Rose Almond Butter Cake


By Priscilla Martel

This Rose Almond Butter Cake has a tight crumb and rich buttery flavor without being too sweet. Rose powder in the batter along with orange flower water and a garnish of freeze-dried raspberries give the cake its subtle floral notes. The batter includes blanched almond flour, one of my secret ingredients, as well as cake flour. (You’ll find freeze-dried raspberries and blanched almond flour locally at Foodworks in Old Saybook, CT.)
Especially around Valentine’s Day, I like to bake this cake in heart-shaped pans. You can easily bake it in a loaf pan however. Rose powder is an exotic ingredient used by pâtissiers as well as those who cook Indian, Middle Eastern, North African and Persian cuisines. Substitute a teaspoon of rose flower water, grated citrus rind, Bourbon vanilla or vanilla sugar. The last three will change the flavor profile of the cake and perhaps make it more distinctly your own.

Yield: Two 7-inch heart-shaped cakes or one 9 x 5-inch loaf pan
2 pounds batter
1 cup (3 ⅛ ounces)blanched almond flour, sifted
1 cup (4 ½ ounces) cake flour, sifted
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon edible rose petal powder*, sifted optional
½ teaspoon salt
2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 ¼ cups (9 ⅓ ounces) granulated sugar
½ teaspoon rose flower water
¼ teaspoon orange flower water
2 large eggs
¾ cup almond milk or whole milk
Powdered sugar, as needed for garnish
Rose powder, if using, as needed for garnish
Freeze-dried raspberries, as needed for garnish

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Generously butter and flour two 7-inch heart-shaped cake pans or one 9 x 5-inch loaf pan.
2. Whisk together the almond flour, cake flour, baking powder, rose petal powder, if using, and salt.
3. Cream the butter in the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until softened. Scrape down the bowl and add the sugar. Beat on medium high speed until the butter is fluffy and aerated, for approximately 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in rose and orange flower waters.
4. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating for 1 to 2 minutes after each egg is added. Scrape the bowl then add the milk alternating with the flour in three additions ending with the flour. Scrape the bowl and beat well each time you add more of each ingredient.
5. Divide the batter evenly between the two pans, approximately 1 pound of batter per pan. Press the batter into the pan with an offset spatula to compress any gaps in the batter.
6. Bake until a cake tester comes out clean, for approximately 40 to 45 minutes, slightly longer when baking the batter in a loaf pan.
7. Cool the cakes in their pans on a cooling rack for five minutes. Run a flat knife or offset spatula around the edge to loosen the cakes. Then invert each one onto the cooling rack. Remove the pans and let them cool completely.
8. When ready to serve, dust the cakes with powdered sugar and rose petal powder, if using then scatter crushed freeze-dried raspberries over the tops.

Read more about this recipe here.