Baking with Chickens
Raspberry Rose Cake Bars
Updated: Jan 16, 2021
Cake you can eat with your hands! I love a good easy sheet cake that looks more impressive than the effort it took to make it. The best part about these is that you don’t need any fancy cake decorating tools to make it. Just square pans, a spatula, and a big long knife.
These Cake Bars were inspired by Heather Wong of Flouring LA. I LOVE how beautiful, simple, and elegant they are. My first attempt at making these weren’t quite as elegant as hers. Mine look more like chubby fatboi cake bars, but whatever it’s cake.
About This Recipe
My Raspberry Rose Cake Bars are made with a Raspberry Swiss Meringue frosting and Rose Cardamom Cake with rose petals and rosewater incorporated into the batter. Rose has a light, delicate flavor so I didn’t want to overwhelm the cake flavor with fresh raspberries. The chopped rose petals folded into the batter looks kinda like funfetti -- flowerfetti! The rose cake flavor stands alone with the raspberry tartness of the frosting without being too cloyingly sweet. IT’S SO GOOD! You could definitely put some fresh raspberries between the cake layers and frosting, but it’s beautiful on its own as well.
How to Get Soft, Moist, Fluffy Cake
By separating the egg whites and beating them into stiff peaks before folding into the cake batter, it will create a fluffier, lighter cake.
The sour cream or greek yogurt in the recipe helps the cake bake up moist, rich, and fluffy because of its thick texture and ability to retain air, acid reacting with the baking powder and soda to leaven, and fat content for creaminess.
Raspberry Swiss Meringue Buttercream
I use freeze-dried raspberries rather than fresh raspberry puree to make it easier and avoid frosting soup. The freeze-dried powder gives buttercream a vibrant flavor without sacrificing the texture and structure of the frosting. Read more about using freeze-dried fruit in buttercream from SeriousEats.
Video: How to Make Swiss Meringue
Boil rose petals in a pot with just enough water to cover them. Bring water to a boil, cover and reduce to a simmer for 30 minutes. The rose petals will turn translucent. Strain and squeeze out the liquid and discard the translucent rose petals. Transfer to a small jar and store in the fridge. It will last a few months stored in the fridge.
Leftover Cake Scraps and Frosting Mason Jar Cakes
If you haven’t already scarfed it all down, I like to save my leftover cake scraps and frosting and layer them into mason jars to make Mason Jar Cakes. Bonus if you have any fresh raspberries to stuff in there too.
Obsessed with Roses? You might like these recipes: Rose Pistachio Cardamom Buns, Peach Rose Petal Jam, Rose Pistachio Cookies. Make sure you’re always using organic roses that have not been sprayed with chemicals or pesticides.
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Get the Recipe
Raspberry Rose Cake Bars
Perfect for a spring/summer garden party, this rose and raspberry cake is made with a rose cardamom cake with fresh rose petals folded into the cake batter, and frosted with a raspberry Swiss meringue buttercream using freeze-dried fruit. Sliced into handheld bar size, these cake bars are cakes you can eat with your hands! A Baking With Chickens Original Recipe
Time to Prepare: 1.5 hours
Makes one 8x8 inch or 9x9 inch cake, sliced into 8 small pieces
Rose Cardamom Cake
2 large eggs, yolks and whites separated
1 cup sour cream or greek yogurt
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon rosewater
1 cup milk of choice
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 cup chopped organic rose petals (1 cup dried petals or 2 cups fresh petals chopped into confetti-sized pieces)
Organic rose petals or dried roses for decoration (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease two square 8x8 inch or 9x9inch pans and line with parchment paper.
2. Separate the egg yolks and whites. Beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Set aside.
3. Combine egg yolks, 1 cup sour cream, 1/2 cup vegetable oil, 1 tablespoon rosewater, and 1 cup milk in a medium-sized bowl. Set aside.
4. In a large bowl or bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together the 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, 2 cups sugar, 3 teaspoons baking powder, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1 teaspoon ground cardamom.
5. On low speed, add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and beat until well combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
6. Using a spatula, gently fold the egg whites and chopped rose petals into the batter until no white streaks remain.
7. Pour the batter evenly between the two square pans and bake for 35-40 minutes, or light golden brown on top. Turn the pans in the oven about 2/3 into baking to bake evenly on both sides. Don’t open the oven too early before the centers have baked, or you’ll get cake belly buttons.
8. Remove the cake pans from the oven and allow it to cool for a few minutes, then lift the cakes using the parchment paper and transfer to a cooling rack. Cool completely. Wrap in plastic wrap and transfer to the fridge to chill, which will make it easier to frost and slice the cake later.
Raspberry Swiss Meringue Frosting, adapted from King Arthur Baking
Time to Prepare: 30 minutes
Makes: 5 cups of frosting
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup (3 large) egg whites, at room temperature
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature, at least 65°F
1 bag (34g) freeze-dried raspberries
1 teaspoon rosewater
1. Pulverize the freeze-dried raspberries into a fine powder. Set aside.
2. Whisk sugar and salt into the egg whites, then set the bowl over a saucepan filled with just two inches of simmering water over medium-low heat. Do not let the bottom of the egg whites bowl touch the water.
2. Whisk the whites and sugar constantly until sugar is dissolved, mixture has thinned out, and looks foamy, about 4 minutes.
3. Transfer warm mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. On medium-high speed, beat the mixture until stiff glossy peaks form, at least 10-15 minutes. If the bowl and meringue still feel warm, wait until both cool to room temperature before adding the butter in the next step. Place it in the refrigerator. A warm bowl and meringue will melt the butter.
4. On medium-high speed, add the room temperature butter 1 tablespoon at a time. After all the butter has been added, turn the mixer down to low-medium speed and fully beat in the freeze-dried raspberry powder, about 30 seconds.
5. Your Swiss meringue buttercream should be thick, creamy, and silky smooth.
Too Thick: If your meringue has separated, curdled, or is too thick at any point after you mix in all of the butter, place the mixture in your heat-proof bowl back over a pot of 2 inches of simmering water. Without stirring, let the edges of the meringue warm up and become liquid (the center of the meringue will still be solid), about 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat and return to the mixer. Beat meringue on low speed for 30 seconds, then switch to medium-high speed and beat until smooth, about 2 minutes.
Too Thin: If your mixture has become too thin and soupy after you add the butter, place the entire bowl in the refrigerator (covered or uncovered, doesn’t matter) for 20 minutes to cool down, then return it to the mixer and beat on medium-high speed until thickened. Any longer than this will solidify the butter, so only refrigerate in 20-minute spurts. If it’s still soupy, place back in the refrigerator for longer before re-whipping again.
ASSEMBLE THE CAKE:
1. Take your cooled cake out of the fridge, unwrap, and place onto a cutting board. Using a long knife, slice across the top of the cakes to cut off the domed part to create a flat cake top.
2. Spread a thick layer of frosting evenly over the top and all the way to the edge of one square of cake.
3. Flip the second piece of cake upside-down, and place it on top of the frosted cake. Spread frosting evenly over the top of the cake all the way to the edge of the square.
4. Place cake into the fridge for the frosting to set and chill for at least 20 minutes.
5. Take the cake out of the fridge. Using a clean, hot knife (dipped in hot water and wiped dry), slice off the browned edges of the cake like you’re cutting the crust off a sandwich. Clean and dip your knife in hot water after each slice to get clean cuts.
6. Slice your cake into “bars.” Make one cut lengthwise across the center. Then cut each of those halves into four equal pieces.
7. Transfer each slice to a plate or box. Decorate the top with rose petals.
8. Grab that cake bar with your fingers and take a giant bite!
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