Lemon Rosemary Olive Oil Cake

When I posted on Facebook that I was baking a lemon rosemary olive oil cake someone commented and said “yuk”. Ha ha! Sounds a little odd I suppose, but I’ve learned that herbs are very versatile. While the thought of using pungent rosemary in a delicate cake might seem a bit unusual to you, olive oil probably sounds even stranger. Think about it though. Olive oil is one of the healthiest oils you can use, but you don’t want to use one that is cold pressed or with a stronger flavor. Use a lighter olive oil when using it in baking and substitute equally for other oils.

When I found this recipe on My Recipes I was curious as to why the rating was only 3 out of 5. Turns out after reading many of the comments that a lot of people were producing dry cakes. The instructions say to use 13.5 ounces of flour, then in parenthesis it says “about 3 cups”. Here’s where Baking 101 really comes in to play. If you aerate your flour by either stirring it first or “fluffing” it up then weigh out 13.5 ounces, after scooping that into your measuring cups and leveling them off, you will end up with a bit less than 3 cups. That’s just for discussion purposes though. I recommend for this recipe that you simply weigh the flour. That’s what I did and it was perfect. If you don’t have a scale, start with 2 1/2 cups, but don’t go more than 2 3/4 cups.

ANOTHER DELICIOUS IDEA >>  Review: King Arthur's Flour Cinnamon Bun Mix

I took some of this lovely cake over to a friend of mine and she loved it. I did too. It had a delicious lemon flavor with only a subtle hint of rosemary. If you didn’t tell someone the rosemary was in there, they probably wouldn’t be able to detect it. Definitely delicious and worth giving a try!

Lemon-Rosemary Olive Oil Cake
printable version

Baker’s Joy cooking spray
13.5 ounces all-purpose flour (roughly 2.5 – 2.75 cups)
1 1/2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh rosemary
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup low fat milk
2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon lemon extract
3 large eggs
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Rosemary sprig for garnish (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Coat a 10-inch tube pan with Baker’s Joy cooking spray; or regular cooking spray then dust with 2 tablespoons flour. Weigh or lightly spoon 13.5 ounces flour (about 2.5 – 2.75 cups) into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour and next 4 ingredients (through salt) in a large bowl.

ANOTHER DELICIOUS IDEA >>  Mochaccino Pudding

Place granulated sugar and next 7 ingredients (through eggs) in a medium bowl; beat with a mixer at low speed 2 minutes or until smooth. Add to flour mixture; beat until blended.

Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake at 350 F for 45 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan for 15 minutes on a wire rack, and remove from pan. Cool completely on wire rack. Combine powdered sugar and 1 tablespoon lemon juice, stirring until smooth. Drizzle sugar mixture over cake. Garnish with rosemary sprig, if desired.

More from em you might like:
Lemon Cornmeal Cake with Blueberry Sauce
Lemon & Blackberry Cream Cheese Swirl Cake
Almond Butter Cake
Double Glazed Almond Orange Bundt Cake

More from other great blogs:
Key Lime Cream Cheese Pie from Barbara Bakes
Lemon Meringue and Fresh Raspberry Cheesecake from She’s Becoming DoughMessTic
Cornmeal, Rosemary & Lemon Cake with Rhubarb & Strawberry Sauce from Cookin’ Canuck

I’m linking to BSI on Girlichef

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  1. Katrina says

    Yum, Amanda. I think it looks and sounds good. I swear I saw it in a magazine a few months ago (Food Network or Rachael Ray?), at least something similar. Love the glaze, I don't recall the one I saw having a glaze.
    You make me want to try everything you do. ;)

  2. Rena says

    My husband loves lemon cake. I'm going to give this one a try and see if he likes it. Thanks for all the special tips, too!

  3. Troy says

    We ate dinner in a fancy Italian place one night and there was a cake similar to this on the menu. Of course, since we had never heard of it, we had to try it. It was one of the best desserts we have ever had.

    Incidentally, I just finished another batch of Lemon Verbena and Rosemary Jelly… Yum!

  4. Amanda says

    Thanks Katrina! I really was good, very nice lemon flavor :)

    Mo – thank you! :)

    Rena – hop you try it, nothing savory about it, it's very good

    Troy – I bet that was good. The jelly sounds great!

    Jose – Gracias! :)

  5. Barbara @ Modern Comfort Food says

    I was already sold on this cake when I saw the title. You're so right that herbs can add such an intriguing, delicious note to desserts. And with lemons? Perfect!

  6. Cookin' Canuck says

    Very good point about weighing your ingredients. It really can make a difference to a recipe. I think your cake and glaze look wonderful!

  7. Culinary Cory says

    This sounds unique and lovely. I always buy a small rosemary plant this time of the year to have in my kitchen during the winter months. It adds a nice natural aroma when I'm not cooking.

  8. Amanda says

    I agree Avanika. Most recipes call for a measurement in cups, so in that case I use that, but whenever a recipe calls for weighing I pull out the scale :)

  9. Megan says

    I think this sounds really good! I have been wanting to make an olive oil cake and I know I would love the rosemary in it. I bet lavender would be good to. Wonderful recipe Amanda. One I would like to someday try.
    BTW- I still haven't gotten to those darn watermelon cookies. Had every intention. In fact, I bought Watermelon flavoring. Then the oven broke. :(

  10. Megan says

    I think this sounds really good! I have been wanting to make an olive oil cake and I know I would love the rosemary in it. I bet lavender would be good to. Wonderful recipe Amanda. One I would like to someday try.
    BTW- I still haven't gotten to those darn watermelon cookies. Had every intention. In fact, I bought Watermelon flavoring. Then the oven broke. :(

  11. Mags says

    What a gorgeous cake. And I agree with you that "weighing" ingredients is extremely important, especially when baking. Love the touch of rosemary.

  12. marla {family fresh cooking} says

    I love Olive Oil cake & find nothing yucky or strange about it at all. The addition of rosemary is very nice as well!

  13. Jennifer Cote says

    Wow, Amanda- sounds perfect. Another olive oil cake posted on Chow recently didn't have the plus of the fresh rosemary in it. It did say go ahead and use virgin oil though; I suppose it depends on how much you like the flavor!
    Now I'm wondering if we might try one with lavender… If that would go well with the lemon too…
    (I'm trying to find an excuse to use some lavender!)
    Thanks for posting :)

  14. Sweet And Crumby says

    I am so grateful I found this site today. Your cake looks like perfect. I am supposed to be bringing a lemon cake to a book club. I wanted to add in some rosemary and just LOVE the idea of the olive oil as well. My question is…how do you have such a neat line of icing that does not drip down the outside of your cake? Did you pipe a line first and then flood the icing inward? Thanks!!! Thank you also for the tip on weighing and aerating the flour. Always good to be reminded that I can't cheat all the time when I bake. I have a baking blog…check it out and please let me know about the icing via your comments or email. TY.

  15. Amanda says

    Hi Sweet and Crumbly! :) I believe the icing was thick enough that when I added it it was fairly spreadable. I adding it to the middle of the cake area and spread it outward and inward just enough to get it near the edge. I believe I stayed about 1/4" from both edges and that allowed for a little bit of spreading room. You can see it did drizzle down the center a bit, so it's not a perfect solution, but it worked. Would love to hear how you like it!

  16. Sweet And Crumby says

    This is my NEW FAVORITE CAKE! It is the perfect combination of lucious lemon and herby rosemary with the added flavor layer of olive oil. MMmmmmm. I am thinking of making a Meyer Lemon Drop Martini sauce for it that people could put on to of their own slice. I may blog it as well. I will link to you though! :) Great suggestions for the flour. I was careful not to over pack my flour and I used 2.5 c. since I coudln't find my scale. It came out perfectly soft and moist more like a soft coffe cake which is exactly what I was going for. Feel free to shorten my comment on your site. Hope you get a chance to stop by my blog as well. I will be coming back most definitely.

  17. Anonymous says

    Light, lovely cake. Easy to make without an electric mixer. Next time I make it I'll add less sugar, because it was a little too sweet for my taste. Must allow the lemon a chance to express itself fully!

  18. girlichef says

    Oh my gosh, I think it sounds amazing…and gorgeous, as usual! I'm all for weighing my ingredients when baking, since it's more of a science when it comes to creating the correct texture, etc. Seriously amazing, thank you for linking it to BSI: Lemons this week =)

  19. Renee @ MyKitchenAdventures says

    I saw a version of this on WW site, I think…was really intrigued by the flavors of lemon and rosemary. I think they are a perfect match! Great entry!

  20. Karen says

    What a beautiful cake. I have a lemon-rosemary pound cake recipe and it's just delish, so I'm sure this one is, as well. I haven't tried an olive oil cake… will have to do that!

  21. twospoons says

    Ooo this sounds simply divine, no matter what the ratings say! Gosh the photo of the cut cake looks brilliant, so moist and dense but just fluffy enough to be a cake. A must make! Thanks for this.

  22. Melina says

    I made this cake last night for Christmas dinner. It was divine and quickly devoured. I skipped the icing, dusted with powdered, and served with fresh whip cream! I will definitely make it again.

  23. t hill says

    I baked the lemon olive oil rosemary cake last night. I didn’t have fresh rosemary. So I used 1/2 tsp dried rosemary.. Next time I am cooking it for only 30 mins instead of 45. Hopefully it will be more moist that way.. I have to say it taste delicious..

  24. Melissa George says

    wow thats amazing recipe. i love making cakes and my favorite flavor is Vanilla i can make anything with that ingredient as it always tastes lovely.


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