Saturday 8 June 2013

Cardamom Layer Cake with Raspberry and Rose Mascarpone

I recently received a copy of a recipe book called Cooking With Flowers, which shows you how you can use all sorts of flowers from the garden in your baking. It's a lovely looking book with some very unusual recipes and I decided I wanted to make something from the book for my mum as her birthday cake. I have to admit to being a rubbish gardener though; I don't know the names of 99% of the flowers in my garden (even the ones I planted myself!) and was a bit dubious about which ones were apparently edible. Roses are one of the few flowers I know (I did say I was rubbish!) and I was particularly taken by this recipe for a cardamom cake with raspberry and rose mascarpone; the picture looked pretty as well so I decided to make it.

I've adapted the quanties slightly (eg for the icing sugar as I found I needed more), but the quantity of egg whites is correct! You need: 
1 and 2/3 cup milk
8 egg whites
3 tsp vanilla extract
2 and 1/4 cups plain flour
2 and 1/2 cups caster sugar
6 tsp baking powder
1 and 3/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp ground cardamom
1 and 1/2 cups butter
petals from 2 roses
1 cup double cream
2 cups mascarpone cheese
8 tbsp icing sugar
1 tbsp rosewater
2 cups fresh raspberries
for the candied rose petals:
1 egg white
a few tbsp of caster sugar

Preheat oven to 180C. Pour 2/3 of a cup of milk into a measuring jug and add the egg whites and vanilla.

Mix the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl.

I couldn't find ground cardamom, only pods. I had to crush them with a pestle and mortar first:

then remove the shells and you have seeds. I did my best to crush these in a pestle and mortar but I didn't get a particularly fine powder, though it worked fine in the end. Add the cardamom to the flour mixture.

Add the remaining 1 cup of milk and mix well with an electric mixer; then add the butter and mix again.

Whisk in the egg white mixture a third at a time.

Divide the mixture into three greased and lined 8-inch cake tins and bake for about 25 mins.

 I didn't see the part of the recipe that said to cool the cakes in their pans for 15 minutes before turning onto a wire rack to cool completely; if you try to remove the cake from the tin too soon, this happens!

I learnt my lesson and the other parts of the cake were fine. It was a really moist, almost wet cake; the recipe book says you shouldn't fill it until shortly before serving. I made the cake the night before so waited until the next morning to make the filling.

I do have roses in my garden but unfortunately they are not in bloom yet and I couldn't wait as this cake was for my mum's birthday, so I bought myself a bunch of roses.

I wanted to make candied rose petals to decorate the cake with and needed to do this in advance. It's quite simple really - there are instructions at the back of the same recipe book. Separate the rose petals, whisk an egg white and brush the petals with egg white. Sprinkle them with sugar then leave to dry. I left these for two nights and found they hardened a bit but remained quite sticky. They looked good on the cake though in the end I didn't actually try eating one which was more an oversight than anything else!

To make the filling for the cake, place the remaining rose petals in a small bowl or glass with the double cream and leave to infuse overnight. When you are ready to use the cream, strain in a sieve and discard the rose petals.

Beat the cream, mascarpone, rosewater and icing sugar until thick.

Fold in the raspberries - keep a few aside for decoration

Mix again with the electric mixer to break the fruit up and turn the cream a lovely pink colour.

Spread a third of the cream on the bottom layer of the cake

Repeat with all three layers

Spread the remaining cream on top; I tried to pile it up in peaks (you could also pipe it on for a nicer effect).

Decorate the top with raspberries and the candied rose petals

Here's the finished cake - I thought it looked quite pretty and it tasted fantastic. The cake was so light and moist - I've never made a cake with 8 egg whites before - and the raspberry and rose mascarpone filling was creamy and delicious. You could make a variation on this with strawberries or perhaps replace the cardamom with another flavour like lavender - let me know if you decide to experiment!

I'm sending this to Alphabakes, the baking blog challenge I host with The More Than Occasional Baker. Ros is hosting this month and the letter she has randomly chosen is R - so R is for rose and raspberry.

The theme for this month's Tea Time Treats is layer cakes so this cake also fits the bill. Tea Time Treats is hosted by Karen of Lavender and Lovage and Kate of What Kate Baked.

By luck this month's ingredient for the One Ingredient Challenge, hosted by Nazima of Franglais Kitchen and Laura of How To Cook Good Food is raspberries, so this cake is perfect for this challenge as well.

Raspberries are in season so I am also sending this to Simple and In Season, hosted by Ren at Fabulicious Food.

Update: I am also sending this to Love Cake, hosted by Jibber Jabber UK, as the theme this month is flowers.


  1. What a FABULOUS entry for Tea Time Treats! Thanks so much for making this divine cake Caroline! Karen

  2. ahh man, what a cake... I adore cardamom in sweet things, it's such an incredible flavour with sugar... love how 'rustic' this looks, really beautiful x

  3. I'm yet to try cardamom in sweet bakes (I've only ever used it in curries) but you've convinced me to give it a go with this beautiful cake.

  4. I love Cardamom in cakes and roses too so this appeals to me for all of it's aromatic flavour. Good for you in being so adventurous and I am sure your mum must have been over the moon with it! Thanks for linking to One Ingredient x

  5. That is such a pretty cake, and I love the idea of cardamom and rose together.

  6. it was a wonderfull birthday cake==we all loved it.and it looks very pretty too.

  7. Wow what an impressive looking cake! I had my eye on this recipe too but felt it needed a special occasion. Hope your mum enjoyed. A double R entry for AlphaBakes!

  8. What a lovely summer sunny cake with such a fantastic combination of flavours- thank you for entering into TTT!

  9. This looks amazing...great special occasion cake. i love cardamom it's one of my favourite spices. I love to drink black tea made withe seeds of a cardamom pod, sweetened with honey, without milk.
    It's lovely that you are using flower petals to. I recently planted some edible flower seeds...I think it'll be a while before I use them. I was planning to use them in salads but I never thought until now, they would be great in cakes too.
    Thanks for sharing this lovely recipe.

  10. This looks so inviting. Rose and Cardamom are some of my favourite scents in baking. I like the way you have used the rose flower here to scent the cream. Like you I would love to find ready ground cardamom but the scent must go quickly once out of the pod since I only ever find the pods in supermarkets but I guess the flavour is so lovely and so unique that it is worth the effort of extracting and grinding the seeds. thanks for linking to one ingredient!

  11. What a lovely summery cake. The addition of the fresh rose petals really makes it special. Thanks for linking up with this month's Love Cake.

  12. Did you wait the 4 minutes while beating the cream with the mascarpone? Mine turned to butter at 4.5 minutes. Watch out and stop beating as soon as it turns thick again.
    ALSO, did you find the cake lasted for awhile, at least a day, or did it get soggy?

  13. Did you beat the cream with the mascarpone for 4 minutes according to the recipe? I did ~4.5 minutes and it separated twice but didn't come back together a second time!
    ALSO, How long did your cake hold up? At least a day, or did it get soggy? Thank you for any feedback!

    1. hi Sally - I checked the date on this post and it was over three years ago and I haven't made it since, so I'm afraid I can't remember whether the mascarpone separated - though if I didn't mention it in the blog post then I would think it was OK. I also can't remember how long the cake lasted, I did write that it was a very moist, wet cake from the start - I did make the cake the day before I took it to my mum's (and just did the filling on the day) and it was really good when it was already a day old.


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