Rose and poppy seed cake

Rose and poppy seed cake

Lucy's Bakes
15 mins
Cooking time
30 mins
Jacqui Melville

I lived in France for many years and came across a ‘learn English’ book that described an English afternoon tea. It was cake, tea and sandwiches but it was presented in a cottage garden surrounded by climbing roses. I lived in the mountains so the only way to try and recreate this idyll for some neighbours who came for tea was to add the rose to my cake! I have since sourced some wonderful edible rose petals on the internet and scatter my cake with these.


Quantity Ingredient

For the cake

Quantity Ingredient
4 eggs
caster sugar
self-raising flour
butter and margarine, at room temperature
pinch salt
50g poppy seeds
20g rose water

For the rose buttercream

Quantity Ingredient
75g white chocolate
300g icing sugar, sifted
200g butter, at room temperature
a few drops pink food colouring
15g rose water
edible rose petals, to scatter over (optional)


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line a 23 cm deep cake tin with baking paper.
  2. Weigh the eggs in their shells and then weigh the same amount of sugar, flour, and half the weight in butter and half in margarine.
  3. Beat the butter and margarine together with the sugar in a bowl using a wooden spoon or electric whisk. Beat in 1 egg at a time.
  4. Sift the flour and salt over, then sprinkle in the poppy seeds and rosewater. Gently fold in with a metal spoon.
  5. Turn the cake mix out into the prepared tin and bake for 30 minutes until risen, browned and springy to the touch, or a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.
  6. Turn it out onto a wire rack, remove the paper and leave to cool.
  7. Meanwhile make the buttercream. Melt the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of boiling water then let it cool for at least 10 minutes. This must not be hot when you make the buttercream. Add the icing sugar, butter, colouring and rose water and beat until light and fluffy.
  8. Cut the cake in half and sandwich back together with a third of the buttercream. Spread the rest over the top and around the side and scatter with edible rose petals.


  • This recipe is vegetarian and nut-free.


  • Rose water is available from all good supermarkets.

What the the testers say

  • JACQUI MELVILLE AND SUNANNE QUINTNER – ‘Looked beautiful and the poppy seeds added a really nice crunch. We loved the rose flavour.’

    CLAIRE VAN DIJK – ‘I love special cakes and this is one. It is simple to make and, if you follow the tips for the perfect sponge, it is light and fluffy. I didn’t have rose petals so I bought some freeze-dried raspberries instead. Great flavours.’

    ANTONIA ARGENTIER – ‘We had no rose petals but we used grated white chocolate instead. I am hooked on poppy seeds and will be adding them to many cake recipes.’
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