Rosewater sponge with lemon cream cheese icing

I like to think I’m alright at cooking, but baking is untrodden territory to me. I think it’s the surprise element of it that puts me off, there’s no opportunity for tasting and adjusting as you go along, you just have to stick it in the oven and hope for the best. Essentially, you have to actually know your shit.

But this week, I set myself the challenge of making a cake for my friend’s birthday, loosely inspired by a Lush bathbomb (she’s pretty into Lush) hence the rose and pink-fest, and I’m pleased to say, it turned out alright!

I’m not that into plain buttercream, and felt that a sweet floral cake could probably do with a sharp, tangy topping to balance it, so a lemon cream cheese icing made sense, and God was it good, if not a filthy fat/sugar fest.

As well as adding rosewater to the sponge batter, I drizzled the baked cake with a rose infused syrup to keep it moist and enhance the flavour. The rose probably wasn’t as strong as I’d have liked in the finished cake, though I did use a pretty cheap rosewater, and I reckon in a taste-test against a non-rose cake, I reckon the difference would be obv.

Overall though, I was pretty pleased with my effort! Perhaps I shall embrace baking after-all.

Recipe after the jump…

Ingredients (made a pretty massive cake)

Cake batter:

250g unsalted butter

250g caster sugar

250g plain flour

1 tsp baking powder

4 eggs

4 tablespoons of rosewater

For the syrup:

100g caster sugar

100mls water

2 tablespoons of rose water

For the icing:

200g cream cheese

100g butter

300g caster sugar

juice/zest of half a lemon


For the batter:

Preheat the oven to 200c. Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.

Add one egg at a time, each with a pinch of flour, whipping each egg in well with a whisk before adding the next.

Sieve in the rest of the flour with the baking powder and the rose water and really beat the batter together until flour is well combined. Continue to give a good beating to get plenty of air into the sponge.

Transfer to a cake tin and bake for 30mins. Stick a knife in and if it comes out clean, remove cake from oven and set aside to cool. If not, keep giving it another five mins until knife comes out clean.

For the syrup:

Mix the sugar, water and rose water together and boil for a few mins to make a light syrup. Prick the cake with a fork all over and drizzle over the syrup.

For the icing:

Cream together the butter, sugar and cream cheese. Really whip it together until the sugar is well dissolved and the icing becomes glossy. Stir in the lemon zest and juice. Try not to spoon all the icing into your mouth.

Slather the icing thickly over the top of the cooled cake and refrigerate for a couple of hours to set a little.

Serve a massive wedge with obligatory cup of tea. Earl Grey would be good.

4 Responses to “Rosewater sponge with lemon cream cheese icing”

  1. Lizzie Says:

    I imagine the lemon and rose combination is awesome – lovely.

  2. Sasa Says:

    I always buy bottles of rosewater, use a tablespoon and then have no idea what to do with the rest of it…If I make this, 4 tablespoons down, 101 to go ;P Looks rather ladylike and good for afternoon tea.

  3. | Food Diaries: Rosewater Sponge With Lemon Cream Cheese Icing Says:

    […] followed Feast on Scraps’ recipe, which was really simple. It’s basically an adapted sponge, which rises really well and as […]

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