Well Dined


ICC – Lemon Rosemary Cake and Martini

Well Dined | Lemon Rosemary Cake and Martini

Time for another Improv Cooking Challenge!  I haven't done one in a couple months due to the holidays and not being super interested in the ingredients.  But this month the challenge was Rosemary and Lemon, and that pairing sounded great to me!  I was torn between a cocktail and a cake recipe, so I decided - why not do both?

Well Dined | Lemon Rosemary Cake with Cream Cheese Icing

The cake is light and fluffy from whipped egg whites, dotted with rosemary, and iced with a lemon cream cheese frosting.  Delicious.

Well Dined | Lemon Curd and Rosemary Martini

The martini is sweet (but not too much) and tangy, with a base not of rosemary.  Dreamy.

Well Dined | Lemon Rosemary Cake and Martini

Together they are absolutely perfect.  I don't like overly sweet anything, and these were so well balanced.  I brought them to my book club and they were a huge hit (not an exaggeration, they were the most popular items I've ever brought).  Some of you may roll your eyes at the mention of a book club, but don't worry - we aren't the pretentious kind where everyone hates the books.  We are sci-fi, horror, and fantasy only and we have a great time!

Well Dined | Lemon Rosemary Cake with Cream Cheese Icing

To make the cake, you will need a meringue (egg whites beaten to stiff peaks with sugar).

Well Dined | Lemon Rosemary Cake with Cream Cheese Icing

You will also need a batter made from egg yolks, melted butter, oil, vanilla, buttermilk, lemon zest, and chopped rosemary; combined with your usual dry ingredients.  Fold the meringue into the batter - gently, gently, gently.  Then divide into prepared pans.

Well Dined | Lemon Rosemary Cake with Cream Cheese Icing

Bake until the sides pull away from the pan and the center is set.  This doesn't take long, only 20 minutes!

Well Dined | Lemon Rosemary Cake with Cream Cheese Icing

Cool completely and frost with a light lemon cream cheese icing.  Y'all, this is the most successful layered cake I have ever made!  Layered cakes are my nemesis.  But the cake came out completely intact, the frosting was easy to spread, and the rustic swirled look worked great!

Well Dined | Lemon Curd and Rosemary Martini

For the martini - simply combine lemon curd, lemonade, vodka, and rosemary simple syrup in a shaker with ice; shake vigorously; and strain.  Easy.

Well Dined | Lemon Rosemary Cake and Martini

I highly recommend both of these recipes, and so do my friends!

Lemon Rosemary Cake with Cream Cheese Icing
adapted from Baker Bettie
Tip - Make sure you allow time for the butter, cream cheese, and eggs to come to room temperature.

For the Cake:
2 1/2 cups cake flour, plus extra for dusting pans
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp table salt
1 3/4 cups sugar (divided)
10 tbsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
1 cup buttermilk, room temperature (or 1 cup milk with 1 tbsp vinegar)
3 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp lemon zest
1 tbsp fresh rosemary, minced
6 large egg yolks, room temperature
3 large egg whites, room temperature

For the Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting:
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 tbsp lemon zest
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 cup confectioners sugar

For the Cake:
Preheat oven to 350 deg F.  Grease two 8" or 9" round cake pans.  Dust pans with flour and tap out excess any excess.

In a large bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and 1 1/2 cups sugar.  In another bowl whisk together the melted butter, buttermilk, oil, vanilla, lemon zest, rosemary and egg yolks.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment, beat egg whites at medium speed until foamy.  With machine running, stream in the remaining 1/4 cup sugar.  Beat at high speed just until stiff peaks form.  Gently transfer to a bowl and set aside.

Add flour mixture to the empty stand mixer bowl fitted with whisk attachment.  With mixer running at low speed, gradually pour in butter mixture and mix for about 10 seconds.  Stop mixer and thoroughly scrape down the bowl.  Mix again on medium for 20 more seconds just until combined.

Using rubber spatula, gently fold in 1/2 of the meringue just until incorporated.  Fold in the rest of the meringue.  Be very gentle so as to not deflate the air in the meringue.  You will have a few white streaks in the batter.  Divide batter evenly between your prepared cake pans.

Place pans on a half-sheet pan and bake on the center rack of the oven at 350 deg F for 20-25 minutes, rotating halfway through.  Bake until cake layers begin to pull away from sides of pans and no longer jiggle in the center.

Cool cakes in the pans on a wire rack for 20 minutes.  Run a thin bladed knife around the sides of the pans to loosen cakes then invert on a greased wire rack.  Allow to cool completely (about 1 more hour) before frosting.

For the Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting:
Combine all ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.  Mix on medium speed until combined and creamy.  Scrape down the bowl as needed.

Lemon Curd and Rosemary Martini
adapted from Food + Words
serves 6

For the Rosemary Simple Syrup:
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup water
6-12 sprigs of rosemary, depending on length

For the Martini:
12 oz vodka
6 oz rosemary simple syrup
6 oz lemonade
6 tbsp lemon curd

For the Rosemary Simple Syrup:
In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the sugar, water, and rosemary.  Stirring often, allow the sugar to melt and the syrup to become warm before turning off the heat.

Allow the rosemary simple syrup to cool and infuse for at least ten minutes, or up to one hour.  Strain into a container and set aside.  You should have 6 oz (1 1/2 cups).

The rosemary simple syrup will keep in the fridge for at least two months.

For the Martini:
Fill a shaker with ice.  Add all of the ingredients.  Shake vigorously for 30 seconds.

Strain into chilled glasses.  Garnish with a slice of lemon and/or a sprig of rosemary, and enjoy immediately!

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Four Years Ago - Quinoa with Butternut Squash and Broccolini
Five Years Ago - Lasagna with Cinnamon
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Comments (8) Trackbacks (0)
  1. Sounds like my kind of book club! I never think to add herbs to cakes but I’m sure it was wonderful.

  2. This sounds heavenly! I am ready for a martini with dessert!

  3. Those pictures look amazing! So yummy!

  4. Glad that you decided to join us again…great recipes….thanks

  5. I have to try this, I had to wipe drool off my chin reading and looking at the pictures. I have a large (on it’s way to HUGE) rosemary plant and lots of lemons in my fridge/freezer.

  6. My first thought for this challenge was to make a rosemary lemon simple syrup & add it to tequila!
    But your addition of lemon curd to your martini — GENIUS!

  7. Both the cake and the drink look amazing, love that you added rosemary as well. I have always on the lookout for great lemon recipes as I have a lemon tree. Thanks!

  8. These look amazing! I can’t wait to give them a try! Thanks for sharing this amazing Recipe.

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