Active Time: 20 MINTotal Time2 HR 20 MIN
Yield: Serves : 8

Cortney Burns, who is best known for her time at Bar Tartine in San Francisco, has moved to North Adams, Massachusetts, to work on her latest project, Loom. She aims to explore the tapestry of cuisines and cultures that have created North Adams. With this cake, she wonders “What if the Italians asked to borrow sugar from the neighbor and they got rose water instead?” Find dried, organic rose petals at


  • Baking spray with flour
  • 3 medium-size tart apples, divided
  • 1/2 cup diced dried apple
  • 3 tablespoons honey, divided
  •  1/2 cups gluten-free multipurpose flour (such as Cup4Cup) (about 8 1/8 ounces)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup pistachios, toasted and chopped
  • 2 teaspoons finely ground dried rose petals
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon plus a pinch of kosher salt, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 large eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 1/2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon rosewater

How to Make It

Step 1    

Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a 9-inch springform pan with baking spray.

Step 2    

Peel 2 of the apples. Using largest holes of a box grater, coarsely grate peeled apples over a medium bowl. (You should have 2 cups grated apples.) Stir in dried apple and 1 tablespoon honey; set aside.

Step 3    

Stir together flour, sugar, pistachios, ground rose petals, baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and baking soda in a large bowl until well combined. Make a well in center of dry ingredients. Whisk in eggs, 1/2 cup oil, and grated apple mixture until a thick batter forms.

Step 4    

Spoon batter into prepared pan, smoothing top with an offset spatula. Core and halve remaining apple (do not peel). Thinly slice into half-moons. Starting around border of pan and working your way in, arrange apple slices so they overlap slightly, like petals on a flower, until you reach the middle. When you get to the middle, take the last apple slice and gently roll it into a loose spiral; insert in center.

Step 5    

Bake in preheated oven until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, about 50 minutes. Let cool in pan on a wire rack 10 minutes. Remove sides of pan.

Step 6    

Meanwhile, whisk together lemon juice, rosewater, remaining 2 tablespoons honey, remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil, and a pinch of salt in a small saucepan. Cook over medium until slightly reduced, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat, and let cool.

Step 7    

Brush top of warm cake with syrup, and let cool completely, about 1 hour.

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