Hibiscus Bliss Cake

Spring is in the air, and what better way to celebrate the season of blooming flowers than with a delightful and colorful dessert? The Hibiscus Bliss Cake, with its stunning pink creamy vanilla frosting, is not just a treat for the palate but also a feast for the eyes. This cake is ideal for spring gatherings, birthdays, or any occasion that calls for something special. Let’s dive into how you can create this beautiful and delicious cake at home.

Why Hibiscus?

Hibiscus isn’t just for tea! This vibrant flower brings not only a unique flavor but also an exquisite pink hue to dishes. Known for its tart, cranberry-like taste, it adds a floral zing that pairs wonderfully with sweet desserts. In this recipe, dried hibiscus flower powder is used both in the cake and the frosting, enhancing the cake with its distinct flavor and lovely color.


To make this cake, you will need the following ingredients:

Dry Ingredients:

  • 1 and 1/2 cup whole wheat flour or plain white flour
  • 1/4 cup dried hibiscus flower powder, plus 1 teaspoon for frosting tint
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Wet Ingredients:

  • 3 medium eggs
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup honey or light unrefined muscovado brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

For the Frosting:

  • 250 grams Mascarpone or soft cream cheese like Philadelphia
  • 1/3 cup agave or maple syrup
  • 180 ml double cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Step 1: Prepare the Cake

  1. Preheat the oven to 170°C (340°F).
  2. Blend dried hibiscus flowers to a fine powder using a grinder.
  3. Mix all dry ingredients in one bowl, including the hibiscus powder.
  4. In another bowl, combine all wet ingredients and mix well.
  5. Fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients gently until just combined.
  6. Pour the batter into lined baking tins.
  7. Bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  8. Allow the cake to cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Step 2: Prepare the Frosting

  1. Whip the double cream until stiff peaks form.
  2. Combine cream cheese, vanilla, and sweetener in another bowl.
  3. Add the whipped cream to the cream cheese mixture, then sprinkle in a teaspoon of hibiscus powder for a natural pink tint.
  4. Mix gently until the color is uniform.

Step 3: Assemble the Cake

  1. Frost the cooled cake evenly with the creamy hibiscus-infused frosting.

Serving and Storage Tips:

Once you’ve created your Hibiscus Bliss Cake, here are some helpful tips on how to best serve and store it to maintain its delightful flavor and texture.

Serving Tips:

  1. Room Temperature: For the best flavor and texture, serve the Hibiscus Bliss Cake at room temperature. If you have refrigerated the cake, take it out at least 30 minutes before serving.
  2. Garnish for Extra Flair: Consider adding a sprinkle of edible dried hibiscus petals or a few fresh berries on top of the cake for an extra pop of color and texture just before serving. A light dusting of powdered sugar can also enhance the appearance.
  3. Pairing: Pair the cake with a light tea, such as chamomile or a hibiscus blend, which complements the floral notes of the cake. For a more indulgent experience, a glass of sparkling rosé or dessert wine also pairs wonderfully.
  4. Slice with Care: Use a sharp knife to cut clean slices. If the frosting is very soft, cleaning the knife between slices can help maintain a neat presentation.

Storage Tips:

  1. Refrigerate for Short Term: If not consuming immediately, the Hibiscus Bliss Cake should be stored in the refrigerator. Cover it with a cake dome or wrap loosely with plastic wrap to prevent it from absorbing other flavors and odors from the refrigerator.
  2. Keep It Airtight: For best results, store slices in an airtight container. This will keep the cake moist and protect it from drying out.
  3. Duration: Properly stored, the cake will last up to three days in the refrigerator. Beyond that, the moisture and texture might begin to change.
  4. Freezing for Longevity: If you need to store the cake longer, you can freeze it. Wrap individual slices or the entire cake securely in plastic wrap, then in foil to protect against freezer burn. The cake can be frozen for up to one month. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before serving.

Variations of Hibiscus Bliss Cake

The Hibiscus Bliss Cake is a beautiful and unique dessert, perfect for showcasing the versatility of hibiscus. If you’re looking to add a twist or cater to different tastes, here are several variations that you can experiment with to make this cake even more special:

1. Gluten-Free Version

To accommodate those with gluten sensitivities or celiac disease, you can substitute the wheat flour for a gluten-free all-purpose flour blend. Make sure the blend is suitable for baking and includes a binder like xanthan gum, which helps replicate the texture and structure provided by gluten.

2. Vegan Adaptation

Create a vegan version of this cake by using plant-based substitutes:

  • Replace each egg with a flaxseed egg (1 tablespoon ground flaxseed mixed with 3 tablespoons water, let sit until thickened).
  • Use almond milk or another dairy-free milk in place of regular milk.
  • Opt for dairy-free yogurt and a vegan cream cheese for the frosting. Coconut cream can be used in place of double cream for a rich, creamy texture.

3. Citrus Infusion

Add a zesty twist by incorporating citrus flavors into the cake. Mix in the zest of one orange or lemon to the batter for a refreshing citrus note. You can also add a few tablespoons of fresh orange or lemon juice to both the batter and the frosting to enhance the fruity flavor.

4. Chocolate Hibiscus Cake

For chocolate lovers, add 1/4 cup of cocoa powder to the dry ingredients. The chocolate pairs wonderfully with the tartness of the hibiscus, creating a rich and intriguing flavor profile. Top with a chocolate ganache infused with a hint of hibiscus powder for a decadent finish.

5. Layered Cake

Transform the Hibiscus Bliss Cake into a stunning layered cake for more formal occasions. Bake the cake in two round cake pans and use the hibiscus-infused frosting as both the filling and the outer layer. Decorate with fresh edible flowers or a drizzle of hibiscus syrup for an elegant presentation.

6. Cupcake Version

Make Hibiscus Bliss Cupcakes for easier serving at parties or gatherings. This format is ideal for portion control and can be a charming addition to any dessert table. Adjust the baking time to around 15-20 minutes for cupcakes.

7. Sugar-Free Sweetness

For those watching their sugar intake, replace the honey or muscovado sugar with a sugar substitute like stevia or erythritol suitable for baking. Ensure to adjust the quantity based on the sweetness level of the substitute used, as these can vary.

8. Nutty Addition

Add a crunchy texture to the cake by folding 1/2 cup of chopped nuts such as almonds, walnuts, or pecans into the batter. Nuts add a pleasant crunch and nutty flavor that complements the floral notes of hibiscus beautifully.


1. What does hibiscus taste like in a cake?

  • Hibiscus has a tart, cranberry-like flavor with floral notes. When used in cakes, it provides a unique taste that balances well with sweet ingredients, giving the cake a refreshing and slightly tangy flavor profile.

2. Can I use fresh hibiscus flowers instead of dried hibiscus powder?

  • Fresh hibiscus flowers aren’t typically used in baking due to their moisture content, which can affect the texture of the cake. It’s best to use dried hibiscus flowers, ground into a powder, for a concentrated flavor and consistent result.

3. Where can I find hibiscus powder?

  • Hibiscus powder can be purchased at health food stores, specialty spice shops, or online. If unavailable, you can make your own by grinding dried hibiscus flowers in a coffee grinder until fine.

4. Is this cake suitable for people with dietary restrictions?

  • The standard recipe contains dairy, eggs, and gluten. However, you can adapt the recipe using vegan and gluten-free substitutes to cater to different dietary needs. See the variations section for suggestions.

5. How long does the cake last?

  • When stored properly in an airtight container in the refrigerator, the Hibiscus Bliss Cake can last up to three days.

6. Can I freeze the Hibiscus Bliss Cake?

  • Yes, this cake freezes well. Wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and then in foil. It can be stored in the freezer for up to one month. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before serving.

The Hibiscus Bliss Cake is not just a cake; it’s a celebration of spring. Its light, floral notes make it stand out from typical desserts, providing a refreshing change. Whether you’re a seasoned baker or new to the kitchen, this recipe is straightforward and sure to impress. Enjoy the process of making it and the joy of sharing it!