Lemon-Rosemary Coffee Cake


Lemon-Rosemary Coffee Cake is a wonderful blend of lemony-  sweet-and-tart. Moist, with a hint of rosemary to complement the lemon flavor, and perfect to enjoy for brunch or tea!


After a couple of weeks of cooking with lavender, I’m enjoying another culinary first~ cooking with preserved lemons, for The Mystery Ingredient Club and Foodie Friday at Rattlebridge Farm!

A jar of preserved lemons, Meyer Lemon in olive oil, and Lemon Flake Sea Salt arrived to tantalize my taste buds and send me searching for recipes. . .


I have plans for all three after I rouse myself

from my lavender-induced stupor :)

Thank you, Michael Lee!


Most of the recipes I found were for savory recipes like Moroccan Chicken. I noticed the jar of Bella Cucina Preserved Lemons had a recipe on the tag for Lemon Pound Cake, so I decided to substitute preserved lemons for the lemon zest and juice in Lemon-Rosemary Coffee Cake.

Lemon Rosemary Coffee Cake

Since we’re fans of rosemary, I also mixed rosemary with the sugar called for in the recipe, to stand overnight so it would impart a little additional rosemary flavor.


Lemon-Rosemary Coffee Cake,

recipe adapted from Southern Living



Parchment paper

3 large lemons* (I substituted 2 wedges of preserved lemons rinsed and diced, with the pulp removed before dicing)

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups sugar* (I used rosemary sugar)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup very cold butter, cubed
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup buttermilk* (I substituted Greek yogurt)
1 large egg
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
1 (10-oz.) jar lemon curd
Powdered sugar
Garnishes: fresh rosemary sprigs, lemon slices



Preheat oven to 350°. Lightly grease bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan. Line bottom of pan with parchment paper.


 *Grate zest from lemons to equal 1 Tbsp. Cut lemons in half; squeeze juice from lemons into a bowl to equal 5 Tbsp. Reserve zest and 1 Tbsp. lemon juice.

* Instead, I used 2 preserved lemon quarters, rinsed well. Remove pulp and save for another use. Dice fine and reserve 1 – 2 teaspoons.


 Combine flour, sugar, and salt in bowl of a food processor; pulse 3 to 4 times or until blended. Add butter; pulse 6 to 7 times or until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Reserve 1 cup flour mixture.


Transfer remaining flour mixture to bowl of mixer. Add baking powder and baking soda; beat at low speed until well blended. Add buttermilk (I used Greek yogurt), egg, and 1/4 cup lemon juice (I added my diced preserved lemons instead) ; beat at medium speed 1 1/2 to 2 minutes or until batter is thoroughly blended, stopping to scrape bowl as needed. Stir in rosemary. Spoon half of batter into prepared pan.


Whisk lemon curd in a small bowl about 1 minute or until loosened and smooth; carefully spread over batter in pan. Top with remaining half of batter.


* Stir together reserved lemon zest, 1 Tbsp. lemon juice, and 1 cup flour mixture; sprinkle lemon zest mixture over batter in pan.

 *I stirred in the reserved diced preserved lemon with the flour mixture.


Bake at 350° for 45 to 50 minutes or until a long wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.


Let cool in pan on a wire rack 10 minutes. Gently run a sharp knife around edge of cake to loosen; remove sides of pan. Cool cake completely on wire rack (about 1 hour).


Dust with powdered sugar

just before serving.


Grab a fork and and a slice . . .

Of course you can make this without preserved lemons, but they were a wonderful addition to this recipe adding a depth of lemon flavor! This coffee cake is even better and more moist the next day.


You can find the original and printable

recipe from Southern Living here.


Thank you Michael Lee for providing the

 preserved lemons as the mystery ingredient!


Thank you for your visit, I’m joining:

 Metamorphosis Monday,

The Scoop,  Inspire Me Tuesday,

Wow Us Wednesdays,  Foodie Friday

  41 comments for “Lemon-Rosemary Coffee Cake

  1. Diane Dainis
    August 1, 2013 at 6:02 am

    My Rosemary is gorgeous right now and this recipe sounds wonderful! And I have to ask, where did you get the beautiful table cloth?? Love all of your table settings.

    • August 1, 2013 at 6:15 am

      It would make a beautiful tablecloth! It’s a kitchen towel :)

  2. August 1, 2013 at 6:07 am

    Oh how I love lemon and rosemary together! And wait until you try the Lemon Sea Salt. I have been using it on everything ;o)

  3. August 1, 2013 at 6:41 am

    Looks mouthwatering! I’m a lemon lover and going to try this. That towel is gorgeous.

  4. Peggy Thal
    August 1, 2013 at 6:45 am

    Sure looks delicious! Love how you display your cake. Very inviting.

  5. August 1, 2013 at 7:30 am

    Love lemon, love rosemary , and it sounds and looks very good. Your attention to details makes it very appealing . I will have to try the preserved lemons.

  6. August 1, 2013 at 7:46 am

    Well, isn’t that the most gorgeous coffee cake ever!!! I would have never dared pair lemon and rosemary in a cake~you have really become a master at marrying unusual flavors and introducing us to a whole new world of taste sensations! I am really looking forward to seeing the mystery ingredients at Foodie Friday tomorrow. I love your lemon tea towel, so perfect with your lemon creation! The cake and your photos are breathtaking, thank you Mary!

  7. August 1, 2013 at 7:54 am

    I can almost taste this. It looks amazingly delicious! Of course, your images are as usual…glorious.

  8. August 1, 2013 at 8:36 am

    Mmmmmm Mary this sounds wonderful! It was a fun challenge using the Mystery Club ingredients, wasn’t it? Now I want to go whip up your lemon rosemary coffee cake. xo

  9. August 1, 2013 at 8:51 am

    That sounds so very good. I have never seen preserved lemons before…they are really pretty. Your coffee cake looks luscious and the presentation is wonderful, Mary. Have a great day- xo Diana

  10. paula
    August 1, 2013 at 9:03 am

    I love Lemon everything!! The coffee cake looks wonderful ~ Enjoy!!

  11. Cheryl
    August 1, 2013 at 9:03 am

    Mary, that cake looks so delish and my mouth is watering just looking at your beautiful photos. I’d love to try to make it, but I’m wondering where will I find lemons preserved in olive oil? I have never heard of them before.

    • August 1, 2013 at 9:13 am

      Hi Cheryl! Preserved lemons are in a salt brine not olive oil. The ones I received came from Bella Cucina, available here. You may be able to find them at Whole Foods, or there is an easy recipe for them here. They’re ready in 2-3 weeks :)

  12. Franki
    August 1, 2013 at 9:22 am

    Once again, your presentation is fab! Delish!! franki

  13. August 1, 2013 at 12:55 pm

    Mary, this is a gorgeous cake! We’ve lots of rosemary growing in the garden, so I must try this. Thanks for sharing the recipe. I’ve been in the kitchen more this past week than all year! Well, that’s a bit of an overstatement, but I have certainly had fun with all of this. I’m eager to see the different recipes for the Meyers. I tried several savory dishes as well as lots of sweets. I think the preserved lemons will be a staple in our house from now on.

  14. August 1, 2013 at 1:39 pm

    Looks yummy and pretty too!…Christine

  15. August 1, 2013 at 3:05 pm

    We are not fans of rosemary but this would be delicious without the rosemary too:) It is a beautiful coffee cake. I was about to ask about the “tablecloth” too but saw your reply. Your pics are gorgeous.

  16. August 1, 2013 at 6:07 pm

    SQUEAL with delight! your photos blow me away, i have been shrouded in blue, gray and green, to see the sunny side of life again is DELIGHTFUL! i made this recipe too in spring, fresh from my garden, i am sure this was fabulous with the preserved lemons. each pic is perfection, i so love love love this. i made the pound cake on the jar too! i don’t even like pound cake, but i thought it was excellent! what a joy to see yellow again, i too have been in lavender lust for months, i do so miss my sunny yellows, it was delightful to be reminded of the real world out there with your gorgeous presentation. picture perfect from top to bottom, long live lemons!

  17. Lynn@Happier Than A Pig In Mud
    August 1, 2013 at 6:34 pm

    Yum! And I’ll… um, have the big slice:@)

  18. August 1, 2013 at 6:46 pm

    wow that cake looks so wonderful and so different, it would be spectacular to take to a brunch and would certainly be remembered for the ingredients, I think the only thing better then that cake is your incredible photography, so so beautiful and not an easy task I know…such a delicious post

  19. August 1, 2013 at 7:02 pm

    Gosh, Mary….a little slice of that heavenly coffee cake would go so good with a cuppa tea about now! You created a lovely combination of lemon & rosemary but it is your photography that makes my ♥ sing!
    Your camera must have flour & herbs & icing all over it, the way you use it in the kitchen as you work. LOL

    Thanks for sharing all the wonderful details of how you made this yummy dessert.

  20. Pam
    August 1, 2013 at 7:58 pm

    I make a Rosemary Orange Rum cake that is a favorite in my family. This one looks wonderful I will have to add it to my list. Thank you for the beautiful pictures and the good recipes, I always enjoy them!

  21. Rattlebridge Farm
    August 1, 2013 at 8:40 pm

    Mary, I’m squealing with Jain at the sight of this luscious cake and the magazine worthy photo spread. I loved hearing what you decided to cook and why. It makes my heart so happy to see what you did with three little jars, and so beautifully and deliciously! I am going back for second helpings to savor each picture and word. xx

  22. August 1, 2013 at 9:51 pm

    I pinned this. Oh My Gosh this looks wonderful. I have both lemons and rosemary so I am so making this.

  23. ann pauley
    August 1, 2013 at 11:13 pm

    great recipes!

  24. Botanic Bleu
    August 2, 2013 at 2:16 am

    Mouth-watering photos! I must try this recipe, especially using Greek yogurt instead of buttermilk. Thanks for the gorgeous photos and modifications to the Southern Living Recipe.


  25. August 2, 2013 at 10:09 am

    What I wouldn’t give for a big slice of this beautiful cake to go with my first cup of coffee. A bit of rosemary is a wonderful addition to lemon in this breakfast treat. Your photos are gorgeous and I love your sweet little forks and lovely table cloth.

  26. August 2, 2013 at 10:29 am

    I’m loving Michael’s new concept. Your cake looks amazing!!!

    – The Tablescaper

  27. August 2, 2013 at 11:49 am

    Mary, this is beautiful. I LOVE lemons the way some people love chocolate. I love chocolate too…just sayin’. :) Anyway, this recipe looks like something I would love, especially with the addition of the lemon curd. Yum! I adore your pretty tablecloth with the lemon pattern. Is it vintage?

    I’m so glad you use Southern Living recipes frequently in your blog posts; I’ve been a Southern Living fan for about 25 years now. Their cookbooks are some of my favorites. Thanks for sharing the recipe and I hope you have a wonderful weekend on the lake!



  28. August 3, 2013 at 1:13 pm

    Absolutely gorgeous, Mary! What an ingenious (and utterly delicious) way of using the mystery ingredients ~ I would love a slice of that right now, it looks irresistible. :o) Again, your photos and presentation are “coffee-table picture book” worthy. Lovely!

  29. August 3, 2013 at 5:58 pm

    I love lemon but I’ve never tasted preserved lemons. Your coffee cake looks so moist and so delicious!

  30. August 3, 2013 at 9:31 pm

    Looks so yummy! I love the tablecloth.

  31. August 7, 2013 at 8:48 am

    Oh my gosh…the cake looks incredible and must taste just as incredible…i heard about those famous preserved lemons at Haven!

  32. August 8, 2013 at 10:19 am

    Gorgeous presentation! Thank you for joining Home Sweet Home!

  33. August 8, 2013 at 10:24 am

    Mary I will feature this today at HSH!

  34. August 8, 2013 at 9:13 pm

    Wow, just wow!! That looks so delicious, and so beautiful! I need to branch out and not be afraid of adding herbs to my sweet treats. I’d love to try this cake :) thanks for sharing at TT&T!
    ~April @DimplesandDelights

  35. Cheryl
    August 25, 2013 at 3:49 pm

    Mary, Just want to say that I made this cake to bring to a luncheon today and it was a big hit. Thank you for this post and a wonderful recipe! :)

    • August 25, 2013 at 4:03 pm

      Yay! Thanks for letting me know Cheryl! :)

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