Cakes + cupcakes | Holiday | Recipes | Sweet | Valentines

Roselle Sponge cake

February 12, 2016
Roselle sponge cake top

This light and airy Roselle sponge cake has a unique fruity yet floral taste to it. You can create this cake with other dried flowers or even tea leaves if you like!

The benefits of Roselle are that it helps lower cholesterol, blood pressure, sore throat, and facilitates weight loss.

Plated close up of Roselle sponge cake

Happy early Valentine’s Day or Gal-entine’s day or Pal-entine’s day or Single awareness day or February 14th if you don’t celebrate any of those I listed.

Whether I’m single or not, I love Valentine’s Day every year. It’s not that I go all out and throw a big party in celebration of it or anything but I just love, love.

Plated Roselle sponge cake

As a matter of fact, growing up, whenever I had to provide my birthdays on websites, I would always pretend my birthday was Valentine’s Day.

I honestly don’t know where I got the idea to do that from and it’s not like I hated my actual birthday either (who wouldn’t want to be born on the same day as Britney Spears right?), but I guess if I had to choose a fake birthday, I might as well choose a date that I liked and could remember.

Roselle sponge cake top

Anyways, enough about me and my fibber of a childhood self and onto the main focus of this post…the Roselle cake!

I don’t know if a majority of you have heard of Roselle because I only found out about this flower over the summer while I was in Asia.

Ground hibiscus leaves

Roselle is highly popular in Asia because of it’s light fruity fragrance, gorgeous colour and health benefits. Some of which include lowering cholesterol and blood pressure, healing coughs and sore throat, and it facilitates weight loss.

If I had to describe how it tastes like, I would have say that it resembles a blend of hibiscus and passion fruit because it’s more tart than floral in flavor.

Hot Roselle sponge cake

Although I saw Roselle at practically every street corner, I have only seen it used in drinks.

So I decided to put my creative apron on and attempt to use it in a cake because it’s been a while since I’ve baked one up.

And what came out of the oven was the most gorgeously speckled cake ever!

Slice of Roselle sponge cake

The lightness of the sponge cake allowed the delicate Roselle flavor shine through. I really liked how the flowers added hints of tartness to the sweet cake and I managed to put just enough flowers into the cake so that it wasn’t weighing it down.

Mother deer thought that it was pretty well balanced as well but said the flowers could of been blended a little finer since she thought the flowers were quite chewy in the sponge cake. I didn’t really mind though since I just saw it as filling in a cake. I would definitely make this again and perhaps try to experiment with baking with this gorgeous flower more in the near future!

side view of Roselle sponge cake

Have a great Valentines Day!

What’s your favorite way to incorporate tea in baking?


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Roselle Sponge cake
This light and airy Roselle sponge cake has a unique fruity yet floral taste to it. You can create this cake with other dried flowers or even tea leaves if you like!
: Cake
Yield: 8" x 3" round cake pan
  • 5 egg yolks (at room temperature)
  • 25g sugar
  • 85g water
  • 65g canola oil
  • 115g all purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 6 egg whites (at room temperature)
  • 90g sugar
  • ½ teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 50g ground dried Roselle flowers + ½ tablespoon all purpose flour
  1. Line the bottom of your 8" cake pan. Preheat the oven to 325F
  2. In a large bowl using an electric beater, beat the egg yolks with 25g sugar until light and creamy. Add in the oil and water. Whisk until smooth.
  3. Sift and stir in the flour until well combined
  4. Add in vanilla extract and corn oil, mix well. Then add in water, stir well to combine.
  5. Sift in flour and cornstarch, stir till well combined.
  6. In a separate large bowl, whisk the egg whites and cream of tartar till bubbles form with the electric beater. Add the 90g sugar in three separate additions until stiff peaks form (your mixture should not fall out of the bowl if you flip it upside down and the meringue should stand straight up)
  7. With a rubber spatula, gently fold ⅓ of the meringue mixture into the egg yolk batter. Repeat this 2 more times with the remaining ⅔ of the batter. Fold in the ground Roselle.
  8. Pour the batter into the prepared 8" round cake tin. Bake at 325F for 20 mins before increasing to 350F for the remaining 20 - 30 minutes. The top should be golden brown and a toothpick should come out clean when inserted into the center when it's done.
  9. When it's done baking, remove it from the oven and turn it upside down n a cooling rack to cool. Remove the cake from the rim by running a rubber spatula along the rim and tipping the cake out. Peel the parchment paper off the bottom of the cake.
  10. Slice and enjoy.

This post was created for Fiesta Friday, a weekly foodie link-up party. Please feel free to come join the fun, I promise you won’t regret it!

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  1. The roselle sponge cake looks great. I must try it out if I ever get hold of some roselle flowers (I had to look it up after coming across the word in your recipe). I am thinking of trying your recipe with regular hibiscus flowers that can be found here in Sri Lanka. Thanks for sharing this at the fiesta!

    1. Sounds delicious! You can always try it with other tea leaves as well! I tried it with Black tea leaves the other day and it worked great too!

    1. Using tea in baking is so fun and I want to try to do it more often! It’s so light but adds so much flavor at the same time!

  2. I have never heard of roselle before but I’ve been drooling over these pictures for a couple of minutes now – I guess I’ll have to bite the bullet and look it up!
    Thanks for linking it up with us over at Fiesta Friday!
    Ginger 🙂

  3. I’ve been haunted by roselle! I wanted to try it but didn’t know where to find it and since I love gardening I wanted to grow it myself, and a blogger from Malaysia sent me some seeds. Well what d’ya know next thing I know, US customs contacted me. Turned out it was illegal to send seeds from overseas!! They were destroyed and that was it. Still haven’t tried it! So intriguing to have it in a cake!

    1. That sounds so disappointing Angie! But sounds like such an adventure for you to try to get your hands on them! I find that hibiscus tea leaves give a similar flavor maybe you could give that a go instead!

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