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Being locked at home for virtually a year has given me a lot of time to experiment and play with ingredients! And thank God for Amazon! It has given me a chance to buy and experiment with lots of fun Indian and regional food favorites, both familiar and unfamiliar.

 Just a little Covid retail therapy!

One very familiar ingredient I rediscovered was gulkand, or Indian rose petal jam offered served in paan or betel leaves. My father loved eating paan, and as we lived in Manila, far far away from the Indian paanwalas, my Mom grew her own leaves.  And to fill the paan, she made her own gulkand (being a non-resident Indian meant making everything from scratch! Not unlike my kitchen life in Cochin.) Mom would collect and wash the roses and petals from our rose garden in our house in Manila (pesticide-free of course!), then leave them in the heat of the tropical sun to dry. Then she would layer the dried petals with sugar in a glass jar, and leave the jam to cook in the sun for a week. Since I don’t know if the roses I buy are organic, I haven’t yet tried making my own!

Baked just right !!

Anyhow I got my food goodies from Amazon, but in my enthusiasm, ordered without checking bottle sizes. So, before the family could realize that there was an absolutely unnecsessary one kilo jar of gulkand in my kitchen, I had to find a quick way to demolish the evidence! And what better way to use it than in a dessert?

My inspiration for this cake lay in the Sicilian whole orange cake recipe by chiristinacucina

Her it is .  It works every time!

Cake covered with Gulkand glaze

My cake, however, is made with gulkand, yoghurt, orange, orange peel and three eggs.  I found the pistachios a little late in my ingredient game, so they just made a for-show appearance at the end! And although it was a quick, desperate attempt to hide some of my shopping, it turned out pretty damn well! Anyone for a piece? Recipe below:

Gulkand (Rose Petal Jam) Yoghurt Cake


To make glaze:

  • juice of one orange
  • ¼ cup gulkand
  • ⅓ cup (100g) sugar


Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C)

For the cake batter:

  1. Prepare an 8″ cake pan by buttering and lining in parchment paper (I prefer a springform pan – makes it easier to remove the cake!)
  2. Place the sugar and butter in a large bowl and beat with a mixer until light and fluffy.
  3. Add eggs and continue to beat for 1 minute.
  4. In a food processor, process gulkand and yoghurt.
  5. Sift the flour with the baking powder then add to the mixture in the bowl a little at a time alternating with the gulkand-yoghurt mixture. Add orange rind.
  6. Pour the batter into the prepared cake tin.
  7. Bake for 50-60 minutes but test with a cake tester or skewer at the end of 50 minutes.
  8. Allow to cool for about 20-30 minutes, and then glaze while in the pan.

For the glaze:

  1. Prepare the glaze by combing the sugar, gulkand, and orange juice in a small saucepan.
  2. Bring to boil then simmer for 10 minutes. The syrup should stick and form a thin thread when dropped in water or pulled between thumb and forefinger. (Don’t burn that finger!)
  3. Either spoon or use a brush to spread glaze over the top of the cake.
  4. Remove from pan when glaze sets.

Serves: 7-8 people

Prep Time: 7 minutes

Cooking Time: 50 minutes

Critical Ingredients: Gulkand, or rose petal jam, is of course what gives this cake body and flavourIf you want more flavour, you could add 3- 4 tablespoons of ground pistachio – I’m just too lazy!) The orange juice balances the sweetness of the rose petal jam. Hard to find replacement ingredients for this cake! If you’re lazy to grate the rind, just chop it into little bits!

Gulkand Cake – Perfect dessert for any occassion
Gulkand Cake – Topped with those pistachios
Gulkand Cake – Delicious to the last bite

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