Rose Cake

Rose Cake Recipe  - made with fresh (edible!) roses | Friends, I made you a rose cake!

And yes, those are real roses.

And yes, they are edible!

I know, it was news to me too.  I have been hearing everyone rave about the edible flowers trend right now, so decided to do some investigating.  And it turns out that so many of my favorite flowers can be enjoyed in a vase on the table as well as your dinner plate — roses included!  Apparently the more vibrant the rose petals — such as deep red or pink varieties — the stronger the flavor.  Whereas the lighter or white roses are a little more mild.

So I decided to go red and experiment with a rose cake recipe.  I began with a classic 3-level white cake, accented with a hint of rose water (see notes below for where to buy).  Then I (gasp!) chopped up a single red rose and incorporated it into a yummy vanilla rose buttercream.  And then for the grand finale, I layered some beautiful red rose petals along the outside.  And the photos hardly do it justice.  This cake was beautiful.

Still, I have to admit I was a little nervous about taste-testing a cake with all of these “edible” flowers.  So I invited a bunch of friends over to join me.  To my surprise, everyone loved it!!!  Granted, we all are very familiar with the smell of roses, so maybe it shouldn’t have been such a surprise that we enjoyed tasting them too.   But I think what was so fun was the entire experience of admiring and eating such a lovely cake.  Every single layer — from the moist white cake, to the mild hints of rose in the buttercream, to the decorative roses on the cake — made for great conversation.  So fun to try together!

I’m sure there will be all sorts of questions about this rose cake recipe, from what kind of roses to buy, to where you find rose water, to whether to coat the rose petals, etc.  So I’ve included a brief Q&A below, but also encourage you to do your own research on edible flowers if you’re interested, since I’m no expert.  But this was definitely a really fun one!  So if you love roses and are feeling brave, I completely recommend giving it a try.  (And if you do, you must send me a picture!)  :)

Happy rose-cake-making! Rose Cake Recipe  - made with fresh (edible!) roses |

Rose Cake

Fresh roses make this cake all the more beautiful inside and out!


Rose Cake Ingredients:

  • 3 1/3 cups cake flour (13.5 ounces), plus more for dusting the pans
  • 1.5 cups milk, room temperature
  • 9 large egg whites, room temperature
  • 1.5. almond extract
  • 1.5 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1.5 tsp. rose water  (or you can substitute more almond extract)
  • 2 2/3 cups granulated sugar (18 ounces)
  • 3 Tbsp. baking powder
  • 1.5 tsp. salt
  • 18 Tbsp. unsalted butter (2 sticks + 2 Tbsp), softened
  • 8-10 roses, petals removed and rinsed

Rose Buttercream Ingredients:

  • 1.5 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 lbs. powdered sugar
  • 3 tsp. rose water
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • the petals from one rose, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup milk (or water)


To Make The Rose Cakes:

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease three 8-inch round cake pans with nonstick
cooking spray, then line the bottoms with parchment or waxed paper rounds. Spray the paper rounds, and then dust the entire inside of the pans lightly with flour, tapping to remove excess.

In a medium bowl, whisk together milk, egg whites, and extracts into 2-cup glass measure until blended. Set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, mix together cake flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in bowl of at medium-low speed until combined. Add butter, and continue mixing until incorporated and the mixture looks like moist crumbs. Add the milk mixture to crumbs and beat at medium speed for 2 minutes, stopping midway to scrape down the sides of the bowl.

Divide batter evenly between three prepared cake pans. (If you want to be really precise, you can weigh each cake pan to be sure that the batter is even.) Use a rubber spatula or spoon to spread the batter on top so that each pan is even. Arrange pans at least 3 inches from the oven walls and 3 inches apart. Bake for 26-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Remove cake and let cool on a wire rack until they reach room temperature. Then frost with rose buttercream, and top with fresh rose petals.

To Make The Rose Buttercream:

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat butter on medium-high speed until smooth. Add powdered sugar, rose water, vanilla, chopped rose petals, and milk. Beat on medium-low speed for 30 seconds to incorporate. Then increase speed to medium-high and beat for 1 minute or until smooth. To thin, add 2 tablespoons of milk at a time until the frosting reaches your desired consistency. To thicken, add milk.

Cake recipe just slightly adapted from Cooks Ilustrated, via Epicurious

If you make this recipe, be sure to snap a photo and hashtag it #gimmesomeoven. I'd love to see what you cook!

Rose Cake Q&A:

Where can I buy rose water?

Rose water is commonly available at Middle Eastern and Mediterranean grocery stores, or at specialty grocery stores, at Whole Foods, or online.  You can also check with your regular grocery store, but our two largest chains in Kansas City did not carry it.

Should I buy organic roses?

It is highly recommended.  As always, the less chemicals/pesticides in any of our food, the better.

How do you wash the roses?

I popped mine in a salad spinner, but you could also rinse them however you see fit.

Which petals on the roses did you use?

I preferred the medium-sized petals that came from the middle of the roses.  The petals on the outside seemed enormous and were often a little more flimsy.  And the ones in the very center were perhaps too small and curled.  But you can use whichever petals you like.  It’s amazing how many petals are on a single rose!!

What if I don’t want to eat plain rose petals?

You can also sugar-coat them.  Just brush them with a (whisked) egg white, then sprinkle with granulated sugar, and let them sit until the egg is dry.

Can I use dried rose petals?

Certainly!  They just won’t look quite the same, and all of the above thoughts on washing/organic/etc hold true.  So I would dry them yourself or purchase them from a vendor who you trust and know has not coated them with chemicals.

How many rose petals can I eat?

One source that I read recommended taking it easy on edible flowers if this is your first time consuming them.  My friends and I did not experience any digestive issues, but still, anytime you eat something new it’s wise to be careful.

What if I just TOTALLY don’t want to eat rose petals?

No problemo.  The buttercream tastes great with just the rose water, and you could always pick the outside petals off and not eat them.  But I’d totally encourage you to at least give them a little taste test.  ;)

Help!  My rose petals won’t stick!

If you wait too long to attach the petals, the buttercream will dry a bit on the outside.  But hakuna matata — just place a dab of extra buttercream on the back of the rose petal, and use it like glue to poke the petal in place.

Rose Cake Recipe  - made with fresh (edible!) roses |

Rose Cake Recipe  - made with fresh (edible!) roses |

Rose Cake Recipe  - made with fresh (edible!) roses | Rose Cake Recipe  - made with fresh (edible!) roses |

Rose Cake Recipe  - made with fresh (edible!) roses |

Rose Cake Recipe  - made with fresh (edible!) roses |

Rose Cake Recipe  - made with fresh (edible!) roses |

Rose Cake Recipe  - made with fresh (edible!) roses |

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.  I also am not an expert in edible flowers, so you consume them at your own risk.  However, my friends and I loved this recipe and I completely recommend it!

Leave a Comment:


  1. Robyn Stone | Add a Pinch — May 15, 2013 @ 7:19 am (#)

    This absolutely took my breath away it is so beautiful!!! I am sure it tastes and smells as amazing as it looks! Bravo!!!

  2. Tieghan — May 15, 2013 @ 7:27 am (#)

    Ali it is perfect. You did an amazing job! I am in aw right now. Wow!

  3. Lori at RecipeGirl — May 15, 2013 @ 7:59 am (#)

    Whoa. This is the coolest thing I’ve seen in a long time- bravo!!

  4. Abby @ The Frosted Vegan — May 15, 2013 @ 8:02 am (#)

    How absolutely GORGEOUS is this?! You go girl!

  5. Maria — May 15, 2013 @ 8:05 am (#)

    This cake is STUNNING!

  6. Stephanie @ Girl Versus Dough — May 15, 2013 @ 8:10 am (#)

    This is beeooootiful, Ali! I had no idea you could eat rose petals… now I’m super curious (also using it as an excuse to make and eat more cake :))!

  7. Kathryn — May 15, 2013 @ 8:14 am (#)

    Ali! This is a stunning cake! I love that you can eat the whole thing, petals included but I don’t know that I’d be able too because it’s just too pretty!

  8. Bev @ Bev Cooks — May 15, 2013 @ 8:15 am (#)

    I wear rose water everyday!

    Now I should just rub my neck in this cake. And then lick my neck.

    Oh ew.

  9. Leah | So, How's It Taste? — May 15, 2013 @ 8:29 am (#)

    Hmm, I’m not so sure I’d like this one as I think the texture of chomping on roses would get to me. But I have to say that cake is absolutely stunning!

  10. shelly (cookies and cups) — May 15, 2013 @ 8:46 am (#)

    Stunning. Just really gorgeous.

  11. Megan {Country Cleaver} — May 15, 2013 @ 9:01 am (#)

    Ali – this is a Dream and a Half!! I can’t get over how gorgeous it is!

  12. Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar — May 15, 2013 @ 9:02 am (#)

    What a stunner!! This cake is super gorgeous!

  13. Jenn @ Once Upon a Tier — May 15, 2013 @ 9:22 am (#)

    This cake is simply beautiful.

  14. Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious — May 15, 2013 @ 9:34 am (#)

    Oh man, Ali, this is honestly the most STUNNING cake ever!

  15. Sommer @ ASpicyPerspective — May 15, 2013 @ 9:36 am (#)

    Gorgeous cake, Ali!!

  16. Barbara @ Barbara Bakes — May 15, 2013 @ 9:52 am (#)

    What a beautiful, elegant cake!

  17. Meagan @ A Zesty Bite — May 15, 2013 @ 10:11 am (#)

    This is so fun and I would be nervous too about consuming but hey if you can then we all need to try it out!

  18. Kiran @ — May 15, 2013 @ 10:47 am (#)

    LOVE edible roses and how you’ve used it to decorate the cake! Perfect for V-day too :)

  19. Lauren @ Climbing Grier Mountain — May 15, 2013 @ 11:07 am (#)

    Gorg! Just gorgeous, Ali! Can I come over for a slice?

  20. Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking — May 15, 2013 @ 12:30 pm (#)

    Absolutely amazing, Ali! This is so stunning and romantic looking!

  21. Julie @ Table for Two — May 15, 2013 @ 12:44 pm (#)

    just stunning!!

  22. Kelli @ The Corner Kitchen — May 15, 2013 @ 1:57 pm (#)

    Ali, this cake is absolutely stunning!!

  23. meg jones wall — May 15, 2013 @ 2:28 pm (#)

    what a cool idea! looks absolutely beautiful :)

  24. Stacy | Wicked Good Kitchen — May 15, 2013 @ 3:45 pm (#)

    Heart-stopping beautiful, Ali! Wow…so very innovative! I’ve done a tiered wedding cake with roses, but not fully decked out with just the soft petals. So romantic and chic! Also, brilliant to include a Q&A to help peeps. LOVE! Pinning… xo

  25. Tracey — May 15, 2013 @ 7:14 pm (#)

    This is beyond gorgeous Ali! I’ve seen a few recipes using edible flowers but none that were this stunning! I’ve never worked with edible flowers but I really want to, and soon :)

  26. Laura @ Family Spice — May 15, 2013 @ 8:15 pm (#)

    I have included crushed dried roses in cake, but it is truly the rosewater that gives it the rose flavor and fragrance. You can also dust the rose petals with sugar, too. I found the best flowers to eat were grown in gardens of family and friends who don’t use pesticides.

  27. Cassie | Bake Your Day — May 15, 2013 @ 8:39 pm (#)

    This is stunning. I can’t get over it. Well-done, my friend!

  28. Laura (Tutti Dolci) — May 15, 2013 @ 10:52 pm (#)

    Absolutely stunning, Ali! The rose petals are so striking.

  29. ashley - baker by nature — May 16, 2013 @ 6:00 am (#)

    I cannot even get over how beautiful this cake is, Ali! I want to make it for my Mom’s birthday next month… expect panicked “HELP” emails ;)

  30. AiPheng — May 16, 2013 @ 9:02 am (#)

    This is so absoluuuutely beautiful. My friend has asked me to make a small wedding cake for her and I think this will be perfect. Should this cake be kept in the fridge or it is okay to be left out?

    • D — May 28, 2013 @ 2:03 pm (#)

      Since the buttercream recipe uses milk, it should be kept refrigerated.

  31. sally @ sallys baking addiction — May 16, 2013 @ 4:15 pm (#)

    Breathtakingly beautiful, Ali. You have a gift for making the most gorgeous food ever. I can’t stop looking at this cake. I just want to print the pictures out and frame them. Gorgeous my friend!!

  32. Alley @ Alley's Recipe Book — May 16, 2013 @ 10:23 pm (#)

    I’ve seen rose extract in the baking aisle and have thought about trying it. Wasn’t sure what it would taste like though. I actually put rose water in my body lotion.. but since the kind I have is marketed for skin care, I’ll have to find a different kind at a grocery store.

  33. Alaina @ Fabtastic Eats — May 16, 2013 @ 10:31 pm (#)

    This is THE MOST beautiful cake I have ever seen! It sounds absolutely wonderful too! Amazing job Ali!!

  34. Rachel Cooks — May 17, 2013 @ 7:05 am (#)

    This is SO stunning, Ali! Beyond gorgeous.

  35. the baking cup - carolina — May 17, 2013 @ 12:31 pm (#)

    Gorgeous cake!! And so original!

  36. Crystal @ Simply Playful Fare — May 17, 2013 @ 9:25 pm (#)

    This is just beautiful! I haven’t thought much about eating roses, but I would give it a try. Almost too beautiful to eat! :)

  37. Deon @ iPinnedIt — May 17, 2013 @ 10:44 pm (#)

    Seriously breathtaking. This would make a stunning wedding cake topper, don’t you think? The only problem is that it would outshine the bride, I fear, haha! So G-O-R-G-E-O-U-S!

  38. Vera Zecevic – Cupcakes Garden — May 18, 2013 @ 3:14 pm (#)

    This is so beautiful and so creative!

  39. nessa — May 19, 2013 @ 6:40 pm (#)

    Simply amazing! You are so talented Ali!

  40. Nutmeg Nanny — May 20, 2013 @ 9:11 pm (#)

    Oh wow! This cake is absolutely gorgeous! I am so intrigued, I’d love to try this :)

  41. Jocelyn (Grandbaby Cakes) — May 21, 2013 @ 4:31 pm (#)

    Gorgeous!!!! I’m in awe of this incredible cake!

  42. Angie | Big Bear's Wife — October 17, 2013 @ 6:46 pm (#)

    WoW that is beautiful!

  43. Sue — October 20, 2013 @ 10:01 am (#)

    I made this cake. It is so awesome! And easy! As delicious as it is beautiful! Simply elegant! Thank you!!! I wish I could show you a picture.

  44. Jo M — December 6, 2013 @ 5:22 pm (#)

    So pretty! I would never have thought to make something like that. Will have to try one day!

  45. Rebecca Powazek — January 2, 2014 @ 2:37 pm (#)

    Is this cake strong enough for a two tier fondant cake?

    • Ali — April 4, 2014 @ 10:01 pm (#)

      Yes, it should be.

  46. Shelby — February 1, 2014 @ 7:10 pm (#)

    Looks beautiful! Where can you buy organic roses?

  47. Alisha — February 3, 2014 @ 8:30 pm (#)

    Thinking about making this for Valentine’s Day, but don’t want to make a cake this large. Do you know how I would go about making this but in personal sized servings? One small cake for each of us?

  48. Emma — February 6, 2014 @ 3:53 pm (#)

    Beautiful! Would you recommend using any other flavors of cake? I wonder what it would be like with red velvet cake! Do you think the flavors would blend well, or clash? I want to try this!

  49. Erienne — March 12, 2014 @ 11:22 am (#)

    Does anyone know how to scale this down to a smaller pan … I’m the only one who i know of that likes to eat roses and I can’t eat that much by myself.

  50. Jelli — May 11, 2014 @ 9:44 pm (#)

    Ali, this is gorgeous! I knew that roses were edible, but the Q&A section you added here is super helpful. I’ve never actually cooked with flowers before and I can’t wait to wow my friends with this. So, so pretty!


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