Lemon Basil Blueberry Swirl Cake – #Bundtamonth

by Kate on June 7, 2013

Post image for Lemon Basil Blueberry Swirl Cake – #Bundtamonth
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Today marks a very special and important day. Today is my 5th wedding anniversary! Five wonderful years filled with happiness, laughter, music, sharing, dancing, children, vacations, relaxing nights by the fire, and so much more. I feel so very blessed to be married to the most incredible man I’ve ever known.We were casual friends for many years before we dated then later came to find out that we both had huge crushes on each other forever! From friends, to dating, to marriage. Our life together is everything I’ve ever dreamed about when I thought about what I wanted my life to be. He was well worth the wait and I love the life we’re building together.

Our Wedding

Momentous occasions deserve celebration and what better way to celebrate than with cake? Truth be told, this Lemon Basil Blueberry Swirl Cake contains absolutely nothing my husband likes. Nothing! He doesn’t care for blueberries and isn’t a big fan of lemon. If I put an herb in anything other than a savory meal, he thinks it’s weird. So imagine my surprise when he loved this cake! He actually ate the majority of it and I was just beside myself.

Lemon Basil Blueberry Swirl Cake - FoodBabbles.com

I love pairing fruit with basil and it can be done in so many creative ways. Lemon Lime Basil Shortbread Cookies are my favorite. And anyone who’s been reading Food Babbles for a while knows how I adore basil paired with strawberries. Remember when I did #BakeTogether with Abby Dodge & Sorbet “My Way” ? Probably not because that was two years ago and my very first time participating in Bake Together. But I made two different kinds of sorbet, one of which was Strawberry, White Peach & Fresh Basil Sorbet. Amazing! Ive never experienced such a fresh fruit flavor. It seems to heighten the flavor of any fruit I pair it with so basil with lemons and blueberries is a home run.

Here the basil is pulsed with the sugar so that every bit of it is incorporated into this citrus cake, similar to making Basil Pots de Creme with Balsamic Strawberry Reduction which is another one of my very favorite fruit and herb pairings! When you cut into this lovely fragrant cake, you’ll find a blueberry swirl throughout. Lemons and blueberries paired together is nothing new but the addition of basil certainly makes it something extra special.



One Year Ago: Chocolate Dipped Sponge Toffee

Lemon Basil Blueberry Swirl Cake

1 hour, 30 minutes

Yield: 10 servings

Lemon Basil Blueberry Swirl Cake

Lemon basil pound cake with a blueberry swirl through the center, perfect for dessert or an afternoon snack!


    For Swirl:
  • 1 pint fresh blueberries
  • For Cake:
  • 2 cup granulated sugar
  • 10 large fresh basil leaves
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 cups plain whole-milk yogurt
  • 6 extra-large eggs
  • zest of 3 lemons
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • For Glaze:
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 2-3 tablespoons heavy cream


  1. In a food processor or blender, puree blueberries until smooth. Press through a fine mesh sieve into a small pot. Bring the puree to a boil then reduce to medium low and gently simmer, 15 minutes. Remove from heat and cool completely.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a 10-cup bundt pan by spraying well with a nonstick baking spray containing flour. Set aside.
  3. Place sugar and basil leaves into a food processor. Pulse until basil leaves are fully incorporated into the sugar and sugar has turned green with no visible traces of leaves. Set aside.
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk together all-purpose flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  5. In a large bowl, whisk together yogurt, basil sugar, eggs, lemon zest, vanilla, vegetable oil and lemon juice.
  6. Spread half the batter into prepared bundt pan. Spoon cooled blueberry puree over the top and swirl gently with a knife. Top with remaining batter.
  7. Bake in preheated oven for 55-60 minutes or until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean.
  8. Remove cake from oven and cool in pan for 15 minutes then invert, removed from pan and cool completely on a wire rack.
  9. Mix together confectioners' sugar, lemon zest and heavy cream. Drizzle over cooled cake.


Adapted from Ina Garten



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{ 37 comments… read them below or add one }

Carrie @ poet in the pantry June 7, 2013 at 9:10 am

Happy anniversary! What a splendid way to celebrate! You two look so amazingly happy in that photo–LOVE it! <3


Kate June 7, 2013 at 4:42 pm

Thanks so much Carrie! We were and are incredibly happy! The picture here is my favorite picture from our wedding day because it was completely candid and it definitely captured our love and happiness that day.


Emily {Jelly Toast} June 7, 2013 at 9:28 am

Happy Anniversary, Kate! I love your story about how you two were friends before falling in love – friendship is so important in a marriage, isn’t it? I hope you two have a wonderful anniversary and many more joyous years to come! Also- this cake? Oh. My. Goodness…this looks incredible. And I embarrassingly don’t own a bundt pan, but am currently borrowing my mom’s so I guess I know what I’ll be making in it! The pulsing the basil with the sugar is genius, too! I love using herbs in sweets, but I am afraid basil will turn brown if I put it in a baked good, so I’ve avoided it. This would solve that problem, for sure! Thanks for the beautiful recipe and happy story!


Kate June 7, 2013 at 4:44 pm

I really think friendship is at the core of a strong marriage, the foundation. Thank you so much for the happy anniversary wishes and you compliments on this cake. Oh! And I’ve done quite a few desserts with basil and I’ve never had it turn brown, thankfully! Those Basil Pots de Creme are obviously baked also and they’re bright green. No brown basil 🙂


Emily {Jelly Toast} June 7, 2013 at 4:53 pm

You’re a baking wizard, Kate! Thanks for the tip about basil! That just opened up a whole new world for me 🙂


Renee June 7, 2013 at 9:38 am

Happy Anniversary! I smiled when I read how your husband doesn’t care for blueberries and lemon but liked the cake. My husband thinks all fresh herbs taste like grass so he won’t touch anything he remotely thinks has a fresh herb in it. I’ll have to try this cake and see if it will get him eating basil.


Kate June 7, 2013 at 4:45 pm

I sneak things in on my husband and sometimes he calls me on it while other times he’s surprised and likes something he didn’t think he would. This was one of those times. He was unaware of the basil and was being “adventurous” trying the lemon and blueberry together. 🙂


kelly @ kellybakes June 7, 2013 at 9:42 am

Happy Anniversary to you both!! I love that you made something that wouldn’t normally be your husband’s favorite and that he loved it! Also, to echo Carrie, I love love love your wedding photo; you two look so smitten 🙂 Wishing you many more happy anniversaries! xo


Kate June 7, 2013 at 4:46 pm

Thanks so much for the compliments to the recipe as well as the happy anniversary wishes! I was telling Carrie, the picture here is my favorite picture from our wedding day because it was completely candid and it definitely captured our love and happiness that day.


ChristineM June 7, 2013 at 10:03 am

oh have a Happy Anniversary Kate! that cake looks great, never thought of basil in it, will have to try that out one day.


Kate June 7, 2013 at 4:47 pm

Thank you Christine! And definitely give basil a try in a sweet. It’s my favorite herb to pair in desserts. You have plenty of basil desserts to choose from around here 😉


The Ninja Baker June 7, 2013 at 10:37 am

Congratulations, Kate! On your anniversary and cake =)

Love the wedding photo and the lovely looking Bundt photo.

It is indeed victory when the hubby (in my household) gives a two-thumbs up review.

P.s. You’ve got me musing about combining basil, sugar and fruit more often.


Kate June 7, 2013 at 4:48 pm

Thanks so much! And I adore pairing basil with fruits, such a great combination! Hope you enjoy it if you give it a try.


Alice @ Hip Foodie Mom June 7, 2013 at 10:47 am

Happy Wedding Anniversary!!! Woot woot!!! you are so sweet. . make sure your husband reads this post, so lovely! 🙂 that’s what marriage should be about!
OK, lemon, basil and blueberry?! I LOVE this! OMG! love! The only herb I have baked with is thyme. . so can’t wait to try basil! yummm!


Kate June 7, 2013 at 4:48 pm

Thanks so much Alice! For both the cake compliments and the well wishes. I love baking with thyme also but basil is my favorite!


Anita at Hungry Couple June 7, 2013 at 11:37 am

Happy anniversary! I love lemon and blueberry together and I love pairing savory herbs in sweets so this cake sounds wonderful!


Kate June 7, 2013 at 4:49 pm

Thank you Anita! I love herbs in sweets too.


Paula @ Vintage Kitchen June 7, 2013 at 1:12 pm

I stopped because of the basil! I would love to try it in a sweet cake, especially with lemon Kate! Happy Anniversary too! Do you have an `ashley judd air´ in those pics? You remainded me of her.


Kate June 7, 2013 at 4:50 pm

It’s so funny that you mention Ashley Judd. I don’t see it but I often have people tell me that I look like her. Thanks! And do give basil a try in a sweet, it’s truly wonderful!


Rachel @ I Love My Disorganized Life June 7, 2013 at 2:54 pm

Happy Anniversary, Kate! Beautiful wedding photo, and beautiful cake as well. I am so excited to try this one.


Kate June 7, 2013 at 4:51 pm

Thank you Rachel!


Tara June 7, 2013 at 4:17 pm

I can see why your hubby loved it so much it looks great!! Happy Anniversary!!


Kate June 7, 2013 at 4:52 pm

Thank you Tara!


Stacy June 7, 2013 at 8:15 pm

Happy anniversary to you both, Kate! Your smiles are infectious! I couldn’t help but smile myself as I looked at that great photo and read your post. My husband and I started the same way. We were just friends and we were both afraid to tell the other that our feelings had changed, in case the other didn’t feel the same. Because that would have messed up the whole friendship.

I love your lemon, basil, blueberry combination and the swirl is so pretty. Glad your husband liked it too.


Kim Beaulieu June 7, 2013 at 8:29 pm

Dude that is one gorgeous bundt. I mean wowsers, look at that glaze.

And ditto for the wedding photo. You two look amazing and I am so happy your found your Prince Charming.


Kate June 10, 2013 at 5:38 pm

Thank you Kim! I’m madly in love with that man! And this bundt is sooo delish. It’s a keeper! Like him 🙂


laurasmess June 7, 2013 at 9:10 pm

Aw, Kate! Thank you so much for sharing your wedding photo, sentiment and thoughts with us. It’s made me get all reflective about my own marriage (wah! I am such a soppy date!). We also started as friends, for about five years, before we got together. Strangely enough, I only started falling for him about a year before he asked me out. SUCH a relief that he felt the same!!! 🙂 I definitely agree that friendship is a core element of love and marriage. I feel blessed, humbled and darn lucky to be on this journey with him! Back to topic: Happy Anniversary to you and your husband! So, so happy for you, and praying that your journey ahead will be just as amazing! Haha… as for the cake? Well, it just proves how amazing this cake must be, for your blueberry-and-lemon-disliking husband to love it! I’ve drunk a few cocktails with basil and blueberry in them… and I do love herbs with lemon so this cake sounds divine! Definitely trying it. Though I don’t have a bundt tin, so I may have to make a generic-cake-shaped version! xx


Holly June 8, 2013 at 4:42 pm

I think this sounds like a perfect combination– lemon with basil and blueberries too! Hope you had a happy anniversary celebration!


Kate June 10, 2013 at 5:28 pm

Thank you Holly!


Hezzi-D June 8, 2013 at 11:09 pm

Happy anniversary! I love the blueberry swirl in your Bundt-it looks great!


ATasteOfMadness June 9, 2013 at 11:54 am

Happy Anniversary!! This is definitely the cake to celebrate with, this looks fantastic!


Natasha @ The Cake Merchant June 10, 2013 at 8:03 am

Happy Anniversary! I love herbs in dessert. It makes them feel grown up 🙂


Kate June 10, 2013 at 2:23 pm

Thank you for the anniversary wishes! And you said it perfectly, herbs really do make desserts feel grown up, don’t they?


Terra June 10, 2013 at 11:33 pm

Happy Anniversary, I hope you had an amazing day! What a perfect way to celebrate a special day! I agree, basil pretty much rocks with any fruit. I am so excited my basil plants are growing like crazy this year. I may need to enjoy this recipe very soon! Hugs, Terra


Kate June 11, 2013 at 12:45 pm

Thank you Terra! I’m so jealous you have basil plants. I wish I had a green thumb but I always kill whatever I plant.


Meghan @ The Tasty Fork June 12, 2013 at 9:20 pm

Happy Anniversary!! (Sorry I’m a little late!!) You always have the most beautiful photos and this cake is a real looker. I love the fresh flavor combo!


Laura@bakinginpyjamas June 23, 2013 at 11:47 am

I’d love to try this cake Kate, it sound delicious and the blueberry swirl looks so pretty.


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