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Fluffy Lemon-Rosemary Layer Cake with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

Baker Bettie Back to Bake-sics, Cakes, Sweets 25 Comments

Fluffy Lemon-Rosemary Cake with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting- Baker Bettie

I made a cake this weekend. That sounds like a small statement. But listen to me when I say: this is a big statement!

Cake is my baking arch enemy. I have just had so many failures with cakes. If you saw my last post, you know that this was the cake I had planned to make for my birthday. I decided to make a giant cookie instead because I knew it would be far less stressful and much more enjoyable for me to eat. But I was determined to make this cake anyway. And man, am I proud of it!

Fluffy Lemon-Rosemary Cake with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting- Baker Bettie

We bakers are known for our patience. Well, let me tell you this: I am not patient! Not at all. And this cake took me all freaking morning to make so it also took all my energy to keep myself in the cake baking game. To keep myself from taking any shortcuts and to just plain finish. I give those wedding cake bakers mad cred. They deserve it.

Fluffy Lemon-Rosemary Cake with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting- Baker Bettie I kept the look of the frosting on this one simple. The reasons for this is 3-fold. #1: I wanted it to look a little old fashioned. #2: I pretty much only like cream cheese frosting and it’s not the easiest to work with as far as decorating. #3: Let’s be honest, I don’t have any cake frosting skillz (with a z). This is the best I could do. One challenge at a time, folks! One challenge at a time.

The cake turned out really light and fluffy! I am pretty pumped about the success! So I wanted to try something different for this post. I did step-by-step photos to help your cake turn out as light and fluffy as mine did! Let me know how you feel about me doing my posts like this for the future. Helpful? Annoying?

Click here to skip all the way down to the recipe!

Fluffy Lemon-Rosemary Cake with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting- Baker Bettie Everything is going to go a lot more smoothly if you get all your mise en place (getting everything in it’s place) before you start. Trust me. Then you know you need to run out in the ice to get more sugar before you actually start mixing anything (not that I had that problem or anything).

Hopefully you also put those eggs and that buttermilk out in enough time to come to room temperature too! You want a fluffy cake right? Okay, then. Let’s do this right!

Fluffy Lemon-Rosemary Layer Cake with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting- Baker Bettie

Preheat your oven to 350F! (not really sure why that deserved and exclamation mark)

Spray two 8″ or 9″ cake pans and dust with flour. Tap out the excess flour and set pans aside while you get your batter together! (things are getting exciting! more exclamations!)

Fluffy Lemon-Rosemary Layer Cake with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting- Baker Bettie

Gather up a large bowl, a sifter, the flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, and sugar. Remove 1/4 cup of the sugar and set aside for later. Sift together everything (minus the 1/4 cup sugar).

Fluffy Lemon-Rosemary Layer Cake with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting- Baker Bettie I like to use a whisk to speed things along since I don’t have a hand crank sifter. Baker’s trick!

Fluffy Lemon-Rosemary Layer Cake with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting- Baker Bettie Give it all one more quick whisk to combine everything and set the dry ingredients aside.

Fluffy Lemon-Rosemary Layer Cake with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting- Baker Bettie Moving on to the wet stuff! Grab your egg yolks, melted butter, oil, vanilla, buttermilk, lemon zest, and chopped rosemary.

Fluffy Lemon-Rosemary Layer Cake with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting- Baker Bettie And give them all a quick whisk together and set aside.

Whew! This is hard work.

Fluffy Lemon-Rosemary Layer Cake with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting- Baker Bettie Now whip your egg whites in the mixer with the whisk attachment. Stream in the 1/4 cup sugar you reserved earlier with the mixer on high just until stiff peaks form. Like those ^ up there!

You just made simple meringue yo! Good for you!

Fluffy Lemon-Rosemary Layer Cake with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting- Baker Bettie GENTLY move the meringue from the mixing bowl into a clean mixing bowl and set aside. GENTLY! Capiche?

Fluffy Lemon-Rosemary Layer Cake with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting- Baker Bettie

Finally, we can start making the batter! Add that dry ingredient mixture to the mixing bowl and with the mixer on low speed gradually pour in the wet ingredients.

Fluffy Lemon-Rosemary Layer Cake with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting- Baker Bettie

Mix for only about 10 seconds then shut off the mixer and scrape down the bowl. Mix for about 20 more seconds on low speed and shut off. We don’t want to over develop the glutens here! We took all this time to get everything together let’s keep things light and tender!

Fluffy Lemon-Rosemary Layer Cake with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting- Baker Bettie

GENTLY fold 1/2 the meringue into the batter being very careful not to deflate the meringue.  GENTLY fold the rest of the meringue into the batter.

Fluffy Lemon-Rosemary Layer Cake with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting- Baker Bettie You will have a few white streaks in the batter. They will bake out. You want to fold as little as possible to keep the cake light and fluffy!

Fluffy Lemon-Rosemary Layer Cake with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting- Baker Bettie

GENTLY divide the batter evenly between your prepared pans. Are you noticing a trend? GENTLE!

Bake at 350F for 20 minutes, rotating 1/2 way through.

Fluffy Lemon-Rosemary Layer Cake with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting- Baker Bettie Cool on a wire wrack. Ignore the imperfections! The top will become the bottom!

Fluffy Lemon-Rosemary Layer Cake with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting- Baker Bettie Make your frosting while the cake cools! Lemon cream cheese frosting!

Now frost your cake, take some pictures, and share with someone special!

Fluffy Lemon-Rosemary Layer Cake with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting- Baker Bettie The cake is not overly sweet and I am obsessed with the herbaceousness that the rosemary brings! You’ve probably noticed the thing I have for rosemary in baked goods. There were those one cookies and those one cinnamon rolls and those waffles too! If you aren’t down with it, leave it out! The cake with just lemon would be awesome too!

Hey! I baked a cake! And it doesn’t look terrible! And it tastes pretty darn awesome! Don’t worry, it will probably only take me like a year and a half to do another one.

One Year Ago: 
Cheddar Jalapeno and Thyme Quick Bread

Two Years Ago: 
Peanut Butter Banana Bacon Cake

Fluffy Lemon-Rosemary Layer Cake with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting- Baker Bettie

Fluffy Lemon-Rosemary Layer Cake with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting- Baker Bettie

Fluffy Lemon-Rosemary Layer Cake

Yield: 8-12

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups cake flour, plus extra for dusting pans
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon table salt
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar (divided)
  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
  • 1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 TBSP lemon zest
  • 1 TBSP fresh rosemary, minced
  • 6 large egg yolks, room temperature
  • 3 large egg whites, room temperature

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Grease two 8" or 9" round cake pans. Dust pans with flour and tap out excess any excess.
  2. In a large bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and 1 1/2 cups sugar. In another bowl whisk together the melted butter, buttermilk, oil, vanilla, lemon zest, rosemary and egg yolks.
  3. For the meringue: In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment, beat egg whites at medium speed until foamy. With machine running, stream in the remaining 1/4 cup sugar. Beat at high speed just until stiff peaks form. Gently transfer to a bowl and set aside.
  4. Add flour mixture to the empty stand mixer bowl fitted with whisk attachment. With mixer running at low speed, gradually pour in butter mixture and mix for about 10 seconds. Stop mixer and thoroughly scrape down the bowl. Mix again on medium for 20 more seconds just until combined.
  5. Using rubber spatula, gently fold in 1/2 of the meringue just until incorporated. Fold in the rest of the meringue. Be very gentle to not deflate the air in the meringue. You will have a few white streaks in the batter. Divide batter evenly between your prepared cake pans.
  6. Place pans on a half-sheet pan and bake on the center rack in the oven at 350F for 20-25 minutes, rotating halfway through. The cake will begin pulling away Bake until cake layers begin to pull away from sides of pans and will no longer jiggle in the center when it is finished.
  7. Cool cakes in pans on wire rack for 20 minutes. Run a thin bladed knife around the sides of the pans to loosen cakes then invert on a greased wire rack. Allow to cool completely (about 1 more hour) before frosting.

Notes

Recipe adapted from Cook's Illustrated's Fluffy Yellow Cake

http://bakerbettie.com/fluffy-lemon-rosemary-layer-cake/
Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

Ingredients

  • 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 TBSP lemon zest
  • 2T lemon juice
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 1/2 cup confectioners sugar

Instructions

  1. Combine all ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed until combined and creamy. Scrape down the bowl as needed.
http://bakerbettie.com/fluffy-lemon-rosemary-layer-cake/
Baker BettieFluffy Lemon-Rosemary Layer Cake with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

Comments 25

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      Author
  1. Chris at Hye Thyme Cafe

    Your cake looks beautiful. Funny timing – I ALMOST ended up baking a Lemon Rosemary Layer Cake yesterday myself. My sister’s favorite case is a Lemon THYME Cake I have made a few times, but I was having a hard time finding fresh thyme for some reason. Finally gave up and made it with dried. As for frosting, you’re one up on me with the cream cheese (which is my go-to for frosting things). I’m just planning to serve it up tonight layered with a lemon whipped cream. And yes, I personally enjoy with pics showing the “in progress” of a recipe. That’s especially helpful if it’s something you’ve never made before and want to know what it should be doing along the way. Maybe not necessary for everything, but I like it. :)

    1. Post
      Author
      Baker Bettie

      Thanks for the feedback Chris! I think I will keep doing it for recipes that seem like they could be complicated to follow.

      And lemon whipped cream sounds amazing! I love fresh whipped cream with the tiniest amount of sugar! Way better than frosting.

    1. Post
      Author
    1. Post
      Author
      Baker Bettie

      Oooooooh! Rosemary and orange sounds delicious too! Rosemary is one of my most favorite herbs. I love it paired in sweets!

  2. tattered notebook

    My husband has been requesting for this cake for more than a week now. Finally made this tonight and the cake turned out great! The lemon flavor definitely came through. The rosemary was subtle and a perfect complement. I overcooked the cake a bit and the sides turned out brown but the cake was still moist ad fluffly. All in all, this recipe is definitely for keeps. My husband said it was exactly what he was craving for. Thank you thank you thank you for sharing this recipe! And belated happy birthday!
    P.s. The house smelled wonderful while this was in the oven. :-)

  3. cj

    Nice – Would love to share with all my foodie friends – If you’re interested then head over to FoodFotoGallery dot com and submit one of your food photos

  4. Claire Wither

    This cake was divine and such a hit at my party! The step by step photos and instructions were so helpful. Thank you so much! After many failed attempts this cake goes down in history as my first ever success! I am wondering if I could use the same recipe but make it chocolate?

  5. Lorie

    Thanks for adding a link to skip the pix and get straight to the recipe. I love rosemary. Will definitely be making this this spring!

    Now off I go to look at those food porn pix…

  6. Pingback: Lemon Rosemary Buttermilk Cake with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting | the petite croissant

  7. Amelia

    Do you think these would translate well to cupcakes? Any idea on how to adjust the baking time or temp for a try?
    I’m thinking they’d be great for my daughter’s birthday along with the not-so-sweet carrot cakes I made last year.

    1. Post
      Author
      Baker Bettie

      I’m sure this would work as a cupcake Amelia. I haven’t tried it, but I don’t see why not. I would turn the heat down to 325F and keep a close eye on them. They will at least take 15 minutes so check them after that and then continue cooking until a toothpick comes out clean. Let me know how it goes if you do try it!

      1. Amelia

        They made great cupcakes!
        It came out to 24 standard cupcakes. I baked them in two batches; the first I started at 325, but after 20 minutes they still hadn’t risen properly, so I upped the temperature to 340 and baked another 5 minutes or so and they fluffed up nicely. I did the second batch at 340 for about 20 minutes (way longer than I thought it would need, but that’s when the toothpick came out clean.) I have silicone muffin “tins” so I’m not sure if that alters the way they bake so significantly.
        I also put in half the rosemary since these are for picky toddlers, but it’s barely noticeable, I’d use the whole amount next time.
        My kiddo loved the test one I gave her.
        I may do a lemon glaze to match the orange on these I’ll be making too, instead of the cream cheese, even though it looks so so good.
        Thanks!

  8. Caroline

    Baking it as we speak.
    Im a pretty seasoned baker but thought id try this …cus I thought your decorating was BEAUTIFUL.
    Rustic and simple looking ..Not over worked. Your decorating need no refinement.;)
    Now….as far as taste …Ill let you know tomorrow !

    1. Post
      Author
      Baker Bettie

      Can’t wait to hear how it went Caroline! This was by far my favorite cake I have ever baked. Hope you loved it too!

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  11. Roxsane Whachell

    This cake turned out really well. I added a bit more lemon to the icing and sprinkled lavender on the top as decoration which worked really with the lemon and rosemary. Great recipe, thanks for sharing:)

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