rosewater olive oil quince cake

loaf cake shot from above with a few slices fanned out from one end


for the cake:

  • 1 very large or 2 medium quince*, peeled, cored**, and cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 105g extra virgin olive oil (1/2 cup)
  • 2 large eggs (110g)
  • 135g sugar (2/3 cup)
  • 10g rosewater (2 teaspoons)
  • 200g flour (1 1/2 cup)
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda

for the glaze and decoration:

  • 85g powdered sugar (3/4 cup)
  • 15g lemon juice (1 tablespoon)
  • 1/2 teaspoon rosewater
  • 1 drop pink food coloring (optional)
  • edible dried rose petals (optional)


  1. Bring a small pot of water to a boil. Once boiling, add the quince and reduce heat to low or medium-low, just to maintain a bare simmer. Let the quince cook for about 45 minutes. They’re done once they’re soft enough to pierce easily with a butter knife.
  2. Strain the quince. Move to the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade. Pulse until it’s very finely chopped/puréed. You should end up with 1 cup (235g). It’s ok to use a few tablespoons more if your quince were particularly large and you’ve got a smidge extra, but don’t add very much more than 1 cup.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350°F [180°C] and grease an 8×4” loaf pan.
  4. Combine the quince purée, olive oil, eggs, sugar, and rosewater in a medium mixing bowl. Add the flour to the bowl and sprinkle the salt, baking powder, and baking soda evenly on top of the flour. Mix everything together, being very careful not to over-mix. Stop as soon as there are no dry patches of flour.
  5. Pour the batter into the greased loaf pan. Bake for about 50 minutes, or until a paring knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
  6. Let the cake cool on a rack for at least 30 minutes before decorating or slicing.
  7. While you wait for the cake to cool, make the glaze: Whisk together the powdered sugar, lemon juice, rosewater, and food coloring. It’s done once there are no more lumps. Keep covered and whisk it again right before pouring.
  8. Drizzle the glaze on the cooled cake and immediately top with rose petals. Slice and enjoy. If you have any leftover, store at room temperature for a few days or in the freezer longer (never store in the refrigerator).


* Can substitute 235g (1 cup) unsweetened applesauce instead.

** Quince need to be cored a bit differently than other pome fruits (e.g., apples, pears, etc.). Split it open and use a small spoon (or measuring spoon/melon baller/corer) to scrape out the core and the stony area immediately surrounding the core. The core has the seeds and tough fibrous parts, but the area around the core also has some gritty bits, which you’ll want to eliminate. You can tell you’re done coring it once you no longer feel any rough gritty bits.