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May 27, 2014 / mintcustard

Rosemary Madeira cake.

Secret Garden theme.

Secret Garden theme.

Cake club this weekend happened to fall in the middle of  THE most hectic weekend of  year for our family.

A teen returning from University, a big, fabulous and hugely enjoyable family wedding and all that entails (hair appointments, trips out buy emergency tights, hunt the box of confetti bought two weeks ago etc etc), recovery from the party the next day, an evening out to watch Elvis Live at Hammersmith Odeon and today a whole bank holiday in the rain helping to raise money for Cheam Rotary club at their annual Cheam carnival.

So, long and short of it was, the cake for cake club had to be simple, but tasty. With a theme of The Secret Garden there were so many ideas racing around my head. No time to ice a bundt, even less time to make fondant flowers or secret hidden flower. I had to rely on the flavours of the garden rather than make my cake look like a garden.

When I think of my own garden the fragrances and flavours that come to mind are lavender, rosemary and lemon verbena. Rosemary is a herb I use often in savoury dishes but I have never used it in a sweet recipe. I’ve decided to add this to the Cooking with herbs blog hop. Created by Karen at Lavender and lovage and this month hosted by Linzi at Lancashire Food.

Cooking with Herbs Lavender and Lovage


Rosemary madeira cake.

Rosemary madeira cake.

I 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 apple too which I may make next time. Here is my version.




250g butter at room temperature, diced (margarine is NOT an option in this recipe)

200g caster sugar

3 large eggs

210g self-raising flour

90g plain flour

splash vanilla extract

1 tbsp of finely chopped rosemary leaves, not the stalks though.

1 stalk of rosemary the length of your loaf tin.

4 tablespoons of milk

1 tablespoon of extra caster sugar for sprinkling

How to

  • Preheat the oven to 170c.
  • line a loaf tin with a loaf pan liner, I bought a pack in Poundland and they worked a treat.
  • Cream together the butter and sugar until pale and then cream some more until really light and fluffy.
  • Beat in one egg at a time along with a tablespoon of flour.
  • Fold in the rest of the flour along with the finely chopped rosemary.
  • Slacken the mixture with the milk and the vanilla extract.
  • Scrape into the loaf tin and lay the long stem of rosemary down the length of the cake. Sprinkle the remaining caster sugar over the top of the batter.
  •  Bake for between 50 minutes and an hour or until a cake tester comes out clean.
  • Leave to cool for 10 minutes in the tin and then take out of the tin and allow to cool.
Sharing the cake at cake club.

Sharing the cake at cake club.

Place in a cake box and take to cake club!




Leave a Comment
  1. thehungrymum / May 27 2014 11:27 am

    hey hey! thanks for the blog love 🙂

  2. mintcustard / May 27 2014 11:33 am

    You are verywelcome, simply good manners to say who gave me the idea to make this cake! Your photos made me think it was the right cake for me to bake!

  3. Lancashire Food / Jun 5 2014 4:45 pm

    Thanks for entering Cooking with Herbs and what a lovely cake, which I am sure was popular at cake club


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