Lemon and Rosemary Cake with Vanilla Buttercream

Tender, sweet and tangy, this bold semi-naked cake by Lyndel Miller from her ‘Naked Cakes’ book will awaken the taste buds.The burst of citrus is grounded by the subtlety of the rosemary and makes a beautiful all-occasion cake.


For Cake Assembly
  1. One quantity Vanilla Buttercream (see below)
  2. Two lemonade cakes (see below)
  3. 110 g (½ cup) caster sugar
  4. 60 ml (¼ cup) freshly squeezed & strained lemon juice
  5. Long fresh rosemary sprigs
  6. Yellow and green organic, ornamental kale flowers
  7. 1–2 elderflower sprigs
Lemonade Cake (Makes 1)
  1. 175g plain flour
  2. ¼ tsp baking powder
  3. ¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  4. 115g unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
  5. 225g caster sugar
  6. 2 eggs, at room temperature
  7. 1 tsp Queen Vanilla Bean Paste
  8. Zest of 1 lemon
  9. 2 tbsp fresh rosemary leaves, picked
  10. ½ tsp fine salt
  11. 125g plain Greek-style yoghurt, at room temperature
  12. 60 ml strained lemon juice
Vanilla Buttercream
  1. 175g unsalted butter, softened
  2. 270g (2¼ cups) icing sugar, sifted
  3. 120g cream cheese, softened
  4. 1 tbsp milk
  5. 1 tsp Queen Vanilla Bean Paste

Method - Lemonade Cake

  1. Step 1

    Preheat the oven to 170°C (325°F). Lightly grease a 20 cm (8 inch) round cake tin. Sift the flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda into a large bowl and use a hand-held whisk to combine well.

  2. Step 2

    Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time,
    to the butter mixture and beat well after each addition, scraping down the side of the bowl occasionally. Add the vanilla, lemon zest and salt and beat until just combined. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture and yoghurt alternately and beat until just combined. Do not over-beat. Add the lemon juice and mix until just combined.

  3. Step 3

    Pour the batter into the prepared tin and smooth the top. Bake for 40–45 minutes or until golden and a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Let the cake stand in the tin for 10 minutes, then turn out and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Method - Vanilla Buttercream

  1. Step 1

    Using an electric mixer, beat all the ingredients together for 3–5 minutes or until light and fluffy.

Method - Assembly

  1. Step 1

    While the cakes are cooking, place the sugar and lemon juice in a saucepan and stir over low heat until the sugar dissolves. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool. Remove the cakes from the oven and use a skewer to prick the cakes all over, then leave them to stand in the tins for 10 minutes. Pour the cooled syrup over the cakes and then leave them to stand until completely cool.

  2. Step 2

    To assemble, place one of the cakes on a stand or serving plate and, using a clean, damp spatula, spread with half the vanilla buttercream. Place the other cake on top, spread the top with buttercream, then use some of the buttercream oozing out of the layers to thinly ‘whitewash’ the sides (see page 101). Take your rosemary sprigs and place them around the base of the cake. Place two kale flowers on top of the cake – it would look best if you chose one slightly smaller than the other. (You can remove a few outer leaves from one to achieve this.) You don’t want to crowd the kale flowers or it will make the cake top-heavy. Now place one smaller kale flower on the right side at the base of the cake. A small elderflower sprig adds a delicate touch of softness.

This beautiful recipe is by Lyndel Miller, and featured in her book “Naked Cakes”. Buy your copy here.

Photograph by Mindi Cooke.


Competition – Enter our Naked Cake Competition to win a copy of Lyndel’s book ‘Naked Cakes’, plus a Breville Scraper Mixer Twin, Freeze & Mix & Queen baking products. Simply share your own naked cake creation here: 

Entries open 12pm AEST 19/02/2016 until 11:59pm AEDST on 16/04/16. Terms and conditions.