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.

  40 comments for “Lemon Rosemary Olive Oil Cake

  1. June 21, 2009 at 7:38 pm

    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. TasteStopping
    June 23, 2009 at 4:45 am

    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.


    • June 23, 2009 at 9:00 am

      Loved the combination of, lemon, rosemary and olive oil in a cake! Would love to try this recipe some day for sure.

  3. June 23, 2009 at 1:33 pm

    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. Isegrim
    June 23, 2009 at 1:43 pm

    I will definitely try this some time soon. Sounds great!

  5. June 23, 2009 at 4:11 pm

    I totally share your obsession with lemons. I cannot casually pass by a lemon sale….ever. This cake must be the best combo of flavors ever. Thanks!

  6. June 23, 2009 at 5:11 pm

    I am completely obsessed with lemons as well…and this looks like a lovely recipe to add to my list! Thanks for sharing!

  7. June 23, 2009 at 5:11 pm

    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!

  8. Melissa
    June 23, 2009 at 5:34 pm

    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!!!

  9. windattack
    June 25, 2009 at 2:01 pm

    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!

  10. Isegrim
    June 27, 2009 at 12:10 pm

    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.

  11. June 27, 2009 at 3:28 pm

    Wow, I can smell the lemon and rosemary from here! And such beautiful sharp photos. Awesome. And funny blog.

  12. ThePsychobabble
    June 28, 2009 at 9:58 pm

    May I just say I love your header!! Beautiful:)

  13. June 30, 2009 at 12:34 pm

    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!

  14. July 3, 2009 at 6:49 am

    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 . :)

  15. Joan
    July 5, 2009 at 2:59 pm

    I just made this and it’s wonderful! Quick and easy, too. :-)

  16. July 6, 2009 at 10:23 am

    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.

  17. July 9, 2009 at 7:09 pm

    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

  18. July 18, 2009 at 7:59 am

    That sounds ridiculously good.
    Great photos today too!

  19. petercmartin1
    July 21, 2009 at 3:57 pm

    This recipe looks absolutely amazing. I will definately have to give it a try!

  20. February 28, 2010 at 5:26 pm

    Stumbled upon this recipe and blog from a Google search for lemon rosemary cake. I made it today and absolutely love it! Thanks for sharing.

  21. val
    April 27, 2010 at 9:54 pm

    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!

  22. nonee
    May 12, 2010 at 4:50 am

    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….

    • patentandthepantry
      May 16, 2010 at 10:34 pm

      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?

  23. cakemaker108
    January 30, 2011 at 11:05 pm

    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!

  24. Gaby
    April 30, 2012 at 6:18 pm

    “Baking power.” Wow! I need some of that! :D

  25. Daniela
    April 12, 2013 at 1:04 pm

    Absolutely delicious. And the experience of baking with those ingredients was divine.

  26. Candy
    May 8, 2013 at 3:40 pm

    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!

    • May 8, 2013 at 10:48 pm

      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!

  27. Daniela
    April 1, 2016 at 2:33 pm

    Again and again I return to this recipe. Such a wonderful cake. Genius in its simplicity. Thank you.

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