Recipe: Rosemary and Lemon Olive Oil Cake

Rosemary and Lemon Olive Oil Cake


Makes 1 x 8" cake

For the cake:
175ml Extra Virgin Olive Oil
120ml unsweetened apple sauce
240ml unsweetened soy milk
2 lemons
1 bunch of rosemary
300g caster sugar
250g plain flour
1½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp salt
Oil, to grease or olive oil spray

For the icing and garnish:

200g icing sugar, vegan
Note some icing sugar is not vegan as it contains powdered egg whites
1 punnet fresh blackberries, or other fresh berries of your choice
1 to 2 sprigs of rosemary (listed above)
2 tbsp caster sugar
Lemon juice, from lemons listed above


This is a great plant basedbase cake recipe, you can play with the flavours you add to this cake. Add spices such as cardamom, clove or poppy seeds, flavoured syrups also work well; orange blossom and rosewater, swap the lemon for a variety of citrus fruits. Some suggestions - orange and cardamom, grapefruit and rosewater, lemon, poppy seed and thyme. Toasted nuts can be added as a garnish too.

Make the cake:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC
  2. Line the bottom and sides of an 8" high-sided springform or loose-based cake tin with parchment paper. Generously spray the pan with cooking spray or using a pastry brush oil the bottom and sides before you line the cake tin. Set aside.
  3. Zest and juice the lemons. You will use 2 tbsp of lemon juice and 2 tbsp of zest in the cake mix. Finely chop 2 tbsp of rosemary.
  4. In a mixing bowl whisk together olive oil, apple sauce, soy milk, lemon juice, lemon zest and rosemary until the mixture is thick and well mixed.
  5. In a separate bowl, sieve and combine flour, sugar, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, and salt.
  6. Gently fold the dry ingredients into the wet, stirring until the dry ingredients are well combined and the batter is thick and smooth.
  7. Pour cake into the prepared cake tin and bake for 45-60 minutes

While the cake is baking and cooling make the lemon drizzle icing and the sugar-coated rosemary sprigs:

  1. Wet the rosemary sprigs with a little water and dip them into the caster sugar, shake off excess sugar and set aside to dry. Look over the fruit.
  2. Sift 200g of icing sugar into a bowl and add enough lemon juice in small increments to make a thick coating consistency icing.
  3. After 45 minutes check on the cake it will be baked when a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. If the skewer has some crumbs on it, replace the cake in the oven and cook for a further 10-15 minutes. Typically this cake takes 1 hour to cook.
  4. Remove the cake from the oven and let it cool for 30 minutes before removing from the tin to cool further on a wire rack.
  5. While the cake is cooling, lower the heat on the oven to its lowest setting. To prepare the sugar-coated rosemary. Pull small sprigs of rosemary from the stem and dip in a bowl of water, then place in the 2 tbsp of caster sugar to coat the rosemary sprigs.
  6. Place the rosemary sprigs on a parchment-lined baking tray and place in the oven for 8-12 minutes until the sugar has crusted onto the rosemary and the leaves start to curl slightly.
  7. Once the cake is completely cool, dust with the lemon drizzle icing. Top with blackberries and sugar-coated rosemary sprigs

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