Lemon Rosemary Cake

Lemon Rosemary Cake

If you’ve been paying attention you will notice I’ve been a slight bit more obsessed than usual with fresh herbs and my fancy for cakes has taken a clear front seat in the recent weeks. The reason is simple – time constraints, an urgency to use up the fresh herbs before they rot, and lastly, cakes are easier to store to shoot the morning after. The past few weeks have been so eventful with new opportunities, travels, fun shoots… I’ve been truly enjoying myself. And baking a cake is always been my favourite, which is why I tend to lean towards them when I’m happy!

This cake is similar to the Cherry + Thyme Loaf in terms of concept. The cake is a good old fashioned vanilla cake, burdened with fresh rosemary, then soaked in a rosemary infused sugar syrup, followed by a mascarpone frosting with fresh rosemary. I’ve also used up the last large lemon I had carefully preserved from this day LEMON BARS. And yes, in case you’re wondering, I was aiming to use all the remaining rosemary I had before it withered away.

Baking this little jewel was indeed therapeutic and the lemon fragrance is intoxicating and exciting. My large lemon provided with the best kind of zest, and the mascarpone frosting speckled with rosemary was indeed a beauty.

The Recipe
Serves 8


  • 1/4 cup butter, soft
  • 1/2 cup castor sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp vanilla essence
  • 200g yogurt
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • pinch of salt
  • Syrup:
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2-3 sprigs of rosemary
  • Frosting:
  • 1/2 cup mascarpone
  • 1/2 cup icing sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 2 tbsp lemon zest
  • 3-4 rosemary sprigs
  • Lemon Slice:
  • lemon slices
  • sugar


  • Heat the oven to 200C.
  • Grease and line a 9” baking tin.
  • Cream the butter and sugar.
  • Add the egg and vanilla and beat well.
  • Then add the baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  • Alternate between the flour and yogurt, starting with flour and whisking to just combine. Do not overbeat.
  • Bake for 25-20 minutes.
  • Remove from oven and leave in the cake tin for 10 minutes before removing from the cake tin.
  • Syrup:
  • While the cake is baking start the syrup.
  • Place all the ingredients together in a pan and bring to a boil. Let the sugar dissolve completely and remove from heat and cool.
  • Prick holes in the cake and brush the syrup over the cake.
  • Frosting:
  • Whisk the mascarpone with vanilla first for a few minutes.
  • Gradually add the icing sugar, rosemary and zest.
  • Spread the frosting over the cake.
  • Lemon Slices:
  • Place the lemon slices on a hot pan with some sugar to grill both sides.
  • Remove from heat once they have slightly caramelized and allow to cool completely before placing on top of the cake.

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The recipes are tried and tested, some are adapted from various places, and a few are passed down; but every one of them comes straight from the heart.