High Country Baking: Lemon, rosemary and olive oil Bundt

After dinner, glazed and accompanied by blueberry sauce and fresh berries, this lemon, rosemary and olive oil Bundt is a dessert. Present it plain at breakfast, and it’s a sweet bread.
Photo by Vera Dawson / High Country Baking

I like a pastry that rises to any occasion, like this one. After dinner, glazed and accompanied by blueberry sauce and fresh berries, it’s a dessert. Present it plain at breakfast, and it’s a sweet bread. Its tender texture and citrusy goodness shine whenever you serve it and elevate whatever you serve with it.

It’s highly flexible and eager to please. Don’t have olive oil? Use a mild-flavored vegetable oil instead. Not sure about the rosemary? Reduce the amount or omit it altogether. Out of yogurt? Substitute sour cream or buttermilk. Feel free to increase the lemon to your liking (the amount in the recipe results in a mild flavor) and add vanilla for a more complex taste. The Bundt needs to rest at least 24 hours before serving, so plan ahead.

Tip: Use a serrated knife to mince the rosemary. It will hold the tiny leaves in place while you’re chopping them, so they don’t spray all over your cutting surface.

Lemon, rosemary and olive oil Bundt

Adjusted for elevations of 8,000 feet and above. Make in a 6-cup, nonstick Bundt pan.

Cake batter

  • 1 1/2 cups plus 3 tablespoons bleached all-purpose flour (spoon and level)
  • 1 scant teaspoon baking powder
  • Pinch salt
  • 3-4 teaspoons fresh rosemary, minced (or 2 teaspoons dried)
  • 3/4 cup superfine granulated sugar
  • Zest of 1 lemon or 1/4 teaspoon lemon oil
  • 3 large or jumbo eggs, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup plain whole milk yogurt
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 teaspoon mildly flavored extra-virgin olive oil

Lemon glaze, optional

  • 1-3 tablespoons cream
  • 1-3 teaspoons lemon juice or 1/4 teaspoon lemon oil
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, optional


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, with a rack in the center. Generously grease the pan, including the center tube, with a baking spray that contains flour.

Combine the flour, baking powder, salt and rosemary in a bowl and whisk to mix well. Set aside.

Add the sugar and lemon zest or lemon oil to a medium mixing bowl and use your clean fingertips to rub them together until the sugar absorbs some of the lemon and the citrus smell is evident. Whisk in the eggs, one at a time, then add the yogurt and whisk again, until well-blended. Gently use the whisk or a silicone spatula to fold in the olive oil. Add the flour mixture, a little at a time, gently folding it into the batter until it’s absorbed after each addition. Check the bowl bottom and sides to make sure all the ingredients are thoroughly combined.

Scrape the shiny, thick batter into the prepared pan, filling it no more than 2 inches from the top, even if you have some batter left over. Bake until a tester inserted in several places comes out clean and the baked batter starts to pull away from the pan sides. Start checking at 27 minutes. Cool the pan on a rack for about 15 minutes, then invert the pan and let the cake fall out. Let it cool completely on a rack and then cover well. Store at cool room temperature or in the fridge for 24 hours before serving. It can be frozen successfully.

To glaze: When the cake has cooled completely, place a tablespoon of cream and a teaspoon of lemon juice or a few drops of lemon oil in a small bowl, add 1/2 cup powdered sugar and whisk until smooth and blended. Add more sugar, lemon juice/oil and cream a little at a time, whisking after each addition, until you have about a half-cup of glaze. It should be opaque and thick but still pourable and have a lemon flavor that’s pleasing to you. Drizzle it over the cake top and let it run down the sides. Let the glaze set before storing the cake.

Vera Dawson

Vera Dawson’s column “High Country Baking” publishes biweekly at Dawson is a high-elevation baking instructor and author of three high-altitude cookbooks. Her recipes have been tested in her kitchen in Frisco, where she’s lived since 1991, and altered until they work at elevation. Contact her at


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