It’s my wonderful husband’s birthday and I surprised him with this light & creamy rasmalai cake. He loved it so much as it was both fluffy and decadent with the right amount of sweet and spice!
Rasmalai cake has been trending all over the internet and has been of much demand in many Indian bakeries so naturally I made an attempt to make it. After doing a bit of research into what goes into a rasmalai cake, I made my humble version using my mom’s vanilla sponge cake as a base with a freshly whipped cream frosting spiced with turmeric to give it that natural rasmalai color. The cakes are layered with generous portions of whipped cream and tiny chunks of rasmalai to give a complete satisfying experience. The cakes are seasoned with cardamom and have a lovely aroma lingering around them.
Rasmalai is a Bengali sweet made with sweetened balls of cheese curds (adding acids like lemon juice or vinegar to milk to curdle and strain the whey) . They are then added to sweetened, lightly condensed milk seasoned with saffron & pistachios. It is served chilled at many Indian gatherings & events. Turning this already decadent sweet treat into a cake was an amazing experiment and we’re glad something like this exists. 😉
Be mindful while adding the cardamom and turmeric as both have a strong flavor and aroma and might not appeal to many. I have highlighted the tips, tricks and important points to consider while making the cake so try not to overlook it. 🙂
For the cake:
- Eggs – 3 (1 cup yogurt for eggless)
- Milk – 1 cup
- Vanilla extract – 1 teaspoon
- Sugar – 1 cup
- Vegetable/sunflower/canola oil – 1 cup
- All purpose flour (maida) – 2 cups
- Baking powder – 1 ½ teaspoon
- Baking soda – 1 teaspoon
- Salt – ½ teaspoon
- Powdered cardamom seeds – 1 tablespoon
For the rasamalai frosting:
- Heavy whipping cream – 2 cups
- Powdered sugar – ½ cup or less
- Sweetened milk from the rasmalai – 1/2 cup
- A few strands of Saffron
- Ground turmeric – 1 teaspoon
- Vanilla essence – 1 teaspoon
- Rasmalai – 4-6 balls
- Saffron strands – a few
- Pistachios for garnish
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 10 mins. Grease and Line two 9 inch cake pans with parchment paper(butter paper)
- Prep the batter: In a large mixing bowl(or use a stand mixer), Whisk three eggs using an electric hand mixer for a few seconds before pouring in the milk. (You can substitute the eggs with 1 cup of yogurt/curd). Keep whisking as you add in the other ingredients. Add in a teaspoon of vanilla extract and incorporate the sugar. Once combined, pour in 1 cup of any flavorless oil like vegetable, sunflower or canola oil (olive & coconut oil have a strong flavor & are not suitable for this cake).
- Now is the time to incorporate the dry ingredients into this wet mixture. Add in all purpose flour(maida), salt, baking powder & baking soda. Beat well and finally add in 1 tablespoon of ground cardamom powder(the more the better 😀 ) If you don’t like the taste of cardamom, you can reduce the quantity to ½ teaspoon. Mix in the cardamom using a spatula.
- Divide and pour the cake batter into the prepared cake pans and bake in the preheated oven for 20-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in comes out clean. It will take longer to bake if you’re using just one pan (around 35-40 mins). The cakes need to cool completely before frosting.
- Frost the cake: Pour 2 cups of heavy whipping cream into a large mixing bowl and using an electric hand beater, whisk on high for 3-5 minutes until it starts to thicken. Add ½ cup of powdered sugar and whisk again on high for a minute. Next, add in the sweetened milk from the rasmalai , the vanilla essence, saffron and the turmeric and whisk well until the turmeric is well incorporated into the cream. Be mindful while adding turmeric as it has a strong flavor and some might not prefer it. You can either skip it for a natural look or add food coloring. Whisk only until stiff peaks form because over-mixing can turn it to butter. Stiff peaks refers to the consistency of whipped cream that when you bowl, the cream should stay put and not flow.
- Layering the cakes : Remove the cakes from the cake pan and place one cake onto the cake board or plate. Spread a thin layer of whipped cream frosting over the cake and top it with chunks of the rasmalai. Gently spread a thick layer of the frosting over the malai and place the second cake on it.
- Using a palette knife (frosting spatula), frost the layered cake evenly and smooth being careful to cover the edges. You can add in your own designs. I had used a piping bag and wilton 1M star tip to pipe a few rosettes onto the cake. Garnish with the leftover rasmalai, pistachios, saffron and dried rose petals. Refrigerate the cake after frosting to let it set before cutting it. Holds good for a week when refrigerated.