Rose Cake Recipe (video)

rose water cake with rose buttercream and red roses; Valentine's Day cake

This stunning and elegant rose cake is perfect for Valentine’s Day or your next special occasion! My uniquely flavored rose water cake is made with rose-water cake layers, rose buttercream, rose water syrup and rose marmalade filling on the inside. I garnish the cake with real red roses to make it extra special! The flavor is pleasantly floral and not overwhelming! This special pink cake is perfect for Valentine’s Day, girl baby showers, anniversaries and birthday parties!

My Rose Cake Video Tutorial

Watch my YouTube video recipe to see step-by-step how I make this beautiful rose cake! Want to receive new recipe emails in your inbox? Make sure to subscribe to my website emailing list and my YouTube channel and turn on notifications!

Ingredients for Rose Cake

Here are the main ingredients you’ll need to make this beautiful rosewater cake recipe:

  • Rose Water Extract: this incredible flowery extract is what adds all the flavor to the cake and the buttercream.
  • Rose Marmalade: use this flowery jam for filling the cake. If you’re unable to find this online or in stores, you can use apricot jam instead.
  • Eggs, Milk, Oil: the wet ingredients for the cake batter. Have the eggs at room temperature and use warm milk. I typically use canola oil because it’s very mild in flavor.
  • Sugar, Flour, Baking Soda, Salt: the dry ingredients you’ll need for cake batter.
  • Red Food Coloring: I recommend a concentrated gel food coloring for adding color to the cake layers and the buttercream.
  • Unsalted Butter: use only unsalted butter for making the rose buttercream. Soften the butter at room temperature for about 30 minutes prior to using.
  • Confectioner’s Sugar: for making the frosting.
  • Roses: for garnishing the top. If you are planning to keep the cake in the refrigerator overnight, I recommend wrapping the rose stems with floral tape.

Supplies & Tools for the Recipe

Need some supplies to make this recipe? Shop my Amazon Affiliate links for the items I use and recommend. See Disclosure Statement.

a close up of a slice of rose cake with roses on top

Are Roses Edible?

Did you know that all roses petals are edible?! All varieties are edible, with the larger and darker roses having a more pronounced flavor. You can use rose petals for jams, desserts, salads, spreads and even freeze them in ice cubes for your water or drinks.

When using roses, just make sure to remove the white tips from the petals, which tend to be bitter. If you plan to use roses in cooking, I recommend sourcing organically grown roses, or use home-grown flowers that are grown without fertilizer or pesticides.

Baking with Rose Water

Everything about this cake is rose flavored, starting with the cake and buttercream. I use a simple cake batter and buttercream, then flavor both with a rosewater extract.

Rosewater has a very light and unique floral aroma and flavor, making it an excellent choice for desserts! I use this rosewater extract from Nielsen-Massey (affiliate link). It’s not overwhelming but if you’ve never tried it, try adding a few drops to a glass of water to get a feeling for the taste and strength of the extract.

I went with a simple cake and buttercream recipe because I wanted the flavor to really shine through on this one!

elegant rose cake with rose buttercream and rose marmalade and red roses

How to Make a Rose Cake

Here’s how I put together this incredible rosewater cake! Start by preparing the rose flavored cake layers first. They need to be completely cooled before you assemble the cake!

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F/177C. Prepare three, 8-inch cake pans by lining the bottom with parchment paper; the sides can be left ungreased.
  2. Place the egg whites only into a clean mixing bowl and whisk on high speed for 3 to 4 minutes until stiff peaks form. Remove the egg whites into a separate bowl and set aside. No need to rinse the mixing bowl after the eggs whites – add in the egg yolks, oil and sugar and whisk on medium speed for a few minutes until well combined.
  3. Next, pour in the milk, rose water extract and food coloring and mix again on medium speed for 1 minute, just until combined. Add a few drops of food coloring at a time, adding more as needed.
  4. In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients: flour, baking powder and salt. Sift the dry ingredients into the cake batter to ensure that no clumps remain. Mix the dry ingredients into the batter on low speed for about 30 seconds to 1 minute, just until the dry ingredients are incorporated and the batter is smooth; do not overmix.
  5. Begin folding in the egg whites – I split the egg whites into thirds and fold thoroughly but gently after each addition, folding from the bottom of the mixing bowl until the egg white are well incorporated. Divide the cake batter evenly between the three prepared pans. Use a kitchen scale for more accuracy.
  6. Bake the cake layers in the preheated oven at 350F/177C for 27 to 29 minutes. Because every oven bakes differently, start checking the cake at 25 minutes; the top should be set and a toothpick inserted into the center will come out clean when the cake is done.
  7. Remove the ready cakes out of the oven and cool completely on a wire rack – cool in the pans for about 20 minutes, then remove from the pans to cool further.
slice of rose cake with red roses on top

Making the Rosewater Buttercream

Once cake layers have cooled, prepare the rosewater buttercream. You can make this buttercream ahead of time, even a day or two ahead of time, and just keep it refrigerated. When you’re ready to use the frosting, let it soften at room temperature for an hour.

  1. Place the softened butter into a mixing bowl and whisk on high speed for 7 to 8 minutes, scraping down the sides of the mixing bowl often, until the butter is light and fluffy.
  2. Add in the confectioner’s sugar next – I usually use 2 1/2 cups – the more you add, the thicker and fluffier the frosting will be, but sweeter. Mix the sugar in on low speed first until incorporated, then whisk on high speed for 2 to 3 minutes until fluffy.
  3. Add the rose water extract and food coloring last and mix just until incorporated.

Assembling the Rose Cake

To complement the delicate cake and buttercream, I add a rose marmalade or jam between the layers. Here is the jam I used in the video recipe – French Rose Petal Jam (affiliate link). If you don’t want to order from Amazon, try searching at a local speciality store that may carry specific items like it. I use 1/3 cup between each layer but feel free to add more if desired!

  • Prepare a rosewater syrup for soaking the cake: For the rose water, combine the boiling water and sugar in a small bowl or measuring cup and stir until the sugar is completely dissolved. Allow the syrup to cool down to room temperature, or add a few ice cubes to cool it quickly. Flavor with rose water after it’s cooled.
  • To assemble the cake, first use a long, serrated knife to level off the tops of the cake layers. Using a pastry brush, light soak each cake layer with the prepared rose water syrup. Spread a generous amount of frosting onto the first cake layer, followed by 1/2 of the rose jam or marmalade. Spread the jam evenly to the edges, then repeat with the next cake layer. Watch my video recipe to see how it’s done!
  • Frost the top and sides of the cake, smoothing out the frosting with offset spatulas. Apply a thin, crumb coat layer of frosting first, then let the cake stand in the freezer for 10 to 15 minutes, just until lightly set. Apply the final coat of frosting, smoothing down the top and sides. To garnish with roses, trim the rose stem down to 1 or 1 1/2-inches in length. If the cake will stand for more than 1 or 2 days, I recommend wrapping the rose stems with plastic wrap or floral tape. Insert the roses evenly along the perimeter of the cake.
  • Keep the cake refrigerated if not eating with the first 12 hours. For storing, place the cake into the refrigerator. Remove it from the fridge about an hour before enjoying to allow the cake and frosting to soften.

Share it on Pinterest!

Rose Cake video recipe - Valentine's Day Cake

More Recipes to Try!

Enjoyed this delicious rosewater cake recipe? Check out some of my other special occasion cakes you’re sure to enjoy!

  • Persian Love Cake – super simple and easy pistachio & rosewater cake with ground cardamom and orange zest, topped with rose petals!
  • Chocolate Raspberry Cake – rich chocolate cake dotted with raspberries and frosted with a delicious raspberry buttercream.
  • Blackberry Lavender Cake – decadent cake from my European Cake Cookbook, featured on NatashasKitchen.com
  • Peach Zefir Torte – a stunning peaches and cream cake made with peach ‘marshmallow’ layers and whipped cream!
  • Summer Sangria Cake – delicate sponge cake with sangria wine, loads of fruit and a fruity whipped cream frosting. Perfect for a special occasion!

Rose Cake Recipe (video)

1 hour 30 minutes prep + 27 minutes cook
16 servings
Delicate rose-flavored cake with rose water cake layers, rose buttercream and rose jam filling!

Ingredients 

For Rose Cake:

  • 4 large eggs, divided
  • 3/4 cup vegetable or canola oil
  • 1 cup white granulated sugar
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 to 2 tsp rose water extract
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • pink or red food coloring, optional

For Rose Buttercream:

  • 2 cups unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 to 3 cups confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 tsp rose water extract
  • pink or red food coloring, optional
  • 2/3 cup rose jam/marmalade
  • 12 red roses

For Rose Water Syrup:

  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 to 2 tsp rose water extract

Instructions

Making the Cake Layers:

  • Preheat the oven to 350F/177C. Prepare three, 8-inch cake pans by lining the bottom with parchment paper; the sides can be left ungreased. Place the egg whites only into a clean mixing bowl and whisk on high speed for 3 to 4 minutes until stiff peaks form. Remove the egg whites into a separate bowl and set aside. No need to rinse the mixing bowl after the eggs whites – add in the egg yolks, oil and sugar and whisk on medium speed for a few minutes until well combined. Next, pour in the milk, rose water extract and food coloring and mix again on medium speed for 1 minute, just until combined. Add a few drops of food coloring at a time, adding more as needed.
  • In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients: flour, baking powder and salt. Sift the dry ingredients into the cake batter to ensure that no clumps remain. Mix the dry ingredients into the batter on low speed for about 30 seconds to 1 minute, just until the dry ingredients are incorporated and the batter is smooth; do not overmix. Begin folding in the egg whites – I split the egg whites into thirds and fold thoroughly but gently after each addition, folding from the bottom of the mixing bowl until the egg white are well incorporated. Divide the cake batter evenly between the three prepared pans. Use a kitchen scale for more accuracy.
  • Bake the cake layers in the preheated oven at 350F/177C for 27 to 29 minutes. Because every oven bakes differently, start checking the cake at 25 minutes; the top should be set and a toothpick inserted into the center will come out clean when the cake is done. Remove the ready cakes out of the oven and cool completely on a wire rack – cool in the pans for about 20 minutes, then remove from the pans to cool further.

Making the Buttercream:

  • Once cake layers have cooled, prepare the buttercream. Place the softened butter into a mixing bowl and whisk on high speed for 7 to 8 minutes, scraping down the sides of the mixing bowl often, until the butter is light and fluffy. Add in the confectioner’s sugar next – I usually use 2 1/2 cups – the more you add, the thicker and fluffier the frosting will be, but sweeter. Mix the sugar in on low speed first until incorporated, then whisk on high speed for 2 to 3 minutes until fluffy. Add the rose water extract and food coloring last and mix just until incorporated.

Making the Rose Water:

  • For the rose water, combine the boiling water and sugar in a small bowl or measuring cup and stir until the sugar is completely dissolved. Allow the syrup to cool down to room temperature, or add a few ice cubes to cool it quickly. Flavor with rose water after it’s cooled.

Assembling the Cake:

  • To assemble the cake, first use a long, serrated knife to level off the tops of the cake layers. Using a pastry brush, light soak each cake layer with the prepared rose water syrup. Spread a generous amount of frosting onto the first cake layer, followed by 1/2 of the rose jam or marmalade. Spread the jam evenly to the edges, then repeat with the next cake layer. Watch my video recipe to see how it’s done!
  • Frost the top and sides of the cake, smoothing out the frosting with offset spatulas. Apply a thin, crumb coat layer of frosting first, then let the cake stand in the freezer for 10 to 15 minutes, just until lightly set. Apply the final coat of frosting, smoothing down the top and sides. To garnish with roses, trim the rose stem down to 1 or 1 1/2-inches in length. If the cake will stand for more than 1 or 2 days, I recommend wrapping the rose stems with plastic wrap or floral tape. Insert the roses evenly along the perimeter of the cake.
  • Keep the cake refrigerated if not eating with the first 12 hours. For storing, place the cake into the refrigerator. Remove it from the fridge about an hour before enjoying to allow the cake and frosting to soften.

Nutrition

Calories: 548kcal | Carbohydrates: 56g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 35g | Saturated Fat: 16g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 13g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 103mg | Sodium: 173mg | Potassium: 71mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 39g | Vitamin A: 813IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 94mg | Iron: 1mg