Rustic Semolina Lemon & Rosemary Cake

I have made a number of cakes similar to this one, specifically cakes that include both cornmeal and olive oil and are flavored with citrus, but this particular cake will certainly become one of my all time favorites. I used both a finely ground semolina flour along with some coarsely ground cornmeal and regular all-purpose flour, and then flavored the cake with some Sicilian lemons and fresh rosemary from my garden.

What really makes this cake stand out is the addition of yogurt which helps to create a very moist cake. I also used a little flavoring called Fiori di Sicilia, one of my favorite extracts I buy from King Arthurs Flour.

In place of Fiori di Sicilia you could use half a teaspoon of vanilla, and half a teaspoon of lemon extract. Do not worry about the addition of rosemary in the cake, as it simply adds a subtle depth of flavor and you really do not taste “rosemary” at all.

I love cakes like this one because they are so versatile. I can serve this cake sliced on it’s own for breakfast with a nice cup of cappuccino, or I can serve it as dessert after dinner with some poached fruit on top along with a dollop of sweetened mascarpone cheese.

Although I love the combination of lemon and rosemary, you could use thyme or lavender in place of the rosemary, or even switch the lemon juice and zest with that of orange. Alhough I kept my cake simple, you could also drizzle the top of the cake with a lemon flavored glaze.


Buon Appetito!
Deborah Mele 

Rustic Semolina Lemon & Rosemary Cake

Rustic Semolina Lemon & Rosemary Cake

Yield: Serves 12
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes

A simple moist cake that is great simply sliced for breakfast, or served with fruit and cream for dessert.


  • 1 Cup Semolina Flour
  • 2 Cups All-purpose Flour
  • 1/2 Cup Coarsely Ground Cornmeal
  • 2 Teaspoons Baking Powder
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1 Teaspoon Salt
  • 2 Cups Sugar
  • Zest from Two Large Lemons
  • 1/4 Cup Freshly Squeezed Lemon Juice
  • 1 Tablespoon Finely Chopped Fresh Rosemary
  • 1 Cup Olive Oil
  • 4 Large Eggs
  • 1 Teaspoon Fiori di Sicilia (Or 1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla & 1/2 Teaspoon Lemon Extracts)
  • 1 Cup Fat Free Greek Yogurt


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Lightly grease and flour a 12 inch Bundt pan.
  3. Place the three flours, baking powder and soda, and salt in one bowl.
  4. In another bowl, mix together the sugar, lemon zest and rosemary and stir to mix.
  5. Using a hand mixer, add the oil to the sugar and mix on medium speed.
  6. Add the eggs one at a time, then the extract and lemon juice, and beat until well mixed.
  7. Add half the flour mixture to the eggs, then half the yogurt and beat until mixed, then add the rest of the flour mixture and yogurt and mix just until blended.
  8. Pour the batter into the Bundt pan, and spread evenly with the back of a spoon, then bake for about 45 to 50 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean.
  9. Cool the cake 10 minutes, then carefully run a knife around the pan and turn it over onto a plate.
  10. Cool to room temperature before slicing.

Did you make this recipe?

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