English rose cake

English rose cake

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(8 ratings)

Prep: 1 hr, 15 mins Cook: 40 mins Plus cooling and drying

More effort

Cuts into 15 slices

A stunning floral layer cake, flavoured with rosewater and layered up with vanilla cream, raspberry icing and crystallised petals

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freeze un-iced sponges only

Nutrition: per slice

  • kcal665
  • fat33g
  • saturates20g
  • carbs84g
  • sugars58g
  • fibre2g
  • protein7g
  • salt0.7g
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    For the cake

    • 350g butter, softened



      Butter is a dairy product made from separating whole milk or cream into fat and…

    • 500g golden caster sugar
    • 6 large eggs
    • 200g full-fat natural yogurt
    • 500g plain flour
    • 2 tsp baking powder
      Baking powder

      Baking powder

      bay-king pow-dah

      Baking powder is a raising agent that is commonly used in cake-making. It is made from an alkali…

    • 1 tsp vanilla extract
    • 1 tsp rosewater

    For the rose syrup, icing & cream

    • 140g golden caster sugar
    • 1-2 tsp rosewater (depending on your taste)
    • 85g raspberry, defrosted if frozen, plus 100g to decorate



      A member of the rose family, raspberries have a wonderfully intense, sweet taste, and many…

    • 250g icing sugar
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract
    • 300ml double cream
    • rosé petal pieces and crystallised rose petals (see step-by-step, above), to decorate


    1. Heat oven to 160C/140C fan/gas 3. Grease and line the base and sides of 3 x 20cm round loose-bottomed cake tins with baking parchment. Tip all the ingredients for the cake into a large bowl and beat with an electric whisk until well combined. Divide the mixture between the 3 cake tins and smooth the tops. Bake for 45 mins, swapping the tins halfway through so they cook evenly. Leave to cool for 10 mins in the tins, then remove and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

    2. To make the rose syrup, put the sugar in a pan with 100ml water and heat until the sugar has dissolved. Turn up the heat and bubble for 1-2 mins, then remove from the heat. Add the rose water: start with 1 tsp and taste, as some varieties are much stronger than others – just be careful as the syrup will be really hot. Spoon half the syrup over the 3 sponges and set aside.

    3. Add 2 tbsp of the syrup to the raspberries and crush them with a fork. Push the raspberries through a sieve into a bowl and discard the seeds. Sift in the icing sugar and mix to a smooth icing. In a second bowl, add another 2 tbsp of the syrup and the vanilla to the cream and whisk until it holds soft peaks. Chill until needed.

    4. To assemble, place one cake, flat-side up, on a plate or cake stand, and top with half the cream and a third of the remaining raspberries (see tips, below). Sandwich another cake on top and add the remaining cream, another third of the raspberries, then the last cake. Smooth the raspberry icing over the top, letting it drizzle down the sides. To decorate, we used a mixture of rose petal pieces (available from cookshops or online), homemade crystallised rose petals (see step-by-step, above) and the reserved raspberries.

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    Comments, questions and tips

    Sign in or create your My Good Food account to join the discussion.
    15th Jun, 2014
    I wish I'd thought to just halve the recipe and bake longer instead of dividing it in 1/3, because the batter is quite buttery and heavy. It didn't rise very much, the baking powder is probably old. I also used Greek yogurt, which was extremely thick, so that might be the problem. Since we have a small household, I cut the layer in half and assembled it as instructed. I had to use far more sugar than anticipated to make the frosting and it's so sugary that next time I might just leave it as a clear glaze or make a butter icing. Also I added the spoonful of leftover yogurt to the double cream and mixed in a little bit of heavy whipping cream, because I'd already used part of the jar and so didn't quite have enough (then included a teaspoon or so of syrup and pinch of powdered/icing sugar to help stiffen and counter the sourness of the yogurt). This site helped me get the US conversions from grams to cups (I had no idea there was a difference for how to measure powdered/icing sugar and caster sugar). http://www.dianasdesserts.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/tools.measures/Measures.cfm Found the double cream at a British food shop. Don't know where I'll be able to find it if we move away from the metro area.
    mother_ship's picture
    23rd Aug, 2013
    I made this for a colleague's leaving tea and everyone loved how it looked and tasted, a few people said it was the best cake ever! ;-) I used some blackberry puree in the icing so it was deep pink and I only made 2 layers.
    1st Sep, 2013
    Hi, I am going to make this cake but I too was thinking of only doing 2 layers so was wondering if you alturered the amount/weights of ingredients at all? Thanks
    27th Oct, 2013
    I made two layers, and no, I didn't change the ingredients. You'll have to use a larger cake pan though and cut it in half, or two medium-sized pans.
    13th May, 2013
    I made this for Mother's Day, and it turned out well. I did make some changes, though. - I made one large cake and cut it into two. It took longer to bake, though. - I used frozen raspberries, and used the juice which drained from them instead of the rose water. Obviously, I had to use more juice to give the syrup a stronger flavour, because it's not as concentrated as rose water. Being in Oz, I used Raw Caster Sugar, which is a CSR product. It's the same as Golden Caster Sugar. The cake tastes better the day after, so if you can, bake the cake the day before, cover and refrigerate, and then make everything else and assemble the day you want to serve.
    9th May, 2013
    Hi Loopy Lou; I've been buying golden caster sugar at Woolworths & Coles (Queensland) for ages. The southern states tend to get 'new' products before we do, so your chances of finding it should be good wherever you live. Note: its called 'raw' caster sugar here, not 'golden' (and it's about twice the price of white) If you can't find it, just use white. It won't make much difference.
    8th May, 2013
    I received many comments from this cake, it looked stunning. Best to construct as close to serving as poss. I Couldn't taste the rosewater so next time will add some more. A lovely summery combination.
    8th May, 2013
    There are many things you cant get in OZ decent fresh cream for one, but golden caster sugar isn't one of them. It is in Coles and Woolworth and often called raw sugar
    debbiescott's picture
    6th May, 2013
    Didn't turn out too well for me, was very heavy.Shame as although not a long list of ingredients weight wise it's an expensive cake to make.
    6th May, 2013
    Hi Loopy Lou, I live in Western Australia and have bought golden caster sugar and coles and Woolies, i think the brand is csr.


    30th Aug, 2019
    Does this use real rose petals? Are they edible?!
    goodfoodteam's picture
    31st Aug, 2019
    Thanks for your question. Rose petals are edible, as long as they haven’t been sprayed or treated with pesticides or other chemicals. We suggest you buy an organic variety, or pick your own from your garden.
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