The best rosemary lemon loaf recipe

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The best rosemary lemon loaf recipe

Rosemary Lemon Loaf
Photo: The Headless Baker
Recipe by The Headless Baker

Food is all about balance. Just like Yin and Yang, or when sweet meets savoury.



  • ½ cup of unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup of caster sugar
  • 1½ cups of all-purpose flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp of baking powder
  • ½ tsp of salt (if you are using salted butter, just a pinch of salt will do)
  • ½ cup of full cream fresh milk
  • The zest of one lemon
  • 2 tsp of lemon juice
  • 1 sprig of fresh rosemary, finely chopped

Rosemary buttercream frosting

  • ¼ cup of unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 sprig of fresh rosemary
  • 1 tbsp of milk
  • ¾ cup of icing sugar
  • ½ tsp of salt


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C fan-forced.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar till light and fluffy.
  3. Slowly add the eggs one at a time to the batter.
  4. Combine the flour, baking powder, salt, lemon zest and chopped rosemary in a bowl. Mix well.
  5. Add the flour mixture and milk to the batter in three parts. Start and end with the flour mixture.
  6. Add in the lemon juice.
  7. Pour the batter into a greased loaf pan. Tap the pan on the countertop to release any air trapped within.
  8. Bake for 50 – 60 minutes. Cool in pan for 15 minutes before removing it completely. Allow the loaf to cool completely before frosting.
  9. To prepare the frosting, add the butter and rosemary in a pot. Melt over medium-high heat and bring to a boil afterwards for 1 minute. Transfer to a bowl and allow it to cool for an hour. Remove rosemary.
  10. Using a hand mixer, cream the rosemary butter for a couple of seconds. Then add icing sugar, salt and milk. Mix till the buttercream is smooth. You can always add more salt to make the frosting savoury. If the buttercream is too soft, add more icing sugar. Otherwise, if it’s too stiff, add more milk to texture it.
  11. Spread the buttercream over the loaf with an offset spatula or butter knife.
  12. Decorate the cake with more fresh rosemary. Consider using a dehydrated grapefruit slice for a wow factor. (Bake grapefruit slices for 2 – 3 hours at 80 degrees in the oven).

This recipe was originally published on The Headless Baker. For more recipes and inspiration, check out The Headless Baker on Instagram.