I was inspired by the Middle Eastern flavours of this recipe by Rachel Allen, but I wanted a double-layered cake instead of a single layer, soaking cake.
Plus, I’d gotten myself a bottle of rose water last year and this was the first time I got to use it!
For the cake:
- 80g butter, softened
- 160g caster sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 2 eggs
- Zest of 2 limes
- 175g all-purpose flour
- 1-1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/3 cup Juice from 2 limes + whole milk
For the filling & topping:
- 50g toasted almond flakes
- 50g toasted salted pistachios
- 2 tbsp honey
For the icing:
- 150g butter, softened
- 300g icing sugar, sifted
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp rose water (add more for a more intense rose flavour)
- Milk to thin the icing
Step 1: Preheat your oven to 175°C (350°F). Grease and line two 7-inch round cake tins.
Step 2: Cream the butter, sugar and salt together until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs and lime zest. Sift in the flour, baking powder and soda. Add in the lime-milk mixture and stir everything together until well combined. Divide the batter equally between the two tins and bake for 25 minutes. Cool the cakes to room temperature before decorating.
Step 3: To make the icing, cream the butter and icing sugar together. Beat in the vanilla extract and rose water. Taste the icing at this point to check if you’d prefer more rose flavouring. Finally, just add milk to the icing to thin it out to a spreadable consistency.
Step 4: To assemble the cake, place one cake layer on your serving board. Brush the top with honey.
Spread an even layer of the rose buttercream icing and sprinkle over top the toasted almond flakes, crushed between your palms.
Place the second cake layer over top and use the rest of the buttercream to ice and decorate the cake. Top it all off with the salted pistachios.
The cake tasted like baklava to me. It was definitely sweet, but the tangy lime balanced it well. The nuts added a nice crunch alongside fluffy cake. And of course, the distinct flavour of rose — less of a flavour but more a scent, but added a whole new taste experience for me.