Hibiscus Buttermilk Cakes for #thecakeslicebakers
Chamomile Cake with Honey Crème Fraîche
I always look forward to this group each month - aside from getting to try out a new delicious cake recipe, I get to use one of my cook books! I've been trying to get ideas from my books more often and not just always the world wide web for ideas. It's so convenient to type in a recipe title or ingredients into a search engine and see what comes up - but I have so many great cook books that are begging to see a little daylight too!
These cakes were best on day 1 - that may be because I used my mini loaf pan to bake them in and they dried out a little after day 2. The syrup didn't infuse flavor into my buttercream, really just that gorgeous color but I'm not sure if that's just because of the batch of flowers I was using or not. I'm fairly familiar with hibiscus after living in Senegal for over 2 years - my mom used to make bissap all the time! It really does give the most gorgeous coloring to anything you use it in. I'm going to try a batch of bissap next with the flowers I ordered to see if I can get that tangy flavor I recall.
I would probably stick to the instructions and bake these in a lined cupcake tin next time to see if that helps maintain moisture - because WOW on day 1 when we taste tested these cakes were INSANELY delicious. So simple, but oh so good. The buttermilk gives them the best texture; light and moist, with just a touch of tang. We loved them!
Hibiscus Buttermilk Cakes from Benjamina Ebuehi
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup butter, softened to room temp
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 tsp vanilla
2/3 cup + 1 TBS buttermilk, room temp
4 TBS dried hibiscus flowers
1/2 cup + 1 TBS sugar
1/2 cup water
1 cup butter, room temperature
2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
pinch of salt
2 TBS milk
3 TBS Hibiscus Syrup
To decorate: additional dried hibiscus flowers (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Grease a cupcake tray (or a mini loaf pan) with baker's spray, or line cupcake tin with paper liners.
- Combine the dry ingredients in a medium sized bowl: all purpose flour, baking powder, and salt. Whisk to combine and set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the softened butter with the sugar and vanilla until creamy (a couple minutes). Blend in the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the sides as needed.
- Add in half of the flour, on low speed, followed by the buttermilk, and then the remaining flour mixture. Blend just until combined.
- Divide the batter between the prepared cupcake tray or loaf pan. Bake 18-25 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool in pan about 5-10 minutes before turning out onto a cooling rack to complete cooling.
- Prepare the syrup while the cakes cool. Add all Syrup ingredients to a small saucepan and bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer together for about 3 minutes (stir a few times to ensure sugar has blended in), or until the syrup begins to thicken. Allow to soak until cool to make sure all that hibiscus goodness is infused, then strain out the hibiscus flowers and discard. Set the syrup aside until ready to use.
- When the cakes are cooled, prepare the buttercream by beating the 1 cup of softened butter in the bowl of a stand mixer by itself until smooth, pale, and creamy. Add in the sugar and salt with mixer either off or on low speed and gradually increase speed until sugar is well incorporated, beat about 3 minutes until buttercream is very fluffy. Scrape down sides if needed. Add in the milk and beat until incorporated, then add in 3 TBS of the syrup and blend, add additional syrup as desired for consistency and coloring.
- Scrape the pretty pink buttercream into a piping bag fitted with the frosting tip of your choice and pipe the cakes as desired (or spread icing with a butter knife, if you prefer a thinner frosting on your cake).
- Sprinkle a few dried hibiscus flowers on top of the frosting for decoration, if desired.
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