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!
- 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
- Rinse the Hibiscus flowers thoroughly and remove petals from the pistil (yeah throwback to Std 5 parts of a flower)
- In a small saucepan, cover petals with water and place on a low flame
- Add cinnamon, nutmeg, clove and honey to the pot and bring to a boil
- Boil until color leaves the petals
- Cool and strain mixture, measure 3/4 cup for the cake and 1/4 cup for glaze
- Cream together butter and sugar
- Add vegetable oil and mix until fluffy
- Add eggs one at a time
- Add vanilla essence
- Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon
- Fold 1/3 of flour mix into butter mixture
- Alternate with Hisbiscus juice, ending with flour
- Prepare cake pan
- Pour batter into cake pan
- Bake at 350°F for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean
For The Glaze
- In the bowl of stand mixer, whip butter until fluffy
- Add the icing sugar
- Add vanilla essence
- Add hibiscus juice gradually ensuring that mixture doesn’t become too runny
- Drip over cake when cake cools