Saying happy birthday to Dinesh with a lemon and almond sponge topped with sugar frosted roses

by Sunita on March 1, 2010

Firstly, I need to gush about today’s weather. Yes, I really need to. We haven’t been blessed with such gorgeous sunshine for quite a long time now. I had almost forgotten what it was like to bask in the sun and feel the warmth coming through. Yes, it is a gorgeous day today.

Now, in some ways, Dinesh and I could not be more different. The typical situations where the wife needs the radiator and the husband feels too hot and wants it off, is quite common in our house. And when it comes to cakes, Mr Bhuyan loves the plain vanilla flavoured ones, and probably would give lemon or orange flavours a go too, but with no frosting as such; whereas I love them all dark with chocolate, the more the better.

It’s Dinesh’s birthday today, and knowing the flavours he goes for in his cakes, I kept his birthday cake the way he liked them. A light lemon and almond sponge was made, halved and filled with a little mascarpone cream and topped with a bouquet of sugar frosted roses. Well, a little filling won’t hurt, I guess ;-)

Did I tell you that Dinesh is a full fledged roses man, and probably thinks that is the only flower worth giving attention to. Well, he loves roses, so they are what he will get, I thought.

I’ve been wanting to try making sugar frosted flowers for a long time, and now seemed to be the perfect opportunity. They are so ridiculously easy to make, and give a beautiful frosted look to edible flowers.

This is one of those cakes that require minimum of effort but has a simplistic charm and elegance to it. And, of course, it tastes good too. The lemon and almond sponge recipe is one that I made up earlier, but never got round to posting. So, here’s the recipe for the cake as well as the sugar frosted flowers.

The flowers need to made in advance as they need a few hours to dry.

What’s needed-

For the sugar frosted flowers-

1 egg white, lightly beaten
1 C of caster sugar
6 roses ( make sure that they haven’t been sprayed with pesticides) with 2-3 inch stalks , washed and dried with a kitchen towel.

For the lemon and almond sponge-

4 eggs
1/2 C of whole wheat flour (atta)
Grated zest of 2 lemons
1/4 C +1 tblsp of ground almonds
3/4 C of icing sugar

For filling the cake-

250 gms of mascarpone cheese, whisked with 3 tblsp of lemon juice,3 tblsp of icing sugar, and grated zest of 1 lemon.

How to-

The sugar frosted flowers-

  1. Beat the egg white lightly.
  2. With a paintbrush, brush the petals with a little of the egg white, making sure to reach inside the petals and on the stalks too.
  3. Sprinkle some caster sugar over the rose and into the grooves. Shake off excess sugar and leave it to dry  for at least 2 hours. I covered a plate with foil and let the roses dry on them. Repeat for the rest of the roses.
  4. I also sugar frosted a few rose leaves in the same way (although, I believe they can be eaten too, I added the leaves, more for the aesthetics than for the eating).
  5. Other edible flowers can also be sugar frosted in this same way.

The lemon and almond sponge-

  1. Pre heat the oven at 180 deg C and line an 8 inch round pan with foil.
  2. Place the flour, ground almonds and lemon zest in a bowl. With the fingertips, rub the mixture till everything is well mixed together.
  3. Beat together the eggs and the icing sugar  for about 5 minutes or till fluffy and pale.
  4. In batches, add the flour mixture to the egg mixture and fold in, preferable with a rubber spatula, till everything is just moistened.
  5. Tip the mixture into the prepared pan. Lightly tap the pan against the counter to get rid of air bubbles.
  6. Place the pan in the centre of the pre heated oven ad bake for about  25-27 minutes or till the top is golden and the middle is springy to the touch.
  7. Cool the cake in the pan for a minute and peeling off the foil, transfer to a rack to cool completely before filling and topping.

Filling and topping-

  1. When cooled completely, slice the cake horizontally into two portions.
  2. Spread the filling on one half of the cake and place the other half on top.
  3. Arrange the sugar frosted flowers and leaves on top.

I really enjoyed sugar frosting the flowers, something I’ve been wanting to do for quite some time. We really like the sponge when I made it earlier and this time round it was no different. The lemon mascarpone filling complemented the cake.

Happy birthday Dinesh!!

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{ 53 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Rooma March 1, 2010 at 12:38 pm

Am I reading it correctly or there is really no oil/ghee/butter in there? The cake looks great!


2 Sunita March 1, 2010 at 12:46 pm

Thanks and you’ve read it absolutely correctly :-)


3 Nupur March 1, 2010 at 1:20 pm

Gosh, the sugar frosted roses look just gorgeous. What a beautiful cake.


4 Sunita March 8, 2010 at 9:37 pm

Thanks nupur :-)


5 snooky doodle March 1, 2010 at 3:03 pm

oh thi cake is so elegant in its simplicity. I really like it. Happy birthday !


6 Sunita March 8, 2010 at 9:38 pm

Thanks, the b’day boy did love it :-)


7 Bong Mom March 1, 2010 at 3:07 pm

Happy B’Day to the Guy and my what perfect roses


8 Sunita March 8, 2010 at 9:38 pm

Thanks Sandeepa :-)


9 Rosa March 1, 2010 at 3:24 pm

I love the pretty roses and the promising cake!




10 Sunita March 8, 2010 at 9:39 pm

Thank you Rosa :-)


11 nandita March 1, 2010 at 3:47 pm

Hey that’s a lovely idea with the roses – haven’t heard of this before…i like light flavoured cakes too- with the daring bakers explaining how to make mascarpone cheese, looks like i can give this a try. Best wishes to Dinesh


12 Sunita March 8, 2010 at 9:40 pm

nandita, do give it a try, we loved the cake :-)


13 Sig March 1, 2010 at 4:30 pm

Happy Birthday to Dinesh! That is a beautiful cake and I am sure he loved it. Those sugar frosted roses look so pretty and it sounds easy enough to make.


14 Sunita March 8, 2010 at 9:42 pm

Thanks sig; and yes those flowers are really easy to make :-)


15 The Cooking Ninja March 1, 2010 at 5:50 pm

what a beautiful beautiful cake! Poppet loves it very much. LOL! It’s the same situation in my household. I’m all cold and hub is all hot. So during winter, I’ll glue myself to him for warmth.


16 Sunita March 8, 2010 at 9:43 pm

Thanks Pam.And LOL, you do make me laugh :-)


17 Roopa March 1, 2010 at 6:58 pm

Sunitha… the cake looks really yummy and beautiful! This cake doesn’t require any baking powder/soda?

Please let me know your answer. I can’t wait to try this cake.

And one more quick question… I tried your recipe for Almond crips. The mixture/dough I prepared (I blindly followed your quantities) came out very sticky and loose. I freezed it for several hours before I could cut them up. After I baked, the “fork pressing” trail or shape didn’t hold up and mine were more spread out and flat.

Any suggestions on what went wrong? and also mine turned out to be very light weight with no volume in it.

I hope you answer my questions please…

Keep up the good work!


18 Sunita March 8, 2010 at 9:46 pm

Roopa, no, the cake does not require any baking powder. it is a very light sponge; make sure to fold in the flour mixture very gently so as not to lose much of the volume.

Regarding the crisps, when you say you cut the dough, did you mean you sliced it? I just made balls and pressed them down with a fork after arranging the balls on the tray. Hope this helps :-)


19 Bethany March 1, 2010 at 9:36 pm

Holly Molly! Great minds think alike or what! i just made a very similar cake for Hilda when she was visiting this weekend! Yours looks lovely and I love the addition of the roses!

Happy Birthday Dinesh!


20 Sunita March 8, 2010 at 9:47 pm

Thanks hun. And make sure you make one for me too when I come visiting ;-)


21 nalini March 2, 2010 at 3:08 am

Hi Nice looking cake. I had a question about the ingredients used in the cake . You have not mentioned baking powder for the recipe. Will the cake raise without the baking powder. Thanks


22 Sunita March 8, 2010 at 9:48 pm

Thanks nalini, As I have mentioned in an earlier comment, the cake does not require any baking powder. It is a very light sponge; make sure to fold in the flour mixture very gently so as not to lose much of the volume :-)


23 Madhuli March 2, 2010 at 10:18 am

We have a similar situation as far as the flavour of cakes is concerned in our home! Lovely cake and fabulous roses. Happy Birthday Dinesh


24 Sunita March 8, 2010 at 9:49 pm

Thanks madhuli :-)


25 Preeti March 2, 2010 at 10:25 am

Happy Birthday to Dinesh! Lovely Cake…… Roses are looking just awesome!!!!


26 Sunita March 8, 2010 at 9:49 pm

Thanks Preeti :-)


27 Sarah, Maison Cupcake March 2, 2010 at 11:13 am

Happy Birthday Dinesh!

Those sugar roses look incredible, by coincidence I was reading a book with a recipe to make these last night so I will have to have a go myself soon.


28 Sunita March 8, 2010 at 9:50 pm

Thanks Sarah. And do have a go at making the roses, they are really easy. :-)


29 Deepa G Joshi March 2, 2010 at 1:17 pm

such a beautiful cake with such gorgeous flowers.. And the recipe there is so butter or oil and plus use of whole wheat flour takes it to totally another level..too good clicks as always..

Happy Birthday to Dinesh and great job done Sunita..

Will try this cake soon with vanilla flavor in it..


30 Sunita March 8, 2010 at 9:50 pm

Thanks Deepa :-)


31 Asha March 2, 2010 at 1:22 pm

Happy birthday to him! Gorgeous cake.

Lot of birthdays for us too in Feb and in March! :) )

Enjoy. Just woke up, had breakfast and surfing blogs now!


32 Sunita March 8, 2010 at 9:51 pm

Thanks Asha :-)


33 Alka March 2, 2010 at 3:00 pm

Happy Birthday Dinesh!! His cake looks beautiful!! We have been having a heat wave on this side of the Atlantic too – from low teens to mid 30s.. :)


34 Sunita March 8, 2010 at 9:52 pm

Thanks Alka ; we are still freezing here :-)


35 shanti March 2, 2010 at 7:28 pm

Hi Sunitha,

I am so much appreciative of your hardwork and interest in baking.But at the same time i am also curious of the health side of these recipes. How do you manage both the thoughts when you are preparing a dish?


36 Sunita March 8, 2010 at 9:53 pm

Thanks Shanthi; I guess having a health conscious family helps :-)


37 diva March 2, 2010 at 8:22 pm

So beautiful! I love yellow roses as opposed to the pink, red or even blue ones :) Very nice. Happy birthday Dinesh! and oh, when I used to work at a cake boutique, this Japanese man who flew in on that day from Japan bought a cake and was decorating it with mini edible red roses which he pulled out from a little cooler bag. Becaues I ooh-ed and aah-ed so much he sold me a packet. So cooool. :D x


38 Sunita March 8, 2010 at 9:54 pm

Thanks davina. And what a lovely story too :-)


39 No Onion Please March 3, 2010 at 12:45 am

The sugar roses are absolutely gorgeous!


40 Sunita March 8, 2010 at 9:55 pm

Thank you :-)


41 5 Star Foodie March 3, 2010 at 4:01 am

So gorgeous! The sugar frosted roses are just precious!


42 Sunita March 8, 2010 at 9:55 pm

Thanks :-)


43 Lorraine March 3, 2010 at 9:57 am

Hi there Sunita, may I ask permission to re-post that second picture of the yellow rose on my blog? :) I just find it very beautiful. I will credit you of course, if you permit. Thank you and have a sunny day ahead :)


44 Sunita March 8, 2010 at 9:56 pm

Hi Lorraine, as long as you credit it, that should be okay :-)


45 RupaRupa March 3, 2010 at 1:47 pm

So very Pretty….Loved the flowers.
I enjoy these flavors . Have seen many eggless cakes in your recipes. Can these be made eggless too ( cake and flowers). Please suggest some substitues….would love to make this…..


46 Sunita March 8, 2010 at 9:58 pm

Thanks rupa. You can make any other eggless cake and top it with roses. I haven’t made these roses eggless though, so, sorry, won’t be able to advice you on that .


47 RupaRupa March 3, 2010 at 1:48 pm

Hey, By the way Happy Birthday to Mr. Bhuyan :)


48 Sunita March 8, 2010 at 9:58 pm

Thanks Rupa :-)


49 Mowie @ Mowielicious March 3, 2010 at 11:10 pm

Sunita this is just gorgeous in it’s simplicity. I especially love the sugar frosted roses – I remember my mom making them when I was younger and I was just mesmerized! Lovely post!


50 Sunita March 8, 2010 at 9:59 pm

Thanks Mo; yes, they do look pretty, don’t they? Don’t know why I hadn’t made them earlier!


51 Cynthia March 5, 2010 at 12:48 am

Happy Belated Birthday Dinesh!


52 Sunita March 8, 2010 at 10:00 pm

Thanks, dear Cynthia :-)


53 Annie August 29, 2010 at 7:18 pm

Hi Sunita,
I love your site and was trying to make this sponge cake today. The cake didn’t rise at all – do you think I over mixed the flour+almond mix ? I would like to request a video of this recipe. Thanks


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