Lemon-Rosemary Layer Cake

Total Time

Prep: 20 min. Bake: 25 min. + cooling


16 servings

Updated: Jun. 30, 2023
Tall and impressive, this unique lemon-rosemary layer cake is a treat for the senses with flecks of lemon zest and fresh rosemary. Just wait until you taste it! —Mary Fraser, Surprise, Arizona
Lemon-Rosemary Layer Cake Recipe photo by Taste of Home


  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 2-1/2 cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 large egg yolk, room temperature
  • 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 sour cream
  • 6 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 3 teaspoons grated lemon zest
  • 3 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary
  • 2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
  • 8-1/4 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 3 teaspoons grated lemon zest
  • 2-1/4 teaspoons lemon juice
  • Optional: Candied lemon and rosemary sprigs


  1. Preheat oven to 350°. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy, 5-7 minutes. Add eggs, 1 at a time, and yolk, beating well after each addition. Combine flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda; add to creamed mixture alternately with sour cream, beating well after each addition. Beat in lemon juice, zest and rosemary.
  2. Transfer batter to 3 greased and floured 9-in. round baking pans. Bake until edges begin to brown, 25-30 minutes. 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 zest and juice; beat until smooth.
  4. Spread frosting between layers and over top and sides of cake. If desired, decorate with candied lemon and rosemary. Refrigerate leftovers.
Test Kitchen tips
  • For the perfectly frosted cake, start with a 'crumb coat', which is a fancy term for the first layer of frosting. This thin layer of frosting helps seal the cake layers and trap any cake crumbs. Refrigerate until chilled, before completing your second coat of frosting.
  •  For a smoother frosting, substitute half the cream cheese for butter.
  • Nutrition Facts

    1 piece: 756 calories, 28g fat (17g saturated fat), 146mg cholesterol, 527mg sodium, 119g carbohydrate (90g sugars, 1g fiber), 8g protein.