Guest Post: Leah Tott from Living Beautifully on a Budget's Rosemary Lemon Layer Cake

Leah Tott's Rosemary Lemon Layer Cake

Image © Leah Tott

Image © Leah Tott

I'm so excited to announce that this post was actually written and photographed by the lovely Leah Tott of Living Beautifully on a Budget! A native Seatellite living in the charming and energetic city of Austin Texas, Leah's blog is bursting at the seems with lively and striking food. An eclectic mix of healthy farmer's market finds, clever snacks and decadent desserts, it's an added bonus that Leah recently returned from spending quite a bit of time in Brazil and the vibrant country's culinary influence has been sneaking it's way into some of her recipes. Living Beautifully on a budget is a top notch blog with it's alluring photographs, friendly tone and wallet-savvy thinking. I highly suggest you pay a visit- tell Leah I sent you her way ;)

Check out Leah's blog here and don't forget to check out my guest post while your there as well. 

And now, onto that Rosemary Lemon Cake you've been thinking about since opening this post...

Image © Leah Tott

Image © Leah Tott

Leah of Living Beautifully on a Budget:

I've been on a little bit of a lemon obsession lately. Not only are lemons WAY cheaper in Texas than they are in Seattle, but they are so great for lightening up food in the summer heat. I've been putting lemon-pepper on my popcorn, lemon juice on my salads, and lemon zest in my cakes! Not only do they taste great, but they just look so darn cheerful and smell amazing. 

Image © Leah Tott

Image © Leah Tott

If you haven't been in the loop lately, I got engaged!!! I've basically been going crazy with excitement in preparing for my wedding and thought I'd try out a few cake recipes as potential ideas for the big day. One bite of this cake and I fell head-over-heels in love. It's exactly what I'm looking for; light, rustic, simple, and bursting with unique flavor. This is but the first recipe on my quest, but it may just "take the cake"!

Image © Leah Tott

Image © Leah Tott

Lemon-Rosemary Layer Cake
Recipe adapted from Baker Bettie

  • 2 1/2 cups cake flour, plus extra for dusting pans
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon table salt
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar (divided)
  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
  • 1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 TBSP lemon zest
  • 1 TBSP fresh rosemary, minced
  • 6 large egg yolks, room temperature
  • 3 large egg whites, room temperature
  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Grease two 8" or 9" round cake pans. Dust pans with flour and tap out excess any excess.
  2. In a large bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and 1 1/2 cups sugar. In another bowl whisk together the melted butter, buttermilk, oil, vanilla, lemon zest, rosemary and egg yolks.
  3. For the meringue: In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment, beat egg whites at medium speed until foamy. With machine running, stream in the remaining 1/4 cup sugar. Beat at high speed just until stiff peaks form. Gently transfer to a bowl and set aside.
  4. Add flour mixture to the empty stand mixer bowl fitted with whisk attachment. With mixer running at low speed, gradually pour in butter mixture and mix for about 10 seconds. Stop mixer and thoroughly scrape down the bowl. Mix again on medium for 20 more seconds just until combined.
  5. Using rubber spatula, gently fold in 1/2 of the meringue just until incorporated. Fold in the rest of the meringue. Be very gentle to not deflate the air in the meringue. You will have a few white streaks in the batter. Divide batter evenly between your prepared cake pans.
  6. Place pans on a half-sheet pan and bake on the center rack in the oven at 350F for 20-25 minutes, rotating halfway through. The cake will begin pulling away Bake until cake layers begin to pull away from sides of pans and will no longer jiggle in the center when it is finished.
  7. Cool cakes in pans on wire rack for 20 minutes. Run a thin bladed knife around the sides of the pans to loosen cakes then invert on a greased wire rack. Allow to cool completely (about 1 more hour) before frosting.
Image © Leah Tott

Image © Leah Tott

Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

8 oz. cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened

1 TBSP lemon zest

2T lemon juice

1 tsp vanilla

2 1/2 cup confectioners sugar

Combine all ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed until combined and creamy. Scrape down the bowl as needed.