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Rose-Buttercream-Slathered Ginger Cardamom Cake (Magnolia Cake)

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The rose swiss meringue buttercream on top of the ginger cardamom cake is the icing on the cake. Perfect harmony of sweet and spicy notes, and it looks amazing to boot!

When you’re living in Canada throughout the winter, you’re constantly on the lookout for the first signs of spring. A portent of hope, possibility, and increased life! In the same way that my neighbor’s yard is filled with the fragrance of flowering magnolia trees throughout the months of April and May. The beauty of the flowers brightens up the drabness of winter.

You may not have known this, but Magnolia flowers are actually quite tasty. They go well in salads and can even be pickled. I was curious, so I sampled one for the first time. The flowers’ subtle hints of ginger and cardamom delightfully pleased me. Certainly there is more ginger, which results in a nice, warm spiciness.

The answer is a resounding NO! This cake does NOT include any magnolia blooms. That means you can bake this cake whenever the craving strikes!

The flowers were merely a source of inspiration. Motivated by my adoration for the magnolia’s vibrant colours and singular aroma. A delicately flavoured, not overly spicy ginger cardamom cake, coated with a light layer of wild blueberry jam. Then, swiss meringue buttercream packed with rose flavouring was piped inside and on top. It’s perfect for any special occasion because of its elegant design and delicious flavour.

In what size cake pans should I bake?

You can bake a two-layer 8-inch cake or a three-layer 6-inch cake using this recipe.

For two 8-inch cake layers, this recipe is ideal (2 inches high). However, if you’re using 6-inch cake pans, you’ll need to use a little less batter.

2 pans of 8 inches each would give you 100 square inches of space.

There are 87 square inches in three 6-by-3-inch pans.

Hence, if you use 6-inch pans, you will only use about 87–90% of the cake batter. Every time I make batter, I make sure to measure out exactly how much I need, and then immediately perform the arithmetic to set aside the extra. Considering using the leftover batter to bake cupcakes. For scientific purposes of taste testing and all that…

If you wish to weigh the batter at the end, you must weigh the empty mixing bowl beforehand. Afterwards, you may determine how much batter should be placed in each pan.

The butter is softened at room temperature (about 74 °F or 23 °C). It is significantly simpler to cream and lighten butter that has been softened.

If your butter is too cold, you can soften it somewhat in the microwave or by leaving it in a warm area of your kitchen or residence.

The initial stage of butter creaming is critical! The butter should be frothy, light, and pale in colour.

Whenever possible, use freshly ground spices in the ginger cardamom cake. The longer pre-ground spices are stored, the more potency they lose. A fresh packet of ground ginger will be more potent than ginger that has been sitting in your pantry for several months. If you just have old spices, you may need to add a bit more to your dish.

Do not overbeat the eggs. Too much air can be introduced into a cake mix by whisking eggs for too long. This could cause the cake to rise excessively in the oven and fall as it cools.

When incorporating the flour, avoid over-mixing the batter. Gluten is present in flour, and the longer the mixture is stirred, the more gluten strands will form. This will result in the cake having a rubbery texture and tunnelling.

Before icing, let the ginger cardamom cake layers to cool fully. If not, the frosting will melt and the cake will fall apart.

Tips for preparing the icing

The butter for this rose buttercream should be at room temperature for the traditional Swiss meringue buttercream (about 70 F). The butter’s cool temperature can help you get the right consistency, especially if your meringue mixture is on the warmer side.

Although the amount of buttercream might be reduced (because less air is whipped into the buttercream). Butter needs to be at room temperature and soft, but not melted. The reason for this is so that as much air as possible can be beaten into the butter, making a light and fluffy frosting.

For a smooth finish, crumb coat the ginger cardamom cake with the rose buttercream before frosting it. Once the crumb coat has set, you can proceed to the final frosting. Alternatively, you might go for the “naked cake” style.

I used Americolor gel to tint the buttercream. In this case, a little goes a long way, and the colour will intensify once the buttercream sets for a time.

It’s best to have the pans ready before pouring in the cake mixture. Also, turn on the oven’s heat. Regular ovens are what I rely on.

There are several options for preparing the cake tins.

  • Butter and flour the pans,
  • Butter and line the pan with parchment paper (just the bottom, or bottom and sides),
  • Homemade pan release.

I like to grease the bottom of the pan and then line it with parchment paper.

In a cake pan, evenly distribute the ginger cardamom cake batter. There are two approaches to taking.

  • If you prefer, you can determine the quantity of batter you have by weighing it (subtract the weight of the empty bowl from the weight of the bowl WITH the batter).
  • Or, you can divide the batter amongst the pans using an ice cream scoop.

The cake should be baked for around 30 minutes in a preheated oven (toothpick inserted comes out clean). You can cool the cakes faster if you flip them onto a wire rack while they’re still warm.


The process of creating swiss meringue buttercream is one of my favourite things to do. The icing is incredibly fluffy and buttery. You can use one of the two methods described below to create a swiss meringue buttercream.

Rose-flavored classic swiss meringue buttercream – The standard approach to manufacturing SMBC is used in this recipe. Butter is folded into a meringue made from egg whites and sugar syrup.

Simple rose-flavored swiss meringue buttercream – You can think of this as a shortcut for creating SMBC. Egg whites that have been pasteurised, powdered sugar, butter, and heavy cream are used in this process.

Rose water or rose extract may be used to impart the rose flavour. Instead of all of the cream, use rose water. You only need 1–2 teaspoons because the flavour of rose extract is very concentrated.

Avoid adding too much rose flavour, since it has the potential to dominate the ginger and cardamom in this cake.

Level off the ginger cardamom cakes by trimming the tops once they have cooled. You should only do this if the cakes’ tops are not already smooth and flat.

Stick one layer of cake to a cake board with buttercream. Keep the level side down and in the middle of the cake.

On top of the ginger cardamom cake layer, spread some blueberry jam. The blueberry jam not only gives the cake an additional, delicious flavour to balance the rose flavour, but also gives it a beautiful, contrasting hue once it’s been sliced.

Apply a thin coat of rose buttercream, then place another cake layer on top. A three-layer cake can be made by repeating these steps twice. Check to see that the cake layers are uniform and that the cake itself is not uneven.

Crumb coat the stacked cake and let it set. Add the final coating of frosting to the ginger cardamom cake.

Themes for Home Décor

You may either keep this ginger cardamom cake plain white, OR

  • The cake should be frosted with a pink or purple buttercream.
  • The cake should include pink and purple buttercream embellishments on a white background.
  • Use a rustic, swirling icing design instead of a plain one.
  • Spread a buttercream rim around the outside of the cake,
  • Magnolia blossoms make for a lovely decoration (remember to make sure they are safe to eat).

Here, I’ve used a white swiss meringue buttercream with a rose flavouring to cover the cake. Finally, I matched the magnolia blooms’ colour scheme by colouring some buttercream a rosy purple and dotting it strategically. Finally, I topped HALF of the cake with fresh magnolia flowers and DRIPS of white chocolate ganache. The ginger cardamom cake can be decorated as simply or as elaborately as you wish.

The cake’s many parts can be prepared in advance.


Stored at room temperature – These cake layers can be kept at room temperature for up to 24 hours if individually wrapped in plastic wrap to prevent drying out.

Cover the cake layers (individually) with plastic wrap and chill them (more than one layer). You can store them for up to five days in the fridge.

Wrap the cake layers in plastic wrap, then in foil, and place in the freezer for up to three months. Then, defrost them in the refrigerator for a day or two.


Also, this is something you can prepare ahead of time. The buttercream can sit out for 24 hours without spoiling. You may also store it in the fridge for up to a week. The buttercream can be revived by letting it come to room temperature and then being whipped again.


For this dish, I opted to use wild blueberry jam that I purchased from the local market. But, any kind of blueberry jam will do.

Tips for Keeping a Frosted Cake Fresh

The ginger cardamom cake can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 2 days if it is fully frosted. And if the weather isn’t too warm, leave it out overnight at room temperature. But remember that the longer the buttercream sits in the fridge, the more it will take on the tastes and aromas of whatever else is stored inside.

You should let the cake come back to room temperature before cutting and serving it.

Cut cakes can be kept in the fridge for up to 5 days if stored in an airtight container (depending on how far in advance the cake was made before being cut).

The flavour is the main reason I enjoy this cake so much. One bite and you’ll know that this cake is unlike any other. Cardamom and ginger together make for a truly unique flavour! You can taste the rose, but it isn’t too strong, and the buttercream goes wonderfully with the spice in the cake.

It’s a treat to bake and a treat to devour this cake. It goes without saying that this is a stunning cake, perfect for the spotlight as the sweet ending to any of your special occasions.

This cake may have been influenced by the arrival of spring and the splendour of magnolia blossoms, but it is a treat to be enjoyed at any time of year.

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