Friday, October 2, 2009

A Rose Petal Cake for St. Therese


I made this cake for St. Therese’s feast on October 1st. Since she is sometimes known as “the Little Flower,” one of her symbols is the rose. I was going to use pink roses, like the cake depicted here at Catholic Cuisine, but realized I was out of red food coloring. But, I think white roses might be more appropriate for Therese, anyway, both to symbolize her virginity and her youth (she was only 24 when she died).

I used my standard one-bowl vanilla cake recipe, separated the cakes into a total of four layers, spread two layers with raspberry jam, and finished it all off with seven-minute coconut frosting. Then, I just used some ivory roses, care of COSTCO for decoration. Simple but very elegant. I was thinking this would also be a lovely cake for a bridal shower.


After the fact, I came up with a really great idea for next year: a “carmel”-rose cake! Therese was a Carmelite nun. My idea was either to use a white cake and frost it with a milk chocolate icing (the carmelite habit is brown, about the color of milk chocolate), or to use a caramel (get it—caramel, Carmel?) frosting! I’m rather partial to the idea of caramel, myself. I was thinking I would make white cake with apple butter in the layers and caramel frosting. What do you think?

Ah, the joy of feast days—“There’s so much scope for imagination!” as Anne Shirley would say.



  1. Beautiful cake, Bethany! I agree, it would be lovely for a bridal shower.

  2. Your cake turned out lovely, and I think your idea for a caramel cake sounds delicious. :)

  3. Sorry to double post, Bethany, but I was rereading your post and something stood out to me: "Ah, the joy of feast days—'There’s so much scope for imagination!'" As you probably know, I'm not Catholic - but I would like to learn more about the saints. I grew up in a Catholic household that I thought was quite observant (compared to the families of the other kids I went to school with, anyway). Having read your blog regularly for a while now, I've come to see that my family was not quite as observant as I thought it was, despite going to church every Sunday, praying the rosary on occasion, and praying together at Advent. I'm becoming more intrigued with the Catholicism I left, if only because I see a different view of it here than I saw growing up. One thing I'd like to look into the feast days more, now, as an adult. So I had two questions for you, if you'd be kind enough to answer.

    The first is, how many feast days to you celebrate personally? Do you recognize them every day or only days that are especially meaningful to you?

    he second question is, do you have any Internet resources that you could recommend (besides your blog!) for research? I've seen a few sites with valuable information but were a bit dry and factual.

    Keep up the great work, I really enjoy learning new things from your blog. :)

  4. Kaleanani- I'm glad that you have found my blog helpful and informative! I hope I can help you in learning more about the aspects of Catholicism that interest you.

    In answer to your first question: I do not celebrate every feastday--there are a LOT of them! I celebrate the feasts of the patron saints of all our family members, and the feasts of saints for whom I have a particular affinity. Usually, this ends up being 1-3 per month. So, about 2 dozen feasts per year. Sometimes we do an elaborate celebration wih foods, etc. Sometimes, though, we just talk about the saint or do a small activity.

    As far as internet sources, I like EWTN for saints' biographies and for their calendar resource which lets me see at a broad glance what feastdays are coming up (because I'm only still learning to dates of some of my favorite saints' feasts--and learning about new saints all the time!) But, as far as celebration ideas, I mainly glean from my own experiences growing up Catholic, from literary resources, and quite frankly, I make a lot of it up as I go! I do sometimes like to use ideas from Catholic Cuisine (a blog for foods to celebrate the liturgical year),, but typically, this is more for inspiration than practice. Sorry to not be able to offer much more help on this front. I really suggest learning about the saints yourself, and then trying to think about what you might enjoy doing to teach, celebrate, or imitate their lives.


  5. Haven't visited your blog for awhile, but glad I did to see such a beautiful cake. I had a niece who died in her early twenties. At her funeral, her father-in-law, who was an Episcopal priest, put a white rose on her casket and said a prayer to Saint Therese. Having not grown up Catholic, I was unsure of why he did this. Now, I suspect it was the connection to dying very young.

    I am now Eastern Orthodox and am always interested to see how various people celebrate patronal feasts.

  6. Mary said,

    The yellow roses were appropriate. I recently read that yellow roses were St Therese's favorite.


Hello! I'm so glad that you have come here to share your heart and thoughts. One quick word from me before you comment:

I ask all visitors to respect this as a place of peace. Disagreements are welcome, but please refrain from posting any ungracious comments. Thank you, and God bless.