The Essence of Rosemary: Lemony Rosemary Crumb Cake

The signature scent of the season can boost your mood, flavor food and, possibly, make you smarter.


| December/January 2009


Makes one 8-inch round cake.

This simple little low-fat cake smells divine as it bakes. To dress it up for the holidays, add a few bright red raspberries or cranberries to the topping.

• 1¼ cups all-purpose flour
• ½ teaspoon baking powder
• ¼ teaspoon baking soda
• 1/8 teaspoon salt
• 2/3 cup sugar
• 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, minced, or ½ teaspoon dried
• 3 tablespoons cold butter, cut into small pieces
• Juice and rind of 1 lemon
• 1 large egg
• ½ cup buttermilk or plain yogurt

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat an 8-inch round cake pan with cooking spray. In a medium bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, soda, salt, sugar and rosemary. Add butter, cutting it in with a pastry blender or two knives until mixture resembles a coarse meal.

2. Use a fine grater to obtain about 1 teaspoon lemon rind. Mix rind into flour mixture. Remove 2/3 cup of this mixture to use as topping; set aside.

3. In a small bowl, beat egg with a fork. Mix in buttermilk or yogurt and lemon juice. Add egg mixture to flour mixture, and stir until well blended yet lumpy, about 100 strokes. Pour batter into prepared cake pan. Sprinkle crumb mixture evenly over top.

4. Bake 25 to 30 minutes. Cut into slices when cool. If desired, garnish with fresh lemon and rosemary. 

Contributing editor Barbara Pleasant, author of The Whole Herb (Square One, 2004), writes and gardens at her home in Virginia.

For the main article, The Essence of Rosemary, click here.










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