This Lemon Rosemary Cake will perk your spirits up with the reviving flavors of lemon, rosemary, and buckwheat honey!
In February we hit that slump, you know what it is. Like a pop music medley at a middle school dance or a vapid political opinion post on Facebook, snow storms happen in routine succession. There is no such thing as down time in February. With shoveling, salting, and scraping, the not-snow time is spent preparing for snow. I sometimes feel like I’m Jack from The Shining where he’s staring out into the white snowy horizon, only to snap.
This is where the Lemon Rosemary Cake comes in.
The cake is packed with ample lemon flavor. Lemon zest provides a bright and refreshing citrus note and much needed Vitamin C. Rosemary provides that earthy herbaceous flavor, it exudes a sense of green and vibrancy. Creaming the lemon zest and rosemary into the butter and sugar provides an even dispersal throughout the batter.
The Lemon Rosemary Cake is complimented by the complex flavor of buckwheat honey. Buckwheat’s slightly bitter aftertaste counteracts any sweetness in the frosting.
We need to eat this Lemon Rosemary Cake as medicine to counteract the winter!
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- For the Lemon Rosemary Cake:
- 5 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 ½ teaspoons fine salt
- 1 ½ cups (3 sticks, 12 ounces) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 3 cups granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
- 1 tablespoon finely ground fresh rosemary
- 6 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 ½ cups heavy cream, room temperature
- 1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
- For the Honey Buttercream:
- 1 ½ cups (3 sticks, 12 ounces) unsalted butter, cubed and room temperature
- 4 ounces cream cheese, cubed and room temperature
- ¼ cup shortening
- 4 to 6 cups powdered sugar
- ¼ cup heavy cream
- 3 tablespoons buckwheat honey
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon fine salt
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F, grease 4 8-inch cake pans with baking spray, set aside.
- Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl, set aside.
- Cube butter into a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, add sugar and cream at medium-high speed, until light, pale, and fluffy, about 3 to 4 minutes. Scrape down bowl and paddle. Beat in lemon and rosemary and beat to incorporate, about 30 seconds. Lower mixer speed to medium and beat in eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla and scrape bowl and paddle.
- Lower speed to low. Add dry-ingredients in 3 additions alternately with whole milk and buttermilk in two additions, beginning and ending with the dry-ingredients. Give the batter a few scrapes by hand with a rubber spatula.
- Divide batter evenly between prepared pans, smoothing top and whacking batter to even out top. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, rotating halfway. When done, cakes will be golden around the edges and a toothpick inserted will result with a few moist, not wet crumbs. Do not over bake. Let cakes rest in pans for 5 minutes before inverting onto a wire rack to cool completely.
- In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat butter, cream cheese, and shortening at medium-high speed until smooth and light, about 4 minutes, scrape the bowl and paddle periodically. With speed on low, add powdered sugar, heavy cream, honey, vanilla, and salt. Raise speed to medium-high and beat until light and fluffy, a final 3 minutes.
- If cakes have domes, use a serrated knife to level off the layers. Dollop a bit of frosting onto a cake board and secure the first layer. Apply a layer of frosting and even it out. Secure the second cake layer. Repeat process all over again, finishing the process by topping with the final third layer. Do a crumb coat to secure the cake. Chill in the freezer for 20 minutes. Apply a thicker, even layer of frosting.
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