Nigella Lawson rosemary loaf cake

17 Oct


Nigella Lawson  rosemary  loaf cake

Our rosemary bush is a beast of a thing – large, unwieldy but capable of producing the most fragrant and delicious tasting leaves. No matter how much we use or give away there is always more, more, more taking over our herb garden.


Looking for another way to use it I stumbled across the mistress of original cooking concepts, Nigella Lawson. My well-thumbed copy of ‘How To Be A Domestic Goddess’ provided the answer with this luscious cake.

To quote the lady herself: ‘Don’t be alarmed at the idea of using a herb usually associated with savoury cooking: there is something muskily aromatic about it against the sweet vanilla egginess of the cake.’

When I took it to the office to share with my work colleagues many were surprised by the addition of rosemary in a sweet cake, and that to me is part of the beauty of baking. Hopefully every time people discover new tastes they will vow to never touch a nasty, chemical-stuffed box of cake mix again.




250g butter at room temperature, diced

200g caster sugar

3 large eggs

210g self-raising flour

90g plain flour

splash vanilla extract

leaves from a 10cm stalk of rosemary, chopped small with scissors

4 tablespoons of milk

1-2 tablespoons caster sugar, extra.



The Hungry Mum. Nigella Lawson  rosemary loaf cake

Preheat oven to 170C and grease and line a 23cmx13x loaf tin.

In bowl of electric mixer cream butter and add the sugar after the butter is very pale then continue creaming until smooth and light.

Beat in eggs one at a time, folding in a heaped spoonful of flour after each addition, and after this is mixed add the rest of the flour, then the vanilla and rosemary [Ms Lawson recommends using a rubber spatula for this job].

Add milk, then scrape into tin.

Sprinkle over the extra sugar then bake for 50-60 minutes/until a skewer comes out clean.

Place tin on wire rack and when cold unmould and wrap in foil until you are going to eat it.

Nigella Lawson  rosemary  loaf cake. The Hungry Mum


46 Responses to “Nigella Lawson rosemary loaf cake”

  1. lazylauramaisey October 17, 2012 at 7:14 am #

    I love the whole loaf-cake scene. A cake becomes instantly more attractive to me if it is in a loaf shape. And this one looks lovely and soft. I shall push past my dislike for Nigella and give it a go (she lost me when she made that awful meat-za thing on Nigellissima).

    • thehungrymum October 17, 2012 at 7:25 am #

      I love loaf cakes, too! More rustic & homely than anything you could buy. I haven’t seen much about her new book but anything called meat-za would have to be awful.

      • lazylauramaisey October 17, 2012 at 7:48 am #

        Omygoodness. Get ready. It’s a pizza, but instead of pizza dough on the bottom, she gets ground meat and flattens it and builds the pizza on that instead! Horrendous! Basically a huge flat burger with tomato and cheese on it. Sooooo not Italian.

      • thehungrymum October 17, 2012 at 8:28 am #

        I just did a sick in my mouth. That sounds revolting. Can understand why you’re *over* her now 😦

      • lazylauramaisey October 17, 2012 at 10:09 am #

        Yeh. Me and Nigella. We’re over. I’m onto Russell Norman now, the owner of an amazing Venetian restaurant in London called Polpo. His stuff is beautiful. Less boobs than Nigella, but also less meat-za, which can only be a good thing.

  2. hotlyspiced October 17, 2012 at 9:52 am #

    I’ve just planted rosemary in my garden but it will be a few weeks before I can harvest some for cooking. I’ve never used rosemary in a sweet dish but I would like to try this because I’ve seen a few recipes recently promoting rosemary in this way xx

    • thehungrymum October 17, 2012 at 10:09 am #

      Having fresh rosemary in the garden is just the best! This is the only sweet recipe I use it in but I’m sure there’s plenty more great ideas out there!

  3. Christine @ Cooking Crusade October 17, 2012 at 10:28 am #

    This looks great! I never would have thought to put rosemary in a sweet cake. Its such an awesome herb for potatoes and meat.. I really need to plant some!

    • thehungrymum October 17, 2012 at 9:11 pm #

      Pity you don’t live near me – I could give you more rosemary than you could ever need!

  4. Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella October 17, 2012 at 11:51 am #

    This is one of my favourite cakes! You’ve reminded me that I really should make it! 🙂 I love the sugar crust!

    • thehungrymum October 17, 2012 at 9:11 pm #

      Thanks! Your namesake certainly has a talent for gorgeous cakes! And a sugar crust is just *the* best, isn’t it?

  5. Keep Calm and Eat On October 18, 2012 at 1:00 am #

    I always wondered about this cake and you are the first one I know who has made it. I’m glad you say it is good because I’ll go ahead and make it now. 🙂

    • thehungrymum October 19, 2012 at 11:02 am #

      You won’t be disappointed – it is such a buttery, delish cake 🙂

  6. girlinafoodfrenzy October 18, 2012 at 2:56 am #

    Likewise! I’m a big fan of rosemary shortbreads but had never considered using the herb in cake form. Sounds delicious! One of the part parts of blogging in seeing how other people utilise similar ingredients for different results, thanks for sharing with us too 🙂

    • thehungrymum October 18, 2012 at 10:21 am #

      oooh, rosemary shortbread sounds delish! Might make that for Xmas in July next year [or maybe this Xmas!]. Thanks for the blog love x

  7. bessiecat October 18, 2012 at 9:46 pm #

    This sounds wonderful, so pleased to have found another use for our rosemary bush!

    • thehungrymum October 19, 2012 at 6:03 am #

      That stuff just grows & grows, eh? Let me know how you go if you make it 🙂

  8. whilehewasout October 19, 2012 at 1:13 pm #

    Mmh that crust looks so crrrunchy!

  9. carolynpageabc October 19, 2012 at 6:09 pm #

    If only I had the time to cook; well, anything other than meat and three veg that is…
    This sounds wonderful, if I get the chance I’ll go for it…!
    Good to meet a fellow Aussie… 😉

    • thehungrymum October 20, 2012 at 11:41 pm #

      I’m the opposite – I always make time to bake but sometimes dinner here is a little, umm, slapdash!

  10. Foodie Joanie October 20, 2012 at 10:33 pm #

    What a unique combination for a cake!

    • thehungrymum October 20, 2012 at 11:17 pm #

      It is but it tastes so lovely!

      • Foodie Joanie October 22, 2012 at 12:38 am #

        Mmm. You get no argument from me. Have you ever tried Nigella’s Chocolate Raspberry Pavlova? It’s got two of my favorite ingredients: chocolate and raspberries!

  11. Little Gumnut October 22, 2012 at 2:04 am #

    it looks intriguingly crusty – I would never have thought to put rosemary in a cake!

    • thehungrymum October 22, 2012 at 8:32 am #

      Thank goodness for Saint Nigella – that woman is an inspiration! And sugar crust, mmmmm.

  12. Cass @foodmyfriend October 23, 2012 at 10:24 pm #

    I love Nigella. My Mum got to interview her this year and I was so jelous! There is nothing nicer in a garden then a big rosemary bush. When the sun hits it, it smells like divine roasted potatoes. Silly? Hehe. Oh well.

    • thehungrymum October 24, 2012 at 4:56 am #

      Oooh, I’m also jealous! I’d probably be SO nervous that she’d think I was a stumbling fool. And totally agree with your rosemary/spud comment. Can almost smell it now…

  13. ioanna aggelidaki October 25, 2012 at 6:12 am #

    I love the taste of rosemary!!! Mom used to make a rosemary bread….. i could eat it all! 😀

    • thehungrymum October 25, 2012 at 9:39 am #

      Rosemary is just lovely, isn’t it? I love the smell of it so much I had a sprig of it in my wedding bouquet 🙂

  14. afracooking November 7, 2012 at 8:36 pm #

    I just love the idea of using rosemary in a cake. This really is a recipe I must try (altough I agree that Nigella’s recipes are a bit hit and miss). Thank you so much for dropping by my blog it made me look at all the delicious recipes on your blog! Fabulous how many comments and reactions you get – what is your secret?

    • thehungrymum November 8, 2012 at 2:04 am #

      Thanks for the feedback! The smell while this cake is baking… mmm…
      I spend more time commenting on other people’s blogs than almost anything else! ‘Blogetiquette’ hopefully drives those people to my blog. Cheers 🙂

      • afracooking November 9, 2012 at 5:13 pm #

        My mouth is watering just thinking about this cake 🙂 And thanks for the tip! I must be working as this is the way I found your blog 🙂

  15. amyprescott92 February 17, 2013 at 10:27 pm #

    This looks so yummy!

  16. The Hungry Mum November 21, 2015 at 8:50 am #

    Reblogged this on the hungry mum.

  17. missemzyy November 22, 2015 at 1:46 am #

    Im not having any luck with the rosemary in my garden! I can grow any other herb just not rosemary, which is a shame because its one of my favourite herbs! I have made Nigella’s madeira cake and by the looks of your loaf the addition of rosemary sounds be delicious!! Yum! x

  18. Sophie November 22, 2015 at 6:16 am #

    looks delicious! I think I’ve got a stewed plum in red wine recipe that calls for rosemary and cinnamon and cloves maybe? It’s delicious. It’s an Anthony Worrall Thompson Low GI recipe. Very moreish

  19. Lisa @ cheergerm November 22, 2015 at 9:18 am #

    So on my list of ‘to bake’ now, yes, go Mrs Hungry! No more cake mixes people! #implementingchangeinsmallways

    • The Hungry Mum November 22, 2015 at 9:58 pm #

      You go girl! Let’s get this baking revolution happening 🙂

  20. Stephanie Leduc November 22, 2015 at 3:09 pm #

    What an awesome and creative combo, I’ve never seen anything quite like this 🙂

  21. Gather and Graze November 22, 2015 at 11:01 pm #

    Love the idea of slightly confusing the palate with herbs normally only considered for savoury dishes. Sounds like a fabulous cake HM – will be trying this one for sure!

    • The Hungry Mum November 23, 2015 at 6:58 am #

      I hope you do – it is a firm fav of mine. Everyone I bake it for is a bit shocked at first, but then loves it x

  22. Sweet and Savoury Pursuits November 25, 2015 at 2:59 am #

    This sounds so delicious, love the taste of rosemary in baked goods.


  1. Rosemary Madeira cake. | mintcustard - May 27, 2014

    […] googled rosemary cake and came across Nigella’s Rosemary loaf cake at The Hungry Mum. A simple madeira cake with the addition of rosemary. She appears to have made a variation with […]

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