Recipe courtesy of Buddy Valastro

Rosemary Olive Oil Cake with Lemon Buttercream

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 1 hr 45 min (plus cooling)
  • Active: 1 hr
  • Yield: 8 to 10 servings
When chef Anne Burrell got engaged to Stuart Claxton, she wanted a wedding with some traditional elements and some unexpected ones. Her six-tier cake was a perfect mix of the two: a creation straight out of a fairy tale — but with totally surprising flavors inside. She called on one of the most creative bakers she knows, her friend Buddy Valastro, to pull off the feat, and together they settled on this showstopper, made with rosemary olive oil cake and lemon buttercream. (To play up the harvest theme of the October event, Buddy decorated it with vegetables molded from Rice Krispies treats!) Here’s a scaled-down cake recipe straight from Buddy so you can try it yourself.


For the Cake:

For the Lemon Curd and Buttercream:


  1. Make the cake: Preheat the oven to 300˚ F. Coat two 8-inch round cake pans with cooking spray. Combine the sugar, 2 1/3 cups flour, the baking powder, salt and 2 egg yolks in a large bowl; beat with a mixer on medium-high speed until well mixed. Stream in 1 cup olive oil and mix about 30 seconds. Beat in the 3 whole eggs, one at a time. Stream in the milk and vanilla and mix until combined.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine the chopped rosemary, remaining 2 teaspoons olive oil and 3 teaspoons flour. Fold the rosemary mixture into the batter.
  3. Pour the batter into the cake pans. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the centers comes out clean, 20 to 30 minutes. Transfer to a rack and let cool completely in the pans.
  4. Make the lemon curd: In a small saucepan, combine 1/4 cup sugar, the egg yolk, lemon zest and juice, cornstarch and 1 tablespoon butter. Stir continuously with a rubber spatula until the mixture boils and thickens, about 1 minute. Transfer the lemon curd to a bowl and place a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate to cool.
  5. Make the buttercream: Set up a stand mixer with the whisk attachment. In a medium saucepan, heat the egg whites and remaining 1 cup sugar over medium heat until the mixture reaches 160˚ F and the sugar is dissolved. (You should not be able to feel any sugar granules and the mixture should be very warm, not hot, to the touch.)
  6. Pour the egg white mixture into the mixer bowl and whisk on medium-high speed until the meringue is three times its volume, holds firm peaks and has cooled to about 95˚ F, about 4 minutes. Beat in the remaining 4 sticks butter slowly, piece by piece, until smooth and blended. Beat in the salt and vanilla.
  7. Remove the lemon curd from the refrigerator and fold it into the buttercream until well combined.
  8. Assemble the cake: Transfer 1 cake layer to a cake plate. Spread some of the buttercream on top using an offset spatula. Top with the other cake layer. Cover the top and sides of the cake with a thin layer of buttercream (this is the crumb coat); refrigerate 15 to 20 minutes. Cover with the remaining buttercream.