Vakar Cake

by Laura Blackwell

Photo of a slice of cake on a plate with a fork, with the books Chilling Effect and Prime Deceptions in the background
Not pictured: me, drooling

This cake, with its entrancing fragrances and soft heart, is reminiscent of everyone’s favorite alien boyfriend.

Cake ingredients

  • 2 ½ c flour
  • 2 ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¾ cup unsalted butter
  • 1 ¾ cup sugar
  • 3 eggs at room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract*
  • ½ tsp rosewater*
  • 1 ¼ c whole milk
  • 1 ½ tbsp Pernod liqueur

Glaze ingredients

  • ⅔ c powdered sugar
  • 4 tsp whole milk (have more ready in case more is needed)
  • ½ tsp Pernod liqueur*
  • ½ tsp rosewater*
  • Vanilla sugar (optional)

* This cake tastes most strongly of anise, with just a hint of rose and vanilla. You can tweak the proportions of the rosewater and vanilla (and in the glaze, the Pernod) to suit your taste.


  1. Preheat oven to 350º F.
  2. Generously grease and flour Bundt pan.
  3. Sift flour, baking powder, and salt together. Set aside.
  4. Cream butter and sugar together.
  5. Beat eggs and add to wet mixture one at a time.
  6. Add vanilla and rosewater to wet mixture.
  7. Mix dry ingredients and milk into wet mixture, alternating in three parts.
  8. Pour batter and spread evenly.
  9. Bake 45-60 minutes until wooden toothpick comes out clean.
  10. Gently loosen cake from pan and let cool for 10 minutes before turning out onto plate.
  11. Whisk glaze ingredients together and pour onto hot cake.
  12. If desired, top cake with vanilla sugar for added crunch and more sweet vanilla.

Based on Italian Anise Bundt Cake: