Rasmalai Cake

Ever since I made a rasmalai tres leches cake a few weeks ago, I’ve been wanting to make a full layered rasmalai cake.

I was putting it off because I wasn’t sure if it was going to be good. But it was my birthday a few days ago, I felt like it was a great excuse to test the ideas.

IT WAS THE BEST CAKE I HAVE EVER MADE……I do say this to everything. But this is my new favourite. The flavour….the texture….the smell….everything about it was perfect!

A slice of the rasmalai cake with the full cake in the background

Video Tutorial

Rasmalai cake

If you’ve clicked onto this recipe, I’m guessing you probably already know what rasmalai is. But if you don’t, here’s a very brief explanation.

It’s a South Asian dessert, that is essentially just disks of sweetened paneer that have been soaked in a thick milk. The main flavours of the dessert are cardamom and saffron, and then it is typically served with chopped pistachios or almonds.

For this recipe, my goal was to take the flavours of rasmalai, and then add them into a cake.

So I made cardamom flavoured cake layers, that I soaked with a cardamom and saffron milk. Then I iced the cake with a cardamom flavoured whipped cream!

The rasmalai cake after it had been covered in whipped cream and finished with pistachios on top

Breakdown of the process

There are a few different parts to this recipes. Here’s a quick breakdown:

  • Make the milk mixture: you want to make this the day before, so that the milk has a chance to fully absorb all the flavour from the cardamom and saffron.
  • The next day bake your cakes: once you bake your cakes, whiles they’re still warm, you going to pour the milk mixture over them.
  • Make the whipped cream: all you’re doing for this is whipping all the ingredients together until you get soft peaks.
  • Decorate the cakes: once your cake layers are fully cooled, put everything together and decorate however you like.
  • Let the cake set for at least an hour: after you have decorated the cake, let it chill so that cake can fully absorb the milk mixture that you added. 
3 cake layers inside of a silver baking tin

Tips on making the cake layers

The cake layers we’re making for this rely on whipped egg to to help it rise. This makes them a little more difficult to make so here are a few tips:

  • Don’t grease your cake tins: cakes like this needs to be able to grip to the sides of the baking tin when it’s in the oven, to help it rise. Greasing the tins will prevent this. So instead just add some baking paper to the bottom of the tin.
  • Make sure not to open your oven door too early: these cake layers can deflate if you open the oven door, so try not to open the door for at least 40 minutes.
  • Run a knife around the sides of the tin after the cakes are baked: I know I just gave a tip to prevent the layers from deflating however, no matter what you do, the cakes will deflate a little after baking. So to make sure it deflates evenly, just run a knife around the edge of the tin, to release the cake from the sides. Then leave the cakes in the tins to cool. 
  • Soak them with the milk mixture whiles they’re still warm: To be honest, you can soak them whenever. I just like doing it whiles the cake layers are warm because the cold milk mixture help cool down the cakes faster.
One of the cake layers before the milk mixture was added to it
One of the cake layers after being soaked with the milk mixture

The flavours

Ok so the last thing I wanted to talk about was the cardamom and saffron.

For the milk mixture, the recipe uses 15 cardamom pods and 8 strands of saffrons. Then cardamom powder is added to the cake batter and the whipped cream,

15 cardamom pods is a lot, but the reason I added so many is because the milk mixture is getting soaked into the cake. So you want the milk mixture to have a strong flavour otherwise once it is added to the cake, you won’t be able to taste any of the cardamom flavour at all. 

If you’re looking for other cake recipes, these are some of my favourites:

Rasmalai Cake

Ingredients

  • For the cardamom milk:
  • 350ml milk

  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar

  • 15 cardamom pods

  • 8 strands saffron

  • For the cake:
  • 6 egg whites

  • 75g granulated sugar

  • 6 egg yolks

  • 75g granulated sugar

  • 50ml any flavourless oil (I use vegetable)

  • 50ml milk

  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice

  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

  • 2 teaspoons cardamom powder

  • 120g plain flour

  • For the whipped cream:
  • 450ml double cream

  • 120g icing sugar

  • 2 teaspoons cardamom powder

  • Plus some chopped pistachios to decorate

Directions

  • Making the cardamom milk:
  • Break your cardamom pods open a little, so that the seeds are exposed. Add this into a pot along with the milk and the sugar.
  • Place this pot over medium heat and let the mixture come to a boil. Once it boils, take it off the heat.
  • Get about a tablespoon of this milk and add it into a bowl along with the saffron strands. Leave these to soak for 10 minutes.
  • Now pour this saffron mixture into the pot, place it back onto the heat and let it come to a boil again.
  • Pour this into a bowl or a jug, cover with cling film (make sure the cling film is touching the surface of the milk so a skin doesn't form) and leave this in the fridge overnight.
  • Making the cake layers:
  • The next day, make the cake layers. Start by pre-heating your oven to 180c/350f, and also line the bottom of 3 six inch cake tins with some baking paper. Make sure not to grease these tins, just add baking paper to the bottom of them.
  • In a large bowl, add your egg whites. Whip these until they start to get foamy. Add in the first 75 grams of granulated sugar then continue to whip this until stiff peaks form. Leave this aside.
  • In a separate large bowl, add in the egg yolks and the second 75g of granulated sugar. Whip these together until the mixture lightens in colour and almost doubles in volume.
  • Add the oil, milk, lemon juice, vanilla and cardamon powder into this. Whisk until combined then whisk in the flour, just until you get a smooth batter.
  • Add half of the whipped egg whites into this, fold these in gently. Then add in the rest of the egg whites and fold until you can't see any streaks of egg whites anymore.
  • Pour this batter into your 3 cake tins, then bake for 45 minutes. Don't open the oven door for at least 40 minutes, the cake can deflate if you do.
  • Once you take them out the oven, straight away run a knife around the sides of the tin to separate the cake. You don't need to take them out of the tin, just separate them from the sides.
  • At this point sieve your milk mixture to get the cardamom and saffron out of it. Then whiles the cake layers are still warm, poke holes into them and slowly pour the milk mixture over them. Now leave these to cool completely.
  • Making the whipped cream:
  • In a large bowl, add the double cream, icing sugar and cardamom powder. Whip just until soft peaks form, leave this in the fridge until you're ready to use it.
  • Assembling the cake:
  • Once your cake layers are completely cooled, you can start putting them together.
  • Place one layer of cake onto a board or plate, add some whipped cream, spread it out, then add another layer of cake. Add more whipped cream and then the last layer of cake.
  • Now cover the cake with the rest of the whipped cream, and then decorate it however you want.
  • Before cutting into the cake, leave it in the fridge for at least an hour so that it can all set up and the milk can be fully soaked into the cake, but then cut into it and enjoy!
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