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As its name suggests, Rose Flower Cake features a filling made from edible roses and is iconic in the world of classic Yunnan specialities.

It has a long history of 300 years, started by a pastry chef. Over the years, it has grown in popularity. Even Emperor Qianlong loved it.

Yunnan’s edible rose ingredient

Rosa rugosa is a type of rose native to eastern Asia, distributed in most parts of China, but the best is grown in Yunnan. The province is know as the ‘kingdom of plants,’with its status coming thanks to its mild weather, great sunshine and geographical locations. It all adds up to excellent growing conditions.

The delicious rose flower cake

Every year from April to May is the best time to pick the rose flowers, early in the morning, to catch the best quality.

The picked roses are then manually checked and stored in freezers or transported by refrigerated trucks for processing. To make Rose Flower Cake the first important step is to make the filling.

Crushed petals are mixed with honey and sugar and then refrigerated to reduce the bitterness. The best flavour comes from the rose filling.

The second important step is to make the pastry. This can be puff or shortcrust, aiming for both a soft and crispy taste.

Besides their great beauty and pleasant aroma, roses are said to be highly nutritious. The Compendium of Materia Medica Nutrition lists roses as a medicine for promoting blood circulation, regulating qi, calming the liver and detoxification. They’re also regarded as being good for the liver, spleen and stomach, and promoting beauty.

But apart from the health benefits, roses make up the flower cake, a unique and delicious dessert.