Gulab Jamun Cake is a decadent treat for any Indian style special occasions. It is eggless and easy to make.
I have another cake for Valli's Kid's Delight -- Anniversary Party and this one is a delicious fusion cake. This Gulab Jamun cake is made with layers of cardamom flavored cake and then topped with juicy gulab jamuns and saffron, rose flavored frosting.
I saw Masterchef Pankaj Bhadouria make it on her show couple of weeks ago and it looked absolutely stunning. So when I had to make a dessert for my Navrathri party which also happened to be my cousin's birthday, I knew I had to try this delicious cake out.
Vegan Cake Layers:
This cake starts with my go-to vegan vanilla cake recipe. It is a very moist and easy to make cake. I subbed some of the vanilla with ground cardamom. The cakes are then soaked with sugar syrup from the jamuns for even more flavor.
Star of this Cake - Gulab Jamun:
As for the gulab jamun, you can choose to make them either using a mix or from scratch. Or you can just buy some good quality jamun in a can from the store. I made mine using MTR gulab jamun mix.
But I jazzed the mix with some ground almonds and cashews. Chef Pankaj used Gits Shahi gulab jamun mix that had the nuts and saffron already added in it.
This cake is not just beautiful to look at but tastes amazing too. The cardamom flavored cake tastes really good with the juicy gulab jamun. Saffron and rose syrup flavored frostings highlight the Indian flavors.
Tips for Making Gulab Jamun Cake:
Recipe seems quite long and daunting. But break it up into 2~3 days. Here's how:
- Day 1: Make the cake.
- Day 2: Make gulab jamun. If you are using store bought jamun, then skip right to Day 3.
- Day 3: Finally assemble and decorate either the day before or day off serving it.
This will make your life much easier and help you in enjoying the cake more. So go ahead make this decadent cake and enjoy with your family and friends.
Gulab Jamun Cake
For the Vanilla Cake:
- 2½ cups All purpose flour
- ¼ cup Cornstarch
- 1½ tsps Baking Powder
- 1 tsp Baking Soda
- 2 cups Unsweetened Almond Milk (or Soy milk)
- 2 tsps Apple cider Vinegar
- ⅔ cup Oil
- 1½ cups Sugar
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 1 tsp Ground Cardamom
For the Gulab Jamun*:
- 1 cup Gulab Jamun Mix
- 1 tbsp Almonds
- 1 tbsp Cashews
- 2 tsps Gulab Jamun Mix, divided
- 3 ~ 4 tbsps Milk
- 1 cup Sugar
- 1 cup Water
- 2 cups Heavy Cream
- 1 packet Dr. Oetker Whip it (or other whip cream stabilizer or use 2tbsp instant Vanilla pudding powder)
- 2 tbsps Instant Vanilla Pudding Powder
- 2 tbsps Confectioners Sugar
- 1 tsp Saffron Extract
- 2 tsps Rose syrup
- 3 ~ 4 tbsps Almonds or Pistachios, chopped
Make the Vanilla Cake:
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 2 8" round cake pans with cooking spray and line them with parchment and grease the paper with cooking spray.
- Whisk almond milk and vinegar in a measuring cup and set aside for a few minutes to curdle.
- Beat together the soy milk mixture, oil, sugar, vanilla in a large bowl.
- Sift in the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda and salt and mix until no big lumps remain.
- Divide the batter evenly between the 2 prepared pans. Bake for 25~30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Transfer to a cooling rack and let the cakes cool completely before frosting.
- I usually make the cake couple of days in advance, clingwrap it couple of times and freeze it until ready to use.
Make Gulab Jamuns:
- There are many options here. You can either buy prepared gulab jamuns from the store, make them from a mix or from scratch.
- I used MTR gulab jamun mix to make mine.
- Grind almonds and cashews to a fine powder. Add this to the gulab jamun mix along with 1tsp ground cardamom. Add milk a little at a time and mix and knead to form a smooth dough. Cover and set aside for 5 minutes.
- Combine sugar and water in a saucepan; bring the mixture to a boil and simmer for 5~6 minutes. Add the remaining 1tsp of ground cardamom and turn off the heat and set it aside.
- Heat oil or ghee for deep frying the jamuns. Divide the gulab jamun dough into 18~20 little pieces. Roll them into smooth balls making sure that there are no cracks.
- Gently slide them into the hot oil and fry on medium-low flame until they are nicely cooked through and golden brown outside. Remove with a slotted spoon and put them into the sugar syrup.
- Let the gulab jamuns soak in the syrup for 30 minutes. Remove them from the syrup place them on a plate. Reserve the sugar syrup and refrigerate the gulab jamuns for at least 1 hour.
- Cut the gulab jamuns in half and keep ready.
Make Whipped Cream:
- Chill the beaters and bowl for at least 30 minutes.
- Pour the cold whipping cream, confectioners cream, instant pudding powder and Whip It and whip until stiff peaks form.
- Take about ½cup of the whipped cream and add rose syrup to it. Mix gently and fill a piping bag with a small star tip in it.
- Add saffron extract in the remaining whipped cream and stir it in gently. Fill another piping bag fit with a big star tip.
Decorate the Cake:
- If the cakes are frozen, then leave them on the counter for about an hour to thaw before frosting.
- First level the top of a cake, if needed, and set it on the cake stand. Liberally brush the cake with the reserved sugar syrup.
- Place a dollop of saffron flavored whipped cream and spread it evenly on the cake with a spatula. Place the halved jamuns on the cake.
- Gently place the second cake on top of the first. Liberally brush the cake with the reserved sugar syrup.
- Cover the top with more saffron flavored whipped cream. Since I wanted the naked cake look, I left the sides 'almost' unfrosted.
- Place the remaining halved jamuns on top. Make swirls with both saffron and rose syrup flavored whipped cream and decorate as desired. Sprinkle the chopped nuts on top.
- Refrigerate the cake until ready to serve.