Thai Basil + Citrus Cake

Thai Basil + Citrus Cake

I have spent many winter mornings in my balcony, where I have successfully grown two pots of Thai basil. This was not intentional. I thought I bought Italian basil, but of course, one only knows after they’ve sprouted! But now I do realise this was a far better deal, since I seem to be using Thai basil a lot more than I would have Italian. Guess everything works out well after all!

So, with flourishing pots I felt it was time to do more justice – and for me justice usually comes in the form of a cake. Finely chopped Thai basil, paired with lot’s of lemon and orange zest ( I would have added grapefruit too, but I didn’t have any on hand) rubbed into sugar – and voila, a delightful summer cake is borne!

The Recipe
8-10 slices


1 ¼ cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
¾ cup castor sugar
¼ cup finely chopped Thai basil
1 tbsp orange and lemon zest
¼ cup lemon juice
½ cup butter, soft
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
¼ cup milk (preferable full fat)

1 cup icing sugar
2 tbsp orange juice


Preheat the oven at 200C
Grease and flour a 9” cake tin
In a medium bowl stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt
In a larger bowl stir together the sugar, Thai basil and the zests
Then add the butter and cream with an electric whisk until light and fluffy
Then add the eggs one at a time whilst beating
Then add the vanilla extract, lemon juice and whisk
Then gently stir in the dry ingredient and fold with a wooden spoon
Add the milk and fold
Pour into the cake tin
Bake for 20 minutes
Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely
Meanwhile whisk together the icing ingredients and then pour over when the cake has cooled completely.

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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.