Johanna’s Lemon and Rosemary cake

It’s Friday again but not any Friday either, it is the Friday of the week we launched our website and the day we’re due to post our first recipe. We’ve pondered upon which recipe to share, very much so. How are we today?, we thought, Irene bringing her finger, heavy with beautiful rings, to her mouth; Margaux widening her eyes, jumping up and down. The answer is that we feel a little shaken by all the energies that fuelled this week – the big, launch week – a little nostalgic not to be able to be reunited in the salmon pink kitchen together, while we also feel like we’re shining with excitement. Well, in this case, let’s beat some eggs, sweeten our blood and squeeze some lemons: let’s bake a lemon and rosemary cake!

Johanna’s Lemon and Rosemary cake was born from the urge to make a special birthday cake for a dear friend, a limited pantry and the need to use those lemons before they bruised. The result was a light, fresh cake – one bite of indulging summer. 


For the cake:
280g flour
100g brown sugar
250g butter at room temperature 
50g of Greek yoghurt
4 eggs at room temperature
1/2 tbsp turmeric
1/2 tbsp baking powder
1 tbsp rosemary 
zest and juice of 4 lemons

For the lemony syrup (optional but ‘vivement conseillé’):
1 lemon 
80ml water
50g brown sugar


  1. Preheat the oven to 180C fan.
  2. Mix together the flour, turmeric, rosemary, sugar and baking powder.
  3. Incorporate the butter – you might have to use your hands here. Work the mixture until it forms into a crumbly mixture and until there is no dust left in the bowl.
  4. With the help of an electrical whisk, blitz the eggs (one at a time). Beat for another 5 minutes, until you reach a mousse-like texture.
  5. Incorporate the zest, lemon juice and yoghurt. Beat some more. Add more yoghurt if you prefer a heavier texture, although the deliciousness of this cake resides in its lightness. Beat some more, reaching again a mousse-like texture. Feel the air, you are approaching summer.
  6. Pour the mixture into a lightly buttered cake tin and put the cake in the oven to bake. Cook for a first 20 minutes. You want to sit in front of the oven, taping your hands against your knees, feeling the excitement running up your body – sweet, sugar rush is coming! Dreamers gone to sleep, the top of the cake will most likely cook faster so it’s important you check-in after this short period of time. If it’s the case, cover the cake with foil paper and return to the oven for another 20 minutes. Insert a skewer in the middle to check if it is cooked. Note: we do like our cakes on the soft, slightly undercooked side.
  1. While the cake is baking, make the lemony syrup (you are allowed to stop looking at the oven for that period):
    Cut the lemon in slices while you bring 80ml of sweeten water to boil ( with the 50g of brown sugar).
    Insert the lemon slices and simmer until they are transparent. Set aside on a sheet of brown paper.
    Continue to simmer the sugar until it dissolves in order to make a syrup. The longer, the thicker.
  2. Once the cake is cooked, a.k.a once the skewer comes out clean, and while the cake is still warm, place the crystallised lemons on top. Add a few rosemary leaves if you’d like. Pour the warm syrup over the cake. Let the cake cool before serving.

Can you taste it? The kick of summer – delicious, isn’t it?

Published by The Salmon Pink Kitchen

Cooking, reading and writing from a salmon pink kitchen, Gastronomically yours, Irene & Margaux