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Dandelion flower and rum cake by Rachel Lambert

  • Serves 10–12
  • Easy

Rachel Lambert, author of Wild & Sweet, shares her recipe for an aromatic sponge cake flavoured with foraged dandelion flowers

Dandelion cake

This golden, petal-flecked sponge cake is generously smothered with a cream cheese topping and laced with a splash of rum to bring out the mellow scent of dandelion flowers. Irresistible.

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Ingredients

For the sponge

  • Butter 125g/2oz
  • Golden caster sugar 175g/6oz
  • Dandelion flowers 40, Petals picked, plus extra petals to decorate
  • Free-range eggs 3
  • Plain flour 175g/6oz, Sifted
  • Baking powder 1tsp, Sifted

For the topping

  • Dandelion flowers 40, Petals picked
  • White rum 2-3tbsp
  • Cream cheese 250g/9oz

Method

  • Step 1

    Preheat the oven to 190°C/170°C fan/375°F and line a 20cm/8in cake tin with baking parchment.

  • Step 2

    Start by making the sponge. In a large bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until it turns pale. Add the petals picked from 40 dandelion flowers, then beat in the eggs one at a time. Finally, stir in the flour and baking powder, combine well and spoon into the cake tin.

  • Step 3

    Bake for 35–40 minutes, or until a skewer pierced into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Turn out onto a cooling rack and leave to cool completely.

  • Step 4

    While the cake is cooling, make the topping. In a pestle and mortar, mash the petals with the rum and sugar and leave to infuse for a few minutes. Briefly strain the cream cheese of any excess liquid, then add to a bowl and and stir in the rum-infused petals. Taste and add more rum and sugar if needed.

  • Step 5

    Cover the top of the cake with the topping, cut into slices and serve. Alternatively, carefully cut the cake in half and spread half of the topping in the centre, then sandwich the two halves back together before smothering the rest on top. This cake is best eaten fresh, though you can store it in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days: after a day or two, the rum will have evaporated a little and the dandelion flavour will pervade more.

Discover more of Rachel Lambert's recipes in Wild & Sweet with photography by Elliot White (Hoxton Mini Press, £25)

Wild & Sweet by Rachel Lambert (Hoxton Mini Press)
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