Rosewater and strawberry cake

"This cake is one to make when strawberries are fragrant and sweet, when picnics are plentiful and late afternoons turn into lovely evenings spent with family and friends and there’s that beautiful summer light," says Amber Rose, author of Love Bake Nourish. "Strawberries and roses are at their best during the same months of summer, so it seems only right to put the two flavours together, with a little lemon for a light zesty freshness."

Serves 8–10


220g unsalted butter, softened
220g white spelt flour, sifted
3 medium free-range eggs
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons rosewater
225g maple syrup
Grated zest of ½ unwaxed lemon
Unrefined icing sugar or rose petals, to decorate (optional)

For the filling
400g strawberries
Squeeze of lemon juice
150ml double cream
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 teaspoon rosewater
150 Greek-style natural yogurt
5 tablespoons rose petal jam (or sugar-free raspberry jam)


Preheat the oven to 180°C. Grease and flour 2 × 20cm loose-bottomed sandwich tins.

In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter until pale and fluffy with an electric hand mixer. Add 2–3 tablespoons of the flour and beat in the eggs, one at a time. Continue to beat until you have a light, fluffy mixture (if it looks as if it’s curdling, add another tablespoon of flour). Using a large metal spoon or spatula, gently fold in the remaining flour and the baking powder until just combined, being careful not to overmix. Add the rosewater, maple syrup and lemon zest, and fold in gently.

Divide the mixture evenly between the prepared tins, level the top with the back of the spoon or a palette knife and bake in the oven for 20 minutes or until the centre springs back to the touch. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tins for 5–10 minutes before turning out on to a wire rack to cool completely.

When the cake is cool, prepare the filling. First hull two thirds of the strawberries, slice them lengthways and place in a bowl. Squeeze over the lemon juice. Whip the cream until it forms soft peaks, then gently stir through the maple syrup and rosewater. Fold in the yogurt.

Place one cake layer on a serving plate and spread the jam on top. Gently spread the cream mixture over the jam, then arrange the sliced strawberries over the cream. Top with the second cake layer, decorate with the remaining whole strawberries and dust with icing sugar if you wish, or scatter over a few rose petals.

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