Words and Pictures by Catherine Beck @vintage_frills

It’s always fun baking with unusual ingredients and vintage recipes are the perfect place to look for less common ingredients. Floral flavours – especially rose – come up quite regularly and make a delicious change to more conventional cake flavours. Several recipes from vintage cookbooks, which I’ve reworked to make them a little more modern, inspire the two recipes I’ve included here.

Rosewater Cake
You will need:
For the cake
4 eggs
220g caster sugar
220g self-raising flour
220g butter
2 tsp baking powder

For the filling
170g icing sugar
120g butter
1 tbsp rosewater
Pink gel food colouring

For the icing
220g icing sugar
2 tbsp warm water
1 tbsp rosewater
Pink gel food colouring

To decorate
Edible rose petals
Rose decoration

How to make: 
Preheat the oven to 180°c and grease an 8″ cake tin.
Add all the cake ingredients to a bowl and mix quickly until fully combined; I’d recommend using a stand or hand mixer.
Pour into the cake tin and bake for around 30 minutes until fully cooked and golden brown. Cool on a wire rack.
Once cooled, cut through the middle into two pieces ready to fill.
For the filling: Sift the icing sugar into a bowl with the butter and mix until fully combined. Add the colour until the mixture becomes pale pink. Pipe onto the bottom section of the cake and then add the top to make a sandwich.
For the icing: Sift the icing sugar into a bowl and slowly add the water a little at a time until you get the required consistency. Add a little colour at a time until the icing is rose pink. Pour over the cake allowing it to spread to the edges.
Sprinkle with rose petals and add a flower decoration.

Lavender Shortbread
You will need:
120g butter
60g caster sugar
220g plain flour
2 tbsp culinary lavender

How to make:
Preheat the oven to 170°c and prepare a large baking tray.
Cream the butter and sugar together with the lavender and rub in the four until it forms a stiff dough.
Roll out on to a floured surface to about ¼” thickness.
Cut out using a cookie cutter and prick with a fork several times.
Bake for around 15 minutes until golden. Cool on a wire rack.

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Lisa Harrison
Written by Lisa Harrison
Lisa is the Deputy Editor of Vintage Life Magazine and Publisher at Dragoon Publishing. She is avid bookworm, collector of vintage homeware, loves travel, lazy weekends away and eats way too much cake!