Wednesday, April 18, 2007

SHF #30: Orange Blossom Cake with Candied Orchids

This is what I came up with for a flower themed cake for Sugar High Friday #30 Flower Power hosted by Coconut Chutney. This was a really great theme, forced me to experiment with using real flowers- something I've never done before. I was at the local farmers/public market this past Saturday morning, and I passed by a vendor who was selling fresh herbs. I noticed a little plastic container of fresh flowers also. The nice lady handed me an orchid to taste, she said it was from a vanilla orchid plant. Didn't taste like much, but she had me hooked- I was intrigued and just had to buy the pack of flowers, besides, they were only $1! So with flowers in hand, I came home wondering what I should do with them. Good ol' Epicurious always has good ideas for everything, and so I decided to candy my flowers. And oh what a fun but messy (and tedious) project that was. You can see the results below. But now I decided I needed a cake to go with those flowers, so an orange blossom scented cake evolved out of my foggy thoughts. This cake is heavier- like a pound cake. If I were to make it again, I would make it in loaf pans and serve as a pound cake, no frosting, I would probably have a dollop of lemon-lime curd to go with it. But regardless, the cake still tasted really good and decadent in this form.

Candied Flowers (this recipe is adapted from Epicurious)

Edible flowers (pesticide free, organic, nontoxic)
sugar (I probably used ½ cup or so- didn’t really keep track.)
1 egg white
½ tsp water

Beat the egg white with the water. Then brush your flowers with the egg/water mixture. Sprinkle sugar all over the flower. Make sure you cover the flower completely, otherwise you will have problems with them wilting. Place flowers on a wire rack and allow them to completely dry. According to Epicurious, the flowers can be stored in an airtight container for up to one month. I don’t believe this as some of my flowers (the daisies, but not the orchids) were getting a bit wilty after a couple of days. I found the best flower to use was the orchid, but also the individual petals of the carnation were really nice also.

Orange-Blossom Cake with Orange-Blossom Buttercream and Candied Flowers

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 ½ cup sugar
5 eggs
1 grated lemon or orange zest
1 Tbl orange extract
4 teaspoons orange-blossom water
1 ½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
2 ½ cups flour, sifted
1 cup milk + 3 tsp apple cider vinegar Preheat to 350°F. Grease & flour two 9 inch round cake pans.

Beat butter in a large bowl until fluffy. Gradually add sugar, beating until well blended. Beat in the eggs one at a time, lemon zest, orange extract, and orange-blossom water. Add the baking powder and salt. Beat in the flour and milk/vinegar mixture alternately into the butter/eggs.

Divide batter between the two prepared pans. Bake cake until golden on the edges, firm, and tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 35-40 minutes. Cool cakes on a wire rack.

When cakes are cool, fill the two layers with lemon-lime curd. I really liked Dagmar’s recipe at A Cat in the Kitchen, so that’s what I used. Then use remainder curd to frost sides. For the top of the cake use the following recipe for Orange Blossom Buttercream.

Orange Blossom Buttercream

½ cup (1 stick) butter
½ cup powdered sugar
1 cup (1/2 pint) heavy whipping cream
½ tsp orange blossom water

Beat the butter and sugar well. Add cream gradually, and orange blossom water, continuing to beat until nice frosting consistency. Frost top of cake.

Then decorate cake with the candied flowers.


Monisha said...

Thanks for participating Maria! Preparing the candied flowers looks like a lot of fun, I'm so glad you decided to take a risk and come with these beautiful candied flowers to top a delicious orange blossom cake.

Susan in Italy said...

WOW! That looks beautiful. And it sounds delicious. I just love orange blossom essence in sweets. Makes me think of the Arabia.

Susan said...

Maria, this is fantastic. Edible orchids -- what a treat -- what a cake! I debated a cake for SHF using orange flower water, too, but opted out due to time constraints. I'm glad to see you followed through. Quite lovely. Now I want to crunch on one of those crystallized orchids!

Freya and Paul said...

A stunning cake! I tried to sugar some flowers but they just went all soggy and limp, yours retained their beauty and colour perfectly!

Lis said...

What a beautiful cake and the flowers are lovely! I love the thought of orange blossom flavored cake and frosting.. yum! Well done!

evinrude said...

Hi Maria! Thanks for stopping by over at my blog and leaving your comment! =) Yours looks great too. Love the use of orchids and chrysanthemums.

the pastry princess said...

mmmm the cake looks scrumptious! and your candied flowers are gorgeous...candying is so much fun! i would have loved to send you some cake, but it's long gone haha

Serge Lescouarnec said...


Mentioned your creation on 'Serge the Concierge' today and took the liberty to showcase one of your pictures.

Take care

'The French Guy from New Jersey'

Brilynn said...

What a stunning cake, I love the candied flowers!

Evelin said...

What a wonderful cake! And I'm not just throwing words. I do like these 'heavy' cakes, the more moisture the better.
I have eaten candied rose and now I want to try to make it myself. Maybe combined with little tarts that taste of rose water?Oh:)

jenjen said...

This look simply to die for. I love orchids and to pair them with an orange blossom cake is simly divine.

zlamushka said...

Wow, gorgeous snowy flowers. I am amazed, this is such a must-try.

Anonymous said...

Hi Maria,

My name is Shannon and I'm the editorial assistant at I am very impressed with the quality of your posts and to that end, I’d like to invite you to be a part of our newly launched Foodbuzz Featured Publisher program. I would love to send you more details about the program, so if you are interested, please email me at
That cake looks delicious. I am sitting here at work salivating!


Shannon Eliot
Editorial Assistant,

Sorina said...

Very Very visually appealing…great presentation

Fake Expatriate said...

this looks incredibly delicious. i love your blog!

Anonymous said...


I'm Alisha from Wowzio, and I'm excited to tell you about our new widget platform that helps bloggers increase readership and create more engaged users.
I wanted to reach out to you to ask for your feedback on these widgets (feel free to also install them on your blog, if you feel they are a good fit).
You can check out widgets customized for your blog here:
Wowzio Widgets for your blog

I'm sorry for leaving this message via a comment, it's not at all our intent to spam you ( which is why i'm leaving this comment on an older post and you can always remove this comment ).
Again, we would love to hear your feedback.

Alisha Wright

Sorina said...

Nice picture…it looks very delicious

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

When everything is coming your way, you are in the wrong lane.............................................

viagra online said...

I love the recipe, make for a coffee with my sisters and were surprised with flowers, had never seen anything like this .. all flattering me .. thanks for sharing it with us!

Anonymous said...

What a beautiful cake and the flowers are lovely!

retriever said...

Wow,what wonderfull cake , well dones
Greeting from Belgium

Louisette said...

Best regard from Belgium

Anonymous said...

"Great article ! . People would probably be very hungry after this.
Go to and for more Ideas."

Anonymous said...

We always want to cook the best and the healthiest recipe that we can find from the internet. As a mother, I always want that and in able to keep up with those needs, I need to be focused and be creative. I always have Gourmandia on my side to give me the appropriate recipes for the day and for me not to reiterate the recipe that I did the other day! It’s just so innovative!