Christmas Cookin’: Spiced Hibiscus Cake

Image result for hibiscus flower

The Hibiscus flower, so beautiful and serene. It immediately transports you straight to the Caribbean or anywhere with a beach. The colors are gorgeous, the smell is wonderful and they can be found almost anywhere in Trinidad. They so easily beautify any spot that they are used.

I was researching recipes on things to try, things to alter and test for you guys and in my search, I learnt that you can use Hibiscus flowers in baking and of course, in teas (which I already knew, thanks Starbucks). I had no idea that they were edible enough to be used in a cake so of course I had to try something.

Sidenote: I also learnt that they are a cousin to Sorrel and I realized this myself after boiling both sorrel and hibiscus, the smell and taste were very similar.

I couldn’t find a recipe online that was truly what I had in mind for this cake. I wanted something spiced #basic but I could only find loaf cakes with citrus. I thought, what if I made one up and see if I got lucky.

I started by stealing all the flowers off my neighbor’s tree and then began the real experiment!

To my surprise it was actually a success! I’m so proud and happy to share this recipe with you guys knowing that I sorta ‘made it up’. The cake was light and airy! I was convinced it was going to be dense and heavy because of the juice but it wasn’t!

I hope you guys enjoy!

INGREDIENTS

  • 5 Hibiscus flowers
  • 1 1/2 sticks cinnamon
  • 1 whole nutmeg
  • 15-20 cloves
  • 3 Tbsp honey
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 6 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla essence

Hibiscus Buttercream Glaze

  • 1/4 cup icing sugar
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1/4 cup juice from boiled hibiscus

METHOD

  1. Rinse the Hibiscus flowers thoroughly and remove petals from the pistil (yeah throwback to Std 5 parts of a flower)
  2. In a small saucepan, cover petals with water and place on a low flame
  3. Add cinnamon, nutmeg, clove and honey to the pot and bring to a boil



  4. Boil until color leaves the petals

  5. Cool and strain mixture, measure 3/4 cup for the cake and 1/4 cup for glaze
  6. Cream together butter and sugar
  7. Add vegetable oil and mix until fluffy


  8. Add eggs one at a time
  9. Add vanilla essence

  10. Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon




  11. Fold 1/3 of flour mix  into butter mixture
  12. Alternate with Hisbiscus juice, ending with flour

  13. Prepare cake pan
  14. Pour batter into cake pan
  15. Bake at 350°F for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean


For The Glaze

  1. In the bowl of stand mixer, whip butter until fluffy
  2. Add the icing sugar
  3. Add vanilla essence
  4. Add hibiscus juice gradually ensuring that mixture doesn’t become too runny
  5. Drip over cake when cake cools



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