I first thought about this kind of cake a few weeks ago. Ryan and I were having breakfast at Bloomsbury Coffee House, which is a charming restaurant. Although the place has a basement location, it still feels bright, welcoming, and cozy. There was a window box bursting with a gorgeous herb garden, worn wooden tables, and a delicious looking menu. Being a sucker for all sorts of lemon desserts, the lemon rosemary cake caught my eye. But I ordered the English breakfast, and promised myself to get a slice for the road. When I finished, I was too full and forgot about the cake.
I remembered it again this week for two reasons. I was feeling a bit mopey, and baking cheers me up. Especially if I can make something delicious and lemony. I love baking because I can clear my mind, focus on the task at hand, and end up with a delicious finished product. I call it productive leisure time. And, I was doubly excited to make this cake because I got a new kitchen gadget! I like to call it “my robot,” because the packaging it came in was in many languages and in Italian it was called “robot da cucina.”
Anyway, in our great move across the pond, the American kitchen appliances did not make it. They have different plugs and voltages, and so my American appliances are on a vacation. I’ve been sad about leaving my stand mixer, and was totally intending to buy a hand mixer, when I came across this crazy beauty. It is a stand mixer, with whisk, paddle, and dough hook attachment. It is also a blender, a food processor, and a citrus juicer! It’s all the things I want in one (except a toaster, we bought that separately). Blows your mind right?
So, I took this baby out, and juiced a lemon. Then I mixed the heck out of all my ingredients. And I made a pretty awesome cake. I didn’t feel mopey anymore, because how can you when there’s cake?
This cake has a distinct, but not overpowering lemon flavor. To my taste, the rosemary wasn’t strong. But Ryan says it adds the right amount of flavor. When you get a bite with a fleck of rosemary, it has a pleasant herbal taste that nicely complements the lemon. Also, the cake is super moist. Try it out, it’s not your usual cake, but it’s a yummy snack.
Recipe from Patent and the Pantry
4 large eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 rosemary sprigs, finely chopped (plus more leaves for optional decorating)
1. Heat your oven to 350.°
2. Zest your lemon. Then juice the lemon.
3. In a large bowl, beat the eggs for a minute. They will be frothy!
4. Add the sugar and beat for 3 minutes, until mix is pale .
5. Add lemon zest, juice, and olive oil. Beat until well mixed (1-2 minutes).
6. In a medium bowl, mix flour, baking powder, rosemary, and salt.
7. Slowly add the dry ingredients into the egg mixture. Mix until just combined! Don’t beat the heck out of your batter. The more you beat it, the denser your cake will be.
8. Spray or butter a loaf pan. Or you can line with parchment paper. Pour in the batter. You can sprinkle a few decorative rosemary leaves if you like.
9. Bake for 40 minutes, or until a toothpick stuck in the cake comes out clean. The top should be golden. (You can see I over stabbed the middle of my cake to check for done-ness).
10. Let cool for a few minutes, then slice and serve.
Messy level: With my new juicer this was so easy! Before, I would have hand juiced and this would have been a 3 spoon at least. But, overall this is pretty easy and straightforward mixing. The lemon is the only crazy bit, so I’m giving it 2 spoons.