Rose cake

If you love cakes and dishes that make a splash, you will certainly want to try the ‘Rose cake’: this dessert, due to its origins in the culinary tradition of Mantua, looks like a real bouquet of edible roses. The visual effect is striking and the taste is similar to a brioche or crumbly cake; inside, it can be filled with butter, jam or with a small waterfall of chocolate chips. This cake can also be prepared on special occasions, such as Mother's Day, instead of the traditional bouquet of flowers. In short, it is both delicious and at the same time looks wonderful. If you’ve never made a Rose cake and are curious, and want to show off your skills in the kitchen, make this version with the help of our illustrated step-by-step guide!


  • Italian 00 flour 350 grams
  • brewer's yeast 30 grams
  • milk 80 millilitres
  • egg yolks 4 egg yolks
  • butter 200 grams At room temperature
  • sugar 100 grams
  • eggs 1 unit
  • salt A pinch of salt

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320 minutes Total time
50 minutes Active time
Serves 6 persons
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Mix the flour with 70 g of sugar, add a pinch of salt and form into a mound with a small well in the centre. Pour into this well the yeast dissolved in warm milk, add the eggs and mix. Stir in 150g of cooled, melted butter and knead until soft and smooth. Let it rise in a floured bowl for about 4 hours. Then, knead the dough again, divide it into seven equal pieces from which you make long, thin strips. Spread into their centres a ‘cream’ made with butter and the remaining sugar, and roll the strips up into coil shapes. Arrange the coils on some baking parchment on a circular baking tray and let them rise for another hour. Bake the rose cake in a preheated oven at 200 °C for about 50 minutes.

To get the correct result of a very soft cake, you should use plenty of ‘cream’ for the filling, because otherwise the cake may be too dry.
The historical origins of this dessert are in a marriage that took place in the late fifteenth century: that between Francis II of Gonzaga and Isabella d'Este. During the wedding feast the assembled nobility appreciated this cake to such an extent that it has remained unchanged for centuries, and even today is still prepared according to the traditional recipe.

Step by step

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