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Rasmalai Cake

One of the most delectable Indian desserts is all dressed up in the form of a layer cake! Spongy cake soaked with a saffron-cardamom milk, filled and topped with a creamy homemade ricotta cream.


Rasmalai is a chilled dessert that consists of soft and fluffy paneer dumplings soaked in a thick milk syrup, flavored with cardamom and saffron. One creamy, dreamy dessert! Now, transitioning to our cake, it has three components – a spongy cake, saffron milk  and ricotta cream and garnished with nuts.


The cake recipe is a tweaked one from Joyofbaking. Stephanie creates such perfect baked goods in her blog and she does an incredible job. The cake is very spongy and airy is perfect to soak up all the saffron milk. To make the cake…

— beat eggs whites until soft peaks form

—beat egg yolks and sugar until thick

—warm butter and milk until butter is melted

—sift all dry together

—fold beaten yolks into whites…fold in flour and finally fold in melted butter-milk

— bake and cool

Try to fold very gently, so we don’t lose much of the air.


The saffron milk  is very similar to the traditional milk in the actual dessert. Milk is simmered with saffron, sugar and cardamom powder. This can be made up to a day in advance and stored in the refrigerator.


Finally ricotta cream, rasmalai dumplings are made with fresh panner kneaded until very soft and then cooked in a light sugar syrup until soft and fluffy. Paneer is milk curdled with vinegar and then drained to get all the whey out. Ricotta is a creamier version of that. The obvious question here is, why not store bought ricotta? I found that homemade ricotta is so much fresher, creamier and better tasting! Go ahead and take that extra step. It’s worth it! Whip fresh ricotta with heavy cream, sugar and cardamom.

Liberally brush saffron milk in the cakes, and then fill and top with ricotta cream, and garnish with chopped nuts!


Let sit in the refrigerator for few hours for all the flavors to mingle and cake soften.



-Eggs are much easier to seperate when they are cold, so seperate them when cold and leave it at room temperature for at least 30 minutes. They whip up to full volume when at room temperature.

-Ricotta can be made ahead and stored in the refrigerator. It also helps in firming up a bit.

-Saffron milk can be made ahead and stored in the refrigerator as well.



Rasmalai Cake


Sponge cake

4 large eggs

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature

1/4 cup milk

1/2 cup cake flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup sugar

Saffron milk

1 cup milk

2 tablepoons sugar

1 healthy pinch saffron threads

1 teaspoon cardamom powder

Ricotta cream

2 cups milk

2 cups heavy cream, divided

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 tablepoons white vinegar

1 teaspoon cardamom powder

1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons sugar

Additional ingredients

3/4 cup pistachios, sliced almonds and cashews, chop finely


To make sponge cake,

Seperate cold eggs and place  whites and yolks in two different bowls. Let stand at least for 30 minutes to come to room temperature.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease 2 x 8-inch round cake pans with non-stick cooking spray, line with parchment paper and grease again. Set aside.

Place butter and milk in a small microwavable bowl, microwave until butter is just melted (don’t let it get very hot). Set aside.

Whisk together flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl and set aside.

Beat yolks and sugar with a hand held electric beater for 4 minutes until thick and pale. Set aside. Wash and dry beaters.

Beat egg whites  for 2-3 minutes until soft peaks form. Switch to a rubber spatula. gently fold beaten yolks in 2 additions.

Gently fold flour mixture in 2 additions. Finally, fold all the melted milk-butter mixture.

Divide batter equally in the 2 prepared cake pans, place in oven and bake for 19-20 minutes, until a tooth pick inserted in the middle comes clean.

Place pans on a wire rack to cool completely.

To make saffron milk,

Combine milk, sugar and saffron threads in a small non-stick saucepan, bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer until reduced to 3/4th cup.

Pour into a bowl, stir in cardamom powder and let cool to room temperature.

To make ricotta cream,

Combine milk, 1 cup cream and salt in a medium non-stick saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil, take off heat and add vinegar. Let milk stand for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, spread cheesecloth on a strainer and place over a bowl. After 5 minutes, pour curdled milk into the cheesecloth lined strainer and let stand for 1-2 hours, until all whey is separated. Transfer ricotta into a covered container and store in the refrigerator for 1-3 days.

Just before finishing cake, add ricotta, remaining 1 cup cream, cardamom powder and sugar. Beat with a hand held electric beater, until soft peaks form.

To assemble cake,

Place one cake on a cake platter, liberally brush about half the saffron milk, spread 1 cup of ricotta cream on top and sprinkle 2 tablespoons of chopped nuts. Gently place the other cake on top, brush remaining saffron milk and spread remaining ricotta cream on top and sides. Smooth and decorate with chopped nuts.

Store cake in the refrigerator for few hours before serving and serve with any remaining saffron milk.

Makes one 8-inch cake


Friday 5th of July 2019


Is it necessary to leave Riocatta in the fridge for two three days?

Maria Doss

Saturday 6th of July 2019

at least for 6 hours, for it to thicken:)


Sunday 30th of December 2018

I was looking for a cake recipe that satisfies my family’s Indian sweet tooth. This recipe looks awesome. Can’t wait to try it Thanks

Maria Doss

Sunday 30th of December 2018

This does satisfy the Indian taste buds..Happy holidays!


Wednesday 5th of December 2018

The best fool proof recipe ever !Thank you for the yummy recipe. My family went nuts when i told them it was rasmalai cake!! Everyone at the table had two pieces 😊. Couldn’t be any happier than this! Thank you very much! Wish i could send you the picture... it doesn’t allow me to post in the comments section.

Maria Doss

Wednesday 5th of December 2018

That's awesome! So glad that you loved it:)


Wednesday 28th of November 2018

Hello, I just came across this pin and wanted to to give this reciepe a try .As i was reading the preparation at the beginning it says “grease and flour 2x8 inch pans” but the very bottom end of the preparation says makes one 8 inch cake . Please clarify . Does recipe yield one or two 8 inch cakes? Thank you!

Maria Doss

Thursday 29th of November 2018

Hi Tara, The cake batter is divided between 2 cake pans, to make 2 layers. Both the cakes are then brushed with saffron milk and filled with ricotta cream, to make one 8-inch layered cake. Hope it clarifies:)

Nimitha Mathew

Wednesday 4th of October 2017

Hai would like to know if paneer can be used instead of ricotta.

Maria Doss

Wednesday 4th of October 2017

Sorry, the answer would be no. Paneer is very firm and will not yield to a soft textured cream:)