Lemon Rosemary Olive Oil Cake

I love single-layer unfrosted cakes with interesting flavors. This has become a favorite in the last few years, a complex, bright, moist cake that’s easy to make in a springform pan. The rosemary takes it over the top, compelling friends to ask what’s special in there. You could easily double the recipe for a layered birthday cake. Lemon curd would be fabulous as a filling between layers.

This recipe originally appeared as an orange cake in Hetty McKinnon’s cookbook Family: New Vegetarian Comfort Food to Nourish Every Day, one of my most commonly used cookbooks for easy, healthy, interesting dishes. This is the lemon variation of the cake, and you could also experiment with other citrus. Wouldn’t blood orange be fun? You could also sub coconut oil, but I love the earthy perfume of the olive oil. Enjoy, friends!


1 cup sugar

zest and juice of 2 lemons

2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary

2 large eggs, beaten

1 cup (250g) Greek yogurt

1 cup (250g) extra-virgin olive oil

2 cups (250g) flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

powdered sugar for dusting, optional


Preheat the oven to 325F. Line a 9-inch springform pan with parchment paper.

Add the sugar, lemon zest, and rosemary to a bowl and, using your fingertips, rub everything together until the sugar is fragrant and damp. Add the eggs and whisk until pale and thick. Beat in the yogurt and lemon juice, then gradually whisk in the olive oil.

Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt into a large bowl so it’s lovely and aerated. Slowly pour in the wet ingredients and, using a large spoon or spatula, gently fold everything together until just combined. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan.

Bake for 45-50 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 20 minutes, then invert the cake onto a rack to cool completely. When cool and ready to eat, dust with powdered sugar.

you may also like…

Fresh Tangerine Layer Cake
“Queen of Sheba” Chocolate Torte
Great-Great Aunt Tillie’s Date Cake


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