Lemon Olive Oil Rosemary Cake

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I currently have this Lemon Olive Oil Rosemary cake on rotation.  It’s like a lemon drizzle cake but even better and because it is made with olive oil and milk it is super moist and soft – even days later.

I stumbled across this cake when I was looking for recipes to make for the workshops at The Assembly Hall (if you attended one of our workshops in June, chances are you ate this cake!) I wanted something that was light and fragrant and suitable for the morning with a cup of tea or coffee and this one fits the bill perfectly.  The combination of zingy lemon, earthy herby-ness of rosemary and a tangy glaze have made this cake my new go-to morning tea cake.

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Recipe adapted from foodnetwork.com

The quantities listed makes enough for two cakes.  I use one loaf tin that is 21 x 8 x 7cm and another slightly larger tin that is 21 x 10 x 10cm.  The tangy glaze is also enough for two cakes.


2 cups of caster sugar
3 eggs
1 cup extra virgin olive oil*
2 cups of plain flour
1 tsp salt (I use Maldon sea salt slightly crushed in my fingers)
½ tsp bicarb of soda
½ tsp baking powder
1 ¼ cup milk
Juice of ½ lemon
2 tbsp lemon zest
1 tbsp rosemary, finely chopped


3 cups icing sugar
¼ cup lemon juice
1 tbsp lemon zest
1 tbsp rosemary, finely chopped

Preheat the oven to 180°C and grease and line your cake tins.

Beat together the sugar and eggs until pale and creamy.  Gradually add the olive oil and beat until the olive oil is fully incorporated and emulsified.

In a separate bowl, combine the milk, lemon juice, lemon zest and chopped rosemary.  And in another separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, bicarb of soda and salt.

Add a 1/3 of the flour mixture to the sugar and eggs and beat until incorporated. Follow this with ½ the milk mixture and beat until combined. Continue to alternatively add the flour and milk mixtures beating all the time until you have incorporated all the ingredients (you will start and finish with the flour mixture).  The cake batter will be quite runny.

Pour into your prepared cake tins and bake in the oven for approximately 40-45 minutes (if like me you do one smaller and one larger cake then they will cook at slightly different times).  Test that the cakes are cooked by inserting a cake skewer – it should come out clean when the cake is cooked (or you can press the top of your cake with your finger to see that it bounces back).  When baking cakes I like to keep a general eye on them after the 30 minute mark (before then don’t ever open the oven) as ovens vary and cooking times can also be different based on the shape and size of your tin.  So just keep an eye on them.  Your cakes might take a little longer or shorter than this recommended time.

Once the cakes are cooled, remove from the tin and allow to cool completely on a rack.  To make the glaze, combine the icing sugar, lemon juice, zest and chopped rosemary in a bowl and then drizzle over the cake (I just mix this glaze with a spoon – there is no need to whisk).  The consistency of the glaze should be quite thick so it doesn’t totally slip and slide off your cake.  I suggest putting the cake in the fridge to cool the glaze until you are ready to serve.

I have made this cake with good fruity olive oil and ordinary light olive oil and I can’t detect any taste difference so I would not bother to use your expensive olive oil for this recipe)

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