Lemon Rosemary Olive Oil Cake


It’s official.

I need an intervention.

My love of rosemary and lemon have reached new levels of ridiculousness.

Cake slice

And here’s how I know that.

As some of you may know, I write for the Calgary Herald’s Real Life section on occasion. I like to pitch the topic in advance, just in case it’s going to clash with any of the other upcoming articles the editor may have planned.

Me: Here’s what I’m thinking: Lemon Rosemary Olive Oil Cake


Her: Lemon?

Me: (confused) …Yes…?

Her: Wasn’t your last thing on lemon? And, um, the one before that?

Me: Okey-dokey. I’ll figure something out. Maybe I should do a boozy recipe….

Her: Good idea.

It was only when I got back to my desk and looked up the drink recipe I had added to my to-do list that I realized I may have a problem: Vodka Rosemary Lemonade Fizz.

Damn you, lemon, why do I love you so? And, uh, rosemary too.

Lemon and Rosemary

But, just because I couldn’t write it for the Herald didn’t mean this bad boy (and, at some point down the road, the vodka recipe too) wasn’t going to get made. After all, one can only deny their love for lemon desserts for so long. And, let’s face it, it was raining and snowing and sleeting out at the time, so what was a girl to do? Bake.

This is adapted slightly from Julie’s recipe (over at Dinner with Julie). Her original recipe calls for a finely chopped or grated pear. I omitted it this time around, but will be tempted to throw one in next time.

Olive Oil

Studded with rosemary

Golden cake

Lemon Rosemary Olive Oil Cake

  • 4 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • grated zest and juice of a lemon
  • 1/2 cup regular or extra virgin olive oil or canola oil
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. baking power
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 2 sprigs of rosemary, leaves stripped off and chopped
  • a couple more sprigs of rosemary to decorate the top (optional)

Preheat oven to 350. In large bowl, beat eggs for about a minute until frothy. Add sugar and beat for a few minutes until mixture is thick and pale. Add lemon zest, juice and olive oil and beat again.

Combine flour, baking powder, rosemary and salt in another bowl, then add to egg mixture. Stir by hand until just combined.

Pour into prepared loaf pan (sprayed or lined with parchment). Lay decorative rosemary on top. Bake for 45 minutes, until golden. (Mine was done in a little less, so you may want to check earlier if your oven runs a bit hot.

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  1. I might be able to tackle the Hundred-Mile Diet if it wasn’t for those dang lemons. I hear you with the bordering-on-obsession over them.

    Lovely cake.
    Only one problem, I’m out of lemons for now and stores are closed. Alas!

  2. I love a cake baked from scratch, and imagine your home smelled just lovely as this baked! Can’t wait to try it. (Yes, the sun is finally showing its face around here, but one can always bake.)

    I found you on TasteSpotting and am writing to say that if you have any photos that aren’t accepted there, I’d love to publish them. Visit my new site (below), it’s a lot of fun! I hope you will consider it.


  3. I can almost smell it through my computer screen. That is the type of treat I’m ready for any time of year. I have a great recipe for one made with lemon verbeona (yum!). The olive oil is so key with the delicate flavor of lemons.

  4. Too much lemon? I read these words you’ve typed, and they’re in English, but I can’t make them make sense. Too much lemon?

    Seriously, as a fellow lemon fiend this looks and sounds very tasty. And I think I even have all the ingredients on hand. Yay!

  5. I have both lemons and rosemary growing in my yard, so within 10 minutes of finding this recipe (thank you Stumble!!) I was in the kitchen beating eggs. I am now happily eating my first piece and WOW, this cake is utterly heavenly. I love the simplicity of the ingredients, it is a true California cake. Thanks so much!!!

  6. I saw your pic on tastespotting this morning and said “that’s what I’m gonna have for breakfast!” And I did… although it was more like brunch.

    I had to halve the recipe because of my shortage of eggs and the fact that I’ve been overharvesting my rosemary plant lately. I also decided to bake them in my silicone cannele molds, so they turned into mini muffins!

    I love the subtle hint of rosemary. All the flavors work well together…. kind of ate the whole batch in one sitting if that says anything about how I felt about them.

    Picture here:

    Thanks for sharing!

  7. Made it today. It was delicious! :) I was a bit too careful with the rosemary, though. Next time I’ll double the amount I used this time.

  8. I’m going to a friend’s place for 4th of July and was trying to figure out what dessert to bring. I had made a rosemary cake before and I liked that but I thought maybe I could add lemon. Then I thought, well, olive oil would be nice too. So I googled “rosemary lemon olive oil cake recipe” and this blog entry came up!

    It sounds perfect and looks delicious. I’ll let you know how it turns out. I think I’m going to serve it with some balsamic vinegar macerated strawberries to complete the Italian influence!

  9. Cakes are very close to my heart and this one looks so inviting. Can’t just stop trying my hands making one. Let’s see how successful I can be . :)

  10. Ok I made this cake twice over the holidays and it was a huge hit! I used a round cake pan to bake it instead so the cooking time drops to 25 minutes. I served it with some balsamic vinegar macerated strawberries and fresh whipped cream. Thanks again for the recipe.

  11. I make this same cake but with chopped dried figs.
    It is our favorite, from a Martha Stewart recipe.
    I add rosemary to my ricotta cheesecake too.
    I can’t help myself!
    The combo is just meant to be!
    stacey snacks

  12. hi! wanted to let you know that i made this slightly different (i didn’t have all purpose flour so i intended to use whole weat but i mistook it with pancake/muffin mix flour) glad it turned delicious! so happy i found you, i’m dropping to your blog to pick my next culinary project. keep it up!

  13. is there any way to ship lemons from so cal to canada? i have so many they are breaking the branches and i cry when they rot on the ground. any suggestions or ideas? we love lemonade.
    wish i could get them to you somehow….

    1. I really, really wish you could ship them to me! Alas, customs would have a field day. Lemonade is a great option. Or make some curd and give it away to friends. Do none of your neighbours want any?

  14. Love the recipe. But since im using it for cupcakes, with a brown butter buttercream, i am going to use rosemary-infused olive oil. Very excited to try this, it will def be added to my recipe book!

  15. This looks so wonderful my gourmet group will be making it at our next gathering in the middle of this month. I need your help: what size loaf pan are you using? Are there 6 servings?
    I can’t wait, my mouth is watering in anticipation already! I will report back!

    1. Hi Candy,
      I made this in a standard loaf pan, which should give you much more than six servings. (Depending on how big the pieces are, I’d say you should get at least double that — though I am not one to judge on how many pieces you want to eat.)
      : )
      I hope that helps!

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