Orange-Cardamom Butter Cakes with Rose Water Icing

Orange-Cardamom Butter Cakes with Rose Water Icing
© Provided by Food & Wine

From: Food & Wine

erfect with afternoon tea, these delicate Sri Lankan cakes from cookbook author Ruwanmali Samarakoon-Amunugama are light with a buttery, moist crumb and a hint of citrusy cardamom. The sweet frosting gets flavor and a floral aroma from rose water and orange blossom water from Curio Spice; a drizzle of raspberry jam thinned with orange juice adds the perfect sweet-tart contrast.

Active Time: 30 mins
Total Time: 1 hrs 20 mins
Servings: 8

More Recipe: Pumpkin Patch Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake



  • 2 tablespoons whole milk
  • 1.50 teaspoons grated orange zest
  • .50 teaspoon orange blossom water (such as Curio Spice Co.)
  • .50 vanilla bean (halved crosswise)
  • .50 cup unsalted butter (4 ounces), at room temperature, plus more for greasing pan
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour (about 4 1/4 ounces), plus more for pan
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon ground green cardamom seeds
  • ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt
  • .50 cup plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature


  • 1.50 cups powdered sugar (about 6 ounces)
  • 1 cup unsalted butter (8 ounces), softened
  • .50 teaspoon orange blossom water
  • .50 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ⅛ teaspoon rose water (such as Curio Spice Co.)
  • .50 cup seedless raspberry jam
  • 1.50 teaspoons teaspoons fresh orange juice

Additional Ingredient

  • Dried rose petals, for garnish


Make the cakes

  • Preheat oven to 325°F. Combine milk, orange zest, and orange blossom water in a small bowl. Split vanilla bean half in half lengthwise, and scrape vanilla seeds into milk mixture; stir to combine. Add vanilla bean pod to milk mixture; set aside. Generously grease bottom and sides of 8 wells of a 12-cup standard muffin pan with butter. Dust generously with flour. Tilt to cover sides completely, and tap out excess. Set aside.
  • Whisk together flour, baking powder, cardamom, and salt in a medium bowl. Beat butter and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy, 5 to 7 minutes, stopping to scrape sides of bowl as needed. Add eggs to butter mixture, 1 at a time, beating on medium speed until combined and stopping to scrape sides of bowl as needed. Remove vanilla bean pod from milk mixture; discard. With mixer running on low speed, gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture in 3 additions, alternating with milk mixture, beating until batter is smooth, about 2 minutes. Divide batter evenly among 8 prepared wells of muffin pan (about 1/4 cup per well); smooth tops with an offset spatula.
  • Bake in preheated oven until a wooden pick inserted in center of cakes comes out clean, 18 to 20 minutes. Let cool in pan 10 minutes. Remove from pan; let cool completely on a wire rack, about 20 minutes. Using a serrated knife, remove and discard domed tops from cakes. Invert cakes, cut sides down, on cutting board. Halve cakes crosswise, creating 2 layers for each.

Make the icing

  • Beat powdered sugar and butter in a medium bowl with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes, stopping to scrape down sides as needed. Add orange blossom water, vanilla extract, and rose water; beat until combined, about 30 seconds. Stir together raspberry jam and orange juice in a small bowl until smooth.
  • To assemble cakes, spread 2 teaspoons icing on bottom layer of 1 cake. Top with 1 teaspoon jam mixture, and place top cake layer on jam. Spread a thin layer of icing on outside of cake; spread 2 teaspoons icing on top of cake. Dollop top with 1 teaspoon jam mixture, letting excess gently drip down sides. Repeat with remaining cakes. Garnish with dried rose petals.

More Recipe: Old Fashioned Caramel Apple Butter Cake

Make Ahead

Cakes and icing can be made up to 2 days ahead. Store cakes in an airtight container at room temperature; cover and refrigerate icing. Let come to room temperature before using.

See more at Food & Wine

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Cake Magazine: Orange-Cardamom Butter Cakes with Rose Water Icing
Orange-Cardamom Butter Cakes with Rose Water Icing
Ruwanmali Samarakoon-Amunugama's Orange-Cardamom Butter Cakes with Rose Water Icing are sweet, delicate, and floral.
Cake Magazine
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