mix until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
- Add the eggs, one at a time and mix them in.
- Add the buttermilk, rose water, rose petals, lemon juice & zest and beat together. Stop the mixer and scrape the bottom of the mixing bowl to make sure the batter is thoroughly mixed.
- Carefully divide between the pans (don't overfill) and bake for 12-15 minutes if you are using mini cake tins and 23-25 minutes if using larger tins. Cool on a wire rack.
- Mix the simple syrup, gin and rose water together and brush over the cake layers.
- Add buttercream to the cake layers and sandwich together. Do a crumb coat and chill the cake for 30 minutes before adding more buttercream with a palette knife to frost the entire cake (you can also pipe it if you wish). Decorate with sprinkles or a scattering of dried edible rose petals.
You can buy simple (sugar) syrup but it also very easy to make. Put equal amounts sugar and water into a small saucepan and bring to the boil, stirring until sugar dissolves - couple of minutes.