Italian lemon and olive oil cake with rosemary

This cake is so simple to make but bursts with wonderful flavour - perfect for whipping up as a light afternoon treat. Drizzle with lemon and sugar syrup and top with rosemary twigs for a gorgeous finish.

By Nadia Lim
  • 20 mins preparation
  • 40 mins cooking
  • Serves 10
  • Print


  • 5 large eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups caster sugar
  • Zest 2-3 lemons
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1-2 tsp finely chopped rosemary leaves, plus rosemary sprigs to decorate
  • 2 cups plain flour (or use 1 cup flour and 1 cup ground almonds or instant polenta)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 cup caster sugar
  • 3-4 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice


  • 1
    Preheat oven to 180°C. Generously grease a standard ring cake tin or bundt tin, preferably a springform one (or use a regular tin and cook for a little longer).
  • 2
    In a large bowl, beat eggs and sugar together with electric beaters until light, pale and fluffy.
  • 3
    Whisk in the zest and juice, olive oil, a good pinch of salt and the rosemary.
  • 4
    Sift in the flour (or flour mixture) and baking powder and fold in until just combined – do not overmix.
  • 5
    Pour into tin and top with a few rosemary sprigs. Bake for 35-40 minutes until cake is golden and cooked through (test by inserting a skewer into the centre; it should come out clean).
  • 6
    While cake is still warm and in the tin, mix sugar and juice together and drizzle over top. Leave for a few minutes then remove from tin and cool on a wire rack.

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