Monday, July 26, 2010

Everything’s Coming Up Roses! Jane’s Rose Petal Cake (with apologies to Persian Love Cake)


I love this time of year for many reasons but a fragrant rose has to be one of my most favourite things. I recently came across a bottle of rose water for sale at a local deli and couldn’t resist it. When I found a recipe for Persian Love Cake featuring rose water and candied rose petals, well I figured it was all just meant to be. I will admit here that I modified it slightly. So for those of you who are Persian and feel like I may have committed a crime, well, I’m sorry.

*You need to plan ahead to make this cake because the rose petals need a day and night to cure or set or candy or whatever it is they do.

This is a great recipe to make with little girls:)

You will need:

Candied rose petals

  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • A bunch of rose petals that have not been sprayed with something evil. Make sure they smell good too– not all roses are fragrant, people.


  • 1 cup flour (No, you shouldn’t use whole wheat. It’s a cake)
  • 14 tablespoons sugar, divided
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
  • 3 large eggs, separated
  • 6 tablespoons water
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground whole cardamom seeds (removed from about 5 green cardamom pods). And if, by some chance, you can’t actually find whole green cardamom pods because we don’t live in Sri Lanka or wherever whole green cardamom pods are from, just grind up whatever you can find at Safeway or wherever. It’s OK. Relax.


  • 2/3 cup icing sugar or more…
  • as much water as you need so that it’s not too thick and not too runny- start with a couple of tablespoons.
  • 1 teaspoon rose water (that’s right – only 1 teaspoon. Trust me. It’s freakin’ strong stuff. Well. Ok – you could use a little more if you want but I’d say NO MORE that 2 teaspoons or you will wish you hadn’t)
  • 2 tablespoons natural unsalted pistachios (Or not. We were fresh out of natural unsalted pistachios at our house and judging by the number of people who asked, “hey! Where are the natural unsalted pistachios?” (which was exactly None) I think you’re good to go without them).

Ok First you have to make the candied rose petals. Choose the best petals. Spray a drying rack with olive oil. Whip up the egg whites.  Spread half a cup of sugar out on a plate or in a shallow bowl. OK ready? Dip a rose petal in the foamy egg whites (you’ll need to keep going crazy on those egg whites with a fork to keep them foamy), then either dip it in the sugar (easier if you are 8yrs old), or put the petal down on a plate and sprinkle evenly with sugar on both sides (easier if you are older than 8)



When you are done they will look sort of like this. Now go do something else for the rest of the day and come back tomorrow.

Alright feeling refreshed?


Preheat to 325. Find two round pans that are approx. the same size and grease them however you like to grease your pans (go crazy).

Mix up the flour, 7 TBSP sugar, baking powder and salt. Find another bowl and mix up the yolks, water, oil, lemon zest, and the ground cardamom. I always forget if you’re supposed to add the wet to the dry or the dry to the wet and I know my Grade 7 Home Ec. teacher is rolling in her grave (her name escapes me…anyone?) but really, people, I don’t think it matters. Mix them together however you like. I hate preachy recipes. It will look like this:


Ok now you need to beat the crap out of the egg whites, while periodically adding a tbsp of sugar, until the egg whites stand up on their own and you have added 7 tbsp total.

Add them into the other bowl of batter.


Resist the urge to eat the raw batter.

Pour the batter into the two cake pans and bake ‘em up! About 25 mins, don’t overcook or tomorrow, you will lock your keys in your car. Or something.

And…take them out when they are done (you will know they are done because when you stab them with a knife, the knife is clean when it comes out). Let them cool for a bit and then turn them out on to racks to cool completely. Your daughter will want to rush this next part but I’m telling you now, it you don't let them cool completely, the icing will run off the cakes and you will have two soggy cakes, no icing, and will feel bad. Just sayin’.

Icing – mix water and icing sugar together. I’m sure you have done this before. If not, well, just mix them together. Add the rose water. and add a little more icing sugar. If you are doing this with little girls, you may want to add a drop of red food colouring or squeeze a beet or whatever it is you do to make it a nice shade of pink. Boys will want it to be green. I know this to be true. Whatever, people, whatever. Make sure you can still pour the icing because that’s what you are going to do next.

If you like, you can either ice between the cakes, or spread a layer of jam (yum) or whatever. Then stick one cake on top of the other and admire your work.

Then pour the icing all over the two cakes. Keep going until it is covered and who cares if it's not perfect. It should look something like this:



Now the fun part! Get your beautiful candied rose petals from yesterday (they are just over there on the counter behind you) and have your daughter artfully arrange them on the cake. She will likely overdo it, but who cares.


Then stand back together and admire your beautiful cake.


And if perhaps, you have a 14yr old son like I do, you can wait for him to say “Hey it’s a pepperoni cake” like mine did :)


Cheers and happy baking!

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