It’s English summertime and that calls for three things: muddy festivals, ciders in the pub and evenings spent in the garden, making the most of the daylight that seems to stretch on and on.
When the weather behaves itself, there is nothing more intoxicating than the heady smell of roses, lavender and honeysuckle lining a freshly-cut lawn. The moseying of the bees and the hopping around of the birds in and out of the bushes make for a serene little hideout and that’s partly what inspired me to create this cake.
Floral flavours can be difficult to get right, but I think the trick is committing; not being scared to really go for it. And unlike some other flowers, I find rose lends itself rather well to deliciousness without being at all perfumey.
I decided to complement the rosy hues and notes with the only nut that could do it justice in its elegance: the pistachio. The end result is something that’s really aesthetically-pleasing and—in my humble opinion—perfect for any celebration this summer. From your granny’s 80th to your friend’s baby shower; this cake is decadent, feminine and, well, pretty. And who doesn’t like pretty that also tastes good?
This cake is almost gluten-free and you can make it so by simply upping the quantities of the ground almonds, corn starch and coconut flour, or subbing in a gluten-free flower blend in place of where I’ve used regular all-purpose wheat flour.
This is one to be kept refrigerated to keep the cream firm, but it lasts a good 3-4 days if chilled (if it isn’t eaten before then!)
Vegan Rose & Pistachio Cake (Gluten-Free Option!)
- 2 Cups Non-dairy butter (divided)
- 1 1/4 Cup Sugar
- 4 Teaspoons Rosewater
- 2 Teaspoons Vanilla extract
- 4 Tablespoons Ground Flax
- 15 Tablespoons Water
- 1/3 Cup Corn Starch
- 2 Cups (Heaped) Ground Almonds
- 1/3 Cup Coconut Flour
- 1/3 Cup All-purpose Flour
- 2 1/2 Teaspoons Baking powder
- 8 fl oz Non-dairy whipping cream
- 1/4 Cup Pistachios
- For decoration Rose petals (optional)
- 2-3 Cups Powdered sugar
- Few drops Pink food colouring
1. Preheat oven to 350F/180C or 320F/160C and grease and line two sandwich cake pans.
2. In a small bowl, combine the flaxseed and water in a small bowl, mix and allow to sit for 5 minutes.
3. Cream 1 1/4 cups of the butter and the sugar in a large bowl. Add the rosewater and vanilla extract, then the flax “eggs” and mix well.
4. Add the corn starch, ground almonds, flours and baking powder and mix well to combine. Add a splash of non-dairy milk to loosen if too thick.
5. Transfer into the pans and bake for 25-30 minutes until golden brown.
6. Allow to cool completely, then whip the cream and sandwich between the two layers.
7. In a large bowl, combine the remaining 3/4 cup of butter with the powdered sugar, then add in the pink food colouring.
8. Slather the buttercream on top of the cake, then top with the crushed pistachios and rose petals (if using).
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Photo: Kat Kennedy