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Lemon Rosemary Pound Cake

posted by in Indulgences

Capri Lemons from

I’ll never forget the summer my mother and I decided on a whim to go to Capri. She was visiting me in Paris the summer I was supposed to backpack around India alone and had decided it was an un-wise decision, forced me to refund my ticket and whisked me away to the sunny mediterranean. These were the days before Facebook and instagram, in those times I think we were still using film cameras and unfortunately the best snapshots of that incredible bonding trip are simply in my memory. Every late afternoon was spent having fresh white peach bellinis on the terrace of our hotel. We wandered about with no real itinerary, enjoying the spontaneity of it all. I had even made friends with some local girls who owned a very chic shop, they took us out and about to all these fun places… including an unforgettable evening at Anima e Cuore dancing on stage with my mother! (Where in fact two friends of mine who were on their honeymoon saw us! Small world!)

lemon cake 1

Kate Spade’s Capri Collection, Lemons from Sorrento, view of Capri, Italy

One of the things that truly remain vivid in my mind about Capri and Sorrento are their incredibly plump and beautiful lemons. Fragrant, refreshing and invigorating… Fresh juice kissing a beautiful langoustine crudo, mixing together with vivid green olive oil… Icy shots of thick limoncello after every meal… One day after a relaxed, crisp white wine drenched lunch my mother and I walked into a shop full of stunning hand painted tableware and she bought a gorgeous set of blue and white plates with embossed yellow lemons… Every time we eat off them I’m reminded of this fond memory… The sunny happiness of lemons, a carefree moment with my mother and the endless azure mediterranean sea…

Ever since I have found out I was pregnant, I have been trying to brush up on my baking skills so every Sunday I try to whip up something new. My dream is to bake my son’s birthday cakes and for him to love them above any other store bought cake possible. Up to this Lemon Rosemary Pound Cake, I had never in my life successfully baked a cake. Some almost ten years ago I made two feeble attempts resulting in a burnt dough and soup combo and a giant pile of chocolate poop. Catastrophic. This recipe will always be dear to me, not just because it was absolutely delicious and brought straight back to Capri… but also because it was my first perfect cake ever.

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Lemon Rosemary Pound Cake

Makes 2, 8 Inch round cakes
Ingredients for the cake:
2 sticks of butter at room temperature
2 ½ cups white sugar
4 extra large eggs at room temperature
1/3 cup lemon zest
3 cups flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
¾ cup lemon juice
¾ cup filled with one 125g package plain unsweetened yogurt (preferably greek) then filled to the top with milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½  tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary plus 1 or 2 large sprigs for the syrup
Ingredients for the glaze:
2 cups powdered sugar
4 -5 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
Preheat the oven to 350*F or 176*C. Butter and flour 2 – 8 inch cake pans, preferably spring form pans to make things easier. Line the bottoms with wax or parchment paper. In a large mixing bowl cream the butter and 2 cups sugar either by hand using a wooden spatula or a mixer with the paddle attachment until light and fluffy. If you’re using a mixer use medium speed and add the eggs one at a time and the lemon zest and rosemary.  If not, make sure to incorporate one egg properly before adding another using the wooden spatula. In another bowl sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a another smaller bowl combine ¼ cup lemon juice, the yogurt and milk mixture and the vanilla. Add the flour and yogurt mixture alternately to the egg and butter mixture making sure to fully incorporate each ingredient before adding more. Divide the mixture evenly between the two cake pans and bake for 35-40 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.
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While it is baking, make a syrup out of the remaining ½ cup sugar and ½ cup lemon juice. In a small saucepan cook these ingredients along with a sprig of rosemary over low heat until the sugar completely dissolves. Turn off heat and let sit. When the cakes are done allow to cool for at least 10 minutes in the pan. Remove the cakes and set on racks. Spoon the syrup over them and then allow to cool completely. In the meantime make the glaze using the powdered sugar and lemon juice in a bowl. Whisk together to make a smooth consistency and add the chopped rosemary. You can adjust consistency by using more or less lemon juice. When the cakes are completely cooled, pour the glaze on top and allow it to drip down the sides. Let it set for a few minutes. You can garnish it with some fresh strawberries and a sprig of rosemary. Serve it immediately with more sliced fresh strawberries. If you eat it right away it will have a nice moist and fluffy texture if you refrigerate it a little it will be denser and richer like a poundcake.
You can use the same base create three different cakes:

1. Remove the lemon zest, rosemary and lemon juice. Add a little more vanilla and throw in some dark chocolate chips to make a kid friendly Chocolate Chip Pound Cake.

2. Keep the same cake base and transform it into a strawberry short cake by whipping up some fresh cream and folding in sliced strawberries and some strawberry preserves. Sandwich this strawberry cream mixture between the two cakes. Cover the entire cake with more fresh whipped cream and decorate the top with sliced strawberries.

3. Remove the rosemary and replace the lemon zest and juice with orange zest and juice. When making the syrup, use orange juice instead and add some dark rum. You might have to adjust the amount of sugar to get a nice light syrup consistency. Really baste the cake with the rum orange syrup. Alter the glaze as well by replacing some lemon juice with orange juice and warm water. You can add a pinch of cinnamon if you like to spice things up a bit.


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Writer. Traveller. Wino. Foodie. Bohemian at heart. "You can not travel the path until you have become the path itself." - Buddha


We are two friends who were former magazine editors. Having moved onto other things, we both realized that the creative flow the publishing world used to offer us was missing from our lives. Armed with a common love of travel to the exotic and familiar, a penchant for the bohemian, an obsession with food and a lust for writing, we decided to collaborate our unique and fashionable journeys through life together in one passion project.

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