Lemon Cake with Rosemary Buttercream Frosting


I haven’t made a great use of my cake tins and stand mixer in the last few months, but this week I finally had a very good reason to get my oven on. Today I am celebrating my blog’s 5th anniversary, so I made a special, beautiful, layered cake: Lemon Cake with Rosemary Buttercream Frosting.

Lemon Cake with Rosemary Buttercream Frosting.

When I started my blog Mondomulia in November 2011, baking was a hobby and a way to relax after a week at work in an advertising agency. Now that I am a full time blogger working from home, baking is a part of my job. Hobbies turning into work: I guess it’s the unavoidable downside of blogging.

At the beginning of my blogging journey, I would simply choose a cake to bake, take the photos and post the recipe, quite straightforwardly. Now I worry a bit too much; I plan the recipe in advance making sure it doesn’t repeat existing content; I mentally visualise my food styling, so I can choose the props and cake decoration; I think of seasonality of ingredients; I research ideas on Pinterest and get inspired by other bloggers; I plan the best time in my schedule to bake and photograph; etc.

In a way, blogging takes away the spontaneity and fun of baking (or other hobbies, such as photography or crafting), but it also means that I work harder on a recipe and as a result I create better content for my blog and for my readers.

Lemon Cake with Rosemary Buttercream Frosting

There are downsides, sure. But the upside is that I get to do all the things that I love – cooking, baking, photographing, travelling, writing – every day. And I will keep doing this as long as there are people out there who love looking at my photos and love reading what I write. So, thank you readers for following me along this journey and for supporting my work. This cake is as much for you as it is for me. And I really wish I could share a slice of cake with all of you right now!

I am proud of the content I created over the last 5 years and I hope to keep creating more beautiful recipes, reviews and guides for another 5 years and more!

Lemon Cake with Rosemary Buttercream Frosting.

I have a tradition to celebrate my blog anniversary every year with a cake and I certainly was not going to stop now that I reached my first milestone! But why a Lemon Cake with Rosemary Buttercream Frosting?

The idea comes from a lemon and rosemary gluten-free cake I ate one year ago at Drink, Shop & Do café in north London. I loved the unusual flavour combination so I made a note of it on my iPhone. I didn’t get around to bake it, but this week I finally picked up that idea and turned it into a lemon sponge layered cake with a rosemary-infused butter cream frosting.

Lemon Cake with Rosemary Buttercream Frosting.Lemon Cake with Rosemary Buttercream Frosting.

It’s a fantastic cake! I used a Jamie Oliver recipe for the sponge, but I am sure you can use any lemon drizzle cake recipe and add just one layer of rosemary buttercream (instead of the traditional sugar syrup).

I wanted to make a striking-looking cake, so I baked three small sponges and topped them with three generous spoonfuls of cream. The cake is very sweet as a result, but that’s to be expected from a cake with three layers of buttercream right?

It is sweet, but at the same time the flavours are delicate and aromatic. In my opinion it is a great recipe for a birthday cake that is not the usual chocolate or red velvet.

Lemon Cake with Rosemary Buttercream Frosting.


For the cake

  • 75g plain flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 150g icing sugar
  • 125g ground almonds
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 4 egg whites
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 125ml sunflower oil
  • 1 tbsp runny honey
  • zest of 2 lemons

For the frosting

  • 250g unsalted butter
  • 3-4 sprigs of fresh rosemary
  • 400g icing sugar, sifted
  • 2-3 tbsp double cream


Preheat the oven to 170ºC fan. Lightly grease 3 small round cake pans, dust with a little plain flour, then tap out the excess.

Sift the flour, baking powder and icing sugar into a bowl, then mix in the ground almonds. Add the egg yolks, honey and sunflower oil. Mix well with a wooden spoon.

In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites with a pinch of sea salt until they form soft peaks. Fold it into the cake mixture.

Finely grate in the lemon zest, then fold it all together, until thoroughly combined.

Pour the batter into the cake pans. Bake for 15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the centre of the cakes comes out clean.

Leave the cakes to cool in the tins for a few minutes, then turn them out onto a wire rack.

In a heavy bottomed sauce pot, add butter and rosemary. Melt over medium high heat and bring to a boil. Allow to boil for 1 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Allow rosemary to steep for 60-90 minutes until butter is cool to the touch. Strain out rosemary and keep butter chilled in the fridge until ready to use.

Let chilled rosemary infused butter soften at room temperature before use. Using a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter. Add icing sugar and cream. Mix until the buttercream is smooth. 

Place one cake layer on a cake stand. With a cake spatula, spread the top with frosting. Repeat with the second and third cake layers, then spread the frosting evenly on the sides. Decorate the cake with rosemary sprigs and lemon zest. 

Lemon Cake with Rosemary Buttercream Frosting.Lemon Cake with Rosemary Buttercream Frosting.

Sponge recipe adapted from Jamie Oliver. Frosting recipe adapted from The Little Epicurean.

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Mariana @ The Candid Kitchen
26/11/2016 10:42

I feel the same about blogging, it definitely takes the hobby to another level and adds a lot of work. It takes a special type of person to keep going, right?! Happy birthday!

Giulia Mulè
28/11/2016 09:18

Yes, it does! So many times I’ve felt like I never wanted to write a single thing ever again, but then the passion to share a post comes back! :) Thanks a lot for the wishes!

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