Lemon Rosemary Cake

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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

bakedbree
This Lemon Rosemary Cake is beautiful, moist and has a unique sweet and savory flavor best served as a dessert, snack or breakfast treat.
4.61 from 48 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Additional Time 10 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Course cake
Cuisine American
Servings 1 (8 x 4.5-inch) loaf
Calories 437 kcal

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
 

  • Preheat the oven to 350-degrees and spray an 8 x 4.5-inch loaf pan with cooking spray.
  • Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  • Add lemon zest, juice and vanilla.
  • Add yogurt, then add eggs one at a time.
  • Next, add flour, baking powder, salt, and rosemary.
  • Mix for an additional minute, scraping the bowl, until everything is smooth and combined.
  • Pour batter into the prepared loaf pan.
  • 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.
  • Make the glaze by whisking powdered sugar and lemon juice.
  • 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.
  • 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

Serving: 1gCalories: 437kcalCarbohydrates: 61gProtein: 6gFat: 20gSaturated Fat: 12gPolyunsaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 116mgSodium: 429mgFiber: 1gSugar: 41g
Keyword citrus, fresh herbs, powdered sugar glaze
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