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Cake on a cake stand with a slice cut out, showing the pale tan cake and chopped lychees on the inside.

Lychee Rose Cake

This lychee rose cake has plenty of rose-scented cake and buttercream, with a hidden treasure of lychee bits on the inside!
Course Dessert
Cuisine Asian
Keyword buttercream, layer cake, lychee, nut-free, rosewater, swiss meringue buttercream, vegetarian
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Assembly and Decorating Time 1 hour
Total Time 2 hours 15 minutes
Servings 20 people
Calories 358 kcal

Ingredients

Rosewater Cake

  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 large eggs room temperature
  • 1 cup buttermilk room temperature
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon rosewater
  • 3/4 cup boiling water

Rosewater Swiss Meringue Buttercream

  • 4 large egg whites
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 sticks unsalted butter room temperature, cut into tablespoons
  • 2 tablespoons rosewater

Assembly

  • 1 can lychees in syrup 20 ounces

Instructions

Rosewater Cake

  1. In a large bowl, mix all the dry ingredients. In a medium bowl, mix all the wet ingredients except for the water.
  2. Whisk the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, then stir in the water. It will be very thin.
  3. Pour into two greased and parchment lined 8” round cake pans and bake at 350F until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with a few crumbs, about 20-25 minutes.
  4. Let the cakes cool for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a cooling rack and let cool completely.

Rosewater Swiss Meringue Buttercream

  1. In the heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water, combine egg whites and sugar. Cook, whisking constantly, until sugar has dissolved and mixture is hot to the touch.
  2. Attach the bowl to the mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat until it holds stiff (but not dry) and fluffy peaks.
  3. Switch to the paddle attachment. Add butter several tablespoons at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the rosewater until smooth.

Assembly

  1. Drain off the syrup from the lychees. Add the syrup to a small pot and simmer until slightly condensed and thicker (shouldn’t seem too watery).
  2. Roughly chop the lychees.
  3. Using a long serrated knife, trim the domed part of the cake off.
  4. Place a dollop of buttercream in the middle of your serving plate or cake stand, and press one cake layer into it. Drizzle 1 ½ tablespoons of lychee simple syrup over the cake. Spread a thin layer of buttercream on top, then pipe a ring of buttercream on top of the cake just inside the edge.
  5. Add the chopped lychees to the center, then cover the lychees with buttercream. Place your last cake layer on top, bottom side facing up. Drizzle 1 ½ tablespoons lychee simple syrup on top.
  6. Scrape all of the buttercream on top of your cake, and using an off-set spatula, gently shove and smooth the buttercream to the edge of the cake and down the sides. Run your spatula or a bench scraper around the edges of the cake to smooth it out.
  7. Decorate as much as you want.

Recipe Notes

Cake adapted slightly from My Name is Yeh, buttercream adapted slightly from Martha Stewart.