Recipe for Rose Cake

la ricetta della torta di rose

In May gardens are coloured with a thousand hues and tones, a chromatic miracle brought about by the blooming of roses. Artists have always been inspired by, and paid homage to, this flower as a symbol of love. It was probably Cristoforo di Messisbugo, cook to the court of Ferrara who, in 1490, conceived the Rose Cake for the wedding feast of Isabella d’Este and Francesco II Gonzaga.

This delicious and spectacular dessert blooms, during cooking, into a magnificent basket of rosebuds.


Ingredients for the dough

  • 250 g Sebòn Panettone flour
  • 150g full fat milk
  • 7.5g fresh brewer’s yeast
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 75g Butter
  • 4g Salt
  • zest of half an orange
  • seeds of half a vanilla pod

Ingredients for the filling

  • 90g butter
  • 90g caster sugar
  • zest of half an orange


  • Make the dough using the following method, making sure that the gluten is sufficiently well developed before adding each new ingredient:
    1. dissolve the fresh brewer’s yeast in the whole milk and add it to the flour in a mixer
    2. Add half the sugar
    3. Beat the egg and extra yolk and add half of this mixture to the dough
    4. Add the other half of the sugar
    5. Add the other half of the egg mixture
    6. Cut the softened butter into small pieces and add it to the dough a little at a time
    7. Add the salt
    8. Finally add the orange zest and vanilla
  • Fold the dough over a few times and let it rise in a covered container for two and a half hours at room temperature.
  • In the meantime, make the filling by whipping the softened butter with the sugar and orange zest.
  • Once the dough has doubled in volume, roll it out on a floured surface to thickness of 0.5cm in a rectangle with the long side of about 35cm.
  • Spread the filling over the dough with a spatula and roll it up on the long side.
  • Cut into 5cm rounds.
  • Arrange 7 rounds in a greased and floured 18cm cake tin with and leave to rise for a further hour and a half.
  • Bake in a preheated oven at 180°C until the surface is completely browned, 35-40 minutes.

Some advice? Once risen there should be no empty spaces between the rounds in the tin or the roses will not bloom in the oven.


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