French Vanilla Bergamont Rose Bundt Cake

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by Ellen Easton

French Vanilla Bergamont Rose Bundt Cake

This is a refreshing twist on a classic recipe.  Using either a store bought white cake mix or my recipe below, simply add one teaspoon of rose water* and one teaspoon of oil of bergamot* to the batter. Bake and cool as directed.   When ready to frost the cake, together in a double boiler pan on top of the stove place two 3.5 Oz. dark hazelnut chocolate bars cut into pieces, (or dark chocolate bars with your own ground hazelnuts) with two tablespoons of milk and 1 cup of confectioners sugar. Stir until melted into a glaze.  Add more milk if it’s too thick and more confection sugar if too thin.  Using a large spoon pour the glaze over the cake. (It’s ok to lick the bowl before cleaning up!)  Allow the cake to sit until the icing is hardened.  Garnish with fresh mint, berries or ice cream.   * Any floral, fruit or herb flavor may be substituted for the rose and bergamot. Add a few leaves of the fresh mint to enhance the flavor of your tea or water.

Classic French Vanilla Cake Recipe

Prep Time 20 mins |Cook Time 30 mins

  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter,  room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar (plus extra sugar to prepare baking pan), sifted
  • 2 cups cake flour, sifted
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 cup milk, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 4 large egg whites, room temperature

Basic Butter Cream:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature*
  • 1/2 cup milk, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract or other desired flavoring
  • 1 pound box powdered sugar (confectioners’ sugar)
  • Pastel food coloring

InstructionsClassic French Vanilla Cake Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Position oven rack in middle of oven.  Either prepare two (2) 9-inch cake pans or 2 or 3 (6-inch) tea cake pans.
  2. This cake can be baked in any shape pan you desire.  Coat the bottom and sides of the pans with non-stick baking spray.  Dust the bottom and sides with granulated sugar until lightly coated.
  3. In the mixing bowl of your electric mixer, at medium speed, cream the butter.  Add a small amount of sugar at a time, and continue beating until creamy.  Add the cake flour, baking powder, milk, and vanilla extract; beat until smooth.
  4. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form and cling to the bowl.  Fold the the egg white meringue into the prepared batter mixture.  Pour into the prepared pan/pans.
  5. Optional: In lieu of an iced cake, generously sprinkle shredded coconut onto the top of the batter, covering the batter completely.
  6. Bake for approximately 20 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cakes comes out clean.  Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool.
  7. Prepare the Basic Butter Cream Icing.
  8. When cake is cool, remove from the pan/pans.
  9. With a warmed flat knife, ice the cake with your desired colored Butter Cream Icing.  Decorate with with colored sprinkles or design of your choice.

Basic Butter Cream Icing Instructions:

  1. Learn more about Buttercream Icing – Tutorial on making and using Butter Cream Icing.
  1. In a large bowl of an electric mixer at low speed, combine the butter, sugar, vanilla extract, powdered sugar, and food coloring of your choice until the mixture is smooth.  If stiffer icing is needed or the weather is very warm, add a little sugar.
  2. To create pastel colors, divide the icing into separate bowls for each color desired.  Using a toothpick, add one drop of color at a time and mix until desired color is reached.
  3. Yields 3 cups icing.

Recipe Notes

* Use vegetable shortening when pure white icing is desired.

Recipe and photo copyright Ellen Easton.


Ellen Easton, author of Afternoon Tea~Tips, Terms and Traditions(RED WAGON PRESS), an afternoon tea authority, lifestyle and etiquette industry leader, keynote speaker and product spokesperson, is a hospitality, design, and retail consultant whose clients have included the Waldorf=Astoria, the Plaza and Bergdorf Goodman. Easton’s family traces their tea roots to the early 1800s, when ancestors first introduced tea plants from India and China to the Colony of Ceylon, thus building one of the largest and best cultivated teas estates on the island.

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