Strawberry Rose Celebration Cake – with Gluten and Dairy Free options
This is a big, beautiful cake, perfect for a special occasion! It is 3 layers of delicious and aromatic almond cake, filled with strawberry rose compote and frosted with ermine (cooked buttercream) frosting. It looks extra beautiful topped with strawberries and roses, or sugared rose petals. To make your own, try our technique for sugar covered edible flowers. This cake has three steps, and it may be easiest to start a day ahead by making the compote and/or baking the cake. As always, this cake easily converts to gluten and dairy free.
Strawberry Rose Compote
1 pound of strawberries, trimmed and cut into quarters
3/4 cup of sugar
2 teaspoons of rosewater or homemade rose water/tea (To prepare rose tea, place 1/2 cup of fresh, clean rose petals in a small saucepan. Pour 3/4 cup of water over top. Place on heat, and bring just to a boil. Remove the pot and allow to steep for about 10 minutes. Strain out petals and allow to cool before using in recipes. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Place all ingredients in a medium saucepan and place over medium/low heat. Bring to a boil, stirring as needed to keep the mixture from sticking and burning on the bottom. Once the fruit and sugar are at a boil, turn down to a simmer and cook for 10-15 minutes, stirring as needed. Remove from heat an allow to cool completely. Refrigerate until you’re ready to use.
Almond Layer Cake
2 1/4 cups of all-purpose flour or all purpose gluten free flour
2 cups almond flour
2 cups of sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon of salt – omit if using salted butter
2 sticks or 1 cup of butter at room temperature – we used Earth Balance dairy free butter sticks
3 large eggs, room temperature
1 tablespoon of vanilla extract
1 teaspoon of almond extract
1 ½ teaspoons of rose water
2 cups of milk or dairy free oat or other plant milk
Preheat oven to 350F. Grease or spray three 8 inch pans.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour and almond flour until thoroughly blended. Set adise
In a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, combine butter, sugar, baking powder, and optional salt. Mix on low/medium speed until combined, then beat on medium/high until mixture is light and fluffy, about 4 or 5 minutes.
Add eggs one at a time, stopping mixer to scrape down sides of bowl after each addition. Beat in rose water, vanilla, and almond extract.
Switch mixer to low speed and add half of flour. Add half of milk and blend well, followed by the other two halves. Blend well between each addition.
Divide batter amongst the prepared cake pans. Bake for 25-35 minutes, checking on cake starting at 25 minutes. Cakes are done when starting to brown just around the edges and a tester comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before frosting.
Ermine (Cooked Buttercream) Frosting
⅓ cup all-purpose flour – we used Bob’s Red Mill 1-1 Gluten Free
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup of milk or non-dairy milk – we used oat milk
1 cup butter or dairy free butter at room temperature – we used Earth Balance sticks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
A pinch of salt – only if you are using unsalted butter
You can make the cooked flour/sugar base for this frosting a day ahead of time, – just refrigerate it. Take it out of the fridge and allow an hour or so for it to come to room temperature before you finish making the frosting.
In a medium saucepan, combine sugar, flour, and salt (if using,) and place over medium/low heat. Cook, stirring constantly for 3-4 minutes. You’re actually toasting both the flour and sugar – don’t skip this step!
Add milk and whisk thoroughly. Once fully combined, begin stirring constantly as you allow the mixture to slowly come to a boil. It will thicken as you stir. It is finished when dragging your spatula through leaves a clear trail on the bottom of the pan. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely.
When cooked mixture is completely cool and you’re ready to finish making the frosting, add the softened butter to a large mixing bowl. Beat the butter on medium/high speed until light and fluffy, around 2 minutes.
Turn the mixer down to medium speed, and add a large spoonful of the cooked flour base to the butter. Beat until completely combined, then add another large spoonful and repeat. Keep adding a spoonful at a time, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl, until the entire cooked flour base has been added.
Add vanilla extract, beat into frosting, then beat for another minute or so on high speed. This will help make the frosting lighter and airier. Proceed to assembling and frosting your cake!
To assemble cake – place one layer on a cake plate or stand. Spread a layer of ermine frosting on top. Spoon half of the strawberry rose compote on top of the frosting. Top with the second layer and repeat the frosting and compote. Place third layer on top, then cover top and sides or cake with remaining ermine frosting. The frosting can be piped, especially if it just slightly chilled, but we like this cake best with big swirls of icing and fruit and flowers on the top. Enjoy!