The Plain-Cake Appreciation Society {edition 34}, Cardamom, Rose & Poppy Seed Cake.

I don’t know about you, but I find cake with pink icing inordinately cheering. Even more so at the end of a wet and windy week, when everyone feels more than a bit harried.

This particular cake not only boasts rather shocking-pink rose icing, but also the unexpected warmth of cardamom and subtle crunch of poppy seeds – a combination which I personally love. It seemed a fitting way to celebrate the end of a week of changeable weather and little people with big feelings anyway.  I hope you enjoy it too. x

Cardamom, Rose & Poppyseed Cake

(makes one 18cm cake)


185g unsalted butter, softened
185g caster sugar
3 eggs
225g self-raising flour
1 tsp ground cardamom
Pinch salt
1 tbsp poppy seeds
185g buttermilk
½ tsp rose water

160g icing sugar
1 tsp rose water
1 tbsp hot water
Drop or two of pink colouring (optional).


Preheat oven to 160°C (fan-forced) and grease and line a deep 18cm round tin with butter and baking paper.

Beat butter and caster sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer until very light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well in between.

In a medium mixing bowl, place self-raising flour, ground cardamom, salt and poppy seeds, and whisk to combine. Add half of this to the butter and sugar mixture and stir to combine, before adding half the buttermilk and rose water. Stir again and then add remaining dry ingredients and buttermilk. Mix to a smooth batter and spoon into prepared tin.

Smooth the top and give the tin a couple of taps on the bench to get rid of any air-bubbles. Place in pre-heated oven and bake for 50-55 minutes or until risen and cooked through. Allow to cool in tin for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack (right way up) to cool completely.

When the cake is cool, place icing ingredients in a small mixing bowl and stir to a smooth glaze. Place cake on a serving plate and pour over icing. Allow icing to set before slicing and serving.

Any leftover cake will keep happily in an airtight container at room temperature for 2-3 days.