That’s right, friends, on October 7th – a mere 100 days away – STRAY will be released into the world and to celebrate, Basil and I made a Rose Cake*. With real roses.
As any fairy tale fan knows, roses are a pretty common motif in a lot of classic stories, from Beast’s rose garden in BEAUTY AND THE BEAST to the title character in BRIAR ROSE. And though STRAY is not a retelling of any specific fairy tale, it was my goal to weave familiar themes and images throughout the story, including roses.
And since I’m always looking for an excuse to try a new recipe, it seemed only fitting that I make a rose-inspired cake to mark this occasion. Yum!
Here’s how to make your own rose cake.
FLUFFY LIGHT BUTTER CAKE with ROSE BUTTERCREAM FROSTING
(cake recipe adapted from James Peterson’s BAKING and frosting recipe adapted from Gimme Some Oven)
Special equipment: 2 9″ round cake pans, mixer
FOR THE CAKE
Butter and flour for the pans
1 1/4 cups cake flour
1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter (room temperature)
3/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons sugar
3 eggs (separated)
2/3 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch of cream of tartar
FOR THE FROSTING
3/4 cup unsalted butter (softened)
2 cups powdered sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Petals from 1 rose, finely chopped
1/8 cup milk
MAKE THE CAKE
Pre-heat the over to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour the cake pans.
Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt
Cream the butter and 3/4 cup sugar (you can do this with a mixer or wooden spoon if the butter is soft enough). When the butter softens, switch to a whisk.
Whisk in eggs yolks, one at a time.
Whisk in milk and vanilla. Mixture might be lumpy.
Whisk in the flour mixture, 1/2 cup at a time until smooth.
Using a mixer (you will need to clean out your bowl if you used it for the butter mixture), beat the egg whites and cream of tartar until soft peaks form.
Beat in 3 tablespoons of sugar until medium peaks form.
Whisk 1/4 of egg white mixture into butter mixture and then, with a wooden spoon, fold the remaining egg white mixture into the butter mixture.
Divide batter evenly between cake pans.
Bake for 25-30 minutes until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Allow to cool before removing from the pans.
MAKE THE FROSTING
While the cake is cooling, clean out the mixer.
Beat butter on medium-high speed until smooth.
Add powdered sugar, vanilla, chopped rose petals, and milk.
Beat on medium-low speed for 30 seconds to incorporate. Then increase speed to medium-high and until smooth
CONSTRUCT THE CAKE
Remove cake from pans.
Spread layer of frosting on top of one of the cakes and carefully place the second cake on top.
Frost the sides and top of the cake, pressing fresh and washed rose petals to the side and top in the pattern of your choosing.
*Don’t worry, I didn’t let Basil eat any of the cake. He did enjoy sniffing it, though.