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Lemon-Rosemary Layer Cake Recipe
Lemon-Rosemary Layer Cake Recipe photo by Taste of Home

Lemon-Rosemary Layer Cake Recipe

Publisher Photo
Tall and impressive, this unique dessert is a treat for the senses with flecks of lemon peel and fresh rosemary. Just wait till you taste it! —Mary Fraser, Surprise, Arizona
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 20 min. Bake: 25 min. + cooling
MAKES:16 servings
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 20 min. Bake: 25 min. + cooling
MAKES: 16 servings


  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 2-1/2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon plus 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1-1/2 cups (12 ounces) sour cream
  • 6 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 3 teaspoons grated lemon peel
  • 3 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary
  • 2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
  • 8-1/4 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 3 teaspoons grated lemon peel
  • 2-1/4 teaspoons lemon juice

Nutritional Facts

1 slice equals 756 calories, 28 g fat (17 g saturated fat), 146 mg cholesterol, 527 mg sodium, 119 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 8 g protein.


  1. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs and yolk, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Combine the flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda; add to the creamed mixture alternately with sour cream, beating well after each addition. Beat in the lemon juice, peel and rosemary.
  2. Transfer to three greased and floured 9-in. round baking pans. Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes or until edges begin to brown. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
  3. For frosting, in a large bowl, beat cream cheese until fluffy. Add the confectioners’ sugar, lemon peel and juice; beat until smooth.
  4. Spread frosting between layers and over top and sides of cake. Refrigerate leftovers. Yield: 16 servings.
Originally published as Lemon-Rosemary Layer Cake in Taste of Home December/January 2010, p49

Nutritional Facts

1 slice equals 756 calories, 28 g fat (17 g saturated fat), 146 mg cholesterol, 527 mg sodium, 119 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 8 g protein.

Sweet White Wine

Enjoy this recipe with a sweet white wine such as Moscato or a sweet Riesling.

Reviews for Lemon-Rosemary Layer Cake

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Reviewed May. 21, 2014

For those of you complaining that this cake was too dense, my advice to you is beat, beat, beat. When they say beat well after each addition, they mean it. This pumps volume via the eggs. My cake was light and airy and I beat the heck out of it. A simply fabulous cake and well worth the effort.

Reviewed Mar. 30, 2014

This cake was easy to make and when I filled the layers with lemon curd it came out really good. This is being added to my spring recipes.

Reviewed Mar. 24, 2014

I wanted to make this cake for a family dinner, but decided to try it out first. This was the heaviest, most dense cake I have ever made. I took half to the office to let co-workers rate. Most thought it was just "ok". I stored the rest in the fridge overnight and by the next day is so heavy and even hard to cut through, that I threw the rest out. The simple icing hardened as well and had no creaminess to it all. And even after doubling the rosemary, you could hardly detect the taste. I won't make this again.

Reviewed Mar. 15, 2014

I made this cake for a baby shower at work, and it was a hit. Reviews said it was easy to make, but I found it to be a bit labor intensive, but not difficult. I would definitely add more rosemary AND more lemon next time. I felt that most of the flavor came from the frosting alone -- and I added A LOT more lemon to the frosting than was in the recipe. The cake has a very heavy texture--and the cake as a whole is very heavy! It weighed over four pounds once frosted! Nevertheless, it was delicious and I will definitely make this recipe again -- and again -- and again!

Reviewed Mar. 10, 2014

This cake deserves rave reviews. Simple to make, turns out just like it looks in the photo, and tastes fantastic. It would be fun to make two layers and the rest bake up as cupcakes just for kicks!

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