I had a craving for a moist piece of cake the other day, and the idea for this cake immediately popped into my head. I’ve seen others make cake with nettles, but I knew I had to make it differently. (I like to get creative and turn any old recipe into my own unique one.) The base of the cake should be your go-to vanilla cake. I included one below, if ya need.
Stinging nettles is my favorite plant ally of all time.
From the deep nourishment of minerals and vitamins you receive when infusing, to the powerful reminder that not all is as it seems in the physical realm.
Nettles cake reminds me of matcha cake without the zing. Think of a strong nettle tea, with a hint of vanilla & sweetness. My tastebuds said that it needed to be brightened up. What better idea than to invite the bright and mighty hibiscus! Adding hibiscus to the frosting provided the zing and cheer that an earthy cake calls for. I also added in rose to make the frosting taste like a hug for your heart.
I’ve never made an actual nettles cake before this, so I am very dang pleased with how it came out.
In all honesty, I think this was the best cake I’ve ever made. It will be called upon often going forward!
Since it’s winter, I didn’t have any fresh pretty toppings, but you can bet this cake will be adorned once the garden provides decoration. If you live in a warmer climate and have blossoms and greens, you should totally decorate this cake to allow for the appearance to match the incredible flavor.
This is my original recipe. If you share it, please give credit to me @mountainsdaughter. Thank you! 😁🙏😁
Nettles Cake Recipe
2 1/4 c all-purpose flour
2 1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 c dried full nettle leaf or 1/4 c dried ground nettle
1 1/2 tsp spirulina or chlorella powder (for coloring)
3/4 tsp sea salt
3/4 c butter softened
1 c sugar — I use coconut palm (see note below about color)
3 large eggs at room temp
2 tsp pure vanilla extract or 1 fresh bean scraped
1 cup raw milk - can sub sour milk, buttermilk, or nut mylk
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour two 8” round cake pans.
Pour milk into a small saucepan over low-medium heat. Add in dried or fresh nettle leaf. Cover, and bring to a light simmer for about 10 mins until milk changes slightly green. Pour ingredients into a blender or food processor, and blend on high speed for 1 minute. Strain then set aside to cool - you can place in the fridge to speed up the cooling process.
In a bowl, whisk dry ingredients together - flour, baking powder, spirulina/chlorella, and salt.
Using a hand mixer, beat together the butter and sugar on medium-high until fluffy and light in color - 2-3 mins. Reduce speed, and add in eggs and vanilla until ingredients are fully incorporated.
On low speed, add flour and milk, alternating between the two - flour, milk, flour, milk, flour — for 1-2 mins. Bring speed to medium for 1 minute until batter is consistent and completely mixed.
Bake on the middle rack for 30-35 mins or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Cool cakes on wire racks for ten minutes, then flip over for 5-10 minutes, remove pans and leave to fully cool.
*Recipe can be made gluten-free using 1:1 gluten-free baking flour. I opt for King Arthur brand.
* If you use granulated surar instead of coconut palm, you can reduce the amount of spirulina/chlorella to 1/2 tsp. Batter is darker when using coconut palm sugar, thus requiring more coloring.
Hibiscus Rose Buttercream Frosting
1 c (2 sticks) butter softened
4 c powdered sugar (you can powder xylitol as a replacement)
4 tbsp raw milk (can sub nut mylk - full fat coconut cream works best)
2 tbsp pure vanilla extract or 2 fresh beans scraped
1 tbsp hibiscus powder
2 tsp rose powder
In a bowl with a hand mixer, beat butter until it’s creamy and light in color, 1-3 mins on medium.
- Reduce to low speed and add in the powdered sugar, milk, vanilla, hibiscus, and rose. Once everything is all combined, you can turn the speed up to medium and beat for 1-3 minutes until you reach your desired fluffiness. If you want it creamier, you can add in more milk little by little. Taste test at this point. If you want it more flavorful, slowly add in more hibiscus and rose until it’s perfect by your tastebuds.
Once your cake is cooled, spread buttercream on evenly. Decorate if you wish, then enjoy this with your loved ones….or solely yourself, no one will judge you.
* I did use only half of the amount of frosting when I made it. If you look at the photos, that’s why it looks thin. Too much frosting usually gives me a belly ache, but this frosting ended up being my favorite part, and I kinda regret not having more to slather on! So I say go all the way here!
Please let me know if you make this beautiful cake, and feel free to tag me on instagram at @mountainsdaughter with photos.