Simple geranium butter cake

Simple geranium butter cake

Sticky Fingers Green Thumb
Tara Pearce, Tim Hillier

A classic butter cake infused with scented geraniums every step of the way. Baking doesn’t get much easier than this. Just be sure to start things off the day before to allow the flavour of the geranium leaves to really work its way into the sugar and butter. Sincere and nurturing, this is a recipe you’ll soon learn by heart.


Quantity Ingredient
10-12 scented geranium leaves
230g caster (superfine) sugar
250g unsalted butter
3 eggs
1 vanilla bean, split lengthways and seeds scraped
125ml milk
300g self-raising flour


  1. Set aside eight geranium leaves. Rub and scrunch the remainder in your hands to release their scented oil. Place two of the rubbed leaves in a container with the sugar and seal with the lid, then wrap the butter in the remaining scrunched leaves. Leave both ingredients to stand at room temperature overnight.
  2. When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 175°C and line a 22 cm round cake tin with baking paper.
  3. Remove the geranium leaves from the butter and sugar and beat the two ingredients together in a bowl using a hand-held mixer, or a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, for 6 minutes until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, vanilla seeds and milk, then gently fold in the flour to form a batter (being careful not to overwork the mixture).
  4. Arrange the whole, unscrunched geranium leaves over the base and sides of the prepared tin, pour over the batter and top with more geranium leaves. Bake for 1 hour, or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Remove from the oven and leave to cool slightly in the tin for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack and leave to cool completely
  5. Once the cake is cool, and before you eat it, carefully remove the leaves from the cake (this should leave you with pretty indentations on the top and sides).

No excuses

  • Scented geraniums are one of the easiest edibles to grow. There are just under 100 different scents to experiment with, including apple, strawberry, chocolate mint, ginger and nutmeg. Brilliant as an indoor or outdoor potted plant, they’re an exciting addition to your kitchenscape. Growing them is just as exciting because it’s oh so easy. Plant from cuttings, water only when the soil dries out and keep them in direct sunlight (careful not to burn them).
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