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Lemon Rosemary Olive Oil Cake

Lemon Rosemary Olive Oil Cake – light, fluffy citrus cake made with olive oil and lemon zest, packed with a light rosemary flavor and topped with a zesty glaze and candied lemons!

Lemon & Rosemary Olive Oil Cake

This cake. Oh man, this cake.

This cake is the most highly-requested cake by my family and friends, and by far the best-selling cake when I was operating my own bake-from-home bakery.

This cake is incredible on so many levels. Moist (sorry) from the olive oil, flavorful from the fruit zest, light and fluffy but still dense enough to be enjoyable. Full of citrus flavor which is perfect for both summer and winter. Adaptable to any citrus you can think of. And that glaze? I could eat it by the spoonful. Sometimes I do.

Lemon & Rosemary Olive Oil Cake

I’ve posted this basic cake before (it’s the same recipe used for my Blood Orange Olive Oil Donuts) and wanted something new and summery to celebrate the fact that the storms are finally over and the sun is out and I can finally step outside with getting frostbite. In comes rosemary, which I know is risky because people feel very strongly about herbs in their baked goods- either STRONG LOVE or STRONG HATE but there is nothing in between.

Don’t be afraid of the herbs, my friend. It’s not overwhelming, I promise. The cake is sweet and lemony, with a slightly bitter, peppery taste from the rosemary. It’s the perfect starting point if you’re new to the whole “putting herbs in dessert thing”. And then it’s topped with candied lemon slices, which is so simple to do but looks crazy fancy.

Lemon & Rosemary Olive Oil Cake

Lemon & Rosemary Olive Oil Cake

Brit Wolfe
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 35 mins
Total Time 45 mins
Course Cake


Lemon & Rosemary Cake

  • 1 cup nondairy milk
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 3 Tbsp. lemon juice, divided
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon zest
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp. dried rosemary, divided
  • 1 cup powdered sugar

Candied Lemons

  • 2-3 lemons
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup water


For the lemon cake:

  • Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
  • In a medium-sized measuring cup, mix together the nondairy milk, olive oil, 1 Tbsp. of the lemon juice, and the lemon zest.
  • In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, cornstarch, baking soda, and salt. Add the granulated sugar and mix well.
  • Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix gently until fully combined. Fold in 1 tsp. rosemary.
  • Pour the cake into a greased 8″ round cake pan. Bake for 35-40 minutes until golden brown around the edges and set in the middle. Remove the cake from the oven and let cool completely.
  • Once the cake is cooled, add the powdered sugar, 2 Tbsp. lemon juice, and 1/2 tsp. rosemary to a bowl and mix well until totally smooth. Pour over the top of the cake and using a spoon or spatula, gently push the glaze out to the edges of the cake. This glaze is super thick, so be careful! You can always add a few drops of lemon juice to thin it out if you want to.

For the candied lemons:

  • Add the granulated sugar and water to a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium-low heat.
  • Slice the lemons, then place the lemon slices gently in the sugar mixture. Let the lemons simmer for 15 minutes over a medium-low heat, then gently remove and place on a piece of parchment paper until completely cool.
Lemon & Rosemary Olive Oil Cake

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Lemon & Rosemary Olive Oil Cake

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