Zobo Cake (Improved Recipe)

Out of my obsession for perfecting my Zobo (sorrel, Roselle, hibiscus) cake, I am sharing with you my new and improved recipe & tips. I am fascinated by and absolutely love Zobo....mainly because of its very promising nutritional profile and also because of how versatile it really is. I have developed numerous recipes and food ideas using zobo and each time I feel I have exhausted my ideas, something else come to my creative mind.

So, as I said, after a lot of experimentation and trials and taste testing (by my tolerant husband..!), I have come up with my best Zobo Cake recipe yet...!

Recipe tips:

  1. First I made a really some rich zobo syrup...(recipe here). Due to the really tangy taste of the petals, its really important to pre process them to mellow down the harshness.
  2. I also created some delicious, 'cooked until softened' zobo petals which I allowed to marinate in the syrup for a few days. This  helped to eliminate the harsh sharp taste of the petals, which is not quite desirable for this recipe. By the time the petals marinated in the syrup for a few days (about 3 days) they tasted great with a sweetish flavour similar to prunes.
  3. Then the petals were finely chopped and added to the cake batter for texture and...well, also to increase fibre content of the cake (this is for those who wish to satisfy their commitment to eating healthy Nigerian food  or general weight loss commitment...)
  4. I paid attention to the amount of sugar used and substituted with the zobo syrup.
  5. I added a generous amount of chopped cooked and sweetened zobo petals. 
  6. The result is absolutely delicious, and the syrup made the cake incredibly moist and sumptuous..!

Weight Loss
I am so conscious about eating healthily and managing my weight, so I know some people will raise their eyebrows about how healthy this dish is... Stop right there, this is still a cake, made of sugar butter and flour...! so there are some real reasons to be concerned.

So what should, and can, an innocent health conscious foodie do, never eat a dessert in their lives... far from it, at least not for me. I believe in occasional sweet treats, in moderation of course.

I have seen so many recipes attempting to make cake a healthy dish by adding all manner of fruits and vegetables, and while some appear to make some sense, others are plain senseless...but the fact that people are trying out new things is really quite applaudable...

My contribution towards making cake healthy is this , Zobo Cake (aka Sorrel Cake, Roselle Cake or Hibiscus Cake).

This is how I look at it,... the fact that the zobo increases the fibre content of the cake significantly, must compensate for the other concerns one may have about eating cakes. Also I personally believe that this cake must have some residual nutrients from the zobo....y'know, some minerals and vitamins perhaps (this may call for some testing). So when I treat myself to this delicacy once in a while, (in moderation I quickly add), I feel no guilt at all....😄

"with this dish,... there shouldn't be any sense of guilt especially when eaten in moderation, there is nothing wrong with having a sweet treat sometime you know..." #newnigeriancuisine #healthynigeriandessert #sensibleindulgence #weightlossdessert

What You Need

  • 175g caster sugar
  • 175g flour
  • 175g unsalted butter
  • 3 medium eggs
  • 1-2 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 20g -50g of chopped cooked zobo petals
  • 20g -50ml zobo syrup

What to do

  1. Sieve the flour and place in a mixer, add the baking powder, Mix until all ingredients are well combined. In another bowl, mix butter with the sugar and after a while, add also the eggs and let all ingredients mix into a nice smooth mixture. 
  2. Then carefully add the flour and baking powder mixture. Mix again until you get a smooth cake batter. 
  3. Then add the chopped zobo petals and carefully fold in using a spatula. 
  4. Finally add the zobo syrup and again fold into the batter using a spatula until all ingredients are well combined. 
  5. Transfer into a greased pan and bake in a moderately hot oven (gas mark 4) for about 20 minutes...or until the cake is cooked through. (check using the normal test, stick a  toothpick into the case to see if it comes out clear/clean). 
  6. Allow to cook or if you cannot wait, serve with hot with a dollop of ice-cream. You would love it.



  1. Kudos. Looks doable.
    I will try it.
    Thanks for sharing.

    1. Thanks for stopping by Bunmi, pls do share pictures when you do try out the recipe....!



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