I couldn’t devote an entire month to flower recipes and neglect making something extra pretty for Mother’s Day!
I have nostalgic memories of floral buttercream cakes. Growing up, I loved decorating all sorts of cakes and cookies with my mom. Buttercream flowers, cutesy decals and animal themed goodies were so in. My mom is a talented artist and cake decorating was another creative outlet for her. She always managed to execute our dream birthday cakes every year with this creativity… even when they seemed beyond necessary. When I turned 8 and requested a 3-tier wedding cake for my birthday/baptism, she did it with all the tiers, frosting and flowers I could have hoped for. A dream come true!
I needed to indulge my childhood self with a modern take of these buttercream flowers. This isn’t a full wedding cake, but has the feel of something just as special on a much smaller scale. This little cake is the perfect way to celebrate our mothers, sisters, friends or any flower-loving soul.
Todays #FloralSweetTreats recipe is an ode to a flowery appearance. This cake has a sweet lemon taste with hints of rose water. It’s a really moist, light flavored dessert with bright summery tones. This floral cake has been tested coast to coast (thanks a million, Holly!) and thoroughly enjoyed by all taste-testers! The cake isn’t a large recipe – it yields a simple one 8-inch round, enough for a party of 6-8. The buttercream flowers enhance the floral theme without the need for fresh blooms. This allows the floral theme to bloom for any celebration, no matter the season.
I think you’ll agree that cakes with edible buttercream florals are worth the effort. You can’t go wrong with gold toned roses, barely bloomed peonies, and touches of greenery. They taste delicious and the buttercream flowers can be made well in advance. I didn’t share how to pipe these florals but you can find many resources online. They make any cake look extra bright and happy – fit for celebrating our moms in style. Give the women in your life a very special bouquet this year. Happy Mother’s Day!
Lemon Rosewater Cake with Buttercream Flowers
2/3 cup Almond Milk + 1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice
1/3 cup Organic Butter or Earth Balance Butter
¼ cup Honey or Agave
3 Tablespoons Granulated Sweetener (Maple Sugar, Raw Sugar, Honey Powder, etc…)
½ teaspoon Rose Water
1 Large Organic Egg
1/2 teaspoon Lemon Zest
¾ cup Spelt Flour or White Wheat Flour
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
1/8 teaspoon Baking Soda
¼ teaspoon Sea Salt
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare one 8-inch round or square cake dish with parchment paper and lightly spray with oil.
In a liquid measuring cup, mix the almond milk and lemon juice and set aside. In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sweeteners. Beat until smooth and fluffy. Add the vanilla, egg and lemon zest and mix. In another bowl, sift the dry ingredients. Add the dry ingredients in 1/3 amounts, alternating with the almond milk mixture until combined. Be careful not to over mix!
Pour cake batter in the greased 8-inch dish. Bake for 28-35 minutes. If using honey, keep a close eye at the 25 minute mark and cover if the cake is browning too quickly. Allow to cool completely before frosting.
Buttercream Frosting and Florals:
2/3 cup Organic Butter or Earth Balance Butter
3 Tablespoons Cream Cheese or Dairy-Free Cream Cheese
3/4 cup Powdered Whole Earth Sweetener*
3 Tablespoons Coconut Flour
1 1/2 teaspoons Vanilla Stevia Extract, to taste
1/4 teaspoon Rose Water (optional)
Beet Juice, Natural Food Coloring
In a large bowl, add the butter and cream cheese and beat until smooth. Add the whole earth sugar, coconut flour, stevia extract and rose water and beat until combined and smooth. If your kitchen or hands are very warm, place frosting in the fridge to chill or add a bit more coconut flour for best piping consistency.
Place about 1/3 cup of frosting for the flowers in a separate bowl. If you would like more flowers and a naked cake look, you can reserve up to 2/3 cup for florals. You’ll make the pink color first. Add about 1/4 – 3/4 teaspoon of beet juice to the reserved frosting and mix well. Transfer frosting to a cake piping bag fitted with a petal tip (tip 104 works well). I used a frosting nail with wax paper to pipe my roses. Pipe desired 3-4 roses on wax paper, place on a baking sheet or tray and place in the freezer to chill, at least 20 minutes. With the leftover pink frosting, add natural yellow food coloring to create a peachy/gold color. Pipe desired amount of flowers. Place in the freezer to set, at least 20 minutes. With the remaining peach/gold color, add natural green food coloring to desired color for greenery. (I tried adding about 1/8 teaspoon spirulina powder to the frosting but it did not create a bright green so I ended up supplementing with a food dye). Reserve the green frosting in a piping bag, fitted with a leaf tip to pipe last.
With a cake spatula, frost the cake with the non-colored frosting in a thin layer. Set in the freezer to chill for 20 minutes. Remove from freezer and frost over the thin coat with a fresh layer. Smooth out frosting. I kept the frosting layer pretty thin due to the frosting flowers to the top of the cake. Arrange the chilled flowers as desired. Pipe greenery as desired. Enjoy!
I came across Whole Earth Sweetener while looking for a specific natural sugar for another floral recipe I’ll be posting to the blog soon! It is a blend of raw sugar and stevia. While I usually avoid cane sugar products, I found this product mimicked powdered sugar perfectly and I could get by using less in the frosting recipe. You can substitute this with powdered xylitol or erythritol and a bit of cornstarch if you’d like.