Lemon & Rosewater Sponge Cake

Lemon Rosewater Sponge

This cake is so pretty! It is light and airy and flavoured with lemon and rosewater and then extravagantly decorated with edible dried roses.

Lemon and rosewater is not a flavour combination I have ever had before. It’s so delicious and works so well together that I don’t know why it’s not used more often!

It would be great for Easter as a lovely light alternative to chocolate overload that usually happens at that time of year.

Lemon Rosewater Sponge

To make this cake you will need:

2 x sponge cakes
lemon curd
1/3 cup sugar syrup
2 tsp rosewater
whipped cream (about 1 cup or so)
edible dried rose petals
icing sugar
edible dried rose buds (optional garnish)

Neither the sponge cakes nor lemon curd are difficult to make but if you are a little intimidated by the thought of it, or simply pressed for time, they may be purchased from the supermarket. Homemade is best though so do try to at least make the lemon curd yourself. The recipes for the sponge cake and curd, and assembly instructions are listed below.

Whisked Sponge Cake
adapted from The Cook’s Bible

The cake pictured above uses TWO of these sponge cakes. I made two cakes separately. I didn’t try to make one double batch as I don’t have a bowl large enough.

4 eggs
120g caster sugar
120g plain flour
a pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 170C. Grease and line a 20cm (8inch) round cake tin

The eggs and sugar are whisked together in a large bowl placed over a saucepan filled with just boiled water. It is important that the bottom of the bowl doesn’t touch the water. I used an electric whisk which made this a lot easier!

Whisk together the eggs and the sugar until the mixture is thick enough to leave a figure eight ribbon trail when the whisk is lifted. Remove the bowl from the heat. Whisk further until the mixture has cooled and is very thick, about 3-5 minutes; less than this if you are using an electric whisk.

Gently fold the flour and salt through in batches. Pour the batter into the tin and smooth the top gently with the spatula.

Cook until the top is golden and firm (but still springy to the touch). Allow to cool complete before filling.

Lemon Butter
recipe adapted from The Macquarie Dictionary of Cookery

Of all the lemon butter recipes I have tried this one is the best. It’s gloriously thick with a punchy lemony flavour. The original recipe did specify cooking the lemon butter in a double boiler/saucepan however I don’t think this is necessary if you are willing to keep the heat low, stir continuously and watch it carefully.

Only about 3/4 of this quantity of lemon butter is needed to fill the cake but it is so delicious you won’t regret making extra.

4 eggs, beaten
3/4 cup caster sugar
1/2 cup lemon juice (about three small lemons)
finely grated zest from the lemons
125g butter, melted

Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan and stir continuously – and I do mean continuously; don’t get distracted or it will curdle – over a medium low heat until it thickens. Cool. Store in the fridge.

To Assemble

Mix together the sugar syrup and rosewater in a cup or small bowl.

Lay the sponge cakes out with the inside facing up. Pierce all over with a skewer. Brush over the sugar syrup and rosewater mixture.

Place one sponge on the serving plate. Cover the whipped cream, sprinkle on the dried rose petals and then spoon over the lemon curd. Add the second sponge.


I decorated the top with icing sugar and some edible dried rose buds. If you prefer cover the top with more whipped cream.


11 thoughts on “Lemon & Rosewater Sponge Cake

  1. Oh my goodness – this looks so beautiful! I love a light and airy sponge but am yet to make one as good as my grans. I’m definitely going to try this recipe next time! Thanks for the recipe and for linking up with our Fabulous Foodie Fridays party!

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