Apple Roses Cake

Apple Rose Cake

Warning: This cake takes time. A lot of time. I usually like simple recipes, I am not somebody who spends hours and hours in the kitchen. Except for special occasions. Really special occasions. Like Easter and Christmas. So this cake is my Easter Special. I mean, it does require a lot of work. Be prepared.

Apple Roses CakeThe good thing is that you can prepare it in advance. In fact, it will taste better the second or third day. In has so many great parts.

Apple Rose Cake

Base: Pound cake. This is a classic pound cake with a wonderful twist. Ever tried the combination apples with rosemary? I hadn’t. It is wonderful! The rosemary flavor really complements the apples. As you simmer the apples and rosemary first with a little bit of butter, you do taste the rosemary, but it is not too dominant. It adds some nice spice.

Apple Rose Cake

Mid-Section: Once you got the cake out of the oven, you put a thin layer of apricot jam on the top and sprinkle the edges with some almonds to make it look pretty. Another nice layer you can later enjoy.

Apple Rose Cake

Apple Roses: This is the fun part. In order to get them to really twist and turn, you boil the apple slices in sugar water for about 30 seconds. Once you place them on the cake, you will brush them with apricot jam and bake the whole cake for another 10 minutes. This seals the apple roses so they don’t turn brown, but also helps to caramelize the top layer. Do I need to say anythings else?

I promise, making this cake takes a lot of time, but it is not hard to make. Let’s see:
Credit for pound cake: “Anniks göttliche Kuchen” (German cookbook), page 16

Apple Roses Pound Cake

Serves: One cake of ∅24 cm
Cooking Time: 20min preparation pound cake + 1 hr baking time + 45min making apple roses + 10min baking time


  • Pound Cake
  • 2 apples (for baking, e.g. Boskop)
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • 2 tablespoons/20 grams of fresh rosemary, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons of apple juice
  • 1 tablespoon of regular sugar
  • 170 grams of unsalted butter at room temperature*
  • 170 grams of brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of molasses (can be omitted)
  • 3 eggs, size L at room temperature**
  • 250 grams of all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • a pinch of salt
  • 125 grams of sour cream
  • 1-2 tablespoons of apricot jam
  • 50 grams of blanched almonds

  • Apple Roses
  • 1 liter of water
  • 200 grams of regular sugar
  • 6 red apples
  • *The butter has to be at room temperature. Either heat it up a bit in the microwave or place in a warm, sunny place to be sure it has the right consistency.
  • **Put eggs into a bowl with warm water for five minutes if you forgot to take out the eggs on time.



For the pound cake peel the two apples, slice each into 4 pieces, take out core and chop into cubes.


Melt butter in a saucepan and simmer apple cubes and rosemary for about 5 minutes with the apple juice.


Add sugar and let simmer for about 1-2 minutes, set aside.


Meanwhile prepare all other ingredients and butter and flour a springform of ∅ 24cm. Preheat oven to 150 degrees Celsius.


In a large bowl cream the butter with a mixer until fluffy, then add the brown sugar. Once very creamy, add molasses. Mix in eggs, one at a time.


Sift the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt on top of the butter mix. Mix slowly with a mixer.


Add the sour cream and mix until you have a heavy and creamy batter with no lumps.


Fold in the apple rosemary mix with a wooden spoon.


Pour into the springform and bake on middle rack for about an hour. Inserted toothpick should come out clean. Take cake out of the oven and spread a thin layer of heated-up apricot jam on top with either a spoon or a brush, about 1 tablespoon. Place the almonds around the edges.


For the apple roses slice all 6 apples into 2mm slices (I used my bread cutting machine), don't use the apple core, but stop shortly before you reach the center. This means you will slice each apple from two sides and have the core left to throw away.


Bring one liter of water with 200 grams of sugar to boil. Stir so that sugar dissolves. Put in all apple slices at once and wait until water boils again. Take apple slices out and drain. Set aside to cool off a bit.


To make the apple roses always start with a small slice and roll up. Place another slice around. For each apple rose you will need about 4-6 apple slices. Always start with smaller slices and keep the biggest slices for the outer part of the rose. Make a small cut of about 1 cm in the center of the cake. Place the first apple rose into this cut and work your way to the edges of the cake, making small cuts for each apple rose.


Once done, brush the apple roses with about 1 tablespoon of heated-up apricot jam and bake for 10 minutes at 180 degrees on middle rack. This will help for the apple roses not to turn brown, but also to caramalize the jam.


The key to making a pound cake is to have all ingredients at room temperature, especially the butter and eggs. Pound cake means to mix ingredients thoroughly. Especially when you prepare the butter part, take your time before you add new ingredients and make sure there are never any lumps seen. Yes, you can only make the pound cake. Also very delicious without apple roses. The apple roses are not that hard to make. You just need to be sure that you can twist the apple slices the way you want. Boiling the apple slices for a bit in sugar water really does the trick, it should not be hard to create the roses. Make sure you make the apple slices thin enough, 2 mm is about perfect. This cake tastes even better on the second or third day. Keep in the fridge for 5 days. It is very easy to make the pound cake (you can even freeze it) in advance and make the apple roses another time.

Apple Rose Cake








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  • Reply
    Saturday March 18th, 2017 at 07:38 PM

    Looks amazingly delicious!

    • Reply
      Saturday March 18th, 2017 at 07:41 PM

      Thank you, just the pound cake itself is delicious, I really love the hint of rosemary!

  • Reply
    Saturday March 18th, 2017 at 11:59 PM

    This is simply stunning! I am not sure I have the time to make this with a 2 year old who wants my attention every second of the day, but I want to give it a try none the less. I wish you had a Pinterest button… pinning a recipe is the only way I remember to go back and make it later! 🙂

    • Reply
      Sunday March 19th, 2017 at 07:16 AM

      Hi Abbey,
      Thank you! You can make the cake first, freeze it and make the apple roses another time. They do take some time, I think about half an hour or so.
      Yeah, I may register for Pinterest, I’ll see… Sorry, but for now I guess you have to bookmark.

  • Reply
    Kelsie | the itsy-bitsy kitchen
    Thursday March 23rd, 2017 at 02:32 AM

    Oh my goodness, this is such a gorgeous cake! It has to be well worth all the time it takes 🙂

    • Reply
      Thursday March 23rd, 2017 at 06:21 AM

      I think so. It is really pretty and tastes awesome!

  • Reply
    Tuesday April 4th, 2017 at 06:39 PM

    This is so delicate and beautiful. Your recipes look great. I have nominated you for a Blog Recognition Award after seeing your posts on Good Eats. Check it out on my page 🙂

  • Reply
    Thursday April 13th, 2017 at 01:42 PM

    Oh how pretty! This look amazing.

    • Reply
      Thursday April 13th, 2017 at 02:52 PM

      Thank you, was a lot of fun!

  • Reply
    Tuesday April 18th, 2017 at 12:31 AM

    Beautiful pictures and recipe! 🙂

    • Reply
      Tuesday April 18th, 2017 at 07:09 AM


  • Reply
    Friday April 21st, 2017 at 03:38 AM

    Thank you for sharing Jenny.

    • Reply
      Friday April 21st, 2017 at 06:58 AM

      Done with pleasure!

  • Reply
    Friday July 14th, 2017 at 06:27 PM

    Jenny, this is absolutely stunning!! I cannot even begin to imagine how much work went into this cake (and the subsequent photo shoot, ha ha), but it is beyond beautiful! You have created a work of art!!

    • Reply
      Friday July 14th, 2017 at 06:30 PM

      Thank you so much, that’s kind of you to say. Yes, it is a lot of work. That’s why I only make it on very special occasions.

  • Reply
    Monday March 26th, 2018 at 08:00 PM

    Liebe Jenny, was ist das denn für ein wundervoller Kuchen! Selten so etwas hübsches gesehen, den will ich am Liebsten gleich nachbacken. Vielleicht wandle ich ihn etwas um, Rosmarin im Kuchen ist nicht so meins aber der Anblick ist zauberhaft! Schönen Abend dir noch <3

    • Reply
      Monday March 26th, 2018 at 08:10 PM

      Liebe Anna, er ist ziemlich viel Arbeit, sei vorgewarnt, aber zu Ostern kann man das mal machen. Lass einfach Rosmarin weg, der Apfelkuchen schmeckt auch so!

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