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February 4, 2021

Chrysanthemum Cake with Ginger Frosting

Ginger and Chrysanthemum book and slice of cake
A slice of cake is the perfect accompaniment while reading this lovely book!

To celebrate my critique partner Kristen Giang’s new book, Ginger and Chrysanthemum, I created a namesake cake!

I used Smitten Kitchen’s Plush Confetti Cupcake recipe as my base and went from there. I chose a vegan, egg-free recipe so that it’s accessible to kids with allergies and sensitivities. Plus, you don’t have to worry about littles licking the batter! Feel free to use dairy milk and whipping cream if it’s not a concern.

Chrysanthemum buds are available at Asian markets or online at Amazon. Substitute chamomile flowers if you can’t find them.

Makes: One 8-inch round cake

For the cake:

  • 1 tablespoon dried chrysanthemum buds (plus extra to decorate)
  • 1 cup (235ml) unsweetened nondairy milk such as almond or oat, or whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup (80 ml) neutral oil such as canola or avocado
  • 1 cup plus 7 tablespoons (190g) all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup (150g) granulated sugar
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  1. Preheat your oven to 350°C. Grease and line a 8” round cake pan.
  2. Heat the chrysanthemum buds and milk in a small pot over medium heat and simmer for three minutes. Remove from the heat and steep for 10 minutes.
  3. Strain the buds using a fine mesh sieve and discard. Set the infused milk mixture aside to cool. When cool, add vanilla and lemon juice.
  4. Whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a separate bowl. Make a well in the center, pour in the infused milk mixture followed by the oil. Mix until no lumps remain.
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth to the edges. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until an inserted skewer comes out clean.
  6. Allow the cake to cool in the pan for 15 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely. Place on a platter to frost.

For the frosting:

  • 1 cup chilled heavy (or nondairy) whipping cream
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons icing sugar (depending on how sweet you like your frosting)
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • Crystallized ginger slices (optional)
  1. Beat the cream, sugar and ginger in a large bowl until stiff peaks form.
  2. Spread frosting over top and sides of cooled cake.
  3. Decorate with chrysanthemum flowers and ginger slices.

(Can be made 2 hours ahead. Chill. Let stand at room temperature 20 minutes before serving.)

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