I like experimenting with different herbs and had been wanting to make something with blueberries and basil for a long time. I finally made this lemon-basil cake with blueberry-basil cream cheese frosting and it turned out just how I imagined! Fragrant from the delicate hint of basil throughout the sweet blueberry frosting and tart lemon cake.

Lemon-Basil Cake with Blueberry-Basil Cream Cheese Frosting

Lemon-Basil Cake
adapted from Ina Garten

3 c all-purpose flour
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp kosher salt
2 c plain whole-milk yogurt
2 c sugar
6 eggs
4 tsp grated lemon zest (4 lemons)
1/4 c basil, very finely chopped
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 c vegetable oil

Cake Wash

1/3 c sugar
2/3 c lemon juice

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease two 9-inch springform pans and line the bottom with parchment paper.
  2. Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt into 1 bowl. In another bowl, whisk together the yogurt, 2 cups sugar, the eggs, lemon zest, basil, and vanilla. Slowly whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. With a rubber spatula, fold the vegetable oil into the batter, making sure it’s all incorporated. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 50 minutes, or until a cake tester placed in the center of the loaf comes out clean.
  3. Meanwhile, cook the 2/3 cup lemon juice and 1/3 cup sugar in a small pan until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is clear. Set aside.
  4. When the cake is done, allow it to cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Carefully place on a baking rack over a sheet pan. While the cake is still warm, pour the lemon-sugar mixture over the cake and allow it to soak in. Cool before frosting.

Blueberry-Basil Cream Cheese Frosting
Adapted from White on Rice Couple

2 cups fresh blueberries
3 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp cornstarch
16oz packages cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 1/4 cups powdered sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
pinch of kosher or sea salt
1/4 c basil, finely chopped

  1. Combine the blueberries, sugar, and cornstarch in a saucepan. Cook the sauce over medium heat until the sauce thickens and the cornstarch becomes translucent, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature (to expedite the cooling you can use an ice bath to cool it quicker- or you can make the sauce a day ahead of time if your timing allows).
  2. In large bowl, add cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar, vanilla and salt. Cream together all the ingredients until smooth and creamy.
  3. Add half of the blueberry sauce and all the basil, then gently fold into the cream cheese frosting. Add the remaining half of the sauce and stir in until the frosting becomes a blue/purple color, or until you like the texture of the frosting. The more you mix the frosting, the less chunks of blueberry you will have in the frosting.
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