Lemon Rosemary Cake

This Lemon Rosemary Cake is fresh, light and has a unique sweet and savory flavor. It is a beautiful and moist dessert, snack with afternoon tea, or breakfast treat.

easy lemon rosemary cake with lemon drizzle sliced on wooden board

I made this cake the other day and it was exactly what I was after. A bright and light cake with a hint of rosemary. I adore anything with lemon.

This recipe strikes the right balance of sweet and savory much like Strawberry Basil Ice Cream or Orange Rosemary Pecans.

I just love combining herbs with sweet things.

moist lemon cake with lemon glaze on wooden board with fresh lemon slices and rosemary sprigs

Ingredients //

I almost always have all of these ingredients on hand for this easy lemon cake so I can make it at a moment’s notice.

For the lemon cake, you will need room temperature butter, sugar, zest + juice of lemon, vanilla extract, vanilla yogurt, eggs, flour, baking powder, salt and fresh rosemary.

For the lemon glaze, gather together powdered sugar, lemon juice and rosemary sprigs.

lemon cake sliced on white plates with forks and rosemary sprigs

Sugar. Granulated or caster sugar both work here. My preferred brand for all my baking recipes is Dixie Crystal Extra Fine Granulated Sugar, which is pure cane sugar that is milled to a finer texture for a smooth, quick-dissolving, all-purpose sugar. I use the same brand of powdered sugar, too. As always, use whatever you have on hand.

Lemon. You will need two lemons – one zested and juiced for the cake and the other juiced for the glaze.

Rosemary. Fresh rosemary gives this easy cake recipe that extra special flair. If you do not have fresh rosemary, thyme or lavender would also work really well.

How To Make // The Steps

All it takes is one bowl, an electric mixer (stand or hand-held) and a loaf pan to make this fresh and flavorful treat. Simply:

lemon cake sliced on white plates with forks and rosemary sprigs
  1. Preheat the oven to 350-degrees and spray an 8 x 4.5-inch loaf pan with cooking spray.
  2. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  3. Add lemon zest, juice and vanilla.
  4. Add yogurt, then add eggs one at a time.
  5. Next, add flour, baking powder, salt, and rosemary.
  6. Mix for an additional minute, scraping the bowl, until everything is smooth and combined.
  7. Pour batter into the prepared loaf pan.
  8. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes. Cool in pan for 10 minutes. Take the cake out of the pan, and cool completely on a rack.
  9. Make the glaze by whisking powdered sugar and lemon juice.
  10. Add more sugar and lemon juice as needed. I like my glaze on the thick side, so I use less lemon juice. If I need to thicken it up, I add more sugar until I get a consistency that I like.
  11. Drizzle over cake and add rosemary sprigs. Let glaze stand until completely set.

What Makes This Lemon Rosemary Cake Recipe So Good?

I like to consider lemon as my absolute favorite ingredient and flavor. But I make this easy lemon cake recipe any chance I get because:

  • Herbs and citrus create magic in the kitchen.
  • It combines a unique combo of sweet and savory notes that makes it incredibly delicious (and somewhat addicting).
  • It can be served as breakfast, a snack or dessert that everyone will love!

Variations //

Nothing can beat the flavor of lemon and rosemary, but if you’d like a bit more pop, try:

  • Adding ½ cup fresh blueberries (fold in gently at the end to prevent them from bleeding into the batter).
  • Baking it in a small (7.5 x 3-inch) fluted or decorative bundt pan (start checking for doneness at the 30-minute mark).
  • Substitute the yogurt for ¾ cup olive oil for the ultimate decadence.
lemon and rosemary cake recipe sliced on white plates with forks and rosemary sprigs

Serving Suggestions

In all honesty, you can enjoy this cake any time of day.

I serve it as a dessert or afternoon treat with friends, but it also goes incredibly well with coffee in the morning.

How To Store

The cake with lemon drizzle will keep on the kitchen counter for up to 3 days (if it lasts that long!) or in the fridge for up to 1 week.

Store it in an airtight container large enough to prevent the glaze from touching the surface. Alternatively, stick a few toothpicks into the cake and tent it with plastic wrap.

Top Tips for Lemon Rosemary Cake:

  • Use caster sugar, if you have it on hand. I love Dixie Crystals brand for their smaller sugar granules. But simply use what you already have in your pantry.
  • Zest the lemon before you juice it. I use a Microplane. Trust me when I say, it’s much easier to zest a whole lemon than one that’s been sliced and squeezed.
  • Bring the cold ingredients to room temperature and add eggs one at a time. This creates a smoother batter.
  • Be careful not to overmix. This ensures the cake bakes to a light and fluffy texture.
  • Adjust the lemon drizzle to your liking. I like it on the thick side, so I use less lemon juice. Add lemon juice to thin it out and powdered sugar to thicken.

More Lemon Cake Recipes //

Originally published in April 2013, updated August 2020 with updated images and updated recipe card.

If you make this recipe, I’d love to know how it goes! Be sure to follow me on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest, too!


moist lemon cake with lemon glaze on wooden board with fresh lemon slices and rosemary sprigs

Lemon Rosemary Cake

Yield: 1 (8 x 4.5-inch) loaf
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Additional Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes

This Lemon Rosemary Cake is beautiful, moist and has a unique sweet and savory flavor best served as a dessert, snack or breakfast treat.

Ingredients

Cake:

  • 3/4 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup Dixie Crystals sugar
  • Zest of one lemon
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/2 cup vanilla yoghurt
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh rosemary, finely chopped

Glaze:

  • 1 cup Dixie Crystals powdered sugar
  • 3 to 4 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • Rosemary sprigs (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350-degrees and spray an 8 x 4.5-inch loaf pan with cooking spray.
  2. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  3. Add lemon zest, juice and vanilla.
  4. Add yogurt, then add eggs one at a time.
  5. Next, add flour, baking powder, salt, and rosemary.
  6. Mix for an additional minute, scraping the bowl, until everything is smooth and combined.
  7. Pour batter into the prepared loaf pan.
  8. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes. Cool in pan for 10 minutes. Take the cake out of the pan, and cool completely on a rack.
  9. Make the glaze by whisking powdered sugar and lemon juice.
  10. Add more sugar and lemon juice as needed. I like my glaze on the thick side, so I use less lemon juice. If I need to thicken it up, I add more sugar until I get a consistency that I like.
  11. Drizzle over cake and add rosemary sprigs. Let glaze stand until completely set.

Notes

Store it in an airtight container large enough to prevent the glaze from touching the surface. Alternatively, stick a few toothpicks into the cake and tent it with plastic wrap. Keep on the kitchen counter for up to 3 days or in the fridge for up to 1 week.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 437Total Fat: 20gSaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 116mgSodium: 429mgCarbohydrates: 61gFiber: 1gSugar: 41gProtein: 6g

All information and tools presented and written within this site are intended for informational purposes only.

Oh hey there!

Well, hello there! I’m Bree Hester, the Boston-based blogger and food photographer here at Baked Bree. Here you can get lots of weeknight meal inspiration, eat more plant-based meals, and still indulge in a decadent sweet treat. Baked Bree is a place where you will find great recipes and inspiration for your next family adventure.

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This Post Has 56 Comments

  1. Obsessive Compulsive Baking Disorder

    Wow, this cake looks so delicious.
    I love the idea of using citrus fruits with herbs, another recipe I want to try out is orange and cardamon cake.
    Can’t wait for an excuse to bake this though.
    Thanks for sharing!
    Leah

    1. bakedbree

      Orange and cardamon sounds amazing. Good idea!

  2. Tieghan

    That icing look killer and the cakes look even better!! I love the combo of lemon and rosemary! Very light and fresh!

    1. bakedbree

      Thank you Teighan!

  3. Ali | Gimme Some Oven

    This is so beautiful, Bree! I always love lemon and rosemary together!

    1. bakedbree

      Me too Ali, sweet or savory, and thank you. 🙂

  4. Amanda

    ADORE!!! So beautiful. And I know delicious.

    1. bakedbree

      Thank you Amanda! How are you feeling? When is that sweet babe going to be born?

  5. Melissa from the Blue House

    Oh my goodness, this looks DELICIOUS. I don’t think I’ve ever combined lemon and rosemary before, but this might be a great way to use some of my prolific little rosemary plant!

    1. bakedbree

      Yes! Lemon and rosemary are beautiful in dessert. You will love it!

  6. Rachel @ Baked by Rachel

    Gorgeous! I’d absolutely love a slice.

    1. bakedbree

      Thank you Rachel! This was a good cake for breakfast. 🙂

  7. Cathy Pollak ~ Noble Pig

    I LOVE this..my two fave flavors together!!!

    1. bakedbree

      Mine too! We joke that this blog should be called Baked Lemon.

  8. amy

    baked it last night for a dessert to share with a girlfriend on her porch with cocktails… & shared the rest with my husband this morning for breakfast . 🙂 SO delicious, everyone loved it .

    1. bakedbree

      A double whammy recipe, glad you liked it!

  9. Sophie

    Hi, I would love to try this recipe but being based in London, England, I have no idea what Dixie Crystal sugar is? Is it brown sugar or white caster sugar please?
    Any advice would be much appreciated,
    Love your recipes,
    Sophie

    1. bakedbree

      It is just a name brand. It is white caster sugar.

  10. Debra Rose

    This bread looks so delicious. The combination of lemon and rosemary sounds wonderful – I want to try this soon – YUM!

    1. bakedbree

      I hope that you do!

  11. Sonja @ Dagmar's Kitchen

    OH my gosh! Just found my way in here through Pinterest and this looks SO good. I have rosemary, I have lemons and I need to bake it today. Thanks for sharing!

    1. bakedbree

      You are welcome!

  12. LAURA

    This cake is delish. I just made it and it came out perfect. Great recipe!!!

    1. bakedbree

      Great! Glad that you liked it so much.

  13. Anastasiya

    Hello! Thank you for a wonderful recipe! I was just wondering is it 350 degree Farenheit? Just to match Farenheit and Celcium scales)

    1. bakedbree

      Yes, 350 F.

  14. Maya

    Greetings from Indonesia! just tried out this recipe yesterday afternoon and this morning it’s almost gone. everyone loves it! thank you for the wonderful sharing, it is simple yet delicious. So glad found this recipe 🙂 oh.. since i ran out of yoghurt i substituted it with same amount of milk with 1 teaspoon of lemon juice and it still came out delish!

    1. bakedbree

      I am so glad you liked it!

  15. Whitney Hoy

    I can’t wait to try this! I’m also loving how straight forward you are, and I really appreciate it! Gah!! 🙂 More people should be that way!

    https://oreosandredwine.blogspot.com

    1. bakedbree

      Thank you Whitney!

  16. maria eugenia

    Riquísima!! thanks for sharing!! i´ll do it

  17. Brigitte Jorasz-Bauer

    Dear Bree,
    now, I find time to say thankyou for this lovely reciept lemon joghurt cake. I try it some times and it is my favorite cake now. It is so extrem fluffy and delicious.. So I post it on my blog, of course with your name.
    many thanks and i have to try more.
    kind regards Brigitte

    1. bakedbree

      I am so glad that you like it. 🙂

  18. Janna Hayes

    I have baked this half a dozen times now. The recipe is so reliable and my husband says its the best cake I’ve ever baked x Thank you x

    1. bakedbree

      I am so glad to hear this, thanks for letting me know. And I love that you love it so much.

  19. Meagan

    Thank you for sharing this recipe! It was absolutely delicious. Unfortunately, I wasn’t careful enough when taking the cake out of the pan, and broke it. So I decided to make a trifle by layering the cake pieces, lemon glaze, and vanilla yogurt. It turned out great, but I plan to try again soon!

    1. bakedbree

      Excellent save! I hate when that happens to me (which is more often than I care to admit.)

  20. Katie

    Hi! I am SO excited to try this out myself! I was wondering- do you think greek yogurt would be an ok substitution for regular yogurt? I was worried it would be too thick, but we only ever have that hanging around the house, and if I can avoid buying something extra, I will 🙂 Thanks!

    1. bakedbree

      It should be just fine.

  21. Theresa

    Hello. I made this last night, my husband said this is his favorite cake ever! Even better than the german chocolate cake that I make from scratch that has been his favorite for the past 17 years. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe!

    1. bakedbree

      I’m so glad that he liked it so much!

  22. Mary

    Hi, this looks absolutely delicious! Do you think it would work cooked in a round cake tin instead of a loaf pan?

    1. bakedbree

      Yes! Adjust the baking time as needed.

  23. Reba

    I was inspired by the rosemary on my back porch to make this cake. It was absolutely perfect. What a great recipe. Thanks for sharing.

    1. bakedbree

      I am so glad that you like it so much. I do too!

  24. Chloe

    Both times I have tried to make this it has curdled. Unless you are leaving out some step, I’m not sure how this recipe comes out

    1. bakedbree

      As you can see from the pictures, that didn’t happen to me. And many people have made this recipe with success. Often when you make a cake when you add the flour it all combines evenly.

  25. Kathleen

    Hi there! A few questions:
    Have you tried different types of flour for this recipe, or do you always use a white flour? How do you think wheat flour would fare?
    Does the vanilla Greek yogurt add a substantial amount of vanilla flavor or would plain Greek yogurt be just as good?

    Thank you for the input!

    1. bakedbree

      I always use white flour. I think that white whole wheat would be fine, but regular whole wheat, I’m not so sure. I definitely would cut it with APF otherwise it will turn out like a hockey puck. You can absolutely use plain yogurt, just be sure to add a little extra vanilla.

  26. Brad

    Does this cake freeze well? I would like to freeze it with the glaze and all.

    1. bakedbree

      I assume that it will, but I have never frozen it myself.

  27. Amanda K

    Do you think I could substitute gluten free flour?

    1. bakedbree

      Absolutely. I don’t see why not.

  28. Samantha Francis

    Wish I could post a photo, this cake is picturesque! Thank you for the amazing recipe, mine turned out HEAVENLY!!!! I used Zoi Greek yogurt since it was in my fridge with an extra tsp. of vanilla & it is so amazing!!

    1. Bree Hester

      I am so glad! I love this cake!

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