Who loves lemon cake? I sure do! I love everything about homemade cakes – baking them, decorating them, eating them. That’s probably why I don’t make them as often as I’d like! (Too much temptation in the house)!
Two of my favorite flavors are lemon and rosemary. I suppose many people wouldn’t normally pair the two together unless they were eating fish or something – but for some reason the two were calling my name – so I decided ‘what the heck, I’m going to put them both together in a cake.’ It wasn’t the first time that I had used rosemary in something sweet. A year ago I created a rosemary simple syrup and enjoyed a fresh cranberry rosemary mimosa.
I decided the best placement for the rosemary was in the icing. I wasn’t sure if just finely chopping the the rosemary would be enough to give the icing flavor, but it worked well. The icing was made while the cakes baked and by the time I was ready to frost all of the rosemary flavor infused nicely.
I went ahead and made the cake rustic, and only frosted between layers, leaving the sides unfrosted. The cake is dense and rich enough, that I think just a little bit of icing goes a long way. Of course if you like more you can always just double the recipe.
The best part about this cake? Introducing my children to new flavors. Sure they’ve had rosemary in the past because I bake with a lot of herbs, but it’s always fun to experiment together with new-to-us combinations. While they were hesitant at first, they were quickly pleasantly surprised after the first bite!
Have you ever used any herbs in sweet treats? Do you have any other flavor combination ideas?
Lemon Cake with Rosemary Icing
- For the cake:
- 4 cups of all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 cup of butter
- 21/2 cups white sugar
- 6 eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 cups milk
- 4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
- For the icing:
- 8 cups of confectioners’ sugar
- 1 cup butter
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
- 4 tablespoons milk
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease two round cake pans (I used a standard size and a smaller size for tiers.)
- Mix the flour, salt, and baking powder. In a separate mixing bowl, cream the eggs, sugar, and butter together. Stir in the vanilla. Alternate pouring in the flour mixture and the milk until everything is combined. Add lemon juice and zest.
- Pour ½ of the batter into the 2 pans. Bake for 35-40 minutes. Cool on wire racks before removing the cake from the pans. Repeat with the last ½ of batter.
- Next, make the rosemary icing by combining the confectioners’ sugar, butter, rosemary, and milk.
- Level the tops of the first two cakes, then using a serrated knife, slice horizontally. Fill each level with icing and layer all four layers together.