Toss the “flower-fetti,” it’s time to celebrate! This party-perfect cake is sprinkled with flowers and bursting with flavour. The tender, plush cake layers are spiked with elderflower syrup before being layered with a lemon elderflower frosting. The fun (and easy!) decorating idea takes any cake and transforms it into a real showstopper by simply picking petals and pressing them onto a freshly frosted cake.
Elderflower syrup has a sweet, floral taste that is similar to pear but with a bit tartness. Stir it into iced tea, use it to mix up a cocktail, or add to desserts — like in this cake. A little goes a long way to flavour cakes or enhance frosting.
Be sure to use unsprayed, non-toxic flowers. Edible flowers can be found near packaged herbs at large grocery stores. Other common edible flowers include roses, pansies, carnations, marigolds, and violets.
Related: Blackberry Elderflower Vertical Cake
Lemon Elderflower Frosting
Refrigerate leftover cake in a cake box or wrapped in plastic wrap for up to 3 days.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and line the bottoms of three 6-inch cake pans with parchment paper. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
In a separate bowl, add the sugar and lemon zest. Rub the two ingredients together between your fingertips to release the oils of the zest. The mixture should be very fragrant.
Add butter to the lemony sugar and use an electric mixer (hand or stand mixer) on medium speed to cream together until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Begin adding the eggs, one at a time, allowing each to combine into the mixture before adding the next. Add the vanilla extract and mix until combined.
Stop the mixture and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add in half of the flour mixture and mix on low speed until incorporated. Stream in the buttermilk and mix to combine. Add the remaining dry ingredients and mix until smooth.
Evenly distribute the batter into the three pans. Bake for 24-27 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool the cakes on a wire rack for about 20 minutes before removing them from their pans. Allow to completely cool before frosting.
When ready to assemble, make the elderflower syrup by mixing the ingredients together in a small bowl.
For the frosting, use an electric mixer to mix the butter until creamy and smooth. Add in the cream cheese and mix to combine. With the mixer off, add in 3 cups icing sugar, 2 tablespoons elderflower syrup, vanilla extract, and lemon zest. Turn the mixer to low speed and mix until everything is incorporated. Bump up the mixer to medium and mix until fluffy. Add more icing sugar as needed to create a smooth, spreadable texture. Add more elderflower syrup to taste.
Tint the frosting with a yellow gel food coloring, if desired.
To assemble the cake, first trim the tops of the layers with a long serrated knife until flat. Place one layer of cake on a serving dish or cake plate. Use a pastry brush to add the syrup on top of the cake.
Add ¾ to 1 cup frosting on top and spread out with an offset spatula until smooth. Place the next cake layer on top and repeat with the syrup and frosting. Brush the last layer of cake with the elderflower syrup and place on top, flipped upside down. Gently press down to secure the layers.
Spread frosting all over the sides and top to create a thin layer of frosting that coats the entire cake. Chill the cake in the refrigerator for 15 minutes to firm up the filling/frosting.
Ice the entire cake with the remaining frosting. To decorate, press petals from edible flowers all over the freshly iced cake.
Serve the cake within 30 minutes, or refrigerate until ready to eat.