Mad about a Basket-of-Roses Cake

Rose Cake

Whenever September rolls in, I start to get a little panicky. Why? Because there are five birthdays to be celebrated in my family over the next two months and what’s a birthday celebration without a birthday cake?

Five may seem like a paltry number, given that there are 60-odd days. But believe me, when 2 of the said birthdays are less than 10 days apart and the following 2 just 3 days apart, it’s a real challenge, given that I like to have plenty of space between each baking session. Since I haven’t got as much time this year, I’m planning 3 cakes to be shared.

A Basket of Roses

The 1st cake on my birthday cake baking schedule is the topic of this post. The design idea for this basket-of-roses cake comes from the cover of this Wilton Decorating Cakes book.

The cake consists of vanilla Victoria sponges, sandwiched with raspberry preserve, vanilla buttercream and fresh raspberries, covered with vanilla buttercream. A buttercream basket-weave is piped around the cake and royal-icing roses, accompanied by pale green buttercream leaves, grace the top.

              Royal Icing Roses

This cake marks 2 firsts for me: royal icing roses and basket weave piping. Needless to say, my right hand is aching really badly from all that piping. Who knew that stiff royal icing could be such a pain (literally) to pipe?

The 1st batch of royal icing made with fresh eggwhites wasn’t stiff enough and the petals turned out a little droopier than I would have liked. The 2nd batch made with meringue powder was perfect in consistency and I was delighted at how the roses turned out, although I was a little less thrilled when the red ones turned out more fragile than the pink ones. I’ll be sure to pipe a few extra roses in the future!

A Basket of Roses

As for the basket weave, I think I need a little more practice. The overall look would have been better if I’d spaced the vertical lines a little closer. Still, I’m quite pleased with how pretty the cake turned out and I hope my aunts, whom the cake is for, like it too!

              Rose Cake

30 Responses to “Mad about a Basket-of-Roses Cake”

  1. Lori Says:

    That is simply beautiful. Of the 100+ posts in my Google Reader this morning, this is the one that made me pause, gasp, and pull it out for comment. Your aunts will certainly love it!

  2. Kaarina Says:

    Wow, that looks so nice! I had the same inspiration with my rosecake to my bithday last month (link for my website goes to that cake, you will see the picture even if you can’t understand the writing ;)), but my version looks like a mess compared with yours. My roses (as well as everything else covering the cake) are made of whipped cream and it was hard to make even roses that would not get flat in a second…

  3. Karen Says:

    Lori: Thank you so much for your lovely comment! You’ve made my day. :D

    Karrina: Thank you! You had so many roses on your cake; I’m in awe. If I were to try that here in Singapore, I think the 1st one would be flat before I’m done with the 3rd one. Have you tried non-dairy whipping cream? I’ve heard it holds up better than dairy, although I’m not exactly crazy about all the chemicals in there.

  4. sprite Says:

    Woah! I’m seriously impressed!

  5. kitschen pink Says:

    OH MY GOODNESS! I have a few vintage baking books which show versions of flower basket cakes! I couldn’t possibly go anywhere near it. I mean it’s one thing to cry those happy tears at a wedding because the bride is so pretty. It’s quite another to cry about a cake! That is just the prettiest cake I have ever seen!

  6. Emily Rose Says:

    Wow! This is so beautiful!! I share your many birthdays in September problem- my father, cousin, sister, husband, aunt, and best friend are all within 10 days of each other!!! Luckily they are satisfied with much less professional-looking birthday cakes! This is truly a very lovely cake!

  7. veron Says:

    This is simply gorgeous , Karen! I love basket-weaved cakes…there is so much texture. And the roses are simply lovely.

  8. Jen Says:

    Love the cake - very beautiful and sweet!
    Would you recommend using royal icing again for the flowers or do you think buttercream would do just fine?

  9. Kaarina Says:

    Karen, yes I had a lot of roses, forty to be exact; one for each year. I think we don’t have that non-dairy whipping cream here in Finland. :(

  10. Irene Says:

    Oh my, so beautiful! Would you mind sharing the recipe for the icing that didn’t droop? I tried to make roses with Swiss Buttercream, but as you said, the recipe was too unsteady and drooped frightfully. Also, bring on the rose tutorial!!! These are the MOST PERFECT roses I’ve ever seen!

  11. Karen Says:

    sprite, kitschen pink, Emily & Veron: Thank you so much; I’m truly touched by your wonderful comments!

    Jen: Thank you! I’m going to try piping the roses with non-dairy cream sometime. The buttercream I used for the leaves began to melt really quickly. Although buttercream wins hands-on in terms of taste, I’m going to have to recommend royal icing, just because it holds up better in hot and humid weather.

    Kaarina: That’s a lot of roses!

    Irene: I used this recipe, but you might need to adjust the amount of water very slightly, depending on how stiff a consistency you’d like.

  12. Jen Says:

    Where do you get meringue powder? How much icing did you make to make the number of roses for your cake?

  13. Sarah McBride Says:

    This cake is BEAUTIFUL. I know that basket weave is so tedious, and yours is so even and perfect! Those roses look delightful. I have a hard time making roses. They always turn out lopsided for me.

  14. Stef Says:

    Hi Karen!

    Wow new posts finally! And some very lovely ones too….

    Blown away by the cake…simply breath-taking…the colour combi and the deisgn definitely hits high marks in terms of classiness and creativity!

    Well what do you know…I made meatballs a few days ago too!
    Except I used parsley and some shredded basil from my garden in the meatballs.
    And the tomato based sauce had a more powerful kick from a bit of paprika and some sweetness from roasted aubergine and red bell peppers…yum!

  15. Eva Says:

    I guess it’s unlikely that I’ll ever muster the patience to create such a beauty..;-) However, it’s great to see that someone determined can do it. Almost too pretty to eat..;-)

  16. Karen Says:

    Jen: Wilton makes meringue powder. 1 recipe is sufficient for the roses I made.

    Sarah: Thank you very much!

    Stef: Great to hear from you. I’m so envious that you have fresh herbs in your garden. I tried growing basil, tomatoes and mint in pots 4 months ago, but they never made it beyond 5 centimetres and just withered on me. I guess I don’t have green fingers! Oh, and I love roasted bell peppers and aubergines.

    Eva: Thank you, Eva! Congratulations on your wedding(s)!

  17. Stef Says:

    Hi Karen…perhaps next time when we meet I can give you some basil and mint plants that my maid regularly transplants into other pots….they grow very well especially for the mint,the pot literally runneth over!


  18. Katie Says:

    Oh wow! Your cake is stunning. Those roses are beautiful and your piping perfect.

  19. Pelin Says:

    very beatiful!

  20. Niki Says:

    This is amazingly intricate and beautiful! The roses are perfection!

  21. yves Says:

    Hi Karen,
    this is lovely! your colour combi is perfect. I personally love piping roses, but never had success with royal icing, they tend to droop and petals not distinguishable. I’ve been using non-dairy whipped cream, as we all prefer the taste of fresh cream rather than buttercream. The roses don’t come out as perfect as yours, but they are still pretty. you can see them in my blog.


  22. Kyrie Says:

    Normally, I DESPISE basketweave cakes and anything that has to do with buttercream….but you make it look SOOOOOO classy and nice! Great work, you should post more often because I love reading your blog!

  23. Landa Says:

    Your roses are absolutely lovely.

  24. Karen Says:

    Stef: Thanks for the offer! That’s really sweet of you. I hope the plants won’t end up dead in my hands. :(

    Katie, Pelin, Niki & Landa: Thank you so much!

    Yves: Thank you. I visited your blog and loved the design of your rose cake!

    Kyrie: Thank you very much! Basket weave designs on cakes are pretty antiquated and I’m not a huge fan of buttercream either, so I completely understand your sentiments. :) I’ll try my best to post more often!

  25. zurin Says:

    You are a mad baker indeed! lovely cakes….Love them. I used to bake and decorate but ive run out of steam..:D..might start again..just need that little inspiration..

  26. Kim Says:

    Beautiful rose cake! I have just started decorating cakes and am loving every minute of it! The creativity, colors, textures, everything.

    But what I can’t do…is make a great picture of my finished cakes like you did! What kind of camera and tools do you use to make such great pictures of your desserts??

  27. Josephine Says:

    oh my, this is so beautiful! how much do you charge for making cakes as such?

  28. Rose Says:

    Hi….Its awesome….I really wanna learn to prepare such a beautiful icing design can u please help me in this…or give me a direction ?

    Thanks in advance!

  29. Preethi Says:

    Awesome!!! love it :)

  30. Nanthi Says:

    The roses are very neatly done. Good job.

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