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

Lemon-Rosemary Layer Cake Recipe

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4.5 22 24
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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
Contest Winning Test Kitchen Approved
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

Sweet White Wine

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

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Reviewed Aug. 21, 2014

"Made this for a friends birthday & it was wonderful."

Reviewed Aug. 8, 2014

"Because the frosting recipe was not enough for the cake (even in the picture) I gave the recipe 4-stars. Otherwise, I would have rated this recipe at 6 stars!

I made this cake for my mom's 70th birthday in March. It was elegant and the flavors were fabulous! I ALWAYS use Softasilk flour for my cakes and NEVER all purpose. The crumb turns out more delicate with Softasilk and the cake lighter. I poured and baked only two layers, and sliced each into two layers so that I had a four layer cake instead of three. Unfortunately, I followed one person's advice below (to add lemon curd between the layers) and would NOT recommend this at all...my layers slid in the fridge and I had to do some last-minute cake rescue to fix it (which was very nerve-wracking)! I also needed more frosting--probably because I made an extra layer--and combined the given frosting recipe with a classic butter cream recipe. This made the original frosting turn out lighter and fluffier than what was originally given. I liked the presentation of this cake with the fluffier frosting."

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."

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