Gardening, Cooking and Decorating on the Prairie of Kansas

Welcome to Linderhof, our 1920's home on the prairie, where there's usually something in the oven, flowers in the garden for tabletops and herbs in the garden for cooking. Where, when company comes, the teapot is always on and there are cookies and cakes to share in the larder.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Lemon Basil Poundcake

I love to use herbs in sweet dishes as well as savory ones. It is the unexpected and I love the unexpected!

Lavender and rosemary often find their way into sweet foods. I've even used thyme. But to me basil and citrus are perfection.
The lemon cake has basil in it and the lemon glaze has basil as well.
So that my guests knew it was a basil cake -- a big bunch was in the middle for decoration.
It's a perfect cake for dessert or for an afternoon tea.

In the summer, I try to use basil as much as I can. Basil is not just for tomatoes! It makes a good dessert!


10 T. butter, softened and divided
1 3/4 c. plus 2 T. sugar, divided
2 1/4 cup flour
1 t. baking powder
1/4 t. baking soda
1/4 t. salt
2 t. grated lemon rind
1 T. chopped fresh basil
2 t. vanilla
3 large eggs
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 T. fresh lemon juice
3 large egg whites


1/4 c. half and half
3 T. chopped fresh basil
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
2 T. fresh lemon juice
Dash of salt

Preheat oven to 325.

Coat a tube pan with 1 T. butter and dust with 2 T. granulated sugar

Combine flour with next 3 ingredients in a bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Combine 1 1/2 cups sugar and the remaining 9 T. butter in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium high speed until light and fluffy. Beat in rind and extract. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Combine buttermilk and 2 T. juice. Add flour mixture and buttermilk mixture alternately to sugar mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Place egg whites in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at high speed until soft peaks form, using clean, dry beaters. Add remaining 1/4 cup sugar, 1 T. at a time, beating until stiff peaks form. Gently fold one third of egg white mixture into batter; fold in remaining egg white mixture. Spoon batter into prepared pan. Bake at 325 for 55 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool cake in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove cake from pan. Cool completely on wire rack.

For the glaze, combine half and half and basil in a small saucepan. Heat almost to boiling. Let stand 5 minutes. Combine half and half, powdered sugar, 2 T. juice and dash of salt; stir with a whisk until smooth. Drizzle half of glaze over cake; let stand 5 minutes or until set. Repeat procedure with remaining glaze.


Unseen India Tours said...

Thanks for the recipe !!This is a nice post !!Unseen Rajasthan

Haden News said...

This poundcake sounds delish!! I never would have thought about using basil...maybe rosemary. I can't wait to try this!!

Unknown said...

Yum! Such a beautiful cake.

Southerncook said...


This cake is GORGEOUS!!! What a wonderful idea and I have plenty of basil so I need to be making this cake. Copied and pasted. THANKS!!!!


Lemon Verbena Lady said...

Your presentation is just impeccable, Martha! I bow to your creativity and sharing it with all of us! I just love lemon basil!

niartist said...

Mmmmmm! You know what goes great with Lemon Basil cake? CANDLES!!! and FREE CANDLES with holders! Beautiful mirrored ones! LOL! You WON!!!!! Email me at

Alea Milham said...

Basil is my favorite herb. I have never tried it with sweets before, but I will definitely be giving this recipe a try!

Queen B. said...

Thanks so much for the recipe !!

Karine said...

Original and great looking poundcake! Thanks for sharing:)